Sonabank: Redefining a community bank

Left to right, Rey Feliciano, Robin Weaver, Cindy Ligart, Keith Hawkins, Mary Crowder and Bonnie Selwaeh ready to greet customers at Sonabank’s main entrance. (Photo by Cathy Welch)

Sitting in City Center is a business that wants to not only work with community residents and organizations, but give back to the area as well. “Sonabank stands for Southern National Bank Corp of Virginia and is the fifth largest community bank in Virginia,” says Robin Weaver, the AVP branch manager of the Sonabank located in City Center.

Sonabank opened its doors in 2005 and has been focused on being more than just a bank in the Oyster Point community. Its goal is serving others and focusing on the needs of individuals. There are 45 locations around the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, each with this same goal.

“There aren’t that many community banks these days, and being involved with the community is a big part for us,” says Weaver, who has been in banking for more than 30 years. The bank has programs such as POWER, which is the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs Realized, specifically aiding women in the community who are establishing or wanting to establish a business. Services in this program include business podcasts, classes about loans and special events for women, where they can network and share information to improve their business knowledge.

Sonabank also supports local non-profit organizations with its Community Believers program. “The Community Believers program works with nonprofits, providing board rooms for them to use, a website for networking, posting events and offering interest on its account with no fees,” says Weaver, describing another way the bank provides special individualized services to benefit the community.

Weaver’s special involvement with the community and individual service to customers is what she loves about the bank. “We are focused not only on the ‘wow’ service but also on developing relationships with customers, answering customers’ needs. The daily conversations with customers, establishing trust and learning about their families sets us apart from other banking institutions,” Weaver says.

It brings Weaver joy to help ensure people’s financial comfort by providing trustworthy and specific information to help her customers and their families. To show appreciation to its clients, Sonabank often holds events involving the community. “Last year to thank customers we served hot dogs outside the bank, and we invited the SPCA to bring their pets for customers to adopt. This not only shows appreciation to our customers, but also involves nonprofits. We strive to help meet the goals of both customers and nonprofits with whom we work. We want the community to know that we care,” she says.

No two days are the same for the Sonabank employees, as they are universal bankers — that is, they are all trained to do all tasks to assist customers in many ways. “Being universally trained makes the day faster paced, and you never know what the day has in store.

A typical workday? Weaver says, “I could be a teller one day and out in the community helping with projects the next.”

When not in the bank or handling financial business, Weaver loves camping with her family, which includes her four children. They are currently planning their 2020 camping adventures.

The Sonabank staff prides itself on its ability to form personal connections with its customers, while simultaneously helping the local community through different programs and events.

TO THE POINT:
Sonabank
Address: 11801 Merchants Walk,
Newport News, VA 23606
Phone: 757-327-0128
Contact: Robin Weaver, AVP manager
Business: Bank
Website: www.sonabank.com

Noelle Riddle
About Noelle Riddle 4 Articles
Noelle Riddle is from Fairfax County, Virginia, and is currently obtaining a degree in English with a double minor in both Leadership Studies and Communications Studies at Christopher Newport University. Growing up, it was always her dream to pursue a career that involved writing or creative expression. When Noelle is not writing, she enjoys walking her dog, playing volleyball or trying new and unique foods to review on her food blog.

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