2020 Millennial on the Move: Chase Townsend
34, Vice President- Commercial Relationship Manager with Truist Financial Corporation, Norfolk
Business and Civic Involvement:
LEAD Hampton Roads Class of 2019; Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Finance Committee, Development Committee Member and Chesapeake Division Board Member; Virginia Beach Vision Board Member; Rotary Club of Chesapeake Member; Worship Team Member at Atlantic Shores Baptist Church; Youth Baseball Coach at Southern Chesapeake Athletic Association
What is something that makes you stand out professionally?
I am a very relatable person. My interests and pursuits are diverse, which allows me to find common ground with people from all walks of life. Being naturally inquisitive, I can generally find common interests with business owners and potential customers to generate rapport and a more personal relationship.
Who or what keeps you motivated or inspires you?
I am fiercely competitive and that motivates me professionally, but my wife and kids really keep me pushing when my tank is empty. When I was a young boy, my dad used to say, “Son, I love you, your brother and your mom more than life itself.” I shrugged it off as hyperbole as a kid, but now having a family of my own, I can say I understand. They keep me grounded and help push me to be the best version of myself.
Tell us about an accomplishment that you’re proud of.
I earned my bachelor’s degree with magna cum laude honors while playing four years of intercollegiate baseball at the University of Mary Washington. I earned Conference Rookie of the Year honors, four All Conference Awards and was named to the ABCA Rawlings All-Region Team during my career. When my senior season was cut short 16 games in due to injury, I was just three hits shy of moving into second all-time in hits at the school.
How do you feel your industry can best respond to the effects of COVID-19?
The country’s banks are playing a crucial role to stabilize the economy during this crisis. Banks have administered the Paycheck Protection Program through the U.S. Small Business Administration and deferred hundreds of millions of dollars in loan payments for businesses and homeowners alike in an unprecedented disaster-relief effort. The financial sector is in better shape than it was going into the last recession, and that enabled the banks to provide relief to people in the early days of this lockdown period.
What new idea or development are you excited about in Coastal Virginia?
I am excited about the High-Speed Fiber Ring and the sub-sea data cables landing in Virginia Beach. I think Hampton Roads as a region has done a great job capitalizing on our deep-water access to support our military assets, shipbuilding, import/export activity and tourism. I think the fiber ring gives the region a great chance to court a more diversified employer base and bring new jobs to the area. As a proponent of regionalism in general, it was very exciting to see the Broadband Authority established.
What’s the most important aspect you look for in a workplace?
Opportunity and mutual supportiveness. I started my career at BB&T 11 years ago as an entry level customer service representative but was fortunate to make friends with senior leaders in the company who championed me in my career and took genuine interest in helping me get to the next level. Every year my manager asks how he can help me reach my professional goals and the bank continues to support my professional development through programs like LEAD Hampton Roads and the Banking School at Wake Forest University.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
If I didn’t work in banking, I could see myself as chief financial officer or VP of finance for a private business.
What’s your favorite spot to relax in Coastal Virginia?
I love my neighborhood. I live in an older neighborhood with a lot of young families who have become close friends over the years. Our kids play together, and we host neighborhood parties from spring through fall. I wouldn’t say I’m a homebody by any stretch of the imagination, but our “driveway Friday” potluck parties have quickly become something I look forward to.