|Burke & Herbert employees, from the left: teller Mesfin Zecarias, Annandale Branch Manager Berhane Beraki, Community Relations Manager Jane Lichter, and Annandale Assistant Branch Manager La Vita Weaver.|
Burke & Herbert, the oldest bank in Virginia still owned and managed by descendants of the founder, is more like a family than a global financial institution.
One of the hallmarks of B&H is community service, and that’s why the bank readily agreed to be a sponsor of the Taste of Annandale, a community festival June 13 with food, live music, and fun all day on Tom Davis Drive.
|The Annandale branch of Burke & Herbert at 4235 Annandale Road.|
B&H is also active in the Annandale Chamber of Commerce and takes part in chamber events, like the annual Annandale Parade and Festival in October, hosts a reception following the annual tree lighting ceremony in Tollhouse Park, and fields a team in the Annandale Bed Race.
Other community involvement activities supported by B&H include financial literacy education at Falls Church High School, volunteering with the fun fair at Braddock Elementary School, and awarding college scholarships to needy students.
You can usually spot the B&H team members at community events by their fake mustaches, reflecting the style of John Woolfolk Burke, who founded the bank with partner Arthur Herbert in 1852, and continued by the current chairman and chief executive officer E. Hunt Burke. The mustache is a symbol of “old-fashioned values and personal service,” says Jane Petty Lichter, branch marketing and community relations manager.
The Burke family was related to Founding Father George Mason, and “it’s because of those local ties that we feel so strongly about being active in the community,” says Lichter. “That’s the key to the bank’s success.”
B&H has 25 branches in Northern Virginia and because it’s a local institution, it has developed close relationships with its customers, Lichter says. “We’re known for personal service.”
B&H offers a host of services not found in large financial institutions, such as free checking, no minimum balance, no monthly service fees, no ATM fees, and no fees for using ATMs at other banks nationwide.Kids can open a savings account with just $10, and for every $25 they deposit, they’re entered into a drawing for a prize. And every year, the bank hands out calendars with photographs submitted by customers
La Vita Weaver, assistant manager of the Annandale branch, has worked for several large banks, but prefers the personal touch offered by a small community bank. “We can get to know our customers and connect with their families,” she says. “Consistent community investment – that’s what’s important for us.”