Finance/Insurance: G. ROBERT ASTON JR.
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, TOWNEBANK, SUFFOLK
In December 2021, Aston, who has logged more than 50 years in banking, accepted the Hampton Roads Chamber’s 2021 First Citizen of Hampton Roads Award, recognizing an individual who demonstrates exceptional regional leadership.
“The philanthropic culture he has established at TowneBank is emblematic of what all businesses should strive to achieve,” said Bryan K. Stephens, president of the organization.
TowneBank’s charitable contributions in 2021 exceeded $13.6 million, with gifts to more than 200 organizations.
“What you don’t see is behind the curtain [is] my wife, Cindy, and my family,” he said during the award event. “My kids thought dinner time was 9 p.m.”
Beginning his banking career in 1964, Aston was named president and CEO of Citizens Trust Co. in 1981. He went on to lead Commerce Bank and BB&T of Virginia before launching TowneBank in 1998 in his garage. In 2018, Aston ended his 20-year tenure as board chairman and CEO, becoming executive chairman as part of a succession plan.
TowneBank ended 2021 with a net income of $215.4 million, a 48% increase over 2020. Total bank assets are $16.4 billion. Aston’s total compensation for 2021 was $1.58 million.