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TowneBank's Robert Aston Tapped to Receive Economic Impact Award

G. Robert Aston Jr., founder, chairman and CEO of TowneBank since its inception, will receive the fifth annual Economic Impact Award from the Economics Club of Hampton Roads.

Operated by Old Dominion University's College of Business and Public Administration, the Economics Club presents the award every year to a prominent financial figure with strong ties to Hampton Roads. This 2012 award will be presented to Aston during a luncheon at the Norfolk Marriott Waterside on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

During his 47-year banking career, Aston has served on the board of directors and as president and CEO of Citizens Trust Co., Commerce Bank and BB&T of Virginia. He is the only chairman and CEO TowneBank has had.

Aston has overseen TowneBank's success story - profitable after 11 months, and now with 26 branches and financial holdings of more than $4 billion. To this day, TowneBank is known as the most successful new bank ever chartered in Virginia, with branches stretching from Williamsburg to northeastern North Carolina.

The bank supports numerous local endeavors, something that Aston says has been important to the company since Day One.

"When we formed TowneBank in 1999, we knew we wanted to get back to the basics," he says in a statement on the bank's website. "To us, it's all about friendships and relationships. Every loan we make benefits our community. Every dollar we contribute serves the families and children in our hometown. Together, we are building a great community asset. ... We are proud to be such a special part of our hometown."

Aston is a graduate of the Graduate School of Retail Banking at the University of Virginia. He has been in community banking since he was in high school, starting out at Citizens Trust getting coffee and the mail.

Today Aston sits on numerous local boards. He chairs the Eastern Virginia Medical School Foundation, and is a recipient of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fames' Distinguished Virginian Award.

Aston will join four other prominent Virginians as recipients of the Economic Impact Award. Last year's honoree was former Gov. Gerald Baililes, director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

The Economics Club of Hampton Roads is an organization for business and government executives and community leaders who share an interest in the practical implications of economic principles, trends and events. It was established in 1991 as a community service by former ODU President James V. Koch, and is administered by the dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, under the supervision of an elected board.

For information about the Economics Club, contact executive director Bruce Rubin at brubin@odu.edu or 757-683-3590, administrative assistant Katrina Davenport at kdavenpo@odu.edu or 757-683-5138, or visit the website http://bpa.odu.edu/bpa/econcontacts.shtml.

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