ben heart

I Care About: Williamsburg’s Annual Heart Chase

Ben Ellington, Vice President and Regional Commercial Loan Officer at Chesapeake Bank in Williamsburg, is no stranger to working in the community. From Georgia to Virginia, Ben has always worked as a community banker, and he truly understands the value of banking locally.

“What’s important to me in my career? Community is. All I’ve done my entire life, my entire career, is work in community banking. I really believe in supporting local people and local business owners,” said Ben. I know we have a real stake in the areas we serve and are able to understand the needs of our clients and communities better than anyone. That’s really what community banking is all about, and thanks to new technologies, we are now also able to provide the same tools and services as the large national banks.”

Ben believes the value of local banks lies in the give-and-take relationship with the greater community.

“The community trusts us with their banking business, and they have an expectation that we will share our success locally by putting not only dollars but volunteer hours, back into the many important causes that make this area a great place to live. We want to honor that expectation, and we do,” said Ben.

And when it comes to the numerous community causes Ben supports, the American Heart Association and its annual HeartChase event are at the top of the list.

It is easy to work for a cause when it is something that has affected you personally, and that’s the case with Ben and the American Heart Association.

“It resonates with me. I lost my grandfather when he was 59 years old – I never knew him. And then I lost my grandmother a few years later to heart disease, as well,” he said. “I grew up basically without two grandparents who died at a very early age because of heart disease.”

A huge part of the American Heart Association’s mission and funding supports local education, which is why Ben works hard to make HeartChase a resounding success.

“80% of heart-related illness is preventable, and it’s the No. 1 killer in the United States. Those two statistics frustrate me because I know there’s something we can do about it,” said Ben.

Ben was the chair of last year’s HeartChase event, where teams dress up in creative costumes and race to 10 activity stations to rack up points. At the end of the day, they do it to raise money and awareness for the cause… and have lots of fun along the way.

The HeartChase takes place each year in November.