Bank shots: New local bank celebrates

In Charlottesville, where Wachovia and BB&T are more ubiquitous that McDonald's and Burger King, the opening of a new local bank seems about as rare as a June snowstorm. But lo and behold, on June 23, Sonabank held the grand opening of its very first branch, located in the Forest Lakes shopping center. (The bank opened for business back in April but waited until now to cut that ribbon.)

While the bank itself is a fledgling, it has already filed plans to launch a loan office in Manassas. And it has many veterans on board. Several former executives with Southern Financial, recently purchased by Provident Bank, make up the core team of officers.

The opening buzz at Sonabank was that many clients followed their neighborhood bankers to the new institution. About 50 bank officials and well-wishers turned out for the event. Here's a look at some of the monetary mirth.

Sonabank CEO Georgia Derrico cuts the ribbon.

Chamber of Commerce President Timothy Hulbert with Chamber chairman Mark Nelson and bank board member Mike Gaffney

People in your neighborhood: Branch manager Laura Kingrea and customer service rep Charles Bruce

Chamber officials Danielle Fitz-Hugh and Larry Banner helped to organize the event.

Charlie Kabbash and Rebecca Gentry celebrate.