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Client Story: A New Chapter Begins at VMHC

In early 2020, the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) in Richmond, Virginia faced a bit of a dilemma. They wanted to launch an expansive renovation plan, yet needed the capital before donations fell into place. 

“We set a bold vision,” said David Kunnen of the Virginia Historical Society, which owns and operates VMHC, “to raise $30 million in philanthropic support to transform the museum. Thankfully, Atlantic Union Bank helped us secure $21 million in tax-exempt bonds that provided the flexibility to start construction immediately.”

While many museums are state-supported and funded, such is not the case with VMHC. Instead, it’s funded by generous individual supporters, corporate and foundation donors, members, and guests. 

The historical society itself is the oldest cultural organization in Virginia and one of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation. And today, it has reopened VMHC in all its renovated glory—with 50% more exhibition space, a new orientation film and theater, new meeting and event spaces, and a new cafĂ© and retail store. 

All told, the museum cares for a collection of nearly 9 million items. “Each representing the ever-evolving story of Virginia,” according to Mr. Kunnen. 

And while Atlantic Union Bank has done much in the telling of that story, that’s not the full extent of the partnership between the museum and the bank. 

“At the onset of the pandemic,” he added, “we were in search of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) resources like so many other organizations. Our large national banking partner at the time was not able to serve us. Atlantic Union Bank was able to provide a PPP loan at a very uncertain time, which has led to a wonderful relationship and ultimately helped us achieve our renovation.”

But there’s one particular person who deserves special praise, according to Mr. Kunnen.

“Chris Lumpkin at Atlantic Union Bank has been a pleasure to work with. The service we receive is exceptional and our interactions are always positive, never leaving us feeling like we are just another client.”

And the rest is history, as they say. But now, VMHC is part of our history too and we couldn’t be prouder. 


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