Chesapeake Bank Vice President Tom Richardson wants everyone in the Northern Neck to have the opportunity to share his passion for reading. That’s why he’s so involved in the Lancaster Community Library.
Tom’s mother and father, neither of whom finished college, always stressed the value of reading and education. And Tom was determined to follow in his dad’s footsteps into an aviation career. However, life had other plans, and at the age of 28 he found out he had a medical condition that grounded his aviation aspirations.
For anyone, that kind of news is absolutely devastating, but it’s the way an individual reacts to the tough situation that shows true character.
“My parents taught me when life throws you a curve ball you’ve got to adjust. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade. I had to change careers, and so I went back to school and earned a business degree from William & Mary.”
Education is a means to gain knowledge about something previously unfamiliar – which is exactly what Tom did; it’s why he’s here, working at Chesapeake Bank, years later.
Upon making the career switch and move to the Northern Neck, Tom and his family got involved with the Lancaster Community Library and the early childhood reading programs.
“Our children lived at the library — checking out books and going to the children’s programs. Ms. Tanya, the children’s librarian, inspires the love of reading in all the children she touches. Anytime our children had free time, they were reading books. And that’s why they did so well in school and now attend top universities.”
Tom realized the positive educational impact of having a community gathering place in the Lancaster Community Library. It became such a cornerstone in the lives of their children that he and his wife wanted to make sure it remained a powerful resource for the Northern Neck Community.
Education sets the foundation for success, and a new Library building would make learning more accessible.
“That’s what we [the Library] are all about. Reading is so important. If you have poor reading skills it makes studying any subject that much harder. It makes it difficult to adjust when life throws you that curve ball.”
For years, Tom served in several capacities on the Board — on the finance committee, as the vice president and eventually president. During his time as president, his team raised more than $2 million to renovate an old bowling alley and to turn it into a state-of-the-art library.
“The library serves the entire population of our county; all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. They’re open to everyone and the diversity of people adds to the richness of the Northern Neck.”
To learn more and get involved with the Lancaster Community Library, visit their website.