Business notes: July 7

rarriaza@vagazette.com

Rockville, Md.-based A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc. will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Williamsburg office July 17.

The civil engineering consultancy and surveying firm is primarily focused on transportation and water resources projects and has previously worked with local municipalities, colleges and universities and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The firm specializes in engineering, environmental, landscape architecture, surveying and construction administration.

A. Morton Thomas and Associates is staffed by 500 employees in 18 offices across the East Coast, with the new Williamsburg location marking its eighth office in the state.

Ginny Snead, PE, an associate at the firm and the head of the local office, said AMT has operated in the Hampton Roads area for 25 years and chose to move into the area because of the local projects that it has recently performed for the City of Williamsburg, James City County and the College of William and Mary.

“They wanted something on the Peninsula, and we chose Williamsburg because I live here and I grew up here, so I love the area,” Snead said. “We’ve done some work for William and Mary and for Williamsburg, and I have a couple of ongoing projects with James City County, so it makes a lot of sense to have an office here.”

The Williamsburg office is staffed by three full-time employees, but Snead hopes to get that number up to 10 over the next three to five years.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. July 17 at 1166 Jamestown Road, and is expected to be attended by Mayor Paul Freiling and state Sen. Monty Mason. Breakfast pastries will be provided by Aromas Coffeehouse Bakeshop & Cafe.

Once opened, regular office hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit amtengineering.com.

Henrico County-based Sonabank recently announced the launch of its Community Believers program, which is a financial and marketing service specially designed for nonprofit organizations.

The bank, which owns an office on High Street in Williamsburg, developed the banking program by consulting with more than 25 nonprofits in Richmond and Hampton Roads through focus groups.

“As a result of that in-depth research, we developed the Community Believers program of financial products, tools and resources to demonstrate that we understand their world and we support what they are doing,” said Sonabank CEO Joe A. Shearin.

Community Believers members will have access to free checking with no monthly fee, no balance requirement and no limit to the number of transactions per month and will be able to get loans or a line of credit through the Community Believers Loan Program.

Additionally, nonprofit groups will gain access to meeting areas in nearby Sonabank branches and will be able to share events and organizational information with bank employees and customers.

“The Community Believers initiative evolved from Sonabank’s desire to build and maintain strong partnerships with nonprofits in communities where the bank is located,” said spokeswoman Sara Hunt.

Interested nonprofit organizations can enroll in the Community Believers program for free. For more information, visit communitybelievers.com.

The Tuesday’s meeting of the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority’s monthly business roundtable luncheon has been cancelled, but will reconvene Aug. 14. The venue for next month’s meeting has not yet been announced.

Busch Gardens’ live Irish step-dancing show, “Celtic Fyre,” recently earned the No. 1 spot in USA Today’s “10 Best Readers’ Choice Award” in the “Best Amusement Park Entertainment” category.

The award, which is voted on annually by USA Today readers, features a variety of categories recognizing the best in restaurants and special attractions in each state. “Celtic Fyre” beat out other attractions in theme parks including Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World, Seaworld Orlando, Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.

The Williamsburg theme park was also recognized in other categories, such as Best Roller Coaster and Best Amusement Park. Its sister park, Water Country USA, won eighth place in the Outdoor Water Park category.

“To simply be nominated for this award is fantastic, but winning this honor voted on by consumers is over the top and we couldn’t be more pleased to be the top choice for amusement park entertainment,” said Kevin Lembke, park president at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. “Celtic Fyre’s talented team deserves all the credit for making this a must-see spectacle at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.”

For more information and show times, visit buschgardens.com/williamsburg/shows.

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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