Southern Bank Building becomes Outer Banks Center for Nonprofits, home of Community Foundation

Community Foundation Executive Committee members (l-r) Chris Sawin, CEO; Jean-Louise Dixon, Board Chair; Lynda Hester, Board Secretary; Jason Waughtel, Board Vice-Chair. Missing is Packy Regan, Board Treasurer.


Southern Bank created a unique opportunity that has allowed Outer Banks Community Foundation board and staff to meaningfully support local nonprofits in new ways. 2023 will be forever marked in our organization’s history as the year when the Community Foundation moved to highly visible commercial space on Roanoke Island and the Outer Banks Center for Nonprofits was established.

In July 2022 the Foundation’s board of directors voted to explore an offer by Southern Bank to purchase their Roanoke Island bank building, which had served them since 2004. The price being offered by Southern Bank to the Community Foundation was well below market value. CEO Chris Sawin and a board task force went to work to secure new capital funding for the project and find a suitable buyer for the historic flat-top cottage that had been the organization’s home since 2007. By January 2023, several donors and regional foundations were on board with needed capital and the Outer Banks Community Foundation board approved the move.

“Leadership at Southern Bank believes that community involvement is part of the overall experience our brand represents, and we are thankful for the opportunity to be part of this community endeavor,” said Jason Waughtel, Southern Bank Coastal Region Executive Vice President and Community Foundation Board Vice Chair. “Our bank is firm in its commitment to the communities we serve; this contribution is part of that commitment to the Outer Banks.”

Senior Vice President/Area Manager Neil Songer added, “Southern Bank has been involved in community programs in Eastern NC almost as long as we have been in business. With over 121 years in banking we believe that the Outer Banks is part of our history and our future. We hope that the building will help benefit the community.”

“We are thrilled to be in our new building and feel very fortunate to be working on establishing a new, local Center for Nonprofits,” said Community Foundation CEO Chris Sawin. “We are extremely grateful to Southern Bank for their significant gift. Thanks to Southern Bank, our board, and other donors we were able to seize an opportunity and increase our capacity to serve in new ways. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Jason Waughtel for his dedication and leadership on our board of directors.”