Shelby Tolliver Black History Month Employee Profile

Shelby Tolliver Black History Month Employee Profile

02/15/2024 | Community

United Voices

Get to know some of United’s Black leaders this Black History Month


United recognizes that the diversity of its team supports the Company’s overall mission to provide excellence in service to its stakeholders. Its commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion fosters respect and a shared purpose that aligns with the Bank’s core values and community leadership. Since the Bank’s founding in 1839, its leading principles have helped United grow from a single-office bank to a premier regional banking company with a strong presence throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Today, the Company holds nearly $30 billion in assets and serves a consumer and commercial customer base that is diversified across lines of business as well as geography, with close to 250 offices located throughout West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, as well as Washington, D.C., and Virginia, where it is the largest bank chartered in the Commonwealth.

United’s employees are its greatest asset – when team members thrive, so do customers and so does business. That’s why, this Black History Month, United is spotlighting some of its Black employees, their accomplishments, and the work they are doing to support their communities, bolstering the Bank’s commitment to ensuring that employees from entry-level to management are empowered to reach their full potential and make a difference, contributing to a culture that is entrepreneurial, efficient, relationship-based, and service oriented.


Meet Shelby Tolliver


Shelby Tolliver Headshot

For Shelby Tolliver, each day of work is a new adventure. Just a few months shy of 30 years on the job, there isn’t much by way of banking experience that Tolliver hasn’t seen. However, that doesn’t mean she plans to stop learning and growing anytime soon.

Banking is the only job Tolliver has ever had, and the only one she’s ever wanted. She began her career fresh out of high school as a part-time teller at Essex Bank while studying business at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. However, when a full-time role became available, Tolliver knew it would be a mistake not to take the opportunity. She concluded her studies and jumped in feet first to the world of banking. Over the past three decades, she’s had her pick of branch roles, including working as a customer service representative, head teller, bank trainer, assistant branch manager, and branch administration officer. She has also held roles on the Retail Management team including managing the credit card program and supporting retail operations.

Her career with Essex spanned 27 years until she joined United through the banks’ 2021 merger. Today, Tolliver is a Branch Manager, AVP at United’s Virginia Center location in Glen Allen, Va. In this role, she is responsible for managing the functions of a full-service branch including maintaining existing – and developing new – customer relationships, both personal and business, for the Bank. And while she takes great care to ensure her branch is staying on track with sales performance objectives, she also makes a point to focus on the coaching and development of her branch team, and ensuring the communication of, and adherence to, best practices, policies, procedures, and regulation for bank success.

Outside of work, Tolliver looks for enrichment opportunities to better herself and her community. In 2009, she graduated from the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management, which is held in cooperation with the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. She also enjoys participating in community events hosted by United Bank and local non-profits, most recently volunteering with Caring Closet in Richmond.


Shelby’s Experience as a Black Leader


Are there any leaders who inspired you to lead?

There were not many women of color in management roles when I first started in banking. However, I do remember four women in supervisory positions within the company that I looked up to. They were extremely knowledgeable and exemplified absolute professionalism. They were the very personification of leading with integrity in their areas of expertise and I’ll always attribute watching them as what inspired me to want to go even further in the banking industry!

What has your experience been like as a Black leader?

It has not been without challenges but overall, it has been highly rewarding. I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can give back and help others in meaningful ways. I enjoy mentoring my team and helping them to reach their individual professional goals, and helping customers find solutions to their banking needs and forming lasting relationships. I also enjoy my interactions with the community we serve.

What advice do you have for young people of color just starting their careers?

My advice would be to continue to challenge yourself. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but challenging yourself promotes professional growth. Set meaningful and impactful goals, and then do the work to reach them. But overall, just continue to work hard, because in the end it will 100% pay off.


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