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Freedom First
Freedom First Credit Union

Ed Walker

Freedom First
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A Conversation With Ed Walker

Redeveloper, Community Investor, and Roanoker

We sat down with Ed to talk about why it's a smart decision to bank with a community-focused credit union like Freedom First. 

Who is Ed Walker?

Many know him as a local redeveloper of old and vacant buildings in Roanoke, Salem, and throughout Southwest & Southside Virginia, such as the historic landmark Patrick Henry Hotel.

He is also an avid community investor, bringing business and vitality to the region through his projects. For instance, many know him as being instrumental in the creation of the Grandin Village CoLab, which not only acts as an incubator and coworking space for budding local entrepreneurs, but also sparked renewal and revitalization in the surrounding historic Grandin Village neighborhood. 

Perhaps most importantly, he is a native Roanoker — which is just one reason why he puts so much back into our community. He even went as far as to create the annual CityWorks (X)po Conference, which brings placemaking experts and thought leaders from around the nation to Roanoke to exchange ideas, make meaningful connections, and help our local leaders build a more vibrant future for our community.

The New York Times describes Ed as, "a former outsider-art dealer and a third-generation lawyer [and Harvard Fellow] from a prominent local family" who "has emerged as a commercial developer with an unusual civic conscience."

His reputation for redeveloping old, vacant buildings into community assets spans nearly 2 decades, starting with the revitalization of Kirk Avenue in downtown Roanoke. Former Roanoke City Manager Chris Morrill described the phenomenon of Ed's impact on the region like this:

"Ed helped [people] realize, Roanoke is a pretty good place. People aren’t talking about what we’re not anymore. Now they’re talking about what we are. And that’s a huge shift.”

Why Does Ed Walker Choose to Bank With Freedom First?

What do Ed Walker and Freedom First have in common? A shared mission to invest locally sourced capital back in to our community.

And while Ed transforms what it means to breathe new life and vitality into our communities through historic redevelopment, we're proud to work alongside him to transform what it means to truly bank local.

So why not join Ed and over 50,000 of your neighbors and Bank For Good with Freedom First? 

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Roanoke redeveloper Ed Walker sitting in an old Salem building
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