Kenneth Kelly Named Chairman and CEO of First Independence Bank of Detroit

First Independence Bank announced Kenneth Kelly (TEMBA 1998) as its new chairman and CEO on March 12. Kelly, whom the board of directors appointed in 2017, will be responsible for leading the bank’s financial operations and assets, policies and regulations as well as overseeing the company’s management infrastructure.

“As chairman and CEO, Kenneth brings deep and experienced business leadership to First Independence Bank. His knowledge, relationships, and expertise will be extremely valuable in leading the bank’s growth opportunities in Detroit,” said Linda Forte, member of the board of directors and chairwoman of the Human Resources Committee.

First Independence Bank is the 10th largest African-American-controlled commercial bank in the country (as evaluated by Black Enterprise in 2016). In a recent ratings report, the bank is a five-star ranked financial institution according to BAUERFINANCIAL™, which has conducted independent institution ratings and reporting since 1983.

Kelly has a breadth of business knowledge and financial experiences as a cross-functional leader. As a former business development manager at Southern Company who retired in 2017 after 27 years of service, he also held many leadership positions in the communities he has lived. He achieved success in a variety of roles across engineering, marketing, finance, supply chain, and acquisitions that included leading negotiations for solar projects totaling over $3.4 billion in partnership value.

“We were delighted to hear of Kenneth’s appointment and congratulate him on his success.  We are sure that under his great leadership, wisdom and guidance First Independence Bank will strive to much greater heights and achievements,” said Dr. Brian Gray, Associate Dean, Manderson Graduate School of Business.

Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University and his M.B.A. from the University of Alabama Executive MBA Program. He is married and has two children.

To learn more about our UA EMBA Alumni and how you can become a part of the next incoming class, contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205.348.4501. To request information now, click here.

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