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ICYMI: Michigan Business Beat | T. Rann Paynter, Alyssa Bouchard Michigan Bankers Association, with Awards!

Michigan Business Network
May 16, 2024 10:00 AM

Michigan Bankers Association MBA logo

MBA | The Michigan Bankers Association Announces 2024 Banker of the Year 

Kenneth Kelly, Chairman and CEO, First Independence Bank

Chris Holman welcomes back T. Rann Paynter, President & CEO Michigan Bankers Association (Driving and on phone only) along with Alyssa A. Bouchard, Vice President, Communications, Michigan Bankers Association,  Lansing, MI.Watch Alyssa, and hear T. Rann, as they join Chris discussing recent awards, financial literacy initiatives, and banking support for businesses in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, along with other updates in the banking sector as of April 2024, in the YouTube video shared below:

Chris had several things he wanted to find out from T. Rann and Alyssa:

The Michigan Bankers Association recently announced 2024 Banker of the Year - tell us about them?

MBA Awards 20 Banks the Financial Literacy Award, who were among the banks honored there?

Michigan Banks Encourage Businesses in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula to Contact Their Bank, Why?

What else should we know from MBA or banking in general as of April 2024?

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The MBA also released some information on this topic:

Lansing, Mich.,- The Michigan Bankers Association (MBA) recently recognized Kenneth Kelly, chairman & CEO of First Independence Bank, as the recipient of the esteemed 2024 MBA Banker of the Year award.

The MBA Board of Directors awarded Kenneth Kelly with this prestigious honor in recognition of his outstanding dedication to the MBA, significant contributions to the banking industry, the remarkable success of First Independence Bank, and his exemplary record of community service. 

"The Michigan Bankers Association has made an exceptional decision in naming Kenneth Kelly as the 2024 Banker of the Year," said Roxanne Daust, MBA chairman and president and CEO of Range Bank. "As a dynamic and impassioned leader, Kenneth cultivates an atmosphere of involvement and teamwork, acknowledging the significance of each individual's contributions and their positive impact on communities. The success and expansion experienced by First Independence Bank under Kenneth's guidance are a true testament to his capabilities." 

“Kenneth Kelly is most deserving of this honor.  His leadership in advocacy on behalf of our industry is an example to all,” stated T. Rann Paynter, President, CEO, MBA. “The contributions Kenneth, his team and bank make in Detroit and now Minneapolis bring both banking services and financial education to the communities they serve enabling those within to realize their dreams of building for the future.”

The MBA will honor Kenneth Kelly at its 138th Annual Convention on Mackinac Island in June, where his remarkable achievements and contributions to the banking industry will be celebrated. 

Under Kelly’s leadership, this minority depository institution, headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, has risen to become the 7th largest African American–controlled commercial bank in the country. Kenneth led First Independence Bank’s national expansion efforts with bank branches both in Detroit and in the Twin Cities through an unprecedented multi-bank collaborative effort. Over the last several years, First Independence Bank grew from approximately $250MM in assets to more than $600MM. 

Kelly’s business acumen and influence in the industry yielded many community-focused and growth-minded, collaborative efforts recently. He led the initiative to help research and upgrade the core banking system to a digital platform. He also partnered with the Operation HOPE nonprofit to help customers with financial education; and established the Small Business Lending Program (a partnership with the both the State of Michigan and State of Minnesota) to provide loans to minority-owned businesses) to help enhance the community. 

“I am grateful to receive this prestigious honor. To be acknowledged by one’s peers is the ultimate honor from this group who truly made me feel welcomed, valued, respected and engaged,” stated Kenneth Kelly, chairman & CEO, First Independence Bank. "This award is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the entire team at First Independence Bank, as well as the unwavering support of our valued customers and partners. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to serve this institution and the banking industry to impact communities locally, statewide, and nationally." 

Kenneth Kelly has received numerous accolades over the span of his career. Last year, he was named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year® 2023 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Award finalist. 

Kelly was selected to serve on the FDIC chairman’s Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion (a three-year term); served as director, Michigan Bankers Association Board of Directors; and is currently the vice chair of the American Bankers Association (the largest trade association representing banking). He was a former Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s seventh district Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC) member.

Notably, Kenneth also testified as an expert witness before the U.S. Congress, appearing before the House Financial Services subcommittee on consumer protection and financial institutions. 


The State Bank has been awarded Innovator of the Year 

LANSING, Mich.- The Michigan Bankers Association (MBA) honored 20 Michigan banks for their outstanding financial literacy initiatives at the annual MBA Bankers Education Summit & Trade Show (BEST) Conference held in Traverse City. The prestigious awards presented included the Financial Literacy Award and the Innovator of the Year Award.

The MBA Financial Literacy Award and Innovator of the Year Award celebrate member banks for their exceptional contributions to financial literacy education and community engagement. 

"The MBA takes great pride celebrating the recipients of the Financial Literacy Award for their unwavering dedication to advancing financial literacy. These distinguished banks stand as a shining example of the remarkable initiatives they undertake daily within their communities across Michigan. We commend the recipients for their tireless efforts in fostering financial education, a cornerstone in empowering individuals and communities. Through their impactful programs and community engagement, these banks are integral contributors to the well-being and prosperity of the people they serve. The MBA remains committed to celebrating and supporting such exemplary work, recognizing that the ripple effect of financial literacy extends far beyond the individual, creating a more informed and economically resilient society," affirmed T. Rann Paynter, President and CEO, MBA. 

The recipients of the 2023 MBA Financial Literacy Awards are Bayport State Bank, Century Bank and Trust, ChoiceOne Bank, County National Bank, First Independence Bank, Highpoint Community Bank, Huntington Bank, Huron Valley State Bank, Independent Bank, Isabella Bank, Mercantile Bank, NorthPointe Bank, Oxford Bank, Range Bank, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, Sturgis Bank and Trust, The State Bank, Thumb Bank & Trust, University Bank, and West Shore Bank.

The 2024 MBA Financial Innovator of the Year award was presented to The State Bank. This recognition stems from The State Bank's collaboration with The City of Flint's Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control for the implementation of the Basic Needs Program. The State Bank provided grants to address property tax shortfalls, assisting participants in meeting program requirements. Twelve financial literacy participants received grants totaling $14,000, resulting in $463,500 in home improvement repairs for properties in low-to-moderate census tracts. 

MBA commends all banks for their unwavering commitment to providing Michiganders with the essential financial education for a successful future. For further details, click here. 


About the Michigan Bankers Association
The Michigan Bankers Association (MBA), the voice of the banking industry since 1887, consists of Michigan financial institutions with more than 2,800 branches located throughout the state. The MBA promotes strong communities and economic activity in Michigan by advancing a positive business environment. MBA assists banks by offering products and services to reduce expenses and increase profitability through the strength of the association. For more information, visit michigan.bank.


  • Michigan Bankers Association MBA logo
  • Kenneth Kelly, corporate headshot - by Breann White
  • 2024 Bank of the Year Banner UD 1
  • 2024 BEST Badge

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