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Kenneth Kelly is the new chairman and CEO of First Independence Bank.

The Detroit-based bank, which has shown double-digit loan growth over the past two years, was ranked by Black Enterprise magazine as the 10th-largest African-American controlled commercial bank in the country.

Kelly is the former business development manager at Southern Company, a gas and electric utility holding company headquartered in Atlanta. He retired from the company in 2017 after 27 years. In his years in the utilities industry, he worked in engineering, marketing, finance, supply chain and acquisitions that included leading negotiations for solar projects totaling over $3.4 billion.

He is also chairman of the board of MAC Leasing, an equipment leasing company based in Michigan.

Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University and an executive MBA from the University of Alabama. He is married and has two children.

“As chairman and CEO, Kenneth brings deep and experienced business leadership to First Independence Bank,” board director Linda Forte said in a statement. “His knowledge, relationships and expertise will be extremely valuable in leading the bank’s growth opportunities in Detroit.”

First Independence Bank moved its headquarters to Woodward Avenue in midtown Detroit in 2016, bringing the bank closer to its neighborhood and business customers.

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