Kenneth Kelly

Kenneth Kelly
Kenneth Kelly
First Independence Bank, Detroit, Michigan
Chairman and CEO

Kenneth Kelly serves as Chairman and CEO of First Independence Bank, a minority depository institution, based in Detroit, Michigan. He is a respected leader in the banking community, currently serving as Chairman of the National Bankers Association. In 2018, he was named to the Federal Reserve Bank’s Seventh District Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC). Kenneth was also selected to become a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman’s Advisory Committee on Community Banking which is charged with providing advice and recommendations to the FDIC on a broad range of community banking policy and regulatory matters. In October 2020, he is expected to be seated on the American Bankers Association Board of Directors. Kenneth has testified as an expert witness before the U.S. Congressional House Financial Services subcommittee on consumer protection and financial institutions and has provided input to the full committee of the House Financial Services during its COVID19 listening session. Also, Kenneth provided input and advice to the Secretary of Treasury and White House Staff during COVID19 on the state of minority banks. 

Kenneth’s leadership in various organizations has culminated in him being selected as the chairperson of the Auburn University Engineering Alumni Council. In this role, Kenneth works with a successful group of alumni including many CEO’s to assist the dean of the college with research and development, fundraising, academic achievement and overall guidance to the college to become the best student-centered program in America. In 2019, the dedication of the new Brown Kopel Engineering Student Achievement Center included the naming of the Kenneth Kelly Engineering Academic Excellence Program Reception Area. 

Prior to banking, Kenneth enjoyed a 27 year career as an electric utility business leader in numerous roles within Southern Company. His last role entailed negotiating acquisitions of large renewable solar projects valued at $3.4 billion in partnership value. In 2018, Kenneth was inducted as the 137th Distinguished Auburn Engineer. On February 22nd, 2020 he was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. 

Kenneth grew up in Eufaula, Alabama and received an electrical engineering degree from Auburn University and completed the executive MBA program at the University of Alabama.