FIB In the Community

First Independence Bank’s 7th Annual Rhonda Pugh Memorial Essay Contest

DETROIT – (April 22, 2019) – For the seventh year in a row, First Independence Bank has partnered with the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) to provide Detroit students scholarship opportunities towards costs for higher education. More than $6 thousand dollars will be awarded to middle and high school student essay contest winners.
First Independence Bank presents its annual Rhonda Pugh Memorial Essay Contest. Rhonda Pugh was a longtime First Independence Bank vice president of treasury management for many years prior to her death.
“Our respected employee, Rhonda Pugh, was an invaluable leader within the First Independence Bank family and is dearly missed by many. Rhonda Pugh held a deep passion for our youth and valued education which sparked the creation of this scholarship program,” says Kenneth Kelly, Chairman & CEO, First Independence Bank. “Since her passing two years ago, it was decided to honor her for her dedication to First Independence Bank and Detroit Public Schools Community District with the annual Rhonda Pugh Memorial Essay Contest.”


The 2019 high school scholarship winners, middle school award winners and honorable mention recipients are: 

High School Scholarships 

1st Place  Kelsey Gee  Martin Luther King Jr., Sr. High School 
2nd Place  Shawntae Thompson  Osborn High School 
3rd Place  Kyrah Kimbro  Renaissance High School 


High School Honorable Mentions 

Taylor Moore  Cass Technical High School 
Tori Shines  Detroit International Academy for Young Women 
Dorean Hardy  Fredrick Douglass Academy for Young Men 
Imani Ziyad  Martin Luther King Jr., Sr. High School 
Classie Hubert  Renaissance High School 
Aniya Durham  Renaissance High School 


Middle School Awards

1st Place  Nahida Sultana  Davison Elementary-Middle School 
2nd Place  Ason Jones  Brewer Academy 
3rd Place  Ashleigh Odunsi  Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy 


Middle School Honorable Mentions 

Jessica Owens Brewer Academy
Johnathan Kimbrough Brewer Academy
Mariah Hunter Carstens Academy of Aquatic Science 
Tyler Myers Carstens Academy of Aquatic Science 
Miranda Nedd Carstens Academy of Aquatic Science 
Milian Smith Twain School for Scholars


Bank Enterprise Award

The Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program awards FDIC‐insured depository institutions for increasing their support of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and advancing their community development activities in distressed communities.

Over the past three years, BEA Program awardees have increased:

  • Investments in certified CDFIs by $124.3 million;
  • Loans and investments in distressed communities by $1.2 billion;
  • Provision of financial services in distressed communities by $66.7 million.

First Independence Bank has been an award recipient for many of the last several years.


First Independence Bank Among First to Empower Young Professional Leaders – Establishes Millennial Advisory Board

DETROIT – (March 5, 2019) – First Independence Bank is creating an opportunity to empower the leaders of tomorrow by exposing them to corporate engagement and leadership development. The First Independence Bank Millennial Advisory Board, includes 13 Metro Detroit leaders selected from a long list of candidates, representing very diverse industries. First Independence has engaged the unique voice of the millennial generation which will help augment their skills and will contribute to the vision of the bank.
“We will embrace their perspectives as we continue to grow and increase the financial capacity of these young advisory board members. It is their thought-leadership that will help us establish relevant products and services to meet their need. Our focus on financial literacy is to help provide a foundation for these leaders,” says Kenneth Kelly, Chairman & CEO, First Independence Bank. “We are excited to be a leading institution here in Michigan to incorporate a Millennial Advisory Board.” Kelly notes that millennials are unique in how they bank, spend, and make purchasing decisions.
The bank, which has been headquartered and serving Metro Detroit for over 48 years, took notice of this trend and saw an opportunity to educate and empower this customer base in a new and more inclusive way.
The newly-created advisory board will focus on understanding the unique needs of millennials, developing leadership skills and recognizing results-oriented outcomes to strengthen financial decision-making. The advisory board will receive financial mentor-ship and business acumen to strengthen their personal and career development.


3ON3 in the D Youth Basketball Clinic & Tournament

DETROIT – (June 7-9 2019) – First Independence Bank was a proud sponsor of the clinic and tournament.  The youth had a great time and were very serious.  All teams played hard and deserved their trophies.  Littlefield Pistons Commemorative Book Slideshow.



DETROIT – (September 30 2019) – We believe it’s essential to not only #giveback to our communities but to also become immersed in serving within them. That’s exactly what our team did today! Our team volunteered for Life Remodeled, a Detroit non-profit organization that exists to remodel lives – one neighborhood at a time! We had a great time learning more about their work as well as helping to clean their headquarters for businesses that will soon be located in their beautiful space. We cannot thank their team enough for the opportunity to be a part of their life-changing work!