First Independence Bank partners with Operation HOPE – neighborhood credit score analysis drives financial education resources for change

Twin Cities and Detroit financial and community leaders kicked off partnership with ‘HOPE Inside the Twin Cities’ and ‘HOPE Inside Detroit’ events

 First Independence Bank (FIB) and Operation HOPE announced what is described as “a transformational partnership” with the goal of empowering people in Twin Cities and Detroit communities through financial coaching, debt counseling, financial education and awareness, and other community programs. The partnership was highlighted with a June 7 “HOPE Inside the Twin Cities” economic roundtable in St. Paul, and a June 9 “HOPE Inside Detroit” welcome reception and fireside chat in Detroit.

“This initiative is a part of our ongoing commitment to positively impact the people and communities where we do business,” said Kenneth Kelly, chairman and CEO of First Independence Bank. “I couldn’t be more pleased to expand our partnership with Operation HOPE and provide new financial resources and education to people in the Twin Cities and Detroit markets.”

The partnership with Operation HOPE provides FIB with onsite financial coaches in both the Twin Cities and Detroit. It’s part of the bank’s community-based approach to financial wellness and offers additional education, insights, tools and resources that will improve people’s lives at no cost. Operation HOPE has similar partnerships with financial institutions in other markets nationwide.

“First Independence Bank shares our passion and commitment to expand financial literacy and help consumers and businesses in our communities realize their dreams,” said John Hope Bryant, founder & CEO of Operation HOPE. “When private institutions and community organizations work together to achieve common goals, everyone wins.”

FIB is Minnesota’s first Minority Deposit Institution (MDI) that provides capital, financial services and education to underserved and minority communities. Together with Operation HOPE, FIB will enhance and expand financial wellness and education programs, particularly in unbanked and underbanked communities.

“I’m extremely excited about this partnership and what it means for people and businesses in our local communities,” said Damon Jenkins, FIB senior vice president & Twin Cities Regional Market President. “A key goal when launching our Twin Cities operations was to provide resources that help close the wealth disparities gap and help individuals improve their credit score. This partnership with Operation HOPE is a great fit and will be an incredible asset to help us reach that goal.”

Financial and community leaders that participated in the June 7 announcement and economic round table held at the Neighborhood Development Center in St. Paul included:

·         John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman & CEO, Operation HOPE

·         Kenneth Kelly, chairman & CEO, First Independence Bank

·         Damon Jenkins, SVP & regional market president, First Independence Bank

·         Tawanna Black, founder & CEO, Center for Economic Inclusion

·         Renay Dossman, president & CEO, Neighborhood Development Center

·         Adair Mosely, president and CEO, African American Leadership Forum

A recap of the roundtable will be shared on FIB’s website and social media platforms. More information on the partnership and programs can be found at For more information about the HOPE Credit Wellness index visit,

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