ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 27, 2021) – Climate First Bank, the world’s first community bank with a founding mission to make cutting-edge climate solutions financially achievable for everyone via incentivized loan offerings, today announces the appointment of President Lex Ford to its board of directors. He will help set strategy as the bank grows to become the largest values-based financial institution in the Southeast.
Ford joined Climate First Bank in October 2021, leading the bank’s day-to-day operations and building its book of business to grow the number of solar panels, EV charging stations, and energy-efficient buildings present in Central Florida. Since Ford assumed his role at the bank, it has grown from $92 million to $160 million in assets as of March 31, 2022, primarily in the Central Florida area. Ford was instrumental in the opening of Climate First Bank’s first Central Florida location in Winter Park, and his current efforts include supervising the branch’s deep energy retrofit. Ford is also helming the opening of the bank’s third branch in Mount Dora and the relocation of the flagship office in St. Petersburg.
“I’ve known Lex for many years, and I’m glad to have him as my right hand at the bank,” said CEO and Founder of Climate First Bank Ken LaRoe. “Lex has deep community ties, having spent his whole banking career in Central Florida. He knows the market, key players and individual small businesses personally. This expertise is invaluable to the board as the bank expands its influential mission across the whole state of Florida.”
Additionally, Ford embraces community involvement as a major part of his life as the president of Climate First Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to promoting renewable energy, water conservation and community-supported agriculture. It has provided thousands of dollars in renewable energy grants to Florida residents for the installation of solar panels and solar hot water heaters. The foundation scaled enormously under Ford’s direction, donating thousands of dollars to multiple nonprofits in Central Florida. Ford hopes to increase funds raised each year, optimizing the foundation’s impact in tandem with the bank’s efforts.
“I’m honored to join the board and am ready to leverage my roles with the bank and foundation to enact lasting positive change in my hometown community,” said Ford.
Stay tuned for the latest updates, and to learn more visit climatefirstbank.com.