Ernst & Young’s Florida Entrepreneur of the Year
Ken LaRoe, CEO and Founder of First GREEN Bank, one of last year’s i4 Business Entrepreneurs of the Year, was honored by Ernst & Young as the winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year award for Florida. He won the award for the Financial Services category, making him one of only two Central Florida entrepreneurs to receive the prestigious honor. He was recognized for First GREEN Bank’s success and his commitment to benefiting the community, environment and his employees.
In the past year, with the assistance of the First GREEN Bank staff, LaRoe refunded the First GREEN Foundation’s solar grant program to provide Central Florida the resources to invest in renewable energy. Last year, he implemented a living wage for employees, which provides all employees a minimum $30,000 yearly salary, without a salary cap. LaRoe and his team also recently partnered with local non-profit, Clean the World, to bring awareness to the health issues facing communities around the world. LaRoe, who was named a finalist for the past two years, was thrilled to be recognized as this year’s award recipient.
“This recognition is one of the highlights of my career, and it makes me proud to receive it on behalf of First GREEN Bank,” said LaRoe. “It’s an honor to be acknowledged among such a successful and innovative group of leaders. Bringing the award back to the bank is not only a thank you for the team’s incredible support but also to serve as a reminder that our hard work pays off. This will encourage me to continuously push my business to do what’s right for our customers, the environment and the community.”
First GREEN Bank, which opened in February 2009, is headquartered in Mount Dora, with locations in Clermont, Ormond Beach, Orlando and Winter Park.