I interviewed Ken a couple of years back as First Green Bank was finishing its LEED Platinum Bank. The first bank to go platinum on the east coast, First Green Bank and Ken have turned their eyes towards making central Florida a solar hot spot. Unfortunately, with Florida’s current Governor, Rick Scott, it’s not easy to be the leader, since the Governor has decided to ignore the state motto the Sunshine State and make natural gas his focus. Ken and I discuss all of this including the inventive way First Green Bank has created a solar loan program to make sure that folks who want solar can get it.
About Kenneth E. LaRoe
In 2009, Mr. LaRoe opened First Green Bank, the first bank with an environmental mission in the eastern United States. He is the largest shareholder, CEO and Chairman. In 1999, Mr. LaRoe founded Florida Choice Bank and was its largest shareholder, Chairman, CEO, and President. He grew the bank to over $400 million in assets by 2006 when the bank was sold to Alabama National Bancorp.
Mr. LaRoe began his career with Flagship Bank in Tavares, Florida, and rose to the position of vice president and branch manager. He joined SouthTrust Bank in Deland, Florida, in 1987 as senior lender and rose to county executive for Lake County. In 1996, Mr. LaRoe joined Colonial Bank as president of the Lake County bank and was instrumental in the conversion of a troubled thrift to a viable commercial bank. He has served on numerous civic and non-profit boards, including: The Sunrise ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens), BankServe, and The Florida Bankers Association. He served as chairman of Group 5 of the Florida Bankers Association and also as chairman of Florida BankPac. He is a member of the Florida Bar Association and the Lake County Bar Association.
A committed environmentalist, he served as chairman of Preserve Lake, a political action committee instrumental in passing a bond referendum for $36 million to purchase public land. He also served as chairman of the PLAAC (Public Lands Acquisition advisory Committee).
Born, raised, and schooled in Eustis, Florida, where First Green Bank is located, Mr. LaRoe earned a B.S. in management at Florida State University and a J.D. at The University of Florida College of Law. Mr. LaRoe is also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP).
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