ChoiceOne Financial Services, Inc., and ChoiceOne Bank are pleased to announce ChoiceOne Chief Executive Officer Kelly Potes received the 2022 Best of Community Banking Award from the Community Bankers of Michigan (CBM). Potes was honored at the CBM Convention held at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City on September 29.
The Best of Community Banking Award recognizes the contributions and success of a Michigan community banker. Special recognition is given to community bankers who have made significant contributions to their communities and the community banking industry.
“We are extremely pleased to announce Kelly has received this prestigious award from the Community Bankers of Michigan,” said ChoiceOne Chairman of the Boards Jack Hendon. “Kelly has a very distinct leadership style guided by his remarkable financial intelligence – it’s quiet, kind and very strategic. He relies on his expert teams to focus on strategy, market, and customer understanding, including public outreach into our underserved communities. On any given day, you’ll find many ChoiceOne employees, including Kelly, serving in leadership and volunteer roles with numerous organizations making an impact in the communities ChoiceOne serves across Michigan.”
As Chief Executive Officer of ChoiceOne, Potes has held this position since 2016, as well as a director of ChoiceOne and ChoiceOne Bank since 2015. Potes served as the President of ChoiceOne from 2015 to 2019. Joining ChoiceOne in 1984, Potes held various management positions. In 1998, he left ChoiceOne to become the President and Owner of Kent-Ottawa Financial Advisors, Inc., a financial consulting firm. In 2001, ChoiceOne called him back as Senior Vice President of Retail Services, and General Manager of ChoiceOne Insurance Agencies, Inc., where he progressed into his various executive positions.
L-R: Michael Tierney, President & CEO of Community Bankers of Michigan (CBM) & Kelly Potes, CEO of ChoiceOne Bank
Today, under Potes’ leadership, ChoiceOne has grown to an approximately $2.4 billion-asset bank holding company, from $560 million in 2015, over 400% growth, making it the 10th largest bank holding company in Michigan based on asset size.
ChoiceOne has always taken the lead in providing innovative services and technology. Over the years, ChoiceOne has made significant advances in its financial services and industry-leading technology. Customers have come to rely on ChoiceOne’s digital banking platform including mobile banking, mobile deposits, innovative payroll solutions, online loan applications, online account openings and a digital mobile savings tool. These advances support customers’ needs for high-speed convenience and best-in-class financial solutions, while still maintaining the ability to connect and build long-term personal relationships – all part of Potes’ leadership style.
“Shortly after becoming President and CEO of ChoiceOne, Kelly, showing his true colors, changed our mission and vision to clarify the Bank’s true purpose, goals, and values,” said ChoiceOne Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Adom Greenland, who nominated Potes. “Our mission to provide superior service, quality advice and show utmost respect to everyone we meet, and our vision to be the best bank in Michigan have had an incredible impact on our Bank, employees, and our communities. Both mission and vision have created a remarkable culture of diversity, expertise, and compassion at ChoiceOne. Our entire ChoiceOne team is thrilled that Kelly was chosen for this award and that the impact he has made over the years is recognized in such an outstanding way.”
Potes graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. He has his Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. Potes is also a graduate of the prestigious ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking in partnership with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Holding numerous community positions throughout his career, Potes currently serves as a director of Sparta Downtown Development Authority and Urban Transformation Ministries. He also serves on the Deacon Board for the Kent City Baptist Church. Potes is a past board member and past president of the Rotary Club of Sparta, past board member of the Pension & Health for West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church, past member of the Community Bank Initiatives (CBI) and Member Services Advisory Board, and past president, treasurer, and trustee of the Sparta Board of Education.
While Potes serves the needs of his communities through innovative services created to enhance the wellbeing of the individuals and families in West and Southeast Michigan, he is also active in creating change in the community banking industry by serving on the CBM Board of Directors over the years. He is currently Secretary and Treasurer.
“This annual recognition of the very best community bankers is one of the highlights of our upcoming convention on September 29,” said CBM President and CEO Michael Tierney. “Community banks prioritize and invest in the customers and neighborhoods they serve and are vital to the strength and prosperity of Michigan. We are proud to have so many outstanding community bankers leading these efforts in communities across Michigan. We salute Kelly for his outstanding work as one of the best community bankers in our state.”