Our Board of Directors


Ken LaRoe
Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board, and Founder

Ken LaRoe is a serial values-based bank entrepreneur having founded, operated as Chairman and CEO, and successfully exited two community banks in Central Florida.  He started Florida Choice Bank in 1999 and sold it in 2006 after growing it to seven locations and over $400 million in assets.  The sale was the highest bank multiple at that time in Florida.  Ken started First Green Bank in 2009 and sold it in 2018 after growing it to seven locations with over $800 million in assets and financial performance in the top 10% of all Florida banks.  First Green Bank was the first bank in the United States with a stated environmental mission.  Ken and the bank won many awards and accolades including the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year; The Independent Community Banker – National Community Banker of the Year for 2018; The Greenest Bank in America; I4 Business Entrepreneur of the Year; Most Sustainable Company by Sustainable Florida; USGBC LEED Platinum; 100 Most Influential Companies in America by Real Leaders; Gator 100; Seminole 100 and many others.  Ken served on the board of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an international NGO that promotes values-based banking.  A lifetime resident of Eustis, Florida he graduated from Florida State University with a BS in Management and the University of Florida, College of Law with a J.D.


Michele Glorie
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Founding Director

Michele Glorie has spent her entire career in the Florida banking industry.  Her first experience was with a start-up bank in St. Lucie County, Port St. Lucie National Bank.  She was responsible for the accounting operations and helped grow the bank to $150 million in assets until it was sold in 1997.  Later she joined Enterprise Bank of Florida in North Palm Beach where she was the CFO, responsible for all accounting and backroom operations.  Most recently, Michele was with Harbor Community Bank where she was the Director of Operations.  She was a key management member that helped grow the bank from $50 million in assets in 2011 to $2.2 billion in assets with over 50 branches throughout the State of Florida.  She was responsible for nine data conversions as a result of the eight bank acquisitions Harbor transacted during seven years.  Harbor was sold to CenterState Bank in early 2018.  Michele has lived in St. Lucie and Martin Counties since moving to Florida in 1977 with her family.  She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BSBA majoring in Finance.


Dom Mjartan
Founding Director

Dominik Mjartan is President/CEO of Optus Bank located in Columbia SC, a U.S. Treasury certified CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) and an MDI (FDIC designated Minority Depository Institution). He spent more than a decade as a senior executive officer at a community development bank, Southern Bancorp, most recently as the Executive Vice President of Southern Bancorp, Inc. (SBI), a holding company for Southern Bancorp Bank and CEO of an affiliated lending company Southern Bancorp Community Partners (SBCP). He is past Chair of the CDFI Coalition and a current director of the Community Development Bankers Association, D.C.-based advocacy organizations. He is also finance chair of Midlands Arts Conservatory and serves on the finance committee of Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network and as director of South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development. He earned an MBA at the University of Ulster in the United Kingdom, graduating with distinction. He graduated Summa cum Laude and as a Donaghey Scholar with a B.S. in management from the University of Arkansas Little Rock. His wife Georgia is a nationally recognized leader and director of South Carolina First Steps, an agency focused on delivering high-quality early childhood education services to all children in South Carolina. They live in Columbia SC with their three children.  They strive to live their personal and professional lives according to their family’s mission statement “to ensure that all people have a fair chance to live productive lives.”



Chris Castro
Founding Director

Chris is a sustainability and clean energy professional and eco-entrepreneur with a passion to advance smart, resilient, and sustainable cities and communities.  Chris is currently the Senior Advisor to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Director of Sustainability & Resilience, and ‘Future-Ready’ steering committee member for the City of Orlando, developing policies & programs to advance the City’s sustainability, clean energy, & climate action goals.  Chris is best known for his work as the president and founder of IDEAS For Us, a global UN-accredited 501c3 nonprofit working to incubate and fund innovative projects that advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In 2012, Chris also started a clean-energy consulting firm called Citizen Energy, and in 2013 co-created “Fleet Farming”, a renowned urban farming social enterprise that is redefining local food systems by building organic farms on homeowner lawns, schools, and underutilized land throughout neighborhoods and communities.  Chris currently sits on nearly a dozen nonprofit and academic boards, including the Florida Solar Energy Center, US Green Building Council of Florida, Project Greenschools, and Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. He has previously held positions with the University of Central Florida, Orange County Govt., and the U.S. Department of Energy.  Over the years, Chris has been internationally recognized for his efforts; including being named the 2018 Public Official of the Year by Governing, a ‘Champions of Change’ by President Barack Obama, the ‘Guru of Green’ by the Orlando Business Journal, the Grist 50 Fixer Award, Top 30 Under 30 sustainability professionals by GreenBiz, and formal recognition from President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, and Vice President Al Gore.  Chris received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy, minoring in Energy and Sustainability from the University of Central Florida where he was the recipient of a full Bright Futures scholarship.  In addition, he has several professional accreditations including LEED green professional.



Jared Meyers

Vice-Chairman, Founding Director

Jared Meyers is the Owner and/or Chairman of several companies headquartered in Florida.  The most notable ones are those that operate under the Legacy Vacation Resorts and Salt Palm brands.  Legacy Vacation Resorts (“LVR”) is a hospitality company that operates in Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Jersey and serves over 100,000 families per year at its 8 resorts.  It began in 2011 after the purchase of Celebrity Resorts, a company formally owned and operated by Jared as CEO from 2003-2010.  During that time, Celebrity Resorts was one of the fastest-growing timeshare companies in the US, acquiring 21 resorts in 7 years.  Today, LVR is focused on providing a unique guest experience while utilizing its resources to make a positive societal impact. More recently, it has instituted living wage programs and a unique employee income advance program, nation-wide recycling programs, improved employee benefits, ecological footprint reduction through a combination of better practices and the purchase of carbon offsets, and continued its reinvestment back into its resorts to improve guest experience and satisfaction. This past year, it became the first multi-state resort hospitality company to achieve B Corp certification and it will be carbon neutral starting in 2020.  Salt Palm began as a hobby after Jared and his wife built a vacation home on the West Coast of Florida.  After a positive experience with a local builder, he decided to develop real estate in the area.  Salt Palm began with single-family homes and grew to include townhomes and condominiums.  Partly influenced by the responsible practices, passion, and purpose that were common in St. Petersburg-based businesses, Salt Palm decided to invest at least 50% of its profits into the betterment of St. Petersburg and Florida.  Salt Palm became the 1st real estate development Certified B Corp in Florida and it has been utilizing its profits to create the business responsibility movements of Florida For Good and For Good Movement.  He firmly believes that (i) resources and capabilities exist to solve most of humanity’s problems and to achieve a prosperous future for all, (ii) to accomplish this, businesses must measure their impact, be transparent, and drive the responsibility revolution; and consumers must prioritize their spending and habits in alignment with these businesses, and (iii) profit is good when a business does good. The goal of the ‘For Good’ movement is to utilize business as a positive force and to foster collaboration between Conscious Capitalism, the B Corp Movement, and other responsible organizations.  For the past 20 years, Jared has worked and owned companies in the hospitality industry.  These operations spanned most of the United States and have involved a variety of disciplines including development, management, hospitality, and financial services.  Jared has previously served as a board member and trustee of the American Resort Development Association, the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Conscious Capitalism Florida, and various local NGOs, and now serves as Co-Chair of B Local Florida, a Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity Fellow at the University of Central Florida, and as a Founding Steward of the B Economy.   He enjoys sports, being an involved dad, and actively traveling with his wife of 18 years, Kristi, and their two children.  They live in Orlando, Florida.  Jared graduated from the University of Florida in 1998 Summa Cum Laude with a BSBA double majoring in Finance and Management.


photo of bank director Nancy Wolf
Nancy Wolf
Founding Director

Nancy Wolf is a former human resources manager and corporate trainer for Mellon Bank and Sprint/Florida. Before her work in HR, Ms. Wolf worked in international public health in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa, facilitating the delivery of health care to underserved areas. Her passion for philanthropy has led her to serve on a variety of charity, education, and civic boards, including the Orlando Museum of Art, Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, University of Central Florida Town & Gown Council, and Ruth’s List Florida. Along with her husband, the founder, and president of Wendover Housing Partners, Ms. Wolf has supported the efforts of this company to become one of the premier affordable housing development companies in the Southeast committed to creating the highest quality housing opportunities in economically disadvantaged and socially diverse neighborhoods. Ms. Wolf is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and earned a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University.


headshot board member Brock McClane
Brock McClane
Director

Brock joined the board of Climate First Bank in February 2022. His prior banking experience includes service as Vice Chairman of the board of First Green Bancorp, Inc., another values-based community bank that was later acquired by Seacoast Bank. He has also served as counsel to the board of directors of Florida Capital Bank and has represented investors in fiduciary litigation against a national bank and led the unwinding of a Florida mortgage company during the financial crisis of 2008. Brock is a 34-year veteran attorney with a law practice that has included commercial litigation and serving as trustee involved in structuring and managing assets of high net worth families heavily invested in private equity, public securities, real estate, and debt. Fluent in German, Brock was appointed Honorary Consul of Germany in Orlando in 2010 and continues in that role serving German citizens and hosting events including an annual German street party. Brock is a private pilot of a Cirrus SR 22 which he flies for both business and pleasure. He resides in Orlando with his wife Sarah and two dogs.


 

photo of board member Edye HaddockEdye Haddock

Director

Edith “Edye” Haddock grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and attended the University of Tennessee where she majored in Business Administration. In 1994, Edye moved to Winter Park and established Murphy Properties where she has remained active with transactions in Florida and North Carolina. Edye’s career in real estate and community has many noteworthy highlights. Edye was a driving force and founding president of the 18 county Charlotte Region Commercial Board of Realtors. She was honored by being named “Realtor of the Year” for establishing the Charlotte Region Commercial Board of Realtors. Edye was the second woman in the State of North Carolina to earn the prestigious CCIM designation. She was recognized as one of the top ten commercial brokers in Charlotte. In addition to her Central Florida real estate interests, Edye is an active volunteer community leader in organizations with missions and values that align with those of Climate First Bank. In 2022, she completed the longest term of service as an Officer and Director of the Central Florida Zoo Board, carrying out its mission as a conservation resource providing experiences that excite and inspire children and adults to learn about and act on behalf of wildlife and natural habitat preservation. She continues her active service for many years as a Director of the Enzian Theater Board, which is a non-profit independent film organization that acts to connect the community through film.  Edye is a Director of The Edward E. Haddock, Jr Family Foundation and Family Operating Foundation where she and the family promote the Foundation’s mission to advance restorative relationships between people and the planet through human dignity and environmental stewardship. Edye is a member of the Board of Managers of the Fidelity Family Trust Company which serves as a trustee of the Haddock family trusts and oversees their diverse business interests and trust operations. Edye and her husband, Ed, have six sons, four daughters-in-laws, and eight grandchildren. They are an integral part of Edye and Ed’s day-to-day lives.


headshot of lex ford

Lex Ford

President and Director

In his new role, Ford helms bank operations and, most importantly, builds Climate First Bank’s book of business. Ford has an excellent understanding of the Orlando market, having spent his entire banking career in Central Florida, and is looking to expand the bank’s presence in the market while also growing and expanding connections statewide. Before Climate First Bank, Ford was Senior Vice President and Commercial Banker III at Seacoast Bank and Senior Vice President and Wingman to the Chairman at First GREEN Bank. For his leadership within the local community, Ford was recognized by the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards in 2017.