Citizen Newspaper: Lewis and CDFI


Urban Partnership Bank Brings on New Board Member, Receives CDFI Designation

Deborah Bayliss | 12/17/2014, 12:27 p.m.

Urban Partnership Bank’s (UPB) board of directors is now a 12-member team with the addition of recently elected, Michael W. Lewis, a respected civic and financial services leader.

“Mike is a proven leader who is passionate about our mission, and we are proud to welcome him and his extensive financial service experience to our already supremely qualified and diversified board,” UPB’s President and CEO, William Farrow said.

Mike Lewis

Urban Partnership Bank adds Mike Lewis as the 12th member of its Board of Directors.

A graduate of Western Michigan University who earned his MBA in finance from Indiana University, Lewis is an active member of Chicago and Detroit’s civic community, representing suburban Cook County on the Regional Transportation Authority Board of Directors and the Western Michigan University Foundation. He’s also chairman of Western Michigan’s Haworth College of Business Advisory Council.

During his long career at BMO Financial Group, Lewis served in many capacities primarily in the corporate bank. Those duties included the Special Industries Group which covered the construction real estate and tax-exempt markets. He also served as regional president and executive vice president of the Chicago Metro Region of BMO Harris Bank until his retirement in 2013.

 Bill Farrow

William Farrow, president and CEO, Urban Partnership Bank

Additionally, Farrow also announced Urban Partnership Bank’s designation by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in Detroit and Wayne County, MI, for the first-time.

The bank’s CDFI designation for Chicago, Cook County and Illinois, which was due to expire shortly after an initial three-year term, was renewed by the Treasury Department.

The CDFI designations places Urban Partnership Bank among an elite group of banks recognized by the U.S. Treasury for its mission to serve neglected communities and helps create economic opportunities in underserved and neglected areas.

“The CDFI designations and the addition of Mike Lewis to our board further underscore our commitment to serve neglected communities and build a better future,” said Farrow.

Established in Aug. 2010, UPB is an FDIC-insured, full-service community development bank and certified Community Development Financial Institution with over $800,000,000 in assets and a mission to help build vibrant urban neighborhoods, promote economic and environmental sustainability and create long-term success for its communities and the bank.