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Avenue Bank names president

Samuels give up one of his titles to COO
 

Avenue Bank boss Ron Samuels has relinquished one of his titles to longtime lieutenant, bank co-founder and COO Kent Cleaver.

Cleaver has been promoted to president of five-year-old Avenue, which booked a $13.5 million profit in 2011 — helped by an $11.2 million tax credit — and has grown its assets to more than $660 million. Samuels, who formerly ran the Middle Tennessee operations of Union Planters, AmSouth and Regions, is staying in his chairman and CEO roles and said Cleaver's promotion is a natural step in the growth evolution of Avenue.

“Kent is a tremendous leader,” Samuels said. “Now is the right time for us to operate in more defined leadership roles, and Kent is excellent for this. He has been a dedicated partner from day one.”

Cleaver will focus on business development for Avenue, which now employs almost 100 people, and manage its day-to-day operations. He also has been named a member of the lender's board.


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