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Brandon Daniels

Brandon Daniels - VP, Banking Center Manager, Detroit, MI

Teammates in Action Brandon Daniels


For a long time, Brandon Daniels, Vice President and Banking Center Manager at First Merchants' Detroit Downtown banking center, thought he would become a marine biologist.

"My dad wanted me to be a banker, however," he explained. "He always talked about how it was a great industry to go into to truly impact the local community and economy."

So, when Brandon's dreams of studying ocean life didn't pan out, and a friend landed a job in banking, he followed suit. That was 15 years ago, and, to this day, Brandon loves his job.

"Unknowingly, my passion for volunteering in the community sparked numerous connections, enabling me to serve not only as a volunteer but also as their trusted banker whenever they required assistance," he shared.

Brandon said he loves the opportunity to support organizations that are helping others. Giving back to others and supporting his community are lessons he learned from his teachers, slotted in alongside math and grammar lessons.

"I grew up in Detroit and attended local public schools, and I vividly remember the teachers, community leaders, and volunteers who consistently infused students' lives with positivity and encouragement," Brandon recalled. "Their influence left a lasting impression on me, shaping the person I am today. I've always pledged to pay it forward whenever possible, recognizing the profound impact that small interactions can have on building character, resilience, and great communities.

"My goal when volunteering is not to get the credit of being a 'volunteer,' but to be intentional with the interactions within the community and organization," Daniels shared. Building meaningful relationships and the ability to revisit people I've met there or seeing the impact of my contribution brings me a lot of joy."

Now, Brandon works to give back in those same ways that inspired him – participating in career days and teaching financial literacy with the Detroit Public Schools District. He also works with the Aktive Minds Foundation, the Junior Achievement Finance Park, the Mint Artist Guild, and Forgotten Harvest Food Bank.

He also volunteers his time with NW Goldberg Cares, an organization that helps incubate neighborhood businesses, build strong community connections, and create family-friendly neighborhoods.

"I think my involvement with NW Goldberg Cares is one of the things I'm most proud to be a part of," he explained, "because they have such an immediate impact on the neighborhood. Their goal is to improve the lives of residents in this predominantly African-American community."

"It's a good illustration of why I believe it's so important to give back," he added, "Because you can ultimately be cultivating a great change for an entire community or even generations after you."


First Merchants Bank’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility compels us to invest in our communities by finding ways to reduce inequalities, improve the quality of our neighborhoods, and promote positive economic mobility though our five community pillars: Employee Empowerment; Community Investments and Charitable Giving; Financial Wellness; Community Home Lending; and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This series features First Merchants teammates who embody the spirit and impact of the company’s Vision: “to enhance the financial wellness of the diverse communities we serve.”