Premier Banks founder Don Regan: local booster, regional role model

Don Regan, third from left in the bottom row, and his family.
Don Regan, third from left in the bottom row, and his family.

To folks in the east metro, the name Donald Regan is a familiar one.

Though Regan is known in part because he founded the Twin Cities institution Premier Banks, he's perhaps first thought of as a community icon — someone who has contributed generously to North St. Paul, Maplewood and the surrounding area.

Regan, for instance, invested funding and influence in the initiative to build Polar Arena in North St. Paul. After it was built, Regan and his business partners sold the facility to the North St. Paul School District for $1.

And Premier Banks have worked with countless faith-based organizations, nonprofits and churches throughout the years. United Way, Relay for Life, Hearts and Hammers, Costumed for a Cure, Adopt-a-Family, Channel One Food Bank — these are just a select sample of organizations the bank has provided service for over the years. The bank supports countless community service projects across the state — employees from all 19 locations take part in the projects.

"We are community-driven," Regan says proudly.

He's lived within a mile of the Maplewood flagship bank for most of his life, he notes, and he and his wife raised seven kids in North St. Paul. They have celebrated 60 years of happy marriage, and have seen their children mature into skilled banking professionals.

Banker of the Year

Regan's fame has spread; he has been named the 2015 Banker of the Year by the Northwestern Financial Review, a trade publication serving Midwestern states.

He earned that designation due to his dedication to community banking and Premier's success after starting from modest beginnings.

Regan launched Premier Banks over 40 years ago, out of a trailer along White Bear Avenue in Maplewood, and guided the small enterprise to its current success.

The Northwestern Financial Review article highlights his skillful navigation of the Great Recession, which saw the closing of many community banks.

Premier, which started out as the smallest commercial bank in the state, is now one of the largest.

Best of both worlds

Premier Banks have maintained its solid customer base by pairing traditional personal services with sophisticated technology.

For example, Premier adopted electronic Remote Deposit and Mobile banking. A Premier bank business client, with Remote Deposit, can make check deposits from the comfort of their home or office. And Premier Mobile banking customers can deposit checks from anywhere in seconds with their mobile device.

Premier was also one of the first to offer businesses the option of Health Savings Accounts for employees.

But those who've trusted Premier for years also enjoy stopping in to see familiar faces and enjoy the heartfelt welcome given to each customer. The bank has had many employees on staff for decades, and its 12 longest-term staffers share 375 total years of experience working at the bank.

It's that longevity that makes the bank so rooted in the community, and such a reliable partner for individuals, families and small and large businesses alike.

"We're local, we're family-oriented, and we're very entrenched in the neighborhood," Regan says.

Premier Banks


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