Bremer Financial CEO Announces Retirement
St. Paul, MN. – March 23, 2009 – Stan Dardis, chief executive officer of Bremer Financial, has announced he will be retiring effective April 1, 2010. A 33-year veteran of banking and financial services, Dardis was named chief executive officer of Bremer and elected to its Board of Directors in 1998. The Bremer Board of Directors has approved Patrick Donovan, president and chief operating officer of Bremer, as Dardis’ successor.
"Stan has been a great banker and has led Bremer through some of the most challenging times faced by our industry," said Terry Cummings, chairman of the Bremer Board of Directors. "We are fortunate that he has agreed to stay with Bremer through next April, ensuring that this transition will be seamless for our employees, clients and community."
Dardis notified Bremer’s 1,800 employees – who are also the company’s shareholders – in a personal message. "Bremer is here for the long-haul and we have accomplished much together," said Dardis. "We have seen growth and change. Change is exciting and inevitable. Thanks to the leadership and focus of our team, Bremer remains stable, profitable and well-capitalized in a rapidly changing environment. Unlike many of our peers, Bremer was profitable in 2008 and we have gotten off to a strong start in 2009." The company posted net income of $72 million last year.
Donovan was named executive vice president and chief operating officer for Bremer in 2002. Donovan has more than 25 years of banking experience, spending time at Wells Fargo as president and chief operating officer, where he was responsible for banking operations throughout Minnesota, Indiana, and Ohio. In addition, Donovan has held management positions in the retail banking, business banking, private banking, and trust divisions of First Bank and Norwest.
"The succession plan we have in place is as relevant in today's rapidly-changing world as it was when we created it nearly four years ago," said Dardis. "With a full year to implement, this thoughtful and well-planned leadership transition should be seamless for our employees, clients and communities."
Prior to joining Bremer, Dardis had a varied career. After serving in the United States Air Force as an instructor pilot in the advanced jet program, he began his banking career as an agricultural loan officer at Norwest Bank in Aberdeen, S.D. From there, he became vice president of credit and banking services and director at First National Bank in Bowman, N.D., and then executive vice president, senior lender at Norwest Bank in Fargo, N.D. Dardis was then president, chief executive officer and director of Metropolitan Federal Bank.
Dardis is a graduate of North Dakota State University (NDSU) and the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. In 1994, Dardis received the Honored Alumnus Award from NDSU. He is also a trustee of the NDSU Development Foundation and past president of the Alumni Association.
Dardis currently serves as a director of the Capital City Partnership. He is chairman of the Opportunity Housing Investment Fund, which serves to improve the quality and availability of affordable housing in East St. Paul. He is a director of the Wilder Foundation and co-chair of the Wilder Capital Campaign. In addition, Dardis is the chairman of the Business Task Force for Heading Home MN to end homelessness in Minnesota. Dardis is also a director of the Central Corridor task force and a member of the St. Paul Rotary.
Bremer Financial Corporation
Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately-held, $7.7 billion regional financial services company jointly owned by its employees and the Otto Bremer Foundation (OBF). This unique ownership structure is the only one of its kind in the nation. Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota and provides a comprehensive range of banking, investment, trust and insurance services to more than 100 locations in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. OBF uses its share of dividends to distribute charitable grants to Bremer Bank communities. For more information, go to bremer.com.