Bremer Bank President/CEO Bigler Announces Retirement
International Falls, Minn. – November 7, 2011 - Gary Bigler, president and CEO of Bremer Bank in International Falls, has announced he will be retiring February 29, 2012. A 38-year veteran of the company, Bigler was named charter CEO for Bremer in 1987.
"It was with a real sense of regret that I accepted Gary’s decision to retire,” said Russ Erickson, Bremer’s regional charter CEO. “Gary has made a lasting impact on this company. Not only is he a banker’s banker, he has also been a champion for building relationships to meet the needs of clients. He has been a great friend and colleague to many and he has been instrumental in setting the course for our ‘next steps’ -- ensuring that this transition will be seamless for our employees, clients and the community.”
Bremer milestones for Bigler include 13 years as an insurance manager, a stint as senior loan officer and then, bank president and CEO. “I believe I’m the longest tenured CEO of this bank and I’m very proud of the fact that I started and ended my career in one place,” said Bigler. “Bremer offered me the challenges and opportunities to make that possible. The staff here is incredible and, like me, they have all been with us for a long time – this is a loyal, service-oriented group and it has been a pleasure to work with them.”
Bigler admits to struggling with the decision to retire. “This decision was a tough one – but this was the right time for me to retire. I have been fortunate to work for an organization like Bremer and I look forward to retirement. My wife Dee and I plan to spend time at our second home in Arizona. Our four boys and families hope to spend some time with us also!”
Bigler, who recently retired after 25 years from the Rainy River Community College Foundation Board, continues to serve on the Rainy Lake Medical Center Board. The Biglers will maintain a residence in International Falls and plan to live at least half of the year in the community. “International Falls is ‘home’ for us and we intend to continue living here. Although, we do plan to shorten our winters a bit by spending some time each year in the desert!”
Bremer has begun the process of finding a replacement for Bigler and plans to name a successor by year-end.
Bremer Financial Corporation
Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately-held, $8 billion regional financial services company owned by its employees and the Otto Bremer Foundation (OBF). 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 its nearly 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.