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First PREMIER Bank, One of the Nation's Best

For the ninth consecutive year, American Banker magazine has selected First PREMIER as one of the nation's "Best Banks to Work For." The annual list recognizes financial institutions for outstanding corporate culture, employee benefits, financial and physical wellness programs and workplace atmosphere.


What makes First PREMIER Bank a best-in-the-nation workplace?


"It starts with our PREMIER Way and the company culture we have created," says First PREMIER President Dave Rozenboom. "The PREMIER Way is our set of views and values that guide every interaction with co-workers, customers and our communities."


Be proactive. Always do what's right. Value people. Be eager to serve. Make a Difference. Those are just a few of the principles of The PREMIER Way, which came about in the late 1990s to unite a growing workforce.


"We had people of all ages from 17 to 76. They came from all different backgrounds, all different businesses. We decided we needed a way to get everyone on the same page," said First PREMIER CEO Dana Dykhouse. "Every company has a set of vision, views and values. But at PREMIER we make it come alive."


One of the many ways First PREMIER makes these principles come alive is by treating its employees as the company's most valuable resource. Together with its sister organization, PREMIER Bankcard, they offer one of the region's best benefits packages, including free dental and vision coverage for full- and part-time employees and their families. Employees can access personal and professional growth opportunities and participate in corporate wellness initiatives focusing on physical, mental, and financial well-being. PREMIER lets employees know how much they are valued and appreciated with surprise bonuses, extra recognition at quarterly staff meetings and with special awards for a job well done.


In 2022, PREMIER founder T. Denny Sanford showed his appreciation by announcing to milestone employees (20, 25, 30, 35 and 40+ years of employment) that they would each receive $1,000 for every year they worked at PREMIER. The company is committed to continuing this milestone appreciation gift and has awarded nearly $1.5 million to 67 long-term and retiring employees this year.


Along with valuing customers and employees, both Dykhouse and Rozenboom agree that giving back to the community is one of the biggest keys to the company's strong, enduring culture.


"We ask employees to volunteer at least an hour a month throughout the year, and so many of them go far beyond that by giving hundreds of hours a year to things they are passionate about," said Rozenboom. "Consider the difference it makes for the community when a single company is giving more than 30,000 volunteer hours yearly."


Along with personal time, employees are also generous with their resources. First PREMIER and PREMIER Bankcard are among the top givers to the United Way campaigns in their communities and have the most employees giving at the Heart or Rising Heart Club ($500+) level.  In addition, employees can give $3 per paycheck ($6 per month) to help support additional non-profits and events in their local communities. Since 1995, PREMIER, its founder and leadership have given nearly $3 billion to South Dakota organizations.


"We’re inspired by Denny’s generosity and want to follow his lead of living a life of significance,” concluded Dykhouse. “PREMIER employees really take the concept to heart. And I think that's the true magic of The PREMIER Way."


It also makes First PREMIER Bank one of the nation's "Best Banks to Work For."


For more information on American Banker's "Best Banks to Work For" visit:


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