Imagine being 25 years old. Your St. Thomas college days are barely behind you, and you’ve been elevated to president of not one, but two banks. That was the swift trajectory for Casey Regan ’04, who, as president of two Premier Banks in Hastings, became the youngest bank president in the greater St. Paul area.
Regan didn’t need to look far for advice on how to be a successful bank president. Two of his fellow Tommie alumni, Corey Heimer ’99 and Jeff Hatton ’90, are also bank presidents with Premier Banks in Rochester and Maplewood, respectively. All three Tommie bank presidents majored in business and competed as Division III student-athletes. Heimer was a football defensive back, while Hatton was a hockey forward and Regan was a hockey defenseman.
The three Tommies are respected leaders with the third-generation family-owned Premier Banks. The commercial lender began in 1974 as the smallest of Minnesota banks founded by the late Don Regan. It is now the 12th largest bank in Minnesota with $1.56 billion in assets. Currently 13 Tommies are Premier Banks employees.
President Emeritus Father Dennis Dease retired from the Premier Banks board of directors in 2022 after 25 years of service.
On Oct. 8, 2022, Premier Banks Rochester merged into Premier Banks Minnesota. Premier Banks Maplewood remains a separate banking affiliate owned and operated by the Regan family.
The three Tommie bank presidents sat down with the Newsroom recently to share how their St. Thomas education has influenced their success.
Jeff Hatton ’90
Hatton is president and CEO of Premier Banks Maplewood, currently one of two charters that make up the Premier Banks holding company.
“As a first-generation college student, I was blessed with parents who had high expectations and understood the power of a liberal arts education. These hopes and dreams led me to the University of St. Thomas. There I was blessed with professors, hockey coaches, teammates and friends, who continue to shape and guide me.” Hatton said. “I have been honored to work with and to serve many Tommies during my 32 years. The St. Thomas education I earned taught me how to think and act critically, morally, and ethically, all for the common good.” Hatton’s wife, Meg, is a 1992 Tommie.
Corey Heimer ’99
Heimer is president of the merged Premier Banks Minnesota. He counts on the St. Thomas community for personal and professional development, and for continual direction.
“My experience at St. Thomas was very impactful. As a student, my professors taught me to think critically while always keeping a moral and ethical base,” Heimer said. “It was the St. Thomas network that led me to Premier Banks by way of a teammate’s referral. The Tommie network continues to provide many professional connections and opportunities for Premier Banks.”
Casey Regan ’04
Regan is president and CEO of Premier Banks Minnesota. He said he is grateful for his finance and entrepreneurship degrees, which he credits for laying the educational foundation to understand financial statements and to assess risk associated with new business ventures. Regan said that he utilizes those skills daily in his commercial banking role.
He added, “I studied abroad in college, and I benefited from seeing the greater world. I saw through a different lens that the U.S. is incredibly blessed with business and economic opportunities.” Regan praised his professors for providing critical guidance as he began his banking career.
Regan, his wife Bridget ’04, and their four children, return to campus annually for homecoming festivities. He has also served as a business planning judge for the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship.
Hatton, Heimer and Regan take seriously their roles as community leaders. Premier Banks is deeply invested in the 16 Minnesota cities where they operate bank branches. The three bank presidents hold leadership positions on several community boards and coach youth sports. All three continue to be engaged Tommie alumni.
As a St. Thomas community partner, Premier Banks has been the honored recipient of the University of St. Thomas Business of the Year award.
Premier Banks and the Don Regan family have been generous philanthropists to St. Thomas for the past 35 years. Their philanthropy has supported key strategic initiatives including the Iversen Center for Faith; O’Shaughnessy-Frey library; the Donald B. and Jean Regan Distinguished Lecture Series; Catholic Studies; the Under-Told Stories Project; Athletics; and President’s Initiatives.