FirstBank Announces Leadership Change as CEO Jim Reuter Announces Retirement

Left: new CEO Kevin Classen; right: new COO Kelly Kaminskas

FirstBank, one of the United States’ largest privately held banks, has announced upcoming changes in its leadership roles. Jim Reuter is set to retire as the CEO after seven years in the position and 37 years of service with the company. His retirement takes effect from March 29, 2024.

Upon Reuter’s retirement, the bank’s current president, Kevin Classen, has been elected as the new CEO. Furthermore, FirstBank’s present Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Kelly Kaminskas, has been named the new Chief Operating Officer (COO). These appointments will also be effective from March 29, 2024.

Reuter has served FirstBank dutifully, holding various leadership positions and gaining several noteworthy honors, such as the Denver Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEO” title. His leadership led to national recognition for FirstBank’s customer service, digital banking and financial performance.

Reuter voiced his pride in his accomplishments and expressed his belief in the incoming leaders, Classen and Kaminskas. He views his retirement as an opportunity for the next generation of leaders to make their mark. While Reuter will retire from his executive duties, he will remain a part of FirstBank’s board and continue to contribute to the organization.

Reuter’s contributions were acknowledged by John Ikard, FirstBank’s Chairman of the Board. Ikard praised Reuter for his instrumental role in the bank’s diversity initiatives, IT innovations, and his ability to navigate the company through multiple industry and economic challenges, including the recent global pandemic.

Newly elected CEO, Kevin Classen, has been with FirstBank since 1998 and has held a variety of leadership roles. He was pivotal in the company’s expansion into Arizona in 2007 and was President of FirstBank’s Boulder Market before being elected President of FirstBank in 2020.

Kelly Kaminskas, the new COO, has been with FirstBank for 20 years. From President of Retail and Digital Banking, she was promoted to CDO in 2022. In her new position, she will lead the company’s treasury management, marketing, technology and retail operations.

Despite the shift in leadership, FirstBank continues to be a force in the banking industry. As of December 31, 2023, it reported total assets of $28.2 billion. FirstBank is identified as a robust institution by the 2023 American Banker study and ranks high among the most philanthropic companies in Colorado and Arizona.

About FirstBank: Providing banking services since 1963, FirstBank has grown to be one of the largest privately held banks in the United States with more than $28 billion in assets and 100 branch locations across Colorado, Arizona, and California. Offering a variety of services, the bank places a unique emphasis on philanthropy, contributing over $85 million to charitable organizations through its corporate partnerships.

Source: Press Release