BISMARCK – Bank of North Dakota (BND) President Eric Hardmeyer has announced his retirement effective July 6, 2021. Hardmeyer has been in the role since 2000, qualifying him as the longest-serving president in the Bank’s 102-year history. A Mott, North Dakota native, he began his career in 1985 as an administrative assistant to Bank President Joseph Lamb. He went on to serve in several roles in commercial lending before succeeding John Hoeven after Hoeven was elected governor.
Under his leadership, Hardmeyer solidified the Bank’s reputation for its visionary approach and agility in financing economic development. He navigated times of great economic change with oil booms and busts, droughts, natural disasters, and the COVID-pandemic, and is leaving the Bank in a strong position to address future needs.
“The growth and expansion of the Bank of North Dakota during his tenure is true testament to Eric’s leadership, vision and commitment to the entire state,” stated Jeff Olson, DakCU President/CEO. “As BND thrives so does North Dakota, and credit unions across the state have a unique relationship with the state-owned bank. When Midwest Corporate FCU liquidated a decade ago, Eric and his team stepped in to help our credit unions with credit, loan partnerships, and correspondence services. As a colleague, I also had the opportunity to work and partner with Eric and BND during several legislative sessions. His knowledge of the state’s economy and business climate is extraordinary. We wish him the best in his retirement; he will be missed,” he added.
Under Hardmeyer’s leadership, BND’s assets grew from $1.81 billion to $7.74 billion and the loan portfolio increased from $1.16 billion to $4.75 billion and there were 16 consecutive years of record profits which began in 2004. In addition to BND’s strong financial position, numerous accomplishments are credited to Hardmeyer. He worked closely with the North Dakota legislature to build a new headquarters which opened in 2008. His belief in helping families pay for postsecondary education led him to bring College SAVE, the state’s 529 plan, and North Dakota Dollars for Scholars to the Bank, rounding out the education financing options to include saving, scholarships and student loans. Relationships with local financial institutions strengthened while he was president.
“For over 35 years, Eric has maintained a strong commitment to the Bank of North Dakota and a deep passion for the Bank’s mission of delivering quality, sound financial services that promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota, including the energy sector,” stated Gov. Doug Burgum. “After more than two decades as president, Eric has left the Bank in a tremendously strong position to continue to adapt to new challenges and develop programs that positively impact every North Dakota family. We are deeply grateful for his longtime service and dedication to creating a brighter future for the citizens of our great state.”
“Whether it was a disaster or a price collapse or an opportunity for growing an industry, Eric identified how the Bank, in partnership with local lenders, could help North Dakota farmers, ranchers and companies sustain their businesses,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Working with the Legislature he advocated for programs that helped entrepreneurs and communities which will improve the lives of citizens for years to come.”
“Eric has long recognized the need to help students, whether through loans, savings accounts, or scholarships,” stated Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. “The Bank developed the DEAL program under Eric’s leadership and during the pandemic identified ways to help students in repaying their debt. He had the vision that the Bank could play a key role in helping students achieve their education and work opportunities here in North Dakota.”
Eric Hardmeyer had this to say: “It has been a privilege to serve the state of North Dakota and work beside so many outstanding employees for so many years. Their positive attitudes and dedication to making things better for North Dakotans inspires me every day.”
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