From its humble beginnings in a double-wide trailer on February 25, 1997, Premier Bank has grown to five locations in Iowa/South Dakota, employs more than 50 people and has more than $500 million in assets.

Wade Gort and Greg Westra were both former employees of Valley State Bank in Rock Valley, Iowa where they learned the importance of being part of a community bank. After three mergers in three years, Wade and Greg decided to resign from their respective positions and took a leap of faith to organize a de novo community bank with local investors. They wanted to better serve the community with local employees making local decisions for local people.

Original Rock Valley Bank

The main office, and first location, opened in Rock Valley in a modular trailer. Due to the cold Iowa weather, locally made hog slats were used as sidewalks leading into the temporary facility. A grand opening was held later on June 26, 1997. With the support of the community and its diligent staff, Premier Bank grew to $60 million in assets after just three and a half years. With this growth they decided to expand by building a new 6,000 square foot banking facility next door to their trailer.

Premier Bank’s second office opened in Doon, Iowa only twelve days after the Rock Valley office. Not only was hometown banking brought back to Doon with the opening of Premier Bank, the bank eventually moved back into the historic bank building on the corner of Main Street. Extensive remodeling and restoration by local contractors helped bring back many of the original 1920s features making a trip to the bank a walk back in time.

In January 2004, Premier Bank opened an office in Rock Rapids, Iowa and after a start in a temporary location, a new banking facility was constructed on the intersection of Highway 9 & 75. This full-service location continues to help serve the local surrounding NW Iowa and SW Minnesota communities.

On October 1, 2004, Premier Bank purchased the State Bank of Hudson, in Hudson, South Dakota, from the Kenneth Hansen family. Ken also previously worked at Valley State Bank in Rock Valley with Wade’s father, Earl Gort, and Greg’s father, Harold Westra. This began a banking presence in two states.

This presence in South Dakota continued to grow when Premier Bank purchased State Bank of Alcester in Alcester, South Dakota on November 18, 2017. This bank was owned and operated by three generations of the McKellips family. There was a strong historical connection with State Bank of Alcester as they provided data processing and guidance to Premier Bank when it opened for business.

Family, community and banking have been important to the families of Wade and Greg for generations. After the Great Depression of the 1930s, Rock Valley found itself with no bank. Local community members approached one of two banks in Sioux Center to look at moving their charter and business to Rock Valley. Greg’s grandfather, Gerrit “Speed” Vermeer, helped move the charter of the Sioux Center State Bank to Rock Valley and renamed the bank Valley State Bank. By the 1960s, Gerrit was president. His son-in-law, Harold, joined him at the bank in the late 1960s as a Cashier and retired in 1981 as a vice president. Harold has been a board member of Premier Bank since its creation.

As we continue to grow at Premier Bank, we appreciate the loyalty you have placed in us. We look forward to continued confidence and trust for years to come.  Premier Bank is excited about the future and will continue its dedication to providing superior customer service, its involvement in the communities it serves and its deep commitment to preserving the strong and vital relationships we share within the communities we serve.

Mission Statement

  • To Serve in a fair, balanced and exemplary manner the interest of shareholders, customers, employees and the public through adherence to high standards of financial soundness, profitability, customer service, employee professionalism, business ethics and corporate citizenship.
  • To Protect the shareholders’ investment and customers’ deposits entrusted to the organization by maintaining sound assets, reliable funds sources, adequate reserves and a strong capital position which inspires continuing confidence and provides ongoing vitality.
  • To Earn revenues sufficient to provide meritorious employee compensation, to give quality customer service and to meet public responsibilities. To generate earnings sufficient to create an attractive return on stockholders’ equity, to maintain a strong capital base, to finance future growth and to assure the organizations continued vitality.
  • To Recruit, develop, motivate and retain personnel of exceptional ability, character and dedication by providing excellent working conditions, superior leadership, compensation on the basis of performance, an attractive benefit program, opportunity for growth and a high degree of employment security.
  • To Provide the customers and market segments, which Premier Bank is privileged to serve, the fullest practical range of basic, progressive, competitive quality products and services consistent with the organization’s mission, objectives, strategy and capacity.
  • To Meet responsibilities to our communities, our country and our state by performing in a manner which enhances economic and social progress by contributing to worthy charitable causes, by participating in public interest activities and by complying with applicable laws and regulations.

Community Involvement

Premier Bank and its dedicated employees continue to give back to the communities that they serve by volunteering their time and talents as well as making generous donations to local organizations, projects and activities.

The employees also started a Casual for a Cause program that donates monthly to a cause chosen by committee members from each location. The bank matches this donation as well.

These local investments help to make our communities better places to live and work.


Brella Man


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