by Cori Hilsgen
A retirement reception honoring Greg Reinhart, who is retiring Dec. 31 as president of Sentry Bank, will take place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19 at Sentry Bank.
Reinhart, 62, grew up as the middle child between an older brother and a younger sister. He graduated from St. Cloud State University and met Bonnie, his wife of 37 years, there.
Before coming to St. Joseph, Reinhart, 62, began his career in Minneapolis managing a couple of loan offices for Beneficial Finance.
Reinhart started working for Sentry Bank, then known as the First State Bank of St. Joseph, in 1982 as an assistant cashier. He then became a cashier, got promoted to assistant vice president, vice president, senior vice president, executive vice president and president.
“Basically, I have always been a lender,” Reinhart said. “I was trained as a lender and have always been involved in the lending functions.”
He said although his duties have certainly changed and expanded throughout the years, it seems he is happiest working in the lending function.
In 2005, the owners of the First State Bank of St. Joseph informed Reinhart they planned to retire and sell the bank. Because he felt it was important the bank remain locally owned and operated, Reinhart organized a group of individuals from Central Minnesota to purchase the bank.
In 2010, the First State Bank of St. Joseph acquired the St. Stephen State Bank, with two locations, from the FDIC. The expansions to new locations prompted a name change in January 2011 to Sentry Bank. In 2011, the owners of the bank also acquired the Sherburne State Bank.
When Reinhart started in 1982, the bank had $12 million in assets and one location. Now assets total about $190 million and they have four locations including St. Joseph, downtown St. Cloud, west St. Cloud and St. Stephen. They also own the Sherburne State Bank, with about $85 million in assets and three locations.
During his time with the bank, Reinhart said he has seen many technology changes. In 1982, there wasn’t even a computer in the bank. Reinhart says today they are “state of the art” with internet banking, telephone banking, mobile banking and more.
He said they have made a real effort to keep up with technology and he has had the benefit of working with a lot of talented people who have worked really hard to keep their technology current.
“I loved working in St. Joe all these years,” Reinhart said. “I felt like it was home. When I began working here, I was met and welcomed by a number of people. St. Joe has had a number of great leaders who took pride in their town. I knew from the beginning I was going to like it here.”
During his years at the bank, Reinhart has been very active and has had a huge impact in the area.
He initiated and helped raise funds for the St. Joseph Beautification Projects I, II and III. This involved planting trees and installing benches and decorative lighting downtown.
Reinhart served as vice president, president and chairman of both the St. Joseph Chamber and the St. Joseph Jaycees. He helped form the St. Joseph Historical Society by providing rent-free space the first three years.
Reinhart also initiated the “Star City” program, from which the current Economic Development Authority and a “Star City” commission was formed.
He said this economic development program required the involvement of many residents and required the city to do a lot of analysis.
Reinhart initiated and supervised the St. Joseph Newsletter before current owner and publisher, Janelle Von Pinnon, developed it into the town’s weekly newspaper, the St. Joseph Newsleader.
He is a charter member of the St. Cloud Optimist Club, and also a member of the Jacob Wetterling Foundation and the Brian Klinefelter Memorial Foundation.
Reinhart also worked on and directed the St. Joseph chapter of the United Way for many years, was a member of the “Friends of the College of St. Benedict” for more than 10 years, past board member of United Cerebral Palsy and supports St. Joseph baseball.
He initiated, raised funds for and worked on the Wobegon Center building, is a St. Joseph, Sartell and Waite Park Chamber of Commerce member, St. Joseph “Sales Tax” committee member and has delivered “Meals on Wheels” for the last six years.
In 1996 he received the Kelly Award, for his leadership and community involvement, and said he is very proud of this award.
In 2009, Sentry Bank was named the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce’s “Business of the Year.”
City administrator Judy Weyrens has worked with Reinhart on various city projects.
“Greg is a great resource for the city,” Weyrens said. “He cares about the community and did not hesitate to volunteer his knowledge, expertise, staff or any support he could. Greg had vision for the community and this is evident by the street beautification project of which he was a key committee member. His impact will be visible for many years to come as you stroll downtown and enjoy the trees and benches. Greg offered his friendship as well; he was not just a businessman. His presence in St. Joseph will be missed.”
Reinhart and Bonnie live in Sartell. They have two adult daughters and one granddaughter. He said he is very proud of his family and they are enjoying being grandparents.
Reinhart said his schedule at the bank allowed him a lot of flexibility, throughout the years, to attend his daughters’ activities.
“While they were growing up, I never missed a parent-teacher conference, sporting event, home or away, class play or choir concert, and these kids were active,” Reinhart said. “The job allowed me the flexibility of schedule to do this. This job worked really well for me and I am proud of this accomplishment. It has been a great place to work.”
Even though Reinhart is retiring as president of the bank, he will remain active on the Boards of Directors of both the Sentry Bank and Sherburne State Bank.
He and Bonnie plan to travel and spend time with family. Reinhart says he can’t wait to spend a lot of time with his granddaughter.