Leading with Faith honoree — Mark Novitzki

| July 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

Mark Novitzki, president and CEO of Premier Banks in Maplewood, with a colleague in his office. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

President, Premier Banks

Age: 58
Parish: St. Charles Borromeo, St. Anthony
Spouse: Caroline (Nina)
Children: Mike, Joe
Education: University of Wisconsin, 1996; University of St. Thomas, 1986; University of Notre Dame, 1983
Number of years with company: 36 years

Mark Novitzki, president of Premier Banks in Maplewood, leads with faith-filled “integrity, impeccable values and a strong spirit.” He shares his prayer life in the workplace, visits co-workers and others in the hospital and at other difficult or joyful times in their lives and is always ready with a kind gesture, a special accommodation or a creative solution. A volunteer in his parish, with Meals on Wheels and other organizations, and a member of the Knights of Columbus, Novitzki helps those in need. To others who want to “lead with faith,” he suggests, “be a servant leader, be humble, care about others and lead by example.”

Q Describe your business/organization.

A Premier Bank was founded in 1974 by Don and Jean Regan (Don Regan was a 2004 Leading with Faith Award recipient). Today, the family of Premier Banks combined is the ninth largest community bank in the state and spans three generations of the Regan family.

Q Describe your position and role.

A I have worked with and for the Regan family for 36 years, as president and CEO for the last 17. This past January, I stepped down from the CEO position and am now more able to concentrate on what I love most about banking: getting out to visit clients and prospective clients in their offices, plants and facilities. My primary focus is in deposit-gathering and new account relationships.

Q What does “leading with faith” mean to you?

A Mine is a unique situation in that I am the third recipient of this award amongst the Regan family and their related businesses (a Regan son, Pat, won in 2007), and the sixth recipient from our St. Charles Borromeo community. For me, it’s more like “carrying the torch” others have lit before me, by trying to use my strengths where they are most needed to live a life of service to those in need.

Q How do you concretely apply your faith and Catholic values at work?

A Everybody at the bank knows I am not in my office from 7:50 a.m. until 8:40 a.m. because I am at Mass. I wear ashes and abstain from eating at “working” lunches during Lent. I attend as many client and employee family member funerals as possible. I started as a trainee at the bank back in 1983, so I try not to ask anyone to do something I am not willing to do myself. If the sidewalk needs shoveling, some weeds need pulling, a customer needs assistance to their car or with a door, I do it.

Q Please tell a story about a time when living out your faith at work really made a difference.

A On Aug. 15, 2008, the bank was expecting a very important phone call. At lunch, I went to the adoration chapel at St. Peter in North St. Paul. When I returned, Mr. Regan was excited to show me the message about the call we were expecting. It was great news. The call came in at 12:55 p.m. I was kneeling in front of our Lord at 12:55 p.m.!

Q Who or what has inspired you to bring your faith to the marketplace?

A I have had many mentors: my parents, Len and Ruth (Feely) Novitzki, the entire Regan clan, Father Francis Kittock from St. Charles, the totality of my Notre Dame experience, and my family.

Q What achievement at work are you most proud of?

A I have made loans of many millions of dollars. The ones that have made me feel the best are the small ones to people who had nowhere to turn. I made a difference in their lives.

Q In what specific ways have you experienced God’s presence in your workplace?

A One night, in 1989, the Regans were working on a plan to buy several banks. There were only two people in the room who were not named Regan. I was one. Things were not going well. At about 2 a.m., Don called for a break. He asked the Blessed Mother for guidance and whether we were doing the right thing. We all prayed the rosary. We then went back to work, and we got it done! In hindsight, it was one of the best and most rewarding decisions we have ever made.

Q What advice do you have for others who want to lead with faith?

A Be a servant leader, be humble, care about others, and lead by example.

Eight honored for Leading with Faith

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Category: Leading With Faith