As the tenth of twelve children born to Ted and Lorraine, Eric Hardmeyer learned the value of service early. His father, Ted, was a Marquette graduate who served on every committee possible in Mott, North Dakota, in addition to being a business owner, entrepreneur, mayor and state legislator.
Hardmeyer graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1985 with degrees in economics and political science. His experience with Bank of North Dakota at that time was having student loans. When a job in lending became available, it piqued his interest and he was hired.
A voracious reader and student of politics, Hardmeyer credits several people who have been strong influences for his leadership and management philosophy.
His father, Ted, instilled in him a love for reading and thoughtful conversation, along with the importance of impacting your community.
John Moore, his social science teacher at Mott High School, whetted his interest in economics and politics with his thought-provoking teaching style.
His college professor, Lloyd Omdahl, further fueled his interest in government, especially at the state level.
Joe Lamb, president of the Bank who hired Eric, placed a high value on employees believing every one of them should start with a living wage and have opportunities to grow professionally and personally.
As a business mentor, Hardmeyer credits Dennis Johnson of TMI in Dickinson. He’s known him for more than 30 years, first as a business relationship between the Bank and Johnson’s business, leading to today when Johnson was selected to be a member of the Bank’s Advisory Board. Hardmeyer’s leadership style that includes articulating a strong vision supported with a strategic business plan is taken directly from Johnson’s playbook.
Today, Hardmeyer is viewed as a politically astute man with strong vision and leadership for the Bank. He is the longest serving president who has navigated times of great economic change with oil booms and busts, drought and natural disasters to ensure the Bank remains relevant and plays a critical role for the residents of North Dakota. Politically, he is respected by both parties and claims no allegiance to either.
When in doubt, the Bank’s mission established in 1919, “to promote agriculture, commerce and industry,” is a guiding principle from which Hardmeyer does not waver. Every decision is based on whether that criteria is met.
When asked about the future, Hardmeyer believes we need to constantly be on the lookout to see what is next and to quickly identify funding gaps where the Bank could play a role. With so much potential and opportunity, he sees Bank of North Dakota continuing to evolve as a force for economic development and enhancing the lives of North Dakotans.