FirstBank Announces New CEO and COO

Former CEO Announces His Retirement from the Bank After 37 Year Tenure

LAKEWOOD, Colo., Feb. 27, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FirstBank, one of the largest privately held banks in the nation with a focus on “banking for good”, announced Jim Reuter is retiring from FirstBank after seven years as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and 37 years with the organization. The board elected President, Kevin Classen, as the new CEO, and Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Kelly Kaminskas, was named Chief Operating Officer (COO). Their appointments will be effective March 29, 2024.

Reuter, who will remain on the company’s board, started his career at FirstBank in 1987 and held several leadership positions, including COO and Executive Vice President, before being appointed CEO in 2017. He was named a Denver Business Journal “Most Admired CEO” and a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” leader. He also led FirstBank to become nationally recognized for its customer service, digital banking and financial performance.

“It’s been a pleasure to be CEO of FirstBank and an active leader in the community, banking and fintech industry,” said Reuter. “Since I became CEO in 2017, I’ve always said this was a role I would do for 5-7 years before giving the opportunity to the next generation of leaders. My proudest accomplishment has been building this team. Now it’s their time to shine. I know with Kevin Classen and Kelly Kaminskas at the helm, FirstBank will continue to be a top-performing institution. As for me, I’m looking forward to pursuing other interests and taking on new challenges.”

“FirstBank is a stronger organization thanks to Jim’s contributions,” said John Ikard, FirstBank’s Chairman of the Board. “He was instrumental in the bank’s diversity initiatives, IT innovations, and successfully steered this company through multiple industry and economic challenges, including a global pandemic. While we’re sad to see him step down, we’re confident the incoming CEO and COO will continue to take FirstBank in the right direction and uphold its values of doing what’s right for customers, communities and employees.”

Classen, who has been with FirstBank since 1998, previously served in leadership roles in numerous markets across Colorado, and helped lead the company’s expansion into Arizona in 2007. He was President of FirstBank’s Boulder Market prior to being elected President of FirstBank in 2020.

“I’m honored to be named CEO and to continue to build on FirstBank’s 60-plus years of success,” said Classen. “I owe a great deal to Jim for creating a company foundation and a culture that truly prioritizes its mission. I’m also grateful to have several tenacious, perceptive and brilliant leaders by my side like Kelly Kaminskas, who are integral to the growth of this company.”

Kaminskas started her career at FirstBank 20 years ago. She served as President of Retail and Digital Banking before being promoted to CDO in 2022. As the newly elected COO, Kelly will lead the company’s treasury management, marketing, technology and retail operations.

As of Dec. 31, 2023, FirstBank reported $28.2 billion in total assets. The company was identified as one of the nation’s “10 Top-Performing Banks” by a 2023 American Banker study, and is ranked as one of the most philanthropic companies in Colorado and Arizona. FirstBank is the corporate partner of Colorado Gives Day, which has raised over $450 million for nonprofits since the program’s inception in 2010.

About FirstBank

FirstBank began providing banking services in 1963. Today, it’s known as an industry leader in digital banking and has grown to be one of the largest privately held banks in the United States, maintaining more than $28 billion in assets and 100 branch locations across Colorado, Arizona and California. FirstBank offers a variety of consumer deposit accounts, home equity loans, mortgages, rental property loans and a full range of commercial banking services, including business financing, commercial real estate loans, treasury management and more. Since 2000, FirstBank has been recognized as a top corporate philanthropist, contributing over $85 million and thousands of volunteer hours to charitable organizations. The company is also unique in that a large portion of its stock is owned by management and employees, giving employees a financial stake in the bank’s success through its Employee Stock Ownership Program. For more information, visit


Media Contact:
Chandra Brin

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

Jim Reuter, former CEO, sits near window with visible FirstBank logo in the distance.  Headshot of Kevin Classen. Headshot of Kelly Kaminskas.