Honors Ceremony introduction (YouTube)
Honors Ceremony speech (YouTube)
Miles K. Beacom was born on September 28, 1959, the fourth of six children to Bart and JoAnne Beacom. He grew up in Sioux Falls in a small 3 bedroom, one bath home, where the tight space made for a close knit, loving family. Miles’ parents instilled in him a strong work ethic and that his accomplishments could be endless if he set his mind to it. Miles will tell you that he was extremely fortunate to marry Lisa Reischl in August, 1991. They have three treasured daughters Alyssa, Erin, and Ashlee.
Miles was born with a speech impediment and his elementary school years were accompanied by special classes and, what felt like, relentless teasing. He figured out then that to be the best, he would have to work harder to out perform his peers. It also instilled in him the importance of being kind and to stick up for those who are different.
While in Boy Scouts, his troop sold fertilizer as a fundraiser to help offset the cost of summer camp. His older brother Dan told Miles he would sell fertilizer within the two block radius of their home and that Miles could have the rest of Sioux Falls. Miles took that challenge and broke the troop record. He and his father spent the next few months delivering that fertilizer every weekend across Sioux Falls.
While attending high school, Miles worked at McDonalds where the new employees wore white hats with “TRAINEE” on them. They were given a blue hat once they became efficient in all of the functions. Miles received his blue hat faster than the others and remembers his coworkers telling him to slow down and quit showing off. His reply was, “I want to be the best!” This has always been his approach.
Running has always been an important part of Miles’ life. He credits his high school track coach and mentor, Coach Greeno, for instilling in him the dedication, commitment and positive thinking that helped him not only in running, but in life. After graduating from Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, he attended Dakota State College (DSC) in Madison, South Dakota. Miles participated in Track and Cross Country and excelled at both, receiving the honors of Team Captain and Most Valuable Athlete his Senior year. Miles’ dedication to Track and Cross Country afforded him scholarships, which ensured he could complete his college education. He graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Business with a Minor in Economics.
Upon graduation, Miles interviewed at Citibank, a company relocating to South Dakota. Miles went to the library to learn everything he could about Citibank. At his interview he was told he was the first candidate who really had an understanding of the company. When asked how he knew so much, Miles just stated that he liked to do his homework. He was hired on July 6, 1981, the first day the new building opened in Sioux Falls. In 1985 Miles received the distinguish Citicorp Service Excellence Award.
In the summer of 1989, First Interstate Bank (now First PREMIER Bank) began discussions with Miles to start a credit card division. Miles accepted the position and started his career with First Interstate Bank on October 2, 1989. Within a year, he built the card portfolio to a profitable 30,000 accounts.
In November 1990, Miles was offered and accepted a position near Chicago at one of the most poorly run credit card companies in the country. On his first day, he found out there had been a contest started by employees as to how long he would last. Due to the effort of the entire team, in January 1993, that company received the Most Improved Organization Award from MasterCard® International.
Denny Sanford contacted Miles and asked him to return to the company now named First PREMIER Bank. Miles accepted and he and Lisa returned to Sioux Falls in February 1993. There were eight employees at PREMIER Bankcard when Miles returned. Under his leadership, the PREMIER organization grew to approximately 3,000 employees in five locations throughout South Dakota. The credit card base also grew from 30,000 accounts to over 3.5 million accounts, and was recognized as the 9th largest issuer of MasterCard® and Visa® cards in the nation in 2007. Miles has started five companies while at PREMIER; two have been sold to out-of-state companies.
Community involvement has been a critical piece of the foundation for the PREMIER organization. Employees are given the tools to be successful at PREMIER and every employee is asked to volunteer in the community for overall success of the community. PREMIER associates average between 25,000 and 30,000 hours per year in volunteering!
Miles is dedicated to serving his community in leadership roles and fundraising campaigns. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Catholic Foundation of Eastern South Dakota, Dakota State Foundation, United National Corporation, First PREMIER Bank, PREMIER Bankcard, Board of Governors of the University Of South Dakota Beacom School Of Business, and the Sioux Falls Catholic School System.
Miles and Lisa believe in giving back to the community and that a strong education is a necessity. They have established scholarship endowments at Dakota State University (DSU), University of South Dakota (USD), and the Sioux Falls Catholic School System. They are also supporters of the United Way, Sanford Health, Avera McKennan, St. Lambert Parish, Children's Home Society, Ronald McDonald House, Cathedral restoration, Special Olympics, Crazy Horse, Make-A-Wish, Blood Run, and the new Tennis and Ice facilities at the Sanford Sports Complex.
In 2006, the University of South Dakota named its School of Business in honor of Miles. In 2009 he was inducted to the Lincoln High School Hall of Fame, DSU Outstanding Alumnus in 1993, and DSU Distinguished Alumnus in 2000.
Miles' strengths are: his passion to be the best, dedication, commitment, vision, positive attitude, not willing to quit, a dreamer, always believing in overcoming great odds, and he’s a game changer. Miles was once asked, "After all you have accomplished, why don't you relax and enjoy'" His response, "Once I stop performing, Mr. Sanford will find someone else to run the company. I was hired to improve this organization every day!"
When asked what makes you different' Miles is quick to respond that any success he has had is because he surrounds himself with GREAT people, from family, to co-workers, to friends.