Financial Corporation of Spokane, Washington, Announces Executive
L. Eisenhart Elected Chairman of the Board
Gregory Seibly Promoted to Acting Chief Executive Officer
A. Eckhardt Promoted to Acting President of Sterling Savings Bank
SPOKANE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--October 14, 2009--Sterling Financial
Corporation (NASDAQ: STSA), the bank holding company of Sterling Savings
Bank and Golf Savings Bank, today announced the appointment of Sterling
Financial Corporation director William L. Eisenhart as non-executive
chairman of its board of directors. It also announced the promotion of
J. Gregory “Greg” Seibly to acting president and chief executive officer
of Sterling Financial Corporation and the promotion of Ezra A. Eckhardt
to acting chief operating officer of Sterling Financial Corporation.
Mr. Seibly, 46, was also named acting chief executive officer of
Sterling Savings Bank and acting chief executive officer of Golf Savings
Bank. Mr. Eckhardt, 39, was also promoted to acting president of
Sterling Savings Bank. In addition, Donn C. Costa, 47, was promoted from
executive vice president to acting president of Golf Savings Bank.
Mr. Seibly, Mr. Eckhardt and Mr. Costa have assumed the full
responsibilities of their roles, effective immediately. They will serve
as acting executives until their appointments receive final approval
from Sterling's regulators, who have been informed of the appointments.
Mr. Eisenhart, 57, has served as an independent member of Sterling's
board and chair of its audit committee. Mr. Seibly joined Sterling
Savings Bank in 2007 and has served as its president. Mr. Eckhardt
joined Sterling Savings Bank in 2004 and has served as its executive
vice president and chief operating officer.
"The board is committed to taking the actions necessary to respond to
the challenges that face Sterling and many other banks in the Pacific
Northwest. As a crucial next step, the board is bringing in a new
generation of management to lead the efforts to strengthen Sterling’s
capital and liquidity positions, work through our problem loans and put
into place processes to improve credit quality going forward," said Mr.
“Greg is the right person to navigate this difficult economic
environment and lead our efforts to position the bank safely for future
prosperity. Since joining Sterling, Greg has put into place a successful
deposit strategy that is enhancing the bank's liquidity and lowering the
bank's cost of funding, and he has built on our traditions of Hometown
Helpful® customer service,” continued Mr. Eisenhart.
Mr. Eisenhart also announced the departure of Harold B. Gilkey, 70, who
co-founded Sterling in 1983, from his roles as chairman of the board,
president and chief executive officer of Sterling Financial Corporation,
as a director of Sterling Savings Bank, and as chief executive officer
and a director of Golf Savings Bank. Mr. Eisenhart also announced the
departure of Heidi B. Stanley, 53, from her positions as chairman of the
board and chief executive officer of Sterling Savings Bank and from the
board of Sterling Savings Bank. Ms. Stanley joined Sterling in 1985 and
served as chief executive officer of Sterling Savings Bank since 2008
and as its chairman since 2009.
“Harold did what many banking executives strive to do but few
accomplish. He created a successful, customer-focused regional banking
franchise,” said Mr. Eisenhart. “Heidi played a central role in the
growth of Sterling and was responsible for developing a core of highly
experienced bankers who today are providing superior service in
communities across the bank’s five-state footprint,” Mr. Eisenhart added.
About William L. Eisenhart
William Eisenhart, 57, has served as a director of Sterling Financial
Corporation since January 2004 and is chair of the board's audit
committee. He serves as an independent financial consultant to privately
held and publicly traded companies on investment banking matters.
Previously, Mr. Eisenhart was a managing director at Dain Bosworth,
Inc., in Seattle; a partner in corporate finance for Cable Howse & Ragen
in Seattle; and vice president of corporate finance at Goldman, Sachs &
Co. in New York. Currently, he serves as a member of the Finance
Committee of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, and is co-chair of the Schools
and the Scholarship Committee of the Harvard Club of Seattle. Mr.
Eisenhart received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an MBA
from the University of Chicago.
About J. Gregory “Greg” Seibly
Greg Seibly, 46, was appointed president of Sterling Savings Bank in
January 2009. He joined Sterling in 2007 as executive vice president and
chief production officer with more than 20 years of experience in the
financial industry. Before joining Sterling, Mr. Seibly was the
president of U.S. Bank – California. He has also held executive-level
positions in commercial banking at Wells Fargo Bank and in healthcare
finance at Bank of America. Mr. Seibly currently serves on the executive
board of the Boy Scouts of America – Inland Northwest Council and the
board of the United Way of Greater Spokane. He received his bachelor’s
degree in business administration and finance from Indiana University.
About Ezra A. Eckhardt
Ezra Eckhardt, 39, was appointed executive vice president and chief
operating officer of Sterling Savings Bank in January 2009 and served as
chief administrative officer. He joined Sterling in August 2004. His
prior experience includes general management, operations, leadership and
continuous improvement work at Microsoft, Honeywell and the U.S. Army.
Mr. Eckhardt is an adjunct professor at the Gonzaga University Graduate
School of Business, a member of the Greater Spokane Incorporated Higher
Education Leadership Group, and a member of the board of directors for
the Spokane affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. He is a distinguished
graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Eckhardt also has
earned an MBA from Gonzaga University and has advanced training in
applied statistics from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
About Donn C. Costa
Mr. Costa, 47, was appointed executive vice president of Golf Savings
Bank in July 2006, when it was acquired by Sterling Financial
Corporation. Prior to the acquisition, Mr. Costa was president of
Lynnwood Financial Corporation, the parent company of Golf Savings Bank.
He is a member of Golf Savings Bank’s Asset & Liability and Personnel &
Lending Committees. Mr. Costa is currently on the Seattle Mortgage
Bankers Association board of directors and the board of the Washington
Mortgage Lenders Association. He received a Bachelor’s degree in
Business Administration from Washington State University in 1985.
About Sterling Financial Corporation
Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane, Washington, is the bank
holding company for Sterling Savings Bank, a commercial bank, and Golf
Savings Bank, a savings bank focused on single-family mortgage
originations. Both banks are state chartered and federally insured.
Sterling offers banking products and services, mortgage lending,
construction financing and investment products to individuals, small
businesses, commercial organizations and corporations. As of June 30,
2009, Sterling Financial Corporation had assets of $12.40 billion and
operated more than 175 depository branches throughout Washington,
Oregon, Idaho, Montana and California. Visit Sterling's website at www.sterlingfinancialcorporation-spokane.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements, which are not
historical facts and pertain to Sterling's future operating results.
These forward-looking statements are within the meaning of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking
statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about
Sterling's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other
statements contained in this release that are not historical facts. When
used in this release, the words "expects," "anticipates," "intends,"
"plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates" and similar expressions are
generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These
forward-looking statements are inherently subject to significant
business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many
of which are beyond Sterling's control. In addition, these
forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions with respect to
future business strategies and decisions that are subject to change.
Actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in these
forward-looking statements because of numerous possible risks and
uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to: the possibility of
continued adverse economic developments that may, among other things,
increase default and delinquency risks in Sterling's loan portfolios;
shifts in interest rates that may result in lower interest rate margins;
shifts in the demand for Sterling's loan and other products;
lower-than-expected revenue or cost savings in connection with
acquisitions; changes in accounting policies; changes in the monetary
and fiscal policies of the federal government; and changes in laws,
regulations and the competitive environment.
Sterling Financial Corporation
G. Byrne, EVP/Chief Financial Officer, 509-458-3711
Cara Coon, VP/Communications Manager, 509-626-5348
L. Wardwell, CFA, VP/Investor Relations Director, 509-354-8165