updated 2/3/2011 6:17:13 PM ET 2011-02-03T23:17:13

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash., Feb. 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Board of Directors of Islanders Bank today announced that Brad Williamson has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Islanders Bank, a subsidiary of Banner Corporation. Mr. Williamson will also join the Board of Directors of Islanders Bank.  Mr. Williamson will replace interim President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Brown, who will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Williamson was formerly the Director of Banks for the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, which regulates all Washington State chartered banks, trust companies and business development companies. Since 2006, he led a staff of 30 examiners supervising and examining all chartered financial organizations to ensure ongoing safety and soundness and compliance with applicable regulations. Prior to joining the Department of Financial Institutions, Mr. Williamson was Managing Director for RSM McGladrey's Northwest Risk Management Practice headquartered in Tacoma, Washington. He has a Business Administration/Finance degree from California State University and is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School.

"Brad Williamson brings a wealth of financial experience and has an outstanding reputation in the financial services industry. We are very excited about having someone with Brad's industry knowledge, respect, and skill set join our local management team at Islanders Bank," stated Brian Brown, Chairman of Islanders Bank. "His knowledge of banking, finance, credit administration and risk management is exceptional. The Board and management are excited about the expertise, energy and professionalism that Brad brings to our organization."

"I am excited to be leading a team of professionals that provides superior banking services at such a healthy financial institution as Islanders Bank," stated Brad Williamson. 

"Having Brad join us is a real advantage. He is an outstanding regulator and will be just as impressive a leader at Islanders Bank for us," said Mark Grescovich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Banner Corporation, Islanders Bank's parent company. "Islanders Bank has been highly successful and we are confident that Islanders will continue to contribute to Banner's success."

About Islanders Bank

Islanders Bank is a Washington-chartered commercial bank that conducts business from three locations in San Juan County, Washington.  Islanders Bank is a community bank which offers a wide variety of commercial banking services and financial products to individuals and businesses in its primary market area. Visit Islanders Bank on the Web at www.IslandersBank.com .

Islanders Bank became a wholly owned subsidiary of Banner Corporation on May 1, 2007 and will continue to operate as the only state-chartered commercial bank headquartered in San Juan County with a local Board of Directors and local management.

About Banner Corporation

Banner Corporation (Nasdaq:BANR), the parent company of Islanders Bank and Banner Bank, is a $4.4 billion bank holding company operating two commercial banks in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The banks serve the Pacific Northwest region with a full range of deposit services and business, commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and consumer loans.

CONTACT: Brian Brown
         Chairman, Islanders Bank
         (360) 378-2265
         Mark J. Grescovich
         President & CEO, Banner Corp.
         (509) 527-3636

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