UPDATED — Interim president/CEO at First Federal becomes permanent

By Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — Larry Hueth is now president and chief executive officer of First Federal Savings and Loan Association, it was announced Thursday.

Hueth had been appointed interim president and CEO by the bank's board of directors on Dec. 19 after Levon L. Mathews abruptly resigned from those posts.

("First Federal realigning in wake of resignations and retirements; interim chief in line to take helm" — http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20130106/NEWS/301069986

("Back home in Indiana: Ex-First Federal CEO says he quit for personal reasons connected with family business" — http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20130106/news/301069985

("First Federal's CEO and president abruptly resigns; chief banking officer has also departed" — http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20121223/NEWS/312239985 )

Heuth's appointment was made permanent by First Federal's board, the bank's Thursday announcement said.

Hueth has nearly 30 years of banking experience and joined First Federal in December 2008. He was elected executive vice president and chief financial officer in February 2009 and joined the board of directors in 2010.

Hueth assumed the additional responsibility of chief risk officer in 2011 and that of chief operating officer in 2012.

He and his wife live in Sequim.

Hueth has named Regina M. Woods as the savings bank's chief financial officer and Ed Brady as chief risk officer, the bank said in its Thursday announcement.

Delay in conversion

In addition to Mathews' resignation, Gina E. Lowman, First Federal's chief banking officer and senior vice president, also resigned, the bank announced in press release on Dec. 21, but she told the Peninsula Daily News that the timing of that announcement was “purely coincidental” and that she had left in November because she wanted to spend more time with her family.

The bank's chairman, Richard G. Kott, said in December that the resignations would delay First Federal's plans to convert to a stock savings bank from a mutual savings bank until First Federal establishes “a cohesive executive team."

Plans by First Federal to convert to a shareholder company were announced by Mathews and Kott in May 2012 and follow a national trend in which mutuals like First Federal have converted to stock ownership to raise millions of dollars in new capital.

Common stock would be sold first to First Federal's depositors and then, if shares are still available, to the general public. The plans had been under review by state and federal bank regulators.

First Federal is the only locally owned community bank on the North Olympic Peninsula.

The 90-year-old bank is based in Port Angeles and has branches there and in Forks, Sequim, Port Townsend and in the Kitsap County city of Poulsbo. It also has a lending center in Bellingham.

It has more than 150 employees.

Its total assets have grown from $388.6 million in 1996 to $716.6 million in 2009 to about $781.8 million as of Sept. 30, 2012. It was the state's 18th largest bank in 2011, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Here's the announcement released by First Federal at the end of the business day Thursday (there was no explanation why it carried a March 27 date):

First Federal Announces New CEO

Port Angeles, WA (March 27, 2013) –The Board of Directors of First Federal announced the appointment of Larry Hueth as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Hueth brings nearly 30 years of banking experience to First Federal.

Mr. Hueth has been serving as the Interim President and Chief Executive Officer since December 19, 2012 and was First Federal's Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer/Chief Risk Officer prior to this appointment. Mr. Hueth was elected to First Federal's Board of Directors in December 2010 and will continue to serve in that capacity.

Mr. Hueth earned a degree in Business Administration/Accounting from California State University, Long Beach, CA. He is also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Bankers School and University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Mr. Hueth and his wife live in Sequim, WA. He has actively participated in various community activities, including Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County, the Finance Committee for the Olympic Christian School, and the Entrepreneur Challenge sponsored by the Clallam Business Incubator.

Richard G. Kott, Chairman of the Board of Directors said, “The Board of Directors is pleased to have selected Mr. Hueth to lead the bank. Mr. Hueth is developing a cohesive management team to meet the financial needs and expectations of our customers. With his balanced blend of financial expertise and leadership qualities, the Board is confident that he will continue to guide First Federal in a positive and successful direction.”

Mr. Hueth has named Regina M. Wood to the position of Chief Financial Officer.

Ms. Wood lives in Port Angeles and has been Controller at First Federal since 2006.

Prior to moving to Port Angeles, Ms. Wood was the Controller at Central Washington Grain Growers, Inc., a cooperative in North Central Washington.

She has a B.S. and an MBA in Accounting and is a licensed CPA in the State of Washington. Ms. Wood is a recent graduate of the Washington Bankers Association Executive Development Program.

She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Financial Managers Society.

Ms. Wood received the designation of Chartered Global Management Accountant from the AICPA in 2012.

Mr. Hueth also named Ed Brady as Chief Risk Officer in addition to his position as the Bank Security and Compliance Officer.

Mr. Brady joined First Federal in 2004 as the Security Manager and BSA Officer. Mr. Brady is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM), through the Institute of Certified Bankers, and is a member of the Washington Bankers Association (WBA) Compliance Committee and the WBA Protection Committee. He is currently attending the WBA's Executive Development Program.

First Federal has been strengthening our communities for 90 years! The only locally owned and managed bank on the Olympic Peninsula, First Federal has been voted Best Place to Bank for 17 consecutive years in the Peninsula Daily News poll.

This is because of our dedication to serving local communities as well as providing the finest in products and services.

Last modified: April 04. 2013 10:25PM
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