Heritage Financial Recognized by The Seattle Times as One of the Best of the Northwest

Jun 21, 2010, 13:17 ET from Heritage Financial Corporation

OLYMPIA, Wash., June 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Heritage Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: HFWA), the bank holding company for Heritage Bank and Central Valley Bank, today announced that it was recently honored and recognized by The Seattle Times as one of the Best of the Northwest for 2009.  There were two categories in which Heritage Financial was honored: "Top 20 Companies of the Decade" and one of only 23 companies that were debt-free.

Heritage Financial was recognized as one of only three Washington banks in the "Top 20 Companies of the Decade."  This recognition was based on the highest total shareholder returns from 2000 through 2009.  Heritage Financial generated a 132% return for shareholders during that period of time.  The Seattle Times stated that, "The community banks that rose to the top rejected newfangled ideas such as pay-option mortgages and 'liar loans.'"

Additionally, Heritage Financial was recognized as one of 23 publically traded Pacific Northwest companies that were debt-free for 2009, and the only bank to be recognized in this category. 

"To be honored as one of the 'Top 20 Companies of The Decade' is indeed an honor.  This is especially rewarding when one considers that we are included with other iconic companies of the Pacific Northwest such as Paccar, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Nike, and Columbia Sportswear, as fellow 'Top 20 Companies of the Decade,'" said Mr. Brian Vance, Heritage Financial's Chief Executive Officer.  "Additionally, we are pleased to be recognized as one of just a few companies, and the only bank in the survey, that is debt-free.   To be a debt-free company in these difficult economic times is a nice position in which to be.  I would like to publically thank all of our employees who do their jobs so very well every day which makes these awards possible."

According to the publication, to be considered for The Seattle Times "Best of the Northwest," public companies must be headquartered in Washington, Oregon or Idaho. Companies must trade above $2 a share, be public for at least two full years and be listed on the New York, American or NASDAQ stock exchanges.  Rankings are determined by a thorough review of the following four key metrics: sales per employee, operating income, return on equity and stock-price appreciation. Return on equity receives the most weight in the ranking, but no single measure predominates.

Heritage Financial Corporation is a bank holding company headquartered in Olympia, Washington which operates two community banks, Heritage Bank and Central Valley Bank.  Heritage Bank serves Pierce, Thurston, Mason and South King Counties in the South Puget Sound region of Washington through its fourteen full-service banking offices and its Online Banking Website www.HeritageBankWA.com.  Central Valley Bank serves Yakima and Kittitas Counties in central Washington through its six full-service banking offices and its Online Banking Website www.CVBankWa.com. Additional information about Heritage Financial Corporation is available on its Internet Website www.HF-WA.com.

SOURCE Heritage Financial Corporation