RENTON, Wash., May 24, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Financial Northwest, Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:FFNW), the holding company for First Savings Bank Northwest (the "Bank" or "First Savings"), announced today that Herman "Rob" Robinson will join the Bank as Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer, effective June 1, 2010.

Mr. Robinson will oversee the lending and servicing functions of the Bank. Mr. Robinson has over 40 years of banking experience and most recently held the position of Senior Vice President, Senior Credit Approval Officer at East West Bank. During his banking career, Mr. Robinson has held positions such as Chief Credit Officer, Manager of Special Credits and Senior Vice President and Manager of Commercial Lending at various banks.

"We are very pleased to add Rob to the management group at First Savings. Rob's extensive experience as a chief credit officer, lender and manager of special credits will be a valued addition to the Bank's lending operations," said Victor Karpiak, Chairman, CEO and President of the Bank.

Mr. Karpiak also announced that William A. Longbrake resigned effective May 24, 2010, as a Director of First Financial Northwest, Inc. and First Savings. Mr. Longbrake noted in his resignation letter that, "my travel schedule and the recent addition of other responsibilities, including the Washington State Investment Board and HOPE LoanPort will make it increasingly difficult for me to carry out my duties as a Director effectively."

Commenting on Mr. Longbrake's service to the Company, Mr. Karpiak said, "We greatly appreciate Bill's service to the Company over the last 21 months and fully recognize his additional time commitments with his new responsibilities."

First Financial Northwest, Inc. is the parent company of First Savings Bank Northwest, a Washington chartered stock savings bank headquartered in Renton, Washington, serving the Puget Sound Region with its full-service banking office and its online banking website, . First Financial Northwest, Inc. a part of the ABA NASDAQ Community Bank Index as well as the Russell 3000 Index. For additional information about First Savings Bank Northwest and First Financial Northwest, Inc. please visit the website at and click on the "Investor Relations" tab.

Forward-looking statements:

This press release contains statements that the Company believes are "forward-looking statements." These statements relate to the Company's financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance or business. You should not place undue reliance on these statements, as they are subject to risks and uncertainties. When considering these forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind these risks and uncertainties, as well as any cautionary statements the Company may make. Moreover, you should treat these statements as speaking only as of the date they are made and based only on information then actually known to the Company. There are a number of important factors that could cause future results to differ materially from historical performance and these forward-looking statements. Factors which could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, the credit risks of lending activities, including changes in the level and trend of loan delinquencies and write-offs; changes in general economic conditions, either nationally or in our market areas; changes in the levels of general interest rates, deposit interest rates, our net interest margin and funding sources; fluctuations in the demand for construction/land development, residential, commercial real estate, consumer and other types of loans, the number of unsold homes and other properties and fluctuations in real estate values in our market areas; results of examinations of us by the Office of Thrift Supervision and our bank subsidiary by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Division of Banks or other regulatory authorities, including the possibility that any such regulatory authority may, among other things, require us to increase our reserve for loan losses or to write-down assets; our ability to control operating costs and expenses; our ability to manage loan delinquency rates; our ability to retain key members of our senior management team; costs and effects of litigation, including settlements and judgments; increased competitive pressures among financial services companies; changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits; legislative or regulatory changes that adversely affect our business; adverse changes in the securities markets; inability of key third-party providers to perform their obligations to us; changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted by the financial institution regulatory agencies or the Financial Accounting Standards Board; war or terrorist activities; other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory, and technological factors affecting our operations, pricing, products and services and other risks detailed in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009 .
CONTACT:  First Financial Northwest, Inc.          Victor Karpiak            (425) 255-4400          Scott Gaspard            (425) 254-2002