OLYMPIA, Wash., Aug. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Heritage Financial Corporation ("Company") (Nasdaq: HFWA), parent company of Heritage Bank and Central Valley Bank, announced today that the Puget Sound Business Journal honored Heritage Bank with the 2011 Gold Award in the Large Business Category of Washington's Best Workplaces. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110127/SF37289LOGO) Brian Vance, President and CEO commented, "Heritage Bank is honored to be a Gold Award Winner in the Puget Sound Business Journal's Washington's Best Workplaces. Winning this award in light of all that has occurred at the Bank during this past year is exceptionally gratifying. We acquired two banks, integrated over 100 new employees in the process and opened new branches in Gig Harbor, Puyallup and Kent. We are fortunate to have a quality team of employees, who serve our customers and our communities with excellence. This award resulted from culture that all of us embrace, believe in, and live everyday at Heritage Bank. We have cultivated a work environment where our employees enjoy a common thread of customer service, teamwork, strong communication, and career opportunities. I consider myself privileged to be a part of such a wonderful Company." The Puget Sound Business Journal's Washington's Best Workplaces was launched in 2007 to identify and recognize best practices in the hiring and retention of great people. Surveys by nominee-company employees across the state were submitted, and after an extensive process, finalists were chosen in four different categories; Small Business, Medium Business, Large Business, and Extra Large Business Categories. Nearly 200 companies were nominated with 85 companies being selected as finalists as Washington's best companies based on employee benefit offerings, leadership culture, and work/life balance philosophies. The 25 finalists in each category: small, medium, and large companies; and 10 finalists in the extra large category – were celebrated at a one-of-a-kind event at Safeco Field on August 11th. It is also noteworthy that Heritage was the Silver Award Winner in 2009 and was one of 25 finalists during 2010. Established in 1927, Heritage Bank has been working effectively to build a solid and trusted bank, serving our communities with excellence. The Bank has grown from modest beginnings to a full service community bank with 27 branches extending from Vancouver/ Portland to Seattle/ Bellevue. The success and longevity of Heritage is based in the quality of the people it has employed. The Company's vision and mission statements are integrated into the culture through many facets. With a vision of "We are an innovative team providing financial services where your success is our vision" we provide products and services designed with customers and their financial goals in mind. With a mission of "We are committed to continuously improving customer satisfaction, employee empowerment and shareholder value" the Heritage staff works together as a team focused on building lasting relationships to help customers reach their financial goals and are dedicated to exceeding our customers' expectations. And finally, Heritage is an integral part of the community, giving back to the communities we serve through a combination of monetary contributions and volunteer efforts, which help strengthen the core of our communities.