RENTON, Wash., March 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Financial Northwest, Inc. ("Company") (Nasdaq:FFNW), the holding company for First Savings Bank Northwest ("Bank"), today announced that it had received all bank regulatory approvals for the appointment of Kevin D. Padrick to the Company's and the Bank's respective Boards of Directors. Mr. Padrick's appointment as a director is effective as of March 14, 2013, the date the Company received the last required approval. Mr. Padrick will attend the Company's Board of Directors' meeting on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 and at that time will be appointed to serve on the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and the Compensation Committee of the Company's Board of Directors. Mr. Padrick's appointment as a director was made pursuant to the settlement agreement ("Settlement Agreement") entered into by the Company with Joseph Stilwell and his affiliated entities as a result of last year's contested director election. "We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Mr. Padrick to the Board of Directors," said Victor Karpiak, Chairman, President and CEO. "He has extensive business and legal experience that will be beneficial to the Board in its analysis and implementation of the Company's business strategies." In connection with Mr. Padrick's appointment to the Board and pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, Victor Karpiak will resign as Chairman of the Board of the Company's Board of Directors at the Board of Directors' March 20, 2013 meeting. Mr. Karpiak's resignation will be effective immediately; he will, however, continue to serve as a director on the Company's Board of Directors until September 2013. At the time of Mr. Karpiak's resignation, it is anticipated that Dr. Gary F. Kohlwes will be appointed as Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors. Dr. Kohlwes has served as a member of the Company's Board of Directors since its inception in 2007 and has served as a director of the Bank since 1977. In addition, Dr. Kohlwes has served as Secretary of the Bank since 1982 and is a Trustee of the First Financial Northwest Foundation and serves as its Executive Director.