NEWARK, Ohio, July 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Park National Corporation (Park) (NYSE MKT:PRK) today announced the next step in its formal and traditional leadership succession. Effective January 1, 2014, David L. Trautman will become the next chief executive officer of The Park National Bank and Park National Corporation, in addition to retaining his responsibility as president of both entities. Park Chairman and current Chief Executive Officer C. Daniel DeLawder will continue in his role as chairman of both entities. Both Trautman and DeLawder also serve as directors on the boards of The Park National Bank and Park National Corporation. "This carefully planned transition follows the leadership model that has successfully served our organization for decades," DeLawder said. "Continuity, consistency, experience and reliability are keystones in our leadership, and qualities that our shareholders, associates, and clients have come to expect from us. Taking this next step reflects our ongoing commitment to those values." "David is fully qualified to lead Park, as his 30-plus year tenure and varied experiences combined with his comprehensive financial education and community leadership attest," DeLawder said. "Park has a rare and highly successful practice of planning for succession well in advance, which enables our fundamental values to carry on uninterrupted. I look forward to David leading Park into our exciting future." DeLawder plans to continue working on a full-time basis, following the identical pattern established by former Park Chief Executive Officers John W. Alford and William T. McConnell. Like DeLawder, Trautman was hired by and worked directly with past leaders Everett Reese, Alford, and McConnell. "I've had the great fortune to work with four giants in banking — leaders who have had a profound impact on our industry, our organization, our colleagues and me," Trautman said. "My goal is to build upon the firm foundation they constructed. For the past 30 years, I've had the privilege of working with, and learning from, the finest bankers and customers around. It's been great fun and I look forward to learning more from both groups as the years pass."