UNION, N.J., July 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNBC) (the "Corporation", or "Center"), parent company of Union Center National Bank ("UCNB" or the "Bank"), today announced that the Board of Directors of the Bank has elected Howard Kent as the new Chairman of the Board of the Bank. Anthony C. Weagley, President and CEO of the Bank, stated that the appointment of Mr. Howard Kent was aimed at "bringing additional depth of skills and experience to the Board of the Bank as the Company seeks to enter a phase of strategic growth, principally in its loan portfolio, in its continuous effort to remain one of the nation's finest financial institutions." Mr. Kent will succeed Alexander Bol as the Chairman of the Board of the Bank. Mr. Bol, who has been a director since 1994 and has served as Chairman of the Board of both the Bank and Center for the past 12 years, will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Center. Mr. Weagley added: "Al Bol's leadership of Center Bancorp and Union Center National Bank, his knowledge of the banking industry and of our goals, coupled with his stature in the community, are all part of his contribution to Center Bancorp." Mr. Bol received his Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Bol established Bol Architecture in 1974 with the prestigious commission of designing Murray Hill Square in New Providence, New Jersey. Mr. Bol is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the New Jersey Society of Architects and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Mr. Bol is a New Jersey licensed Professional Planner and a registered Architect in the states of New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. Mr. Kent, who will assume the Chairman role of Union Center National Bank effective today, has been a director since 2008, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Loan and Discount Committee for the Bank. Mr. Weagley commented: "Mr. Kent's knowledge about, and experience in, the real estate investment and management business led the Board to tap his expertise in expanding the leadership in the Chairman position for the Bank."