Today, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle (Seattle Bank) presented its 2013 Community Spirit Award to Sterling Bank, headquartered in Spokane, Washington. The annual Community Spirit Award recognizes a financial institution member of the Seattle Bank cooperative for its use of the bank’s community investment programs in meeting affordable housing and economic development needs in the communities it serves. Sterling Bank is the only two-time recipient of the award, previously earning the honor in 2003.

“Sterling is truly honored to be recognized as a strong community partner,” said Greg Seibly, CEO of Sterling Financial Corporation, the holding company for Sterling Bank. “We strive to make a difference for the people and businesses that help us improve lives and strengthen communities.”

Through its membership in the Seattle Bank and strong community partnerships, Sterling Bank has facilitated the distribution of nearly $49.5 million of grants and reduced-rate loans to support 2,240 affordable homes. The funds include $8.5 million of Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grants, $40.0 million of Community Investment Program / Economic Development Fund (CIP/EDF) loans, and $892,000 of Home$tart Program grants.

The 2013 Community Spirit Award, which included a $5,000 contribution to Sterling Bank’s community investment efforts, was presented to Sterling Bank Eastern Washington/Idaho Market President Alan Roberts and Sterling Bank Marketing and Communications Executive Marty Dickinson at a luncheon event hosted by the Seattle Bank in Spokane. Upon receipt of the award, Mr. Roberts announced that Sterling Bank would match the award and contribute $5,000 each to Spokane Housing Ventures and CASA of Oregon to support their affordable housing missions.

“We are proud to honor Sterling Bank with our 2013 Community Spirit Award,” said Seattle Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Michael L. Wilson. “And it is well deserved. Sterling Bank has been an exemplary community partner, working with a multitude of organizations to create and sustain affordable housing, jobs, and other economic development opportunities in the communities it serves. The company’s match of our $5,000 award further emphasizes its dedication to addressing these critical needs.”

In addition to the award ceremony, the luncheon program featured prominent civic and affordable housing leaders. In addition to Mr. Wilson, Spokane Mayor David Condon, Louise Fendrich, deputy district director for Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Seattle Bank Community Investment Officer Jennifer Ernst, and Sterling Bank Community Development Manager Ric Gaunt participated in the program. Impact Capital Executive Director Judith Olsen delivered the keynote address, emphasizing the critical role that financial institutions play in their communities. CASA of Oregon Executive Director Peter Hainley and Spokane Housing Ventures Executive Director Jayne Auld discussed their partnership efforts in meeting community needs.

The event was attended by representatives of the financial services, affordable housing, and economic development organizations, including many of the organizations Sterling Bank has helped to support.

About Sterling Bank

Sterling Savings Bank, the principal operating subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) of Spokane, Washington, is a Washington state chartered and federally insured commercial bank. Sterling Savings Bank does business as Sterling Bank in Washington, Oregon and Idaho and as Argent Bank in California, offering banking products and services, mortgage lending, and trust and investment products to individuals, small businesses, corporations and other commercial organizations. As of September 30, 2013, Sterling Financial Corporation had assets of $9.98 billion and operated depository branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. Visit Sterling Bank’s website at

About the Seattle Bank

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle (Seattle Bank) is a member-owned cooperative, serving approximately 330 financial institutions. The Seattle Bank provides its members with access to wholesale funding, which they use to make home mortgages, small business, and other loans in their communities.

The Seattle Bank also works with its members and their community partners to promote affordable housing and economic development. Each year, the bank provides 10 percent of its profits to fund affordable housing—both rental and homeownership—and provides millions of dollars in reduced-rate loans for affordable housing and community economic development.

The Seattle Bank’s Affordable Housing Program provides subsidy to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate affordable rental or owner-occupied housing for low- and moderate-income households. The Home$tart Program provides downpayment assistance to first-time homebuyers earning up to 80 percent of area median income. The Community Investment Program / Economic Development Fund offer reduced-rate loans for affordable housing and community economic development.

One of 12 Federal Home Loan Banks in the United States, the Seattle Bank serves Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Visit the Seattle Bank’s website ( for more information regarding the bank and its community investment programs.

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