Employees of Sterling Bank, a subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: STSA), contributed 54,805 volunteer hours in 2013, assisting more than 2,000 charitable organizations across its four-state footprint. “Our employees continue to help improve lives and strengthen communities. Year after year they demonstrate that this is a priority to them, and I am proud to say 2013 was no different,” said Ezra Eckhardt, president and chief operating officer of Sterling Bank. Of the total hours volunteered, approximately 16,000 were part of Sterling Bank’s employee volunteer time-off program. Through the program, Sterling Bank provides employees with 12 paid hours per year to volunteer during work hours with a nonprofit, school or public service organization of their choice. More than 6,500 volunteer hours qualified as Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) hours. The CRA provides a framework for financial, government and community organizations to jointly promote fair banking services across all communities. Qualifying CRA organizations focus on affordable housing, financial education and/or financial services for low- to moderate-income populations. Other qualifying activities include downtown revitalization efforts and small-business support. As determined by the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics rate, the estimated dollar value of the total volunteer hours translates to nearly $1.2 million. However, the impact on the communities is greater than the sum of the volunteer hours and financial support that Sterling Bank and its employees bring to its neighborhoods. Beyond volunteering, Sterling Bank employees are also active in donating and raising funds for community organizations. An example of this effort includes employee donations of nearly $34,000 through Sterling Bank’s Jeans for Charity program to organizations such as the Oregon Food Bank, Marin Humane Society, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Shriner’s Hospital for Children and Special Olympics. This program allows employees to make a financial donation in exchange for wearing jeans one Friday per month. More information about Sterling Bank’s giving program is available online at: https://www.bankwithsterling.com/Community/GivingBack.aspx. About Sterling BankSterling 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 Dec. 31, 2013, Sterling Financial Corporation had assets of $10.3 billion and operated depository branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. Visit Sterling Bank’s website at www.bankwithsterling.com.