Bob Coleman resigns as Islanders Bank president; Brown and Kneipp directing as interim officers

Bob Coleman announced his resignation this week as president of Islanders Bank, citing medical concerns.

“I’m old enough to retire,” Coleman said. “I’ve got some medical things to take care of so I thought it would be in the best interest of me and my family, and certainly the bank, not to be a burden on anybody.”

He said he will first focus on getting his health in good shape.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I’m on track. I’m trying to stay positive … I am going to miss it.”

Coleman was promoted to president, CEO and director of the bank in April 2008 to succeed Richard Kneipp, original president and CEO. Kneipp is still on the board of directors.

While the board determines Coleman’s successor, chairman Brian Brown and Kneipp will direct operations as interim officers.

“We hope it’s going to be for a very short time,” Brown said. “We’ll be having a board meeting very shortly … we will be out seeking a new CEO. The bank is running very well and very stable.”

Islanders Bank opened its Friday Harbor branch in 1980, followed by branches in Eastsound in 1988 and in Lopez Village in 1996. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of Banner Corp. in May 2007.

“The bank has a great team of people and I think they’re going to continue to do well,” Coleman said. “The hardest part for me is I’m going to miss the people. They’re great people.”

Coleman composed the following “thank you” letter to the community:

* * *

As the former President, CEO/CFO, Director and Secretary of the Board of Islanders Bank, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of San Juan County for continuing to support our local business communities by buying, shopping and banking locally. It is so important to support these hard working, dedicated entrepreneurs that are the drivers of our local economies. I would also like to thank all of our customers and supporters for your continuing faith and confidence in Islanders Bank during the past few years of unprecedented global, national, and local economic challenges combined with major collapses within the financial industry.

As I leave Islanders Bank, I am both humbled and honored to have been a part of an outstanding team of local banking professionals that not only take great pride in providing excellent customer service, but also take great pride in taking Islanders Bank to the top of the heap in Washington state. Islanders Bank has been the Number 1 performing bank in Washington State, and in the top 3% nationally, for the past several quarters, and, presumably this high performance trend will continue for many quarters to come. (Based upon pre-tax Return On Average Assets.)

As relatively new people to the islands, my wife Linda and I learned early on that we probably won’t live long enough to be considered true “islanders” but, we are both very proud to be considered “locals” and, as such, feel so very fortunate to live, work and reside in the beautiful San Juan Islands where the true meaning of “community” rings loud and clear at all levels – and also where, “Each of Us Truly Depends on All of Us.”

Thanks again to all of you, our friends and neighbors, and especially the Islanders Bank Team for all of your support and consideration these past several years.

Respectfully and with warm personal regards,

Bob Coleman
San Juan Island