Banner names new CEO

Mark J. Grescovich, president of the bank and its parent company, will take over for D. Michael Jones, who is retiring.

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WALLA WALLA -- The president of Banner Bank and its parent Banner Corp. has been named chief executive officer of the two companies.

Mark J. Grescovich will succeed D. Michael Jones, who is retiring after eight years at Banner's helm, according to an announcement this week.

Grescovich, a 23-year banking veteran, came to Banner in April. He previously served as executive vice president and chief corporate banking officer for Ohio-based FirstMerit Corp. and FirstMerit Bank, a commercial bank with $14.5 million in assets and more than 200 branches across three states.

"Mr. Grescovich's experience and success in leading a multi-state franchise has been a major asset to our company as Banner continues to expand in Washington, Oregon and Idaho," said Gary Sirmon, Banner's chairman of the board, in a prepared statement.

"Mark's knowledge of banking, finance, credit administration and risk management is exceptional. He has an established record of building a high-performance banking culture and results-driven profitability management."

In addition to his new position, he will continue to serve on the companies' boards of directors.

Jones, 68, will also continue his term on the boards of directors for both companies.

Under his leadership Banner Bank grew from a 39-branch operation into the state's third-largest bank holding company, with $4.7 billion in assets, 89 full-service branches and seven loan offices in 29 counties in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

He came to Walla Walla from the Boise area, where he was president of West One Bancorp. Before that he was president of Spokane's Old National Bancorporation.

Banner's burgeoning regional presence included the purchase of F&M Bank of Rockford in 2006. Most recently, Banner completed a $162 million stock offering in June.

In the announcement Wednesday, Sirmon said the board and management are "grateful for the eight years of service, growth and strategic direction that Mike Jones provided Banner and wish him success in his retirement."

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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