– USA, WA –  Washington Federal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) today announced the completion of its succession plan by appointing Thomas J. Kelley as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Kelley has been serving on the Board as Vice Chairman since March of this year. He also currently serves as Chair of the Audit Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee and the Nominating & Governance Committee. Kelley has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2005.

As announced in March of this year, Mr. Kelley’s appointment coincides with the planned retirement of Roy M. Whitehead from the role of Chairman. He will retire from the Board on December 31, 2018. Mr. Whitehead has been serving as Executive Chairman since April 1, 2017 when he retired as Chief Executive Officer of Washington Federal after 17 years. “Roy Whitehead has been an outstanding, highly respected leader at Washington Federal and throughout the banking industry. His years of successful stewardship have resulted in building one of the strongest banks in America with a solid future,“ said Chairman Kelley.

President and Chief Executive Officer Brent Beardall echoes that praise saying, “Mr. Whitehead is the finest banker I have ever known. He always worked to put the well-being of the bank, its shareholders and employees first. His goal was to leave the bank in a stronger position than he found it when he arrived in 1998. Thanks to his efforts, today Washington Federal is producing record operating results and has a balance sheet that is well positioned for future growth.”

Mr. Kelley’s career has been spent largely in public accounting, centered on audit and consulting engagements with financial services firms. From 1997 to 2002, he was a managing partner of Arthur Andersen, overseeing nine offices in Eastern Europe. After retiring from public accounting, he taught in the Accounting department at Seattle University from 2002 to 2012.

About Washington Federal

Washington Federal, Inc. is the parent company of Washington Federal N.A., a national bank that provides consumer and commercial deposit accounts, financing for small to middle market businesses, commercial and residential real estate, including consumer mortgages, home equity lines of credit and insurance products through a subsidiary. Established in 1917, the company operates 236 branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Nevada and New Mexico. It has been publicly traded since 1982.

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