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Press release from Business Wire

Sterling Bank Names Wealth Management Director

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sterling Bank Names Wealth Management Director16:30 EDT Monday, September 17, 2012 VANCOUVER, Wash. (Business Wire) -- Sterling Bank has named Renee Newman as a senior vice president and director of its Wealth Management Group, which specializes in estate planning, investments and portfolio management. Renee Newman. (Photo: Business Wire) Newman joined Sterling in February 2012 in connection with the acquisition of First Independent Bank, which she joined in October 2007. With more than 20 years in the banking industry, Newman brings extensive experience in commercial, private, treasury, retail and real estate banking. She and her team work with the mass affluent market to help individuals and families grow, manage, protect and transfer wealth. Newman holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Oregon State University. She also is a recent graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School, and earned her Series 7 and 66 securities licenses. In 2009, she received a Vancouver Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 award, was a nominee for the Portland Business Journal's Orchid Award in 2006, and in 2005 was named Brainstorm NW Magazine's Top Regional Financial Advisor. As a community volunteer, she has served on the board, including as board chair, for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and served on the board for Classroom Law Project and on fundraising committees for United Way and the YMCA. 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 and Sonoma Bank (in California). Sterling offers banking products and services, mortgage lending, and trust and investment products to individuals, small businesses, corporations and other commercial organizations. As of June 30, 2012, Sterling had assets of $9.6 billion and operated 187 depository branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and California. Visit Sterling's website at Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: Sterling BankMedia contact:Cara L. Coon, 509-626-5348cara.coon@bankwithsterling.comorInvestor contact:Patrick Rusnak,