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Press release from Business Wire

Sterling Financial Corporation's Greg Seibly among Ernst & Young Finalists for Entrepreneur of the Year Award

<p class='bwalignc'> <i><b>CEO recognized in Pacific Northwest region for negotiating financial crisis, returning Sterling to profitability</b></i> </p>

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Sterling Financial Corporation's Greg Seibly among Ernst & Young Finalists for Entrepreneur of the Year Award

17:00 EDT Tuesday, May 07, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. (Business Wire) -- Greg Seibly, president and CEO for Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: STSA), the parent company of Sterling Bank, is among 18 finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award for Washington state. Each year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program recognizes innovative and inspirational business leaders from around the world.

Seibly was one of 32 semifinalists selected by Ernst & Young to undergo further evaluation for the firm's prestigious honor. In addition to participating in an on-site interview from his Spokane office, Seibly spoke with a judging panel consisting of both Ernst & Young executives and independent judges. Finalists and award winners will be celebrated at a black-tie gala on Friday, June 7, at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, Wash.

Seibly took the helm of Sterling in late 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis and led the bank's return to profitability in less than two years. Now, Sterling is considered a leader in merger and acquisition activity among West Coast banks, having completed or announced four transactions in the past two years, including its recent announcement on May 2 of the acquisition of Commerce National Bank in Newport Beach, California.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award seeks nominations of innovative and inspirational business leaders from around the United States. Regional awards galas are held each June to celebrate these individuals and their demonstrations of excellence in areas like innovation, financial performance, leadership, integrity and corporate responsibility. Regional winners automatically become eligible for national honors.

About Sterling Financial Corporation

Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) of Spokane, Washington, is the bank holding company for Sterling Savings Bank, a Washington state chartered and federally insured commercial bank. Sterling Savings Bank does business as Sterling Bank and, in California, Sonoma Bank and Borrego Springs Bank. Sterling offers banking products and services, mortgage lending, and trust and investment products to individuals, small businesses, corporations and other commercial organizations. As of March 31, 2013, Sterling had assets of $9.26 billion and operated depository branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. Visit Sterling's website at www.bankwithsterling.com.

Sterling Financial Corporation
Cara L. Coon, 509-626-5348
cara.coon@bankwithsterling.com

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