Business briefs: Kitsap Bank notes record profits, leadership change

One local institution seems to have recovered well from the Great Depression.

Kitsap Bank president and chief executive officer Jim Carmichael announced last week that the bank reported $1.46 million in first-quarter earnings. That represented a 250 percent increased from a year ago.

Carmichael said it was the bank’s best quarterly performance since 2008. He  said the bank disrupted $800,000 to its shareholders on March 31.

“Most of our change from a year ago stems from a reduction in cost,” Carmichael said.

Among those were the consolidation of offices in Allyn, Bremerton, Port Townsend and Sequim last year. Carmichael said that only one percent of Kitsap Bank’s loan “are not performing,” which is one of the lowest rates in the state.

In addition, Kitsap Bank acquired Port Townsend-based Mariner Bank in 2006 and absorbed Bremerton’s Westsound Bank two years ago. He said those transactions, in addition to gaining customers from other financial institutions, such as when Washington Mutual failed in 2008, has allowed Kitsap Bank to grow its core deposits by 30 percent in the last three years. Carmichael said Kitsap Bank, which has 12 offices in the county and 20 in the Puget Sound region, has 22 percent of Kitsap’s market share.Kitsap Bank, which was established in 1908 and is headquartered in Port Orchard, has nearly $900 million in assets.

One change coming to the bank was the accession of Cydly Langer Smith to Chairman of the Board. Langer Smith replaces her mother, Helen, who now will become the bank’s vice chairman. She served in her former position since 1986. She also succeeded her mother, Hannah Langer.

“I am honored to follow in the footsteps of my mother and grandmother, and to work with our excellent management team, as we lead Kitsap Bank into our second century,” Cydly Langer Smith said in a news release. “While it is imperative to continually look to the future and provide cutting-edge financial services to our customers; I believe it is also vital to maintain Kitsap Bank’s commitment to build long-standing relationships with our customers and community.”

Carmichael described it as “an orderly transition” and does not expect many  operation changes in the future.

• In recognition of a $1 million donation, the Hospice of Kitsap County inpatient care center will be renamed the Fred Lowthian Hospice Care Center, the center’s board of trustees and Executive Director Jim Pledger announced in April.

The gift, from Sheila Lowthian, is the largest amount received from an individual in the hospice’s 32-year history, according to a statement. Lowthian made the donation so that the hospice can continue providing dignity, compassion and comfort to Kitsap residents coping with life-limiting illnesses.

• Kitsap Credit Union’s Board of Directors announced the election of new executive officers, according to a statement. Wendie Johnson, a credit union member since 1990, is the new board chair. Bill Rumbold, who retired as captain from the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps and has been serving the board as a volunteer for the past 14 years, is the new vice chair. Terry Thomas will serve as treasurer and has been on many union committees including the Invest Committee. Jim Rowson, will serve as secretary, and was Harrison Medical Center’s chief financial officer for 25 years.

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