Outgoing CEO Hal Russell

Tacoma-based Commencement Bank has officially announced the retirement of CEO Hal Russell, effective Dec. 31, 2019.

Succeeding Russell is current president and COO John Manolides, who co-founded company with Russell in 2006. Manolides will step into the role of president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2020.

“This has been more than just a title for me, it has been the realization of an idea John Manolides and I formulated years ago. With the help of our supporters, Commencement has grown to be a trusted name in local banking. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a tremendous team who is deeply committed to our clients and strengthens our local communities by going above and beyond to improve their economies. John has been with me since the beginning and has played an extremely important role in the operations of the Bank. I’m confident in a successful future under his leadership and guidance,” Russell stated.

Russell began transitioning out of leadership two years ago, when he entrusted the title of president to Manolides in December 2017. At that time, Manolides also joined the bank’s Board of Directors. The bank’s board voted unanimously on Manolides appointment as Russell’s successor.

Incoming CEO John Manolides

“I’m grateful and humbled to be named Commencement Bank’s next CEO. I’ve had the honor of working next to Hal Russell from the beginning. The success of the bank has my full attention with much appreciation for the support from our employees, clients, shareholders, and communities. I look forward to continuing the bank’s growth while preserving the outstanding service we’re known for and evaluating new opportunities to remain relevant in the ever-changing banking industry,” Manolides said.

Commencement Bank also announced the retirement of Thomas Valentine, chairman of the Board of Directors, effective December 2019. Valentine has held the position of chairman since the bank’s inception. Upon Valentine’s retirement at year-end, Russell will succeed Valentine and assume the role of chairman.