First Federal CEO abruptly resigns

Sequim Gazette staff

First Federal  of Port Angeles announced Dec. 21 that its president, chief executive officer and director, Levon L. Mathews, had resigned effective immediately.


The duties of the president and chief executive officer have been assumed on an interim basis by Larry J. Hueth, who joined First Federal in December 2008. Hueth assumed the additional responsibilities of chief risk officer and chief operating officer in 2011 and 2012, respectively. He became a director of First Federal in 2010.


Hueth and his wife are residents of Sequim.


Hueth declined to provide details on Mathew’s resignation, saying the bank’s comments were limited to those in a brief press release issued Friday, Dec. 21.


As a result of the management changes, First Federal has delayed its plans to convert from a Washington-chartered mutual savings bank to a Washington-chartered stock savings bank.


“The board of directors intends to establish a cohesive executive management team before we proceed with the conversion process,” said Richard G. Kott, chairman of the board.


A mutual savings bank is owned by its members — the financial institution’s depositors. A stock savings bank is owned by public or private shareholders.


A guidance document produced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says over the past two decades “a number of mutual companies have converted to a stock form of ownership — either to raise money, to expand operations, to enhance employee benefit options, or for some combination of these or other reasons.”

Lowman also out

First Federal also announced that Gina E. Lowman, First Federal’s chief banking officer, had resigned. Retail branch operations will continue to be directed by the appropriate division managers.


First Federal is headquartered in Port Angeles and has offices across the peninsula, including two in Sequim. It has 150 employees.


First Federal is a Washington-chartered mutual savings bank. As of Sept. 30, 2012, it had assets of approximately $781.8 million.
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