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Columbia Bank’s Melanie Dressel again named as one of the most powerful women in banking nationwide

For 12 years there has been a list of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking.”

Now, for the sixth year, Columbia Banking System President and CEO Melanie Dressel has joined that list - a list that recognizes executives from banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, KeyBank and HSBC, among others.

In naming Dressel, the sponsor American Banker Magazine said Tacoma-based Columbia Bank “is vocal about its ambition of becoming a regional player in the Pacific Northwest, and it is moving toward that objective at a rapid clip.”

The magazine noted Columbia’s 2013 purchase of West Coast Bancorp, for $2.4 billion, and the bank’s recent expansion into Idaho with a $121.5 million deal to acquire Intermountain Community Bancorp.

“Melanie Dressel has set an ambitious goal for herself as she engineers this expansion: to remain personally involved with each one of its branches,” the magazine stated.

Candidates for the awards are judged on asset size of their banks as well as performance and the candidate’s “quantifiable contribution to those results.” Criteria including leadership, innovation and community impact are also considered.

The full results will be published in the October issue of American Banker Magazine, and the top 25 women will be honored at a dinner and ceremony in early October at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

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