Banner Corp. (BANR) in Walla Walla, Wash., has named an executive from the world of philanthropy to its board.

The $4.2 billion-asset company said Thursday that Connie Collingsworth, general counsel of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been elected a director. Collingsworth, who once was a partner at Preston Gates & Ellis, manages the Seattle foundation's legal needs and serves on its management committee.

"We … especially look forward to the valuable insight she brings with regard to the Puget Sound business community," Mark Grescovich, Banner's chief executive, said in a press release.

Collingsworth also serves on the board of Women's World Banking, a nonprofit microfinance organization, and The Parents Union, a Seattle group that focus on education reform.

Banner's net income rose 61% in the first quarter from a year earlier, to $11.6 million, or 60 cents a share. The company operates Banner Bank in Walla Walla and Islanders Bank in Friday Harbor, Wash.

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