MELANIE J. DRESSEL
President and Chief Executive Officer
Columbia Banking System, Inc. and Columbia Bank
Melanie J. Dressel was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Bank, the sole commercial banking subsidiary of Columbia Banking System, Inc. in January 2000, and has served as CEO of Columbia Banking System, Inc. (COLB) since February of 2003. Columbia Banking System, Inc., is the holding company for Columbia State Bank, headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, with over 150 branches in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Dressel joined Columbia Bank in 1993, at the beginning of the Company’s major expansion into Tacoma/Pierce County, as senior vice president of private banking. In May 1997, Dressel was promoted to executive vice president of retail banking where she directed the operations, investments, private banking and marketing/communications divisions of Columbia Bank, as well as the branch network.
Prior to Columbia, Dressel directed the private banking division of Puget Sound Bank. Between 1974 and 1988, she held various positions with the Bank of California.
Ms. Dressel is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science. She is a member on the Boards of Puget Sound Energy (Chair), Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma (past Chair), Washington Bankers Association (past Chair), Washington Roundtable, and the Washington State Historical Society. She also serves on the American Bankers Council, the ABA Grassroots Committee, the Bellarmine Benefactors’ Trust, and is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC).
In the past, she served as a Board member of The American Bankers Association. She further served as Chair of the Boards of Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation, Bellarmine Preparatory School and Tacoma/Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. Other past volunteer activities include serving on the board and executive committees for various organizations, including the Tacoma Art Museum and United Way of Pierce County.
Melanie Dressel was honored as 2011 Community Banker of the Year by American Banker Magazine, and was also named in 2014 for the sixth time by the magazine as one of The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking. Ms. Dressel was awarded CEO of the Year by Seattle Business Magazine’s inaugural Executive Excellence Awards in January 2013. For the eighth consecutive year, Columbia Bank was named as one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Washington’s Best Workplaces 2014.” Columbia Bank ranked in the top 20 on the 2015 Forbes list of best banks in the country, as well as ranking the best in Washington and second in the Pacific Northwest for the fourth year in a row.