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01/27/17
Highlands Union Bank expands High Country Presence

ABINGDON, VA, January 27, 2017 –Highlands Union Bank announced today that it has hired five experienced bankers to further serve the growing High Country business community, which includes Watauga County, North Carolina and surrounding counties.

Leading Highlands’ High Country market will be David Lecka (dlecka@hubank.com), who will oversee all banking activities ensuring outstanding customer service for its existing High Country customers and executing the bank’s planned expansion across the multi-county region. Lecka is a Banner Elk, North Carolina native and resident. He has nearly 15 years banking experience all of which is in the High Country. Prior to joining Highlands, he served as the City President of Avery County, North Carolina for United Community Bank.

Along with Lecka, the new team members include:

Matt Bagley (mbagley@hubank.com), Financial Advisor and Certified Financial PlannerTM, is a Boone, North Carolina resident with 10 years of investment advisory experience of which six is in the High Country. He previously worked at Bank of America and Wells Fargo and joined Highlands from Edward Jones. Bagley is a graduate of Watauga Leadership Challenge.

Bill Caroselli (bcaroselli@hubank.com), Commercial Relationship Manager, is a Boone resident with 11 years commercial banking experience of which six is in the High Country. He previously worked at BB&T and joined Highlands from Community One. Caroselli is a graduate of Watauga Leadership Challenge.

Melissa Potter (mpotter@hubank.com), Mortgage Advisor, is a Newland, North Carolina native and resident with 16 years of banking experience exclusively in the High Country. She previously worked at Yadkin Bank and joined Highlands from Community One. Potter is a graduate of Watauga Leadership Challenge.

Mindy Anderson Smith (msmith@hubank.com), Business Services Manager, is a Spruce Pine, North Carolina native and Elk Park, North Carolina resident with 14 years banking experience of which 10 is in the High Country. Previously, she held roles at SunTrust, the former Wachovia, and United Community Bank.

"Highlands has an outstanding High Country team having been recognized as Best Bank for two consecutive years. With the addition of our new team, we are further investing in the region to ensure we offer the highest skill and service level to High Country’s private business owners, professionals, and individuals," said Timothy K. Schools, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Each of these individuals are highly accomplished and active in the community. Through mergers or the changes that often come with larger companies, they each were seeking something different and sought out Highlands for its unique, personal, and creative delivery of financial services. We are thrilled to have them on our team.”

The northern counties of Western North Carolina and Johnson County, Tennessee, the High Country, have over 300,000 residents and is comprised primarily of private businesses, professionals, and entrepreneurs. It is a growing economy led by the agriculture, education, manufacturing, retail, and recreation/tourism sectors. Home to Banner Elk, Blowing Rock, Boone, and Linville, the area is often referred to as the Aspen of the east helping it become a highly desireable place to live and retire. Among other things, the High Country is recognized for being the Christmas Tree capital of America, having many of the southeast’s leading golf courses and ski resorts, and Appalachian State University.

Additional High Country management members include:

Lisa Adams (ladams@hubank.com), Branch Manager, is a Zionville, North Carolina native and Wilkesboro, North Carolina resident with 16 years of banking experience all of which has been with Highlands in the High Country. She is a current participant in the Watauga Leadership Challenge.

Bettie Shomaker (bshomaker@hubank.com), Branch Manager, is a Beech Mountain, North Carolina native and Banner Elk resident with 45 years of banking experience all of which has been in the High Country. Previously, she was employed at Bank of America and joined Highlands in 2002.

Garrett Shore (gshore@hubank.com), Commercial Relationship Manager, is a Lexington, North Carolina native and Seven Devils, North Carolina resident with 13 years of banking experience all of which has been in the High Country. He previously worked at BB&T and joined Highlands in 2005. He is a current participant in the Watauga Leadership Challenge.


About Highlands

Highlands provides a relationship-based and highly personal banking experience to small to mid-sized private businesses, professionals, and other individuals. Focused on providing value to each and every customer, Highlands delivers banking services through highly skilled employees, digital channels, as well as 14 branches located in Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, and Southwest Virginia.

Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements relating to financial and operational performance and certain plans, expectations, goals and projections. Although the Company believes that its expectations with respect to the forward-looking statements are based upon reliable assumptions within the bounds of its knowledge of its business and operations, these statements are inherently subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurances that actual results, performance or achievements will not differ materially from those set forth or implied in the forward-looking statements. For an explanation of the risks and uncertainties associated with forward-looking statements, see the risk factors and other cautionary language included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are based upon information available at the time of the release, and the Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

For more information about Highlands, visit the company’s website at hubank.com.