Personal Business

Highlands Bankshares, Inc. Announces Appointment of John H. Gray as Chief Financial Officer

ABINGDON, VA, April 26, 2017 –Highlands Bankshares, Inc. (OTCQX: HLND) announced today the appointment of John H. Gray as executive vice president and chief financial officer of both the parent company and its banking subsidiary, Highlands Union Bank, subject to regulatory approvals. Gray will report to Timothy K. Schools, president and chief executive officer, and will assume the duties previously held by Jim Edmondson, who recently announced his resignation to pursue a new opportunity. Edmondson will remain with the Company through May 12th to assist with the transition and ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities.

"We are very excited to have John join our team," said Tim Schools. "John's appointment follows an extensive search and evaluation of a number of highly qualified individuals. With his substantial financial and operational experience in one of the industry's most highly regarded and disciplined organizations and more recently at one of the industry's most successful recapitalization and consolidation stories, John will play a leading role in the development and execution of Highlands' strategic plan. He is a great fit for our performance orientation, customer service focus, and fun culture."

"I also want to thank Jim Edmondson for his 20 years of service and commitment to Highlands," said Schools. "He has invested a tremendous amount of time in the Company and is well respected among our employees. Personally, I appreciate his support as we have transformed Highlands over the last year. He will be missed."

Gray joins Highlands from Yadkin Financial Corporation, where he managed the accounting function as Corporate Controller. He joined Yadkin in 2014 and was responsible for accounting policy, general accounting, SEC reporting, and acquisition accounting in addition to being involved in the external audit. He began his career at First Citizens BancShares, Inc. where his involvement over 29 years included accounting policy, financial reporting and analysis, regulatory and SEC reporting, external audit support, and acquisition accounting.

Gray is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, received his bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is an active member and has held several leadership roles at Christ Episcopal Church and is a former board member of Arts Together, Inc. and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

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. For more information about Highlands, visit the company's website at

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