Photo Release -- Center Bancorp, Inc. Announces Key Executive Promotions

Photo Release -- Center Bancorp, Inc. Announces Key Executive Promotions  UNION, N.J., Feb. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNBC) (the "Corporation", or "Center"), parent company of Union Center National Bank ("UCNB" or the "Bank"), announced today the promotion of a number of individuals to key positions within the organization.  UCNB Logo  Michael J. McGrover  Michael J. McGrover, Sr. Vice  President  Mark S. Cardone  Mark S. Cardone, Sr. VP,  Branch Administration &  Private Banking  France Delle Donne  France Delle Donne, Sr.  VP, Communications & PR  Joseph D. Gangemi  Joseph D. Gangemi, VP,  Investor Relations  Photos accompanying this release are available at:  http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=17322  http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=17323  http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=17324  http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=17325  "Union Center National Bank is committed to a culture of excellence at every level of the organization. The promotions announced today will allow the company to better position itself for continued growth, higher level of client service and communications, and to greater visibility," stated Bank President & CEO Anthony C. Weagley. "It is with immense pleasure I announce the promotion of several key team members who play an integral role in shaping Union Center National Bank's strategy and performance,"said Mr. Weagley.  Mark S. Cardone, who held the title of senior vice president, retail banking services, was named first senior vice president; a newly created title at the Bank. "Mark will continue in his role as head of retail, shifting focus to our strategic niches, managing markets, and the Bank's Private Banking and Wealth Management division," said Mr. Weagley.Cardone will oversee the entire Private Banking division and its team of executives who provide investment management and fiduciary services to a variety of clients, including individuals, growing businesses, corporations, nonprofit and religious organizations, retirement accounts, and trust and estate relationships.  Mark Cardone joined the Bank in 2001 as senior vice president, branch administration. Prior to joining UCNB, Mr. Cardone held various senior leadership positions with Summit Bank and Fleet Bank covering the northern New Jersey market.Mark is a graduate of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and resides with his family in New Providence, NJ.  Michael J. McGrover, who held the title of senior vice president and senior lender, was promoted to first senior vice presidentand continuing to oversee lending for the Bank. "Mike has brought tremendous energy and experience to the Bank complemented by his leadership skills. He will continue to play a critical role in growing and diversifying our loan portfolio; one of several strategies we want to employ toward improving the Bank's performance," said Anthony C. Weagley, Bank President & CEO.  Mr. McGrover joined Center in early 2012 from Spencer Savings Bank, where he was vice president, commercial and industrial lending, for nine years. Prior to Spencer, Mike McGrover was vice president and credit officer with PNC Bank. He resides with his family in Newton, NJ.  France Delle Donne who held the title of vice president, communications and public relations, was named to senior vice president.France, in addition to her existing role, will with this promotion also assume direction for the bank's marketing & advertising division. "France has been key in our communications and proved instrumental in the elevation and visibility of our brand image," stated Anthony C. Weagley.  Ms. Delle Donne, who joined the Bank in May 2012, came from the Morristown Partnership where she was Director of Development for six years. Before that she served on a number of not-for-profit organizations Boards, including The Peck School, Morris County Tourism Bureau, and Junior League of Morristown, and was with Merrill Lynch. France and her family reside in New Vernon, NJ.  Joseph D. Gangemi, who held the title of vice president, investor relations, and corporate secretary, was promoted to senior vice president and chief of staff; a newly created position. President and CEO of Center, Anthony C. Weagley, noted, "Through the creation of this new position our Board has provided a platform for Joseph, a key member of our leadership team, in the executive offices in addition to his current role in investor relations and corporate secretary." Gangemi "Will assume responsibility for leadership in several key areas including treasury, and strategic planning in playing a larger role in charting the course for our bank," added Mr. Weagley.  At the Bank since 2004, Mr. Gangemi has held several positions at the Bank and Corporations' executive offices. He is currently a student at the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Joseph Gangemi lives with his family in Califon, NJ.  Union Center Also announced the promotion of Raymond Tirtadjaja to assistant vice president. Raymond currently handles IT for the Bank and acts as the liaison with our outsourced vendors. Mr. Tirtadjaja joined Union Center National Bank in 1996 and has held various positions since including Systems Analyst and IT Manager. He became a Bank officer in 2007 and resides in Hillside, NJ.  "These people are exceptionally talented individuals who have grown and developed their knowledge through some of the most challenging years the banking industry has ever experienced," said Anthony C. Weagley."They have been strong contributors to the success of our bank," added Mr. Weagley.  About Center Bancorp  Center Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company, which operates Union Center National Bank, its main subsidiary. Chartered in 1923, Union Center National Bank is one of the oldest national banks headquartered in the state of New Jersey and now ranks as the third largest national bank headquartered in the state.Union Center National Bank is currently the largest commercial bank headquartered in Union County. Its primary market niche is its commercial banking business. The Bank focuses its lending activities on commercial lending to small and medium-sized businesses, real estate developers and high net worth individuals.  The Bank, through its Private Banking and Wealth Management Division, which includes its wholly-owned subsidiary, Center Financial Group LLC, provides personalized wealth management and advisory services to high net worth individuals and families. Our services include banking, liquidity management, investment services, custody, tailored lending, wealth planning, trust and fiduciary services, insurance, family wealth advisory services and philanthropic advisory services.The Bank, through a strategic partnership between the Bank's Private Banking Division and Alexander, Troy & Company ("AT&CO."), Family Office Services, of Katonah, New York, provides customized financial and administrative services to high-net worth individuals.  Center also through a strategic partnership with Compass Financial Management, LLC and ING offers pension/401(k) planning services.Compass is an Investment Advisory Company with five decades of cumulative experience providing investment services in a personal, professional and attentive manner.They provide discretionary private investment management for individuals and corporate accounts as well as 401(k) advisory services.  The Bank currently operates 15 banking locations in Union, Morris and Bergen Counties in New Jersey. Banking centers are located in Union Township (5 locations), Berkeley Heights, Boonton/Mountain Lakes,Madison, Millburn/Vauxhall, Morristown, Oakland, Saddle River, Springfield, and Summit, New Jersey. The Bank's primary market area is comprised of Union, Morris and Bergen Counties, New Jersey. Also, the Corporation opened the new Englewood banking center, located in downtown Englewood, NJ, in December 2012.  For further information regarding Center Bancorp, Inc., please visit our web site at http://www.centerbancorp.com or call (800) 862-3683. For information regarding Union Center National Bank, please visit our web site at www.ucnb.com.  The Center Bancorp, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=17314  The Union Center National Bank logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=17321  Forward-Looking Statements  All non-historical statements in this press release (including statements regarding the opening of the Corporation's Englewood branch, the effects of the Corporation's balance sheet restructuring, the Corporation's ability to derive optimized long-term shareholder returns, the ability of the Corporation to leverage its regional and central infrastructure, the effects of the Corporation's strategic planning efforts, the ability of the Corporation to expand its franchise and services, the ability of the Corporation to recognize improved margins in future quarters, the likelihood of the Corporation's reporting growth in the fourth quarter, the Corporation's ability to disburse the Corporation's undisbursed loan commitments, the lack of material anticipated losses from the Corporation's non-accrual loans and the timing of foreclosure actions) constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may use forward-looking terminology such as "expect," "look," "believe," "plan," "anticipate," "may," "will" or similar statements or variations of such terms or otherwise express views concerning trends and the future. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, the direction of interest rates, continued levels of loan quality and origination volume, Center Bancorp's ability to integrate Saddle River Valley Bank's branches into Center Bancorp's branch network, continued relationships with major customers including sources for loans, as well as the effects of international, national, regional and local economic conditions and legal and regulatory barriers and structure, including those relating to economic recovery and the deregulation of the financial services industry, and other risks cited in the Corporation's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports filed by the Corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Center Bancorp, Inc. assumes no obligation for updating any such forward-looking statement at any time.  CONTACT: Investor Inquiries:          Joseph D. Gangemi          Senior Vice President,          Investor Relations          908.206.2863           Media Inquiries :          France Delle Donne          Senior Vice President,          Communications & PR          908.206.2668  Center Bancorp, Inc. Logo