Everett-based Frontier Financial said Chairman Bob Dickson has stepped down and will retire from the board of directors Dec. 31.

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Everett-based Frontier Financial said Monday that Chairman Bob Dickson has stepped down and will retire from the board of directors Dec. 31, citing a desire to devote more time to his family.

Also Monday, new chief executive officers were named for the holding company and wholly owned subsidiary Frontier Bank as they seek to reposition themselves in tough economic times.

Director Pat Fahey — who joined the board in 2006 after stints at Wells Fargo and Pacific Northwest Bank, where he was CEO — will replace Dickson, 75, as chairman of Frontier Financial and Frontier Bank.

Additionally, Fahey, 66, will become CEO of Frontier Financial, replacing John Dickson (Bob Dickson’s son), who moves to president of Frontier Bank.

Meanwhile, director Mike Clementz will become president of Frontier Financial and CEO of Frontier Bank. Clementz was CEO of Frontier Financial from 2003 to 2006.

Frontier Bank, founded in 1978, established a niche over the next three decades making loans to homebuilders, developers and commercial real-estate owners, many of whom are now struggling amid the housing-market downturn.

Fahey said he and Clementz will reposition Frontier as a “traditional community bank,” with an increased focus on lending to small- and medium-size businesses.

“We’re trying to change the business model of the bank to more realistically recognize the environment,” Fahey said. “We and other banks are the ultimate reflection of all the problems going on, and we’re not sitting idly by.”

Frontier stock climbed 37 cents, or 14.5 percent, to $2.92 Monday.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or amartinez@seattletimes.com