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December 14, 2018

Farm Bill Passes with GBA Support

The U.S. House and Senate this week passed the $867-billion 2018 Farm Bill. GBA was among many other industry and trade groups from around the country signing on to a letter of support for the bill to House members as they prepared to vote on the bill Wednesday. The FDIC recognizes 22 Georgia banks as those with concentrations in agribusiness loans, and many more than that do business with customers from Georgia’s number-one industry in a variety of ways. This year’s bill includes important crop insurance provisions and USDA loan guarantees. "Getting this bill passed was crucial to so many of our producers and it brings much-needed certainty to our farm customers who have been struggling with lower commodity prices and the aftereffects of hurricanes hitting Georgia the past two years," said GBA Agriculture Committee chair Todd Harrell, vice president and senior lending officer of United National Bank, Cairo. Read about the team that worked to get it passed and some provisions in the bill here.

Scenes from the GBA Credit Conference

Here are some views of the GBA Credit Conference underway this week. We’ll highlight some of the program content in next week’s issue.

Advocacy Update

Biennial State Legislative Institute Convenes

Current and newly elected members of the Georgia General Assembly met this week in Athens to hear about issues coming up in the 2019 session that will convene on Jan. 14, 2019. GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler was there to hear what’s on the minds of those in attendance, and the agenda was heavy on rural development needs, the state budget and hearing from Governor-elect Brian Kemp and Lt. Governor-elect Geoff Duncan. We look forward to working with them as well as the 35-plus newly elected members of the General Assembly. There are three special elections pending that we will watch closely. We will begin publishing the GBA Legislative Update once the General Assembly convenes. With questions, please contact Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.
Edwards, Brannen and Jordan

Planning for 2019 Federal Initiatives Underway

Georgia bankers were well-represented this week as leaders from across the country gathered as part of the ABA’s Government Relations Council to discuss legislative and regulatory priorities for the coming year. Walker Jordan, Bank of Monticello, represents our state on the council. Also attending the meeting were ABA vice chair, Jim Edwards, United Bank, Griffin, and GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen. "This was my first meeting as our newly appointed representative, and I was impressed with what I saw. Meeting with bankers like me from all over the country reinforced how much we have in common. There is also a lot of passion for continuing to make progress on regulatory relief like we saw from the bipartisan bill passed earlier this year. We’ll certainly have our work cut out for us, but we’ve got a track record of navigating through Congress regardless of which party is in control. And we’ll be working closely with all the federal banking regulators as they implement rules coming out of the reg relief bill and taking a fresh look at things like BSA/AML and CRA rules," said Jordan. Read insights from the gathering here.

Powell Confirmed for Economic/Legislative Forum

The VIP lineup of speakers for our annual Economic and Legislative Forum Jan. 16 keeps getting better. This week state Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) accepted our invitation to speak about the key rural development issues he’s been spearheading as co-chair of the House Rural Development Council and chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Powell joins FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic and Georgia Banking Commissioner Kevin Hagler as confirmed speakers. We’ve got a big crowd registered already, so you’ll definitely want to join your peers for this important advocacy event, which leads in to our annual Legislative Reception honoring our state’s elected officials. The forum begins at 3 p.m. and the reception starts at 6 p.m., and it’s all at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Downtown. Get details and register here.
Related: Don’t forget to reserve your room at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta (downtown) before the Dec. 19 cut-off (that’s next Wednesday) to secure our $199 group rate. Make reservations by calling 404.577.1234.

Of Adding Machines and Good Habits with Dawn Griffin

In her very first job as a savings and loan teller in Mobile, AL, Liberty First Bank President and CEO Dawn Griffin recorded all transactions by hand and worked into the evenings until the entire system was balanced. "I became quite good at running a 10-key adding machine," she said. "The one practice that has stuck with me all these many years is to do it right!" Griffin is chair of GBA Services, Inc., and in this week’s GBA member profile she discusses her accidental entry into the banking industry, the need for members to rely on GBA for recommendations of services, her family role as "Honey" to four little boys and more. Read her full profile here.
Kraninger and Waters

Kraninger Sworn in at CFPB, Waters Nominated to Head House Banking Committee

The CFPB’s new boss started work this week, and there’s soon to be a new head of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. Stay tuned, because the two will certainly cross paths soon. New CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger was sworn in this week and asserted her intent to be fully independent from her predecessor in remarks to reporters. "I am incredibly grateful to Mick Mulvaney, he was a fantastic boss for two years... But I can tell you that I am here to be the director of this bureau and I will be fully accountable for the decisions that I make going forward and they will be mine," she said. She did voice support for Mulvaney’s actions to scale back certain types of supervision he viewed as regulating through enforcement rather than rulemaking. Across town at the Capitol U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) was officially nominated to be the next chair of the House Financial Services Committee. She said she’ll focus on consumer protection, affordable housing, innovation and holding the Trump administration accountable. "Of particular importance is ensuring that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not dismantled by Trump’s appointees. This critical agency must be allowed to resume its work of protecting consumers from unfair, deceptive or abusive practices without interference from the Trump Administration," she said.

Ports Continue to Thrive

News out of the Georgia Ports Authority this week is good. Our state’s ports are expected to break records for container handling this year. The state’s ports have grown the amounts of containers handled for 25 consecutive months, and November’s total at the Port of Savannah was up 11.4 percent. "Every additional container we move means new business in trucking, rail and warehousing," said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. "The ripple effect of the success at Georgia’s ports means additional jobs and income coming to our neighbors and communities across the state." Also, last week Gov. Nathan Deal, along with representatives of the Georgia Ports Authority, the Greater Hall Chamber and Norfolk Southern Railroad announced plans to make Hall County the site of the GPA’s next inland port.

Unique Idea for Putting Bankers where Prospects Are

There’s a popular trend in many metro markets toward shared or "co-working" office space where a variety of people and businesses rent small, short-term office space. It’s a trend that one GBA member thinks presents a good way for bankers to strategically position some business development talent. In a blog post, CenterState Bank’s Chris Nichols says banks can put some employees in these shared office concepts as a way to save costs, allow flexibility and have them work close to a core group of potential customers. The post cites statistics showing that high percentages of companies located in co-working spaces need banking services and actually have longevity to their businesses. And, renting a co-working space for a bank employee can usually be done for periods as short as three months, so there’s opportunity for experimentation with little risk, Nichols says. Read more here.

De Novo Accelerator Series Concludes, Archive Available

Throughout the fall we’ve been honored to co-present a deep look at all that’s needed to get a new bank up and running in today’s environment. The seven-part De Novo Bank Accelerator Webinar series concluded Wednesday with an overview of lessons learned and a rare behind-the-scenes look at how one bank did it. Jim Pope, the organizing CEO of KeyWorth Bank, which opened in 2007 and merged with Renasant Bank in 2016, was our special guest. He detailed his experiences from the time he and his fellow organizers decided to start a bank throughout the full startup cycle, and how the lessons he and his team learned may be applied today. Thank you to our partners in developing the series, James Stevens of Troutman Sanders and Tim Keadle of Porter Keadle Moore. And, also a big thanks to the 20 experts including top de novo consultants, attorneys, accountants, regulators, insurance providers, correspondent and investment bankers, IT specialists and industry trade group professionals who were featured during the series. See who they all were and access the full archive of each session online here: De Novo Bank Accelerator Series Archive. There’s no cost, and the archive includes the audio recording and associated presentations, as well as contact information and bios of each presenter.

Shoot for BankPac

Leadership GBA will host the second-annual Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clay Tournament Feb. 7 at Old Hudson Plantation in Sparta (Greensboro area). This four-shooter scramble tournament is lots of fun and a great way to entertain clients or even invite local leaders to network. We had more than 60 participants in the inaugural event last year. Here are the key details: Registration is $500 per four-person team or $150 per person. Special Offer: Stand Sponsorship + Four-Shooter Team = $700 (a $150 discount!). The price covers 100 targets for each shooter, cart, lunch and reception. To sign up, just click here. If you don’t shoot but want to show your support, sponsorships are available. Click here for more information. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.

Three new Members Join GBA Retirement Services

GBA Retirement Services, Inc. is thrilled to welcome three new members to the Master Trust in 2019: Newton Federal Bank, Covington, Johnny Smith, CEO; Oconee State Bank, Watkinsville, Neil Stevens, CEO; and Stuckey Timberland, Eastman, Wade Hall, CEO. It has been a pleasure working with and getting to know more of their employees. See below for pictures from some of our participant education meetings at various locations last week. We look forward to providing outstanding service to these members and their employees in the years to come. Click here for more information on GBA Retirement Services’ offerings.
Newton Federal Bank
Oconee State Bank

2019 Seminars - Registration Open!

GBA Strategic Partner FMS Helps Banks with Marketing, Branding, Social Media and More

Digital marketing channels such as email, social media, blogs, online display ads, search engine optimization, and search engine and mobile marketing are important for winning new business from today's bank customers. GBA Strategic Partner Financial Marketing Solutions, or simply FMS, is a group of strategists and creative thinkers who serve banks, and only banks. The bank brands and other projects that endeavor to create are unique, crafted with care, personal devotion and obvious passion. Creativity is critically important to them, but their work also has to be strategic or it’s just marketing fluff. FMS knows that a solid brand campaign will accomplish goals, impact the bottom line, affect positive change and be memorable recognizable no matter where your customers are. The GBA has been proud to endorse FMS as a GBA Strategic Partner since 2007. For more information, please contact Sean Hockenbery of FMS at 615.591.2073. Want to see what FMS has been up to on social media lately? Click below.

Employee Benefit Selections are Easy and Affordable with Holmes-Shaw

Holmes-Shaw has built a full portfolio of complementary products and services around the GBA Insurance Trust's core benefit programs, allowing participants and their employees to expand their benefit selections affordably. See their wide variety of products and services here. With questions or to learn more about how Holmes-Shaw can help your company enhance its current benefit offerings, please contact Bruce Shaw, 770.642.2150.

Online Classes - January

Eight Great Courses Coming up in January

ABA facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Click here to see the eight upcoming courses scheduled to begin in January. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings.

Bank Teller Training for Being Successful in Expanded Role

The ABA Bank Teller Certificate addresses the expanding role of bank tellers. Master core competencies such as cash handling, check cashing, deposit and withdrawal processing, cash payments, and daily settlements of teller cash and proof transactions. Develop a broad understanding of bank products. Build interpersonal skills that are effective with both customers and fellow colleagues. The certificate curriculum is augmented by courses that contribute to the overall professional development of teller associates. These range from courses in ethics, workplace conduct and bank product knowledge to being able to provide value-added customer service through a relationship sales approach. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020.
Fill a Job, Find a Job with the GBA Job Bank
The GBA Job Bank is among the most popular and valuable benefits we provide to member banks and bankers. The Positions Available and Bankers Available sections on our website consistently are among the most visited pages. Best of all, the service costs nothing for member banks and bankers. If you have any questions, please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021.
GBA Community Connections
We want to share all the good work GBA member banks, bankers, Associate Members and Bank Counsel Section members do to support their communities. Read all about the Community Connections our banks and members have below. Share your Community Connections by sending a brief paragraph and any photos of activities you have to us and we'll publish them at our earliest opportunity. Send information to Katina Prokos and David Oliver, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment...
Fidelity Bank
Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co.
Citizens Bank of Laurens County
South State Bank
Legacy State Bank
First Landmark Bank
Georgia Bankers Association
Read All About It: Send Us Your News
We want to share your news with your colleagues around the state. Please forward your announcements about promotions, new employees and special recognition your bank has received along with any available photos to GBA's David Oliver and Katina Prokos.