March 2, 2018        

Senate Reg. Relief Bill Vote May Come Next Week
The big bipartisan regulatory relief bill co-sponsored by Georgia Sen. David Perdue and supported by Sen. Johnny Isakson may come up for a vote as early as next week. We continue to work with their staffs to help them understand all the ways in which the provisions in the legislation can help most Georgia banks and their customers. Among the key provisions in the bill, S. 2155, are a Qualified Mortgage designation for all mortgages held in portfolio entered into with banks having assets of $10 billion or less, a substantial increase in the SIFI designation threshold and relief from stress tests and exam requirements for certain institutions. GBA will be signing on to a letter in support of the bill Friday with other state associations, and ABA President Rob Nichols sent a strong letter to the entire Senate Thursday. Please take the opportunity to voice your encouragement for our Senators to continue their support of the bill. If you have specific examples of how the provisions would help make it easier for your customers to do business with you, let them know about it. Here’s how to reach them quickly and easily...
Georgia Bank Earnings Jump 13.7 Percent in 2017
Our state-based banks had a good year in 2017, with cumulative earnings of $3.4 billion, an increase of 13.7 percent over the previous year. Total deposits, loans and assets all increased during the year. "There is a lot to be happy about in the year-end results. For the first time in a while the cumulative industry ROA and ROE was higher than the national average, and net interest margin was also above the national level," said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO. Consolidated earnings for Georgia's community banks with $100 million or less in assets were up 14.2 percent. Loans at those banks as a group were up 2.4 percent. As part of its advocacy efforts, GBA shared a news release picked up by statewide media outlets detailing some of the year-end highlights…
We're Accepting Nominations and Volunteers for 2018-2019 Committees
We're starting the process of working with GBA's 20 standing committees and boards to make sure they're fully stocked with engaged, passionate Georgia bankers who want to make sure your association is meeting member needs. Getting involved in this way is a great way to meet people, learn, share and to give back to banking. GBA relies on member volunteers to shape the association's advocacy efforts, educational program needs assessment and planning, the products and services we provide members and in our role as the industry's principal voice to the media and general public. Click here to read more about GBA's committees and boards and their roles. To nominate a fellow banker or to volunteer yourself, click here...

The nominations and volunteer deadline is Friday, March 30.
Joe Brannen and Bob Evans
Cordele Rotary Hears about Extraordinary Impact Bankers Make
GBA's public advocacy for the banking industry made a stop in Cordele this week. Colony Bank's Bob Evans invited GBA's Joe Brannen to speak to the Cordele Rotary Club about the state of the industry. Brannen detailed the evolving nature of banking in Georgia, shared the year-end performance stats just out from the FDIC and talked about evolving banking trends for both the industry and communities we serve. And, he ended by sharing examples of how bankers, in the ordinary course of their jobs of making loans and serving customers, have an extraordinary effect on people in our communities. Read more about our visit with Cordele Rotary here…
National Roundup
Signals of Support for Key Industry Positions on Many Fronts

Some of the week's headlines on the national stage indicate growing support for several key positions important to GBA members. Learn more about those here…
FDIC Ombudsman Meeting with GBA Highlights Banker Resources
We were pleased to visit recently in Atlanta with Anthony Lowe, director of the FDIC Office of the Ombudsman. Lowe met with GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen Feb. 8 to reiterate all the ways in which the Office of the Ombudsman can be of help to bankers. He stressed that Georgia bankers not hesitate to contact Edye Fulcher, Regional Ombudsman for the Atlanta Region, if there's any problem or complaint with the FDIC that is not involved in litigation, arbitration, or mediation. Fulcher's contact information is, 678.916.2184.
Senior Lenders Shared Insight at February Roundtables
All four GBA Senior Lending Officer Roundtables met last month in Macon and Atlanta under the new guidance of Karl Nelson, founder and CEO of KPN Consulting. The groups jumped right in with discussion of recent exam experiences, tax reform, CRE guidance, FinTech, relationship banking, efficiency ratios and much more. These roundtables help leaders expand their resource pool to consider creative solutions to tough problems while forging the peer connections that are essential for bankers whose career paths are developing toward becoming industry executives. We have openings in two of the roundtables, so if you are a senior lender and would like to join one, click here for more information or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.
Zero Fail Mission
Former Air Force One Pilot to Speak at Annual Meeting

Chosen as the nation's 12th Presidential Pilot, Col. (ret.) Mark Tillman served as pilot and commander of Air Force One from 2001-2009. Col. Tillman was at the controls of Air Force One through numerous national events. Most notably, he protected the President on Sept. 11, 2001, by keeping him out of harm's way and connecting the flying oval office to the nation's first responders. Tillman will take you behind the scenes of Air Force One, utilizing his experiences to reinforce the importance of the Zero Fail Mission during his upcoming presentation. This is just one of the great sessions scheduled for our Annual Meeting on June 17-20 at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA. Click here to learn more…
Learn the Secrets of the Ritz Carlton's Service at GBA's Leadership Conference
Explore the award-winning business practices of The Ritz-Carlton and discover how a service excellence culture results in engaged employees and customers. John Cashion corporate director, The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, Chevy Chase, MD, will share his thoughts on differentiating your bank/firm from the competition, selecting and onboarding new employees, the three levels of customer engagement, and much more. Leadership GBA's annual Leadership Conference. Click here to learn more and sign up…
BankPAC Clay Shoot a Huge Success
Leadership GBA's inaugural BankPAC Clay Shooting event was a huge success with more than 60 bankers, Bank Counsel Members and Associate Members participating. "The show of support for our first clay shoot was terrific," said Wade Johnson, Leadership GBA president and executive vice president at Durden Banking Company, Twin City. "We're proud Leadership GBA can play a key role in increasing participation in the BankPAC each year." First place went to the team from The Claxton Bank, with second place going to the Steve H. Powell & Company team. A special thank you to the tournament sponsors that helped make the tournament a success. Click here for a list of those who sponsored. Click here for a Facebook photo gallery...
GBAIT Members Meet
A big group of HR administrators for GBA Insurance Trust member companies were at our offices this week. The meeting was one of five being held around the state for members as training for the new GBA Insurance Trust online enrollment portal. GBAIT CEO Dan Thomason also briefed the participants about claims trends and details about how the Trust works to keep costs in check. With questions, contact Danielle Driggers, 404.420.2002.
Last Call! GBA's 2018 Operations and Technology Conference Is Next Week
The GBA Operations and Technology Conference kicks off next Wednesday afternoon, March 7, in Atlanta. There's still time to reserve your spot. There will also be Pre-Conference Sessions Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Three registration packages are available: pre-conference only, conference only, or both. The conference will be at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest. Register today by clicking here. Contact GBA's Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.
Learn How to Be a 'Tactical Talker' at GBA HR Professionals Institute
How do we diffuse a situation instead of adding the proverbial spark to a burgeoning fire? At the GBA HR Professionals Institute, March 21-23, Corporal Eric Rooks, crime prevention Coordinator - Special Operations with the Gwinnett County Police Department, will explain "verbal de-escalation" and teach you how to be a tactical talker. You'll leave this session with tools you can implement to master any conflict. Cpl. Rooks is a 23-year police veteran, holds multiple law enforcement certifications and is a certified Crime Prevention Practitioner and police instructor. The conference will be at the Westin on Jekyll Island. Be sure to register by March 7 to save $50 on the registration fee. Click here to see details and to register online. Contact GBA's Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.
Bank Security Conference Agenda to Feature Victim Advocacy Specialist
As a security professional in your financial institution, you must deal with unexpected and frightening circumstances. At GBA's 2018 Bank Security Conference, April 12-13 at the King and Prince Hotel on St. Simons, FBI Victim Specialist Nancy Uveges will explain how bank security officers can become better equipped to detect, prevent and respond to these scary situations and help the victims who are affected. As a member of the FBI Victim Services Response Team (VSRT), she has responded to mass casualty incidents around the country, including the Boston Marathon bombings, the EAME church shooting in Charleston, SC, and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. The registration price is $350 through March 29. Click here to register online, see a conference agenda or for hotel info. Contact GBA's Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.
In Memoriam
Jim L. Gillis, Jr. GBA's Oldest Former Chairman

We're sad to report the death of our former chairman Jim L. Gillis, Jr. at the age of 101. "Mr. Jim L. contributed so much to our state and industry. He was GBA chairman in 1962-63 and remained active in banking his entire life. Coming from one of Georgia's prominent pioneer families seemed to burn in him a desire to make Georgia a better place as he always sought ways to serve. He leaves a legacy like few others," said GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen. In addition to his service to the banking industry, Gillis served as a county commissioner, served as chairman of the boards of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, the Georgia Forestry Commission and is a former president of the American Turpentine Farmers Association. He is the founder of the Ohoopee River Soil and Water Conservation District and is a member of the National Association of Conservation Districts Hall of Fame. Both he and his brother, the late Hugh Gillis, served in the Georgia State Senate. We send our sympathies to his banking colleagues at the Bank of Soperton where he was longtime chairman, and to his extended family and friends. Services were held Wednesday at the Soperton First Baptist Church.
Marketing Peer Group Goes on Campus May 9
Come join us May 9 for a day-long Marketing Peer Group session in Athens. We will start the day with roundtable discussions, where we will discuss peer issues and share valued resources. After lunch, we will join first-year Banking School students for a session about Consumer Behavior taught by Marcus Cunha, professor of Marketing at the University of Georgia. All Georgia bank marketing professionals would benefit from attending this unique opportunity. Registration is $175 per person. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Alison Moreau at 404.420.2034.
Online Classes - March Offerings
Facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. These courses have weekly assignments as well as midterm and final exams. Any employee of a GBA member company can participate at the member rate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member. All you need is a computer, printer and Internet access.
These ABA online classes are coming up in March...
Documenting Your Debit Card Risk Assessment - April 3
Debit card losses are at a high today with breaches, cloned cards, brute force attacks and other unauthorized and fraudulent activity. On April 3 at 2:30 p.m., the Documenting Your Debit Card Risk Assessment webinar will focus on all applicable risks including operational, fraud, third party, compliance, reputational and credit risks impacting your bank's debit card program and outline those areas that should be examined periodically to ensure your bank's debit card program is sustainable and scalable based on regulatory guidance, expectations and incident response plans. Terri Sands, CAMS - Audit, CFE, AAP, ACT Specialist, Director of Financial Investigative Unit for State Bank & Trust and the founder of Secura Risk Management, will cover the following…
Seven Topics You Won't Want to Miss at CECL Workshop April 4
With the Financial Accounting Standards Board issuing its final rule for new loan loss accounting standards in June 2016 and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act being passed in December 2017, the banking industry is facing the most dramatic accounting change in a decade and significant changes in tax laws. Member bankers can evaluate where they are in the implementation process of the new rules and much more at GBA's Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) Workshop April 4 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Representatives from Mauldin & Jenkins and Bryan Cave, LLP will cover the following…
Cash Flow Analysis Seminar - April 17
If you're a lender new to banking operating companies or just needing a refresher on cash flow analysis, join Peter Faser of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey at GBA's Cash Flow Analysis seminar April 17 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon for an introduction and practical approach to this topic. This seminar is designed to help participants craft a statement of cash flows, improve the quality of credit decisions and increase the understanding of how a potential borrower will repay your loan. Participants will learn to…
New Account Documentation and Compliance - April 18
GBA's New Account Documentation & Compliance seminar with Suzie Jones of Training Resources Consulting, will teach new-account personnel about proper account opening procedures and compliance requirements, crucial pieces of information for every new account, the fundamental questions that should be asked of every potential accountholder and much more. Participants will receive the seminar manual customized to Georgia state law and are strongly encouraged to bring a copy of their institutions' signature cards and account agreement. Register by April 10 for the early-bird price of $225 per person. Click here to register online. Please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021 with questions.
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. To make the process of posting a job or resume easier and to answer any questions you may have, we've developed this Q & A document as a resource. It outlines how to submit open positions and resumes, our deadlines and timelines for posting, and other helpful details. If you have any questions, please contact GBA's Bo Brannen at 404.420.2014.
First American Bank & Trust
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 Bo Brannen and David Oliver, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment...
For Sale...
Vinings Bank has a finished teller line, including counter tops, under counter steel cash vaults, and bullet resistant glass fronts available for sale. These items are priced to sell! Please contact Mike Sims at or 404.735.6553 for additional information.
Vinings Bank
Teller Line for Sale...
PrimeSouth Bank
left to right: Patrick Parker, Jim Walker,
John Rogers, Gordon Strother
Read All About It: Send Us Your News
Please remember to include the Georgia Bankers Association on the list of recipients for announcements about promotions, new employees and special recognition your bank has received. We want to share your news with your colleagues across the state. Please forward your announcements and photos to GBA's David Oliver and Bogan Brannen