October 19, 2018

One South Bank staff load water bottles into a trailer.
Hurricane Michael
Banks, Bankers Work to Recover Quickly

It’s been heartbreaking during the past week to talk with member bankers across Georgia to learn about how much damage Hurricane Michael caused. It’s also been amazing to see just how resilient and effective they’ve been in taking care of their teams and getting banks back open quickly to serve customer and community needs. All banks are back open, even in communities where power hasn’t been fully restored. We’ve been in regular contact with members in the most heavily affected areas and are working to help coordinate discussions with state and federal officials on the variety of resources available. Our Agriculture Committee is fully engaged in looking into state and federal programs that may be available to farmers to help them cope with the devastating crop losses. And, we’re just beginning to hear detailed stories about extraordinary aid and recovery efforts provided by bankers. Read about some of these stories here. Please share your stories with us on our social channels or by email to David Oliver and Katina Prokos. If you have questions about recovery resources, see our comprehensive web page or contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036, or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.
Disaster Fraud Warnings Distributed
FEMA and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) this week issued warnings and details to banks about possible fraud schemes that are common after natural disasters. FEMA officials warned of fraudsters posing as contractors (or unscrupulous contractors themselves). Officials encouraged everyone to raise awareness of disaster-related frauds by sharing information about common scams and red flags with families, friend, neighbors, customers and employees. For more information, visit the FEMA Disaster Fraud Page. FINCEN requested banks affected by the storm to notify it as soon as possible with delays in their ability to file suspicious activity reports. Some red flags that may indicate fraud are:
  • Deposits of multiple Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Red Cross, or other emergency assistance checks or electronic funds transfers into the same bank account, particularly when the amounts of the checks are the same or approximately the same (e.g., $2,000 or $2,358);
  • Cashing of multiple emergency assistance checks by the same individual;
  • Deposits of one or more emergency assistance checks, when the accountholder is a retail business and the payee/endorser is an individual other than the accountholder
  • Opening of a new account with an emergency assistance check, where the name of the potential accountholder is different from that of the depositor of the check.
Read the full FINCEN fraud advisory here.
Don't Delay Registration!
Full Program for GBA 2018 Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 7-8

If you have not already made plans to attend the GBA 2018 Financial Risk Management Conference Nov. 7-8 in Atlanta, don't hesitate. We have a packed agenda, and here are some highlights. Pre-conference info sessions:
  • "Reciprocal Deposits Update" with Danny Capitel, Promontory Interfinancial Services
  • "What’s Working for Depository Investment Portfolio, Actionable Strategies in a Flat Yield Curve Environment" with Orrin Edwards, Raymond James & Associates
General sessions:
  • "The Economy, Fiscal Stimulus, Monetary Policy, Trade Policy and the Financial Markets" with Joe Keating, CenterState Bank
  • "CECL Update" with Ron Mitchell, Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC and Rick Martin, Fiserv
  • "All Eyes on Liquidity - A Regulatory Panel for Community Depositories" moderated by Joel Updegraff, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey
  • "A Practical Approach to Implementing an Enterprise Risk Management Program" with Ken Proctor, Cadre Strategic Risk Management, LLC
  • "Rising Deposit Costs Panel" moderated by Chris Nichols, CenterState Bank
  • "The Payments Utopia and the Future of Paying and Getting Paid" with Terri Sands, CAMS-Audit, CFE, AAP, ACT, Founder, Secura Risk Management
Plus, for our certified professionals, GBA has obtained certification of the conference as a recognized provider of continuing professional education programs by NASBA. Here's how the program looks.
Register Here
The early registration fee is $395 through Oct. 24. Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau with questions, 404.420.2034.

Important Update about Georgia Peanut Bank Week

Here’s an important update about the ongoing Georgia Peanut Bank Week campaign. In the wake of Hurricane Michael last week and the damage done to many parts of middle and South Georgia, South Georgia Banking Company in Tifton, in partnership with the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC), will be collecting monetary donations at all its branches until next Wednesday to fund Peanut Proud peanut butter for families impacted by Hurricane Michael. All collected funds will be used to buy peanut butter. A $1 donation equals one jar of peanut butter and $12 purchases a case of jars. If any other bank (you don’t have to be participating in Peanut Bank Week) would like participate, please contact GPC’s Whitney Brannen, whitney@gapeanuts.com, 229.386.3470. If you would like to learn more about Peanut Proud you can visit their website at www.peanutproud.com. Please consider joining SGBC and GPC in helping the people who need a hand after Hurricane Michael and all our beloved peanut growers in Georgia.
Advocacy in Action
Clayton Rotary Club Hears about Banking Beyond the Headlines
Our public advocacy about the industry was on display Thursday in Clayton. Greg Funkhouser, president, Rabun County Bank invited GBA’s Joe Brannen to talk to his Rotary Club about the state of the industry. Brannen shared with business and civic leaders the current strength in the industry’s performance, some details about changes in interest rates, technology evolution, the regulatory environment and how Georgia’s bankers are in the midst of all the good things going on in their communities. "A lot has changed in banking, but some things haven’t. What hasn’t changed are the bankers who remain at the heart of their communities," he said. "There are 50,000 bankers like Greg and the others in Clayton that make their lives in communities like this all over Georgia. It’s those Georgians who happen to be bankers that make me as confident as ever that our industry will remain relevant, healthy and strong in serving families and businesses for many years to come." GBA often speaks to banker and business groups to share the story about banking beyond the headlines. Contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036, with questions.

GBA in the News

Context Provided for Story about Account Info Access

The Atlanta Journal Constitution Sunday published an investigation into how private investigators get access to detailed information about bank accounts. The story detailed how such services are used at times to collect debts and issue account garnishment orders. Upon referral by member banks, GBA was contacted for the story as a resource. Our messaging was that banks strictly follow consumer privacy laws and are not allowed to provide account details to any unauthorized party. In fact, banks are not even allowed to confirm whether a person in question has an account. We also detailed some of the training and general security protections banks use to keep personal data private. With information provided by members of GBA’s Compliance and Security committees and Bank Counsel Section, our input to the story helped keep the story focused mainly on concerns about the techniques used by the investigator firms and not heavily on bank compliance. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420-2036.
Whaley Re-Elected to FHLB Atlanta Board
Congratulations to Rick Whaley, president and CEO, The Citizens Bank of Americus, on his re-election to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta Board of Directors. The results of the election were announced earlier this week. Whaley will serve a four-year term beginning in January. "Rick has been a tireless and effective advocate for the banks in Georgia that are FHLB Atlanta members during his first term and that’s why the GBA Executive Committee endorsed his re-election bid. We’re pleased he won and appreciate the members who cast their votes in Rick’s favor," said GBA Chairman John Hall, president and CEO, American Pride Bank, Macon.

Graduate School of Banking at LSU Welcomes New Leaders

Thousands of Georgia bankers have completed the rigorous course of study in order to proudly display their certificate of completion from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. The school’s Board of Trustees met last week and welcomed new leadership to the school. Longtime director, Don Woodland, was recognized with the school-owned administrative building named Woodland Hall in his honor. John Jordan, a long time faculty member and retiring Tennessee banker, has been named the school’s new executive director. The new Georgia trustee is Ryan Earnest, president and CEO of Heritage First Bank in Rome. The school’s new president-elect is Mike Allen, State Bank & Trust Company. The board met last week to begin preparation for the 2019 session. More than 50 Georgia bankers are expected to be on campus for the two week session and the senior class will be led by class president, Sam Giddens, Wilcox County State Bank, Ocilla. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.
(L-R) Earnest, Allen,
Joe Brannen and Jordan
(L-R) Woodland and Mac Deaver,
Mississippi Bankers Association
GBA Bankers and Associate Members Tee Up Support of GBA BankPAC
A terrific crowd of GBA bankers and associate members teed off Wednesday at the GBA BankPAC Classic Golf Tournament in Forsyth. Hosted each fall by the Leadership GBA Executive Committee, tournament proceeds benefit GBA’s StatePAC. The top three teams finishing with low net scores were:
  • First Place: Joel Foster, Raymond James & Associates, Atlanta; Walker Jordan, Bank of Monticello;
  • Second Place: Erik Bagwell, CenterState Bank, Atlanta; Holt Redding, Calumet Bank, LaGrange
  • Third Place: Johnny Smith, Newton Federal Bank, Covington; GBA’s David Oliver.
Walker Jordan had the longest drive. Richard Jones, Mauldin & Jenkins, hit closest to the pin, and no one hit the hole in one that would have been worth $20,000. Bagwell and Redding won the putting contest in a one-hole putt-off after tying with Tony Collins, Southern Bank & Trust, Clarkesville, and Jim Stokes, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Atlanta. A special thanks to our Leadership GBA Executive Committee members who volunteered at the event: Keith Anthony, Andrew Ainslie, Jarrod Prickett, Nick Schuster, Brad Sheffield and Jenny Wofford. A huge shout-out to our banks and associate members who showed their support through sponsorship - click here to see the complete list. If you have questions about the BankPAC, contact Elizabeth Chandler, GBA’s Senior Vice President for Government Relations.
Related: Leadership GBA will host the second-annual Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clay Tournament on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at Old Hudson Plantation, Greensboro. Click here to register.
Photos from this year's tournament:
Leadership GBA Executive Committee Huddles
The brain trust representing the top emerging bank leaders from around Georgia met Thursday in Macon to discuss GBA’s programs designed to strengthen leadership talent within the industry. The president of the Leadership GBA Executive Committee this year is Keith Anthony, Planters and Citizens Bank, Forsyth, and Andrew Ainslie, Bank of Madison is president-elect. On the agenda were discussions about the overall program, an update on the Leadership Roundtables, the group’s fundraising activities for the PAC and making sure there’s strong engagement in promoting the Georgia Banking School and other GBA educational opportunities. With questions or ideas, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.
Last Chance to Register for the Fall Marketing Peer Group Meeting
Next Tuesday, Oct. 23, the fall Marketing Peer Group will take place in Macon and it's not too late for bank marketing professionals or anyone with marketing responsibilities to register. The GBA Marketing Peer Group meeting will provide tools and tips to help your bank or company distinguish itself in today's competitive marketplace. Kevin Scott, ADDO, will lead a session on marketing through the lens of customer experience. ADDO is a leadership consultancy that has partnered with Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta Braves and others to engage employees, create innovative programs and build their brand. Peer group participants will also get a session on creating and using videos for marketing by Third Wave Digital, resource sharing and roundtable discussions and a special offer from GBA Associate Member Bank Marketing Center. See the detailed agenda here. Registration is $125 per person. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner at 404.420.2035.
Related: GBA Marketing Committee Chair Deesha Hagwood talks about why it is such a great time to be in bank marketing in a recent interview for AthensCEO. See the video here.

Two weeks away! Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium - Nov. 1

GSU Student Panel on the Next Generation of Community Bankers

Survey after survey shows attracting new talent to the banking industry is a top concern for bank leaders. At the annual Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium Nov. 1 in Statesboro, attendees will hear from a panel of Georgia Southern University finance students about their outlook on careers in the banking industry, with thoughts about community banks in particular. The session will also include a discussion of the importance and experience of internships for both companies and students and include information on resources at Georgia Southern that can help match students with banks interested in internships. See the rest of the program highlights here, and click here for a detailed agenda. This event presented by GBA in partnership with Georgia Southern University. Southeastern Georgia community bankers can still register here. Registration is $159 per person. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.
Please Welcome Two New Bank Counsel Section Members
We’re excited to introduce our E-Bulletin readers to the two newest members of GBA’s Bank Counsel Section: Ms. Dailey Wilson and Mr. Pearson Beardsley both joined earlier this fall. You can find their contact info below. Please take a moment to drop them a welcome note if you have time and get to know them better. Click their photos for full contact information.
K.Dailey Wilson
D. Pearson Beardsley
As a reminder, the GBA Bank Counsel Section was established for two purposes:
  • To identify the banking-related educational needs of attorneys representing GBA members
  • To help GBA provide networking opportunities for the large group of attorneys representing GBA members.
The Section is governed by the Bank Counsel Board of Directors, chaired this year by Cavan Perry, The Citizens Bank, Nashville. See all current GBA Bank Counsel Section Members here. Please contact GBA's Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014, with questions.

Credit Conference - Dec. 13-14

Conference to Feature Favorite Economist Roger Tutterow

An attendee favorite will be back again at the GBA 2018 Credit Conference Dec. 13-14 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center. Dr. Roger Tutterow, professor of economics at Kennesaw State University and Director of the Econometric Center, a research center housed in KSU’s Coles College of Business, will be the featured economist at this year’s meeting. He has served as a consultant on financial economics and statistical modeling for corporate clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to closely held businesses. Conference attendees will get a national and in-depth regional and local look at economic trends and Dr. Tutterow’s forecast. The early registration price is $395 through Nov. 29, and rooms are available in our GBA block at the Waverly Hotel for just $179 per night. Click here to see the conference brochure. Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau with questions, 404.420.2034.
Patti Blenden
Industry Stars Align for GBA Advanced Compliance School Curriculum
Get a head start on planning for a successful new year in your banking career by enrolling in the GBA Advanced Compliance School or Georgia Banking School May 5-10, 2019, at the University of Georgia in Athens. The GBA Advanced Compliance School is a one-year program. The early tuition price is $2,020 through Feb. 8, 2019. Click here to see a snapshot of our all-star line up and courses. Tuition includes: All instruction and school course materials; double occupancy accommodations for Sunday-Thursday nights at the UGA Hotel; daily breakfast and lunch; a welcome barbecue on Sunday, May 5; and daily breaks. Students may request a private room for a $385 surcharge. Click here to apply for the GBA Advanced Compliance School. If you have questions about either school, please contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034, or Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.

Free Training Opportunity: What’s Your Role Administering a 401(k) Plan?

You may be an individual trustee or fiduciary of your retirement plan and not even know if you are making investment or administrative decisions for your bank’s retirement plan. Even when you have an advisor, you and your co-trustees of the plan are often still the ones responsible for approving the recommended fund line-up. Join us at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 25 for the Fiduciary Essentials for Defined Contribution Plans webinar. This training course is built for retirement plan fiduciaries and others involved in the investment process. It will cover the scope of your fiduciary responsibilities and what is needed in order to fulfill the duties as required by law. The webinar will help you better understand your role as a fiduciary, reduce and manage risk and personal liability, select and work with qualified providers, implement a decision making process for participant success and create training documentation for your fiduciary file. This training session is meant for banks that are not members of GBA Retirement Services because GBA Retirement Service’s Discretionary Trustee, Unified Trust, takes on all of GBA Retirement Services’ member banks’ fiduciary responsibilities regarding plan investments. However, everyone is welcome to attend.
Register Here
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. Click here to see some of these products and services. The wide variety helps Holmes-Shaw meet each company's unique needs, and Holmes-Shaw develops programs directly with insurance companies or through strategic partnerships, allowing them to present the best options to its clients. 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.
Help Customers Save SUM® Money!
ATMs offer extraordinary convenience, providing anytime access to cash and account information in the smallest towns and the biggest cities. However, the SUM Surcharge-free ATM Network allows your bank's customers to save time and money by offering surcharge-free access to thousands of ATMs around the country. The consumer benefits of the SUM Program are immediate and easy to access. Your customers don't have to register, and all they need to withdraw cash without a surcharge is your bank-issued ATM card. Click here to read about just a few of the customer advantages. For more information, please contact Bo Brannen at 404.420.2014.
Online Classes - October & November
Attention Commercial Lenders

ABA facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. For more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings. There are eight upcoming courses scheduled to begin in October and November…
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 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. Share your Hometown 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. Here's our latest installment...
Greater Community Bank
Queensborough Nati'l Bank & Trust Co.
Wil Giannars
Laura Willbanks
Dave Reese
Bob Kimbro
Dale Moore
Rhonda Williams
Mary Lewis
Vicki Hubbard
Brad Sheffield
Avery Tucker Fontaine

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 Katina Prokos.