Aug. 16, 2019

SE GA Community Bank Symposium
Statesboro Symposium to offer Unique Content Tailored to Region

Southeast Georgia bankers are invited to gather for a day of discussion about key banking trends focused specifically on their part of the state while networking with bankers close to home at the Georgia Bankers Association’s Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium on Oct. 22. This annual event, presented in partnership with Georgia Southern University, will feature experts on the important issues facing bankers in southeast Georgia. Any local banking professional, particularly CEOs, CFOs, bank directors, senior lenders, retail bank managers and emerging leaders will benefit from attending. Click here to see topics on this year's agenda and more info.

GBA Working with Revenue Department on Tax Credits Processing

The State of Georgia has a unique tax structure for financial institutions that involves a state tax credit. The State also has a number of other tax credits that range from supporting struggling local hospitals to the vibrant film industry. Because each of these tax credits works differently, processing the corporate and individual tax returns for these credits is a tough challenge for our State Department of Revenue. Subchapter S institutions and their shareholders seem to be especially affected, although we’ve heard reports of challenges regardless of the type of credit involved. We’ve had two meetings with newly appointed Revenue Commissioner David Curry and his key staff with GBA represented by Harold Reynolds, BankSouth, Greensboro; Ron Mitchell, Mauldin and Jenkins, Albany; John Hall, American Pride Bank, Macon; and Joe Brannen. The Department will be represented at a meeting of the GBA Bank Accountant Section Board later this month to discuss the steps taken so far and get feedback. Our thanks to Commissioner Curry and his staff for their open communication with us and their willingness to devote significant resources to address the issue. Stay tuned for more information.

CBD-Oil Rules of the Road and other Cannabis Banking Resources

Now that the production and sale of hemp products is legal in Georgia, with rules pending for the licensing process required by this year’s law, we’re fielding regular inquiries from members about how and whether to proceed in the banking of customers in the hemp and cannabis industries. There are a couple of helpful educational opportunities coming up for members. Our Compliance Conference Sept. 18-20 has a full session covering the topic. See details and register here for the Compliance Conference (more about the full agenda below). Also, we’ve got a CBD-Oil webinar coming up Sept. 3 from 2:30-4 p.m. that touches on state laws, how to develop bank policies, how to ask customers about their products, SAR filing and more. Details and registration access for the CBD-Oil Webinar here.

Related: Compliance Conference Spotlight
Senate Bill 2155 - Where Are We Now?

There's lots of good info coming up at our Coompliance Conference. Don't miss out. In one session Morgan Clemons, senior associate, and Judy Newberry, Chief Compliance Officer and supervising partner at Aldridge Pite, LLP, wil present an engaging look at the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and the Consumer Protection Act’s impact to banks, including intended regulatory relief. Click here to see all the topics that will be covered and get more information on the conference Sept. 18-20.

Deadline to Order Georgia Peanut Bank Week Supplies is Aug. 30

GBA and our friends at the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) want to remind everyone that the deadline to submit orders for Georgia Peanut Bank Week supplies is Aug. 30. Georgia Peanut Bank Week is scheduled Oct. 14-18. If you have any questions about Georgia Peanut Bank Week or placing your bank’s order, please contact GPC’s Bank Week Coordinator at

Time to Get into Classrooms for Financial Literacy

It’s been great to see lots of members doing back-to-school support activities. We encourage members to keep it up, and one way to do so is to participate in the annual Get Smart About Credit financial literacy campaign. Get Smart about Credit Day is Oct. 17, and banks can schedule activities at their local schools throughout the month. The program includes access to a private resource page containing promotional materials, student activities, communication tools and lesson plans (also available in Spanish). The ABA Foundation has a free webinar coming up Aug. 27 about how to participate. Fifteen banks serving Georgia are already signed up to participate. Please join them! Learn all about the Get Smart About Credit here.

Rural Area Transportation Infrastructure to Get Funding

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was in Georgia this week and announced the state will get more than $189 million in transportation grants to expand infrastructure, with the main focus being projects in rural Georgia. There’s also an additional $24 million coming our way this year from the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program focused on roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation. Chao announced the funding during this week’s Georgia Chamber Congressional Luncheon in Macon. More details here, and a reminder that economic development is a focal point this year for GBA Chairman Chuck Copeland, First National Bank of Griffin.

Be Aware of Demand Letters about Social Security Number Usage

A member banker shared with us a nuisance-type demand letter his bank recently got alleging unlawful use of an individual’s social security number as personal property. The letter demands "copies of all funds that have been generated" through the use of the person’s social security number and a cashier’s check for the full amount of such funds, among other things. We had our General Counsel take a look and general thinking is that letters like these usually do not merit any sort of response, however, it’s always a best practice to check with your bank’s counsel. If your bank gets a similar letter, please let us know so we can keep track of it as a possible trend. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.

GBA Retirement Services Welcomes New Member

GBA Retirement Services, Inc. is thrilled to welcome its newest member to the GBA Master Trust, South Georgia Banking Company, Tifton, Glenn Willis, president and CEO. It has been a pleasure working with and getting to know the employees during our on-site retirement planning meetings this week at all the bank locations. We look forward to providing outstanding service to the bank and its employees in the years to come. Click here to learn about just some of the advantages of being part of the GBA Master Trust. We would love to do a plan review and show you why all of our members are pleased with the service and performance provided by GBA Retirement Services! Contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025, or Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002, for more information about how GBA Retirement Services can help design or improve your retirement plan.

Social Media Ties Banks to their Hometowns and GBA Amplifies

The primary reason most banks use social media is for community engagement, according to a survey out last week. Social channels are good ways to showcase the human side of banking, and that pays dividends. For example, "Any time we showcase our employees - we’ve been doing a series of employee spotlights - I’m always impressed with the organic reach of those posts. ... Within a couple of hours we’re getting 1,000 responses and all these comments - all this goodwill behind and good wishes sent their way," said one banker in the survey. In all, 84% of the banks surveyed agreed that social media is important to their bank, and 52% said they plan to increase spending on social media this year.
If you follow GBA on Twitter (@gabankers), Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, you know we use our feeds to primarily highlight good news about members and retweet bank and banker posts about the engagement in their communities. The survey report includes some good examples of how banks are using social media to boost community engagement and deepen customer relationships. Download the report here.

Related: Calling All Marketers for GBA’s Fall Marketing Peer Group

This fall, the GBA Marketing Peer Group Meeting will be Oct. 3 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. Back by popular demand, there will be ample time allotted for peer-to-peer roundtable discussions. Marketing officers and anyone with marketing-related duties should consider attending. Registration is $125 per person. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner at 404.420.2035.

2019 BankPAC Campaign - Online Contributing Now Available

As mentioned last week, the GBA BankPAC Board of Directors is excited to announce the availability of online contributing to the GBA FedPAC. This is the PAC that is allowed to only accept personal contributions from eligible employees, officers and directors, so this option should be a useful tool in your bank’s campaign. Simply use this link to make a contribution by logging in with your MyGBA profile credentials. Many thanks to these banks and Associate Members for contributing to the GBA FedPAC and StatePAC this week. Here are the contribution forms for each fund. Also, here’s a chart with your GBA Group goals and amounts raised so far. With questions, please call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.

President / CEO Conference - Closing Speaker Announced

Kevin Scott has been cage diving with Great White Sharks in South Africa, trekked to see Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, and ridden a llama in Colombia. Talk about a fearless attitude and different way to look at things! And, his company has worked on leadership programs for the Atlanta Braves, Coca-Cola and member banks. At GBA’s President/CEO Conference, Oct. 6-8 at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds at Lake Oconee, Scott, co-founder of ADDO, will challenge GBA bank presidents, CEOs and top executives to shift their perspective and unleash their potential as leaders. Learn more about his closing session and the 2019 conference here.

Two Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies with the GBA’s Office Depot Discount Program

Special Offer! 10% Off Qualifying Purchase
Use Coupon Code 77305623

Women in Banking Session to Offer DISC Behavioral Profile to Maximize Performance

As diversity in the workplace continues to grow, organizations and individuals are faced with the challenge of communicating effectively, building high performing teams, and adjusting work styles to align with individual differences. Increasing awareness about different behavioral styles and motivators can positively impact productively, workplace dynamics, and individual satisfaction. How can we achieve all that? Female bankers representing all arenas of banking won’t want to miss this year’s Women in Banking Conference, Nov. 17-19 at The Lodge at Lake Lanier Islands in Buford. Utilizing the TTI-Talent Insights behavioral assessment tool, Dr. Melissa Furman will facilitate an engaging session applying her academic research expertise and counseling/coaching background to enhance individual awareness. Learn more about her session and the conference here.

Crime and Punishment
Robber of Three Banks Sentenced to 48 Months

During a 17-day period in 2017, Clifford Terrell of Barnesville robbed three banks in Macon and Columbus. He was recently sentenced to 48 months in federal prison, with no parole possible, for the robberies. In each robbery, he used force and intimidation, threatening bank tellers verbally and using written demand notes. Read more details here.

Agenda Overview for Credit Conference

We are excited about our agenda for the upcoming Credit Conference Dec. 5-6. Click here for an overview of all the sessions and speakers. Planned by GBA's Credit Committee, the annual GBA Credit Conference has a history of providing outstanding speakers and timely topics related to the credit arena. Registration for members is $395 through Nov. 21 and $445 afterward. Click here for more information and to register. Sponsorships are available, and Associate Member companies may also exhibit. With questions contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Financial Risk Management Conference
Pre-Conference Sessions: Contract Negotiations and Tax Credit Update

At this year's Financial Risk Management Conference coming up Nov. 7-8 in Atlanta, we will have two pre-conference sessions. John Carson with Monarch Private Capital will give an update on tax credits. Next, Brad Rustin, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, will discuss fear of commitment, key contracts and the importance for banks to plan strategically. The 2019 GBA Financial Risk Management Conference is planned by the GBA Asset/Liability Management Committee. Holt Redding, South Coast Bank and Trust, Brunswick, is the committee chair, and Daniel Stanford, SunMark Community Bank, Perry, is vice chair. Registration for members is $395 per person through Oct. 24. Click here to register. Sponsorships are available, and Associate Member companies may also exhibit. With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Loan Documentation Seminar - Sept. 26

To help your bank prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques, GBA is hosting a Loan Documentation seminar on Sept. 26 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. A faculty member of the Georgia Banking School with more than 35 years of industry experience, Mike Allen of Cadence Bank will address a range of documentation topics including real estate specifics and residential construction lending. Commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists alike will benefit from this seminar. Click here for more information.

Learn About the Advantages of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) Programs from EBS

GBA Strategic Partner EBS specializes in the placement and service of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI). Their programs use BOLI to finance existing employee benefits and informally fund new or existing nonqualified executive benefit plans. EBS offers implementation and plan design services as well as administrative services. If you have BOLI now and need or want to consider a new servicer, EBS can assist you with compliance and reports essential for your bank, board and regulators. Get more details on EBS’ comprehensive service here.

Streamline Vehicle Title & Lien Release Management

The GBA has endorsed DDI Technology for more than 10 years because their Premier eTiltleLien® solution enables your bank’s loan operations team to improve reporting and manage exceptions within a simple, user-friendly application. Committed to excellence, DDI continues to focus on improving their products, education and consulting services in all areas of vehicle registration. DDI fosters partnerships with progressive and innovative businesses including federal, state and local governments by supplying them with the technologies to enable dealer and finance partners to provide the best service to their customers while saving time and money. Click here to read about the benefits to working with DDI. For more details about DDI Technology or to join the more than 4,000 customers they have today, please contact Director of Sales Todd Phillips, 803.808.4937.

Optimize Your Learning Experience with ABA Online Training

ABA online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Any employee of a GBA member bank can participate at the member rate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member. Check out these 11 courses scheduled from August through October. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings.

Learn. Advance. Lead.
Find the Perfect ABA Certificate to Advance Your Career

Build the skills and knowledge necessary for career advancement with a certificate program in a concentrated skill set. Certificates provide practical, tailored knowledge in a particular job role. The certificate programs are reevaluated and refined to meet current needs and changes in the industry. GBA members get a discounted rate, and you don't have to be an ABA member to register. Click here to see all available certificates. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020.

Recruit, Retain and Develop the Best Bankers with GBA Career Solutions

GBA Job Bank - GBA will post open positions, free of charge, for GBA members. See the open positions in Georgia here. We will also post professional summaries for bank-job seekers on our Bankers Available page. To make the process easy and answer any questions, we've developed this
Q & A. Please contact Katina Prokos,, 404.420.2021.
GBA Strategic Partner BankTalentHQ - The central feature of BankTalentHQ is its national bank-job board. Other key benefits include: resume search access, regional and national reach for your open positions, frequent special offers and custom sales/coaching programs. Visit BankTalentHQ to learn more. See the open positions in Georgia here, or search regionally or nationally here.
GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ - GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ is the most unique, organized and easy-to-use career development resource available for bankers and banks. GBA’s pioneering career development resource is unlike any other in the banking industry. Click here to start mapping your banking career today.
Why do people choose careers in banking? Whatever their talents, interests and educational background, there is a career in banking for them. Here are few good reasons to share with folks you know.
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...
Greater Community Bank
Heritage Bank
First American Bank and Trust Co.
Exchange Bank
Greater Community Bank
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.