Dec. 20, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from GBA

From our GBA family to yours, we wish you a merry Christmas and happy holidays. At the top of our holiday wish list is for everyone to enjoy a festive, safe and memorable season with your families and other loved ones. Unless there is some critical breaking news, we won't be publishing an E-Bulletin next week, so look for our next edition during the first week of the New Year.

House Rural Development Council Meets in Americus

We were pleased to help sponsor the House Rural Development Council’s final meeting held over two days this week in Americus. The Council wound up its work this year with a list of 15 recommendations for either further study or possible legislation for the upcoming 2020 General Assembly session. We will look for this list to be released soon, but the areas covered generally include small business funding, agriculture, education, transportation, healthcare and broadband expansion, among others. More info about the council here.

Make Sure Your Bank Efforts are Counted in the New Georgia Bank Community Impact Survey

Bank CEOs, presidents, marketing and Leadership GBA contacts received an email earlier this week with a request for help on a new advocacy project we are doing to kick off the new year. The purpose of the Georgia Bank Community Impact Survey is to measure the scope, amount of funds, volunteer hours and more that our member banks contribute to their hometowns across Georgia. GBA will use the information early in 2020 to highlight at all that’s great about our industry across a number of channels – from social media, to traditional media outreach and a variety of public and member forums. We’d love to deliver some of the jaw-dropping statistics that we know are out there, so please work with your leadership to make sure your bank is among the participants by completing the survey here. More info here.

Member Profile
Lessons from Football, Helping Diverse Businesses and Scuba Diving with Philip Bernardi

Like many graduate students, Oconee State Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer Philip Bernardi needed a job while earning his master’s degree. That’s how he found himself starting as a teller and CSR for the Watkinsville-based bank. He quickly learned how much he loved dealing with customers and the community, and he has been a banker ever since. The At Large Member of the GBA Credit Committee says his favorite part of the job is serving lots of different kinds of business clients. "In one week, you can find yourself doing business with a wholesaler, a manufacturer of pre-fabricated metal, a dentist’s office and a flash-frozen-food distributor. The breadth and variety of businesses out there is amazing," Bernardi says in his GBA Member Profile. Check it out – he shares about his experiences as a college football player, adventurous hobbies and more.

CECL Study Requirement Embedded with Spending Bills

The U.S. House of Representatives this week approved a spending package to fund the government through Sept. 30, 2020. Included in the package is a provision that directs the Treasury Department to conduct a study on potential adverse effects of the current expected credit loss CECL model for loan loss accounting on regulatory capital. This has been among the issues we’ve discussed with our delegation numerous times throughout the year, so it is encouraging to see it included. Also in the package is an authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program through next September. We’ll be watching this closely as it goes before the Senate. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.

HR Update
Final Regular Rate of Pay Rule Issued

Be alert to a final rule from the Department of Labor that takes effect Jan. 15. The Regular Rate of Pay rule clarifies which types of compensation must be included in determining an employee’s "regular rate of pay" for use in meeting Fair Labor Standards Act overtime pay requirements. Items that may be excluded from the regular rate are tuition assistance, benefit plan contributions, certain sign-on bonuses and the cost of providing wellness programs, gym access and coffee and snacks. Read the final rule here. See two related items here.

PNC Christmas Price Index
Turtle Dove Prices Plummet

It’s always fun to follow the annual PNC Christmas Price Index estimating what all the gifts from the classic carol The Twelve Days of Christmas would cost. This year, the total is up only 0.2 percent from 2018, at $38,993.59. Two turtle doves would set you back $300, a 20% drop in price from last year. The most expensive item would be 10 lords-a-leaping, at $10,000. Read the full list here.

GBA Annual Legislative and Economic Forum – Register Now!

Join GBA’s Board of Directors, Public Affairs Committee and the BankPAC Board of Directors as they host the annual Legislative & Economic Forum and Reception, Wednesday, Jan. 15 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta. Then, stay for GBA’s annual Legislative Reception honoring members of the General Assembly, Constitutional Officers, statewide Judiciary and other dignitaries. More details here.

2019 BankPAC Campaign Exceeds Goals

We are thrilled to report that this year’s BankPAC campaign raised a record amount for the FedPAC and StatePAC. "The response to our appeal to broaden and deepen the support of BankPAC this year has been overwhelmingly positive and will result in our being able to support candidates who share our beliefs and value the contributions our industry makes to our communities, state and nation," said Luke Flatt, Chairman of the BankPAC Board of Directors and chairman, president and CEO of AB&T in Albany. Many thanks to all of our contributors this year including this week’s FedPAC contribution. See how your GBA Group fared this year. With questions, call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.
Chandler, Loeffler and Brannen


GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler and Joe Brannen were pleased to participate in a fundraiser this week for U.S. Senator-designate Kelly Loeffler. Upon being appointed to this seat by Governor Brian Kemp, Ms. Loeffler will face an election for the unexpired term of U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson next November. "We enjoyed spending a few minutes with Kelly. She was very interested in the impact that bankers make in their communities and is looking forward to hearing more on issues of interest to the banking industry," said Chandler.

Take a Shot at Additional PAC Fundraising

We hope you’ll join Leadership GBA’s Board of Directors as they host the third-annual Sporting Clay Tournament on Feb. 6 at Old Hudson Plantation in Sparta. Proceeds will be donated to the GBA StatePAC. 75 bankers and guests participated last year, and we encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity to invite your legislators, directors, customers and prospects to shoot a round of clays with your colleagues in the banking industry. Click here for details.

Can't-Miss Conferences Coming Up in early 2020

As 2019 comes to an end and you start to think about your resolutions for 2020, GBA has a strong line-up of programs to help you be the best you can in the coming year.

Annual Meeting Registration Will Open Jan. 2

We hope your 2020 calendar is already blocked for GBA’s Annual Meeting, June 14-16 at the Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda. Online registration will officially open Jan. 2, so watch your email that day for an announcement as well as a link to an early panning and travel checklist. Here’s a snapshot of the meeting timeline, so you can begin to think about your travel plans. GBA’s Executive Committee has kicked off the program planning, and your GBA professional development team is working on fun things for you and your family to do in the off-time. For your budget purposes, the member registration price will be $765 per person and the spouse/guest price will be $550, no change from 2019. Feel free to contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with any questions, 404.420.2024.

Curriculum Announced for Newly Designed GBA Compliance School, Part One - the Basics

The new format of the GBA Compliance School is a two-year program, starting in 2020 with Part One - the Basics. Part One will provide students with a solid foundation on compliance fundamentals and ensures that a bank’s internal compliance program is sufficiently comprehensive to avoid costly compliance violations. Check out the 2020 curriculum here. Click here to enroll online. Email Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034, with questions.

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. Given the fiduciary responsibilities of bank management and board members, it is crucial that banks partner with experienced and qualified professionals to service their BOLI programs and Nonqualified Plans. EBS provides comprehensive service through a group of qualified professionals with specialized expertise in insurance and public accounting. Each client is assigned a specific service team with extensive back office support. More info here.

Employee Benefit Selections are Easy and Affordable with Holmes-Shaw

For more than 50 years, Holmes-Shaw has provided GBA members with complementary products and services that enhance the GBA Insurance Trust's core benefit programs. This allows GBAIT participants and their employees to choose from an expanded and affordable list of benefit options. Click here to see some of these products and services. The wide variety of enhancements helps Holmes-Shaw meet anyone’s unique needs, and Holmes-Shaw develops programs directly with insurance companies or through strategic partnerships, allowing them to present the very best options to clients. With questions or to learn more about how Holmes-Shaw can help your company enhance its benefit program, please contact Bruce Shaw, 770.642.2150.

Register Now!
IRA Merry-Go-Round Seminar, Feb. 11-12

The IRA Merry-Go-Round: IRA Basic and Advanced Issues two-day seminar is Feb. 11-12, at Middle Georgia State University in Macon and Patrice Konarik, president of Sunwest Training Corp., will bring participants from beginning to advanced levels of IRA understanding. Each participant will receive the updated 275-page Sunwest Training IRA Training and Reference Manual, which is updated to reflect new regulations. This intensive two-day format will cover these topics. Registration is $250 per person, per day. To register, click here. With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.

Webinar Subscription Packages

Saving time and money while training your employees efficiently is achievable. The question you may be asking is, how? The solution is a webinar subscription package, which is a great option to get maximum value for a fraction of the price of most online training. The subscription packages are available for your entire institution, help in your budgeting process, and offer webinars at a lower rate than purchasing them individually. You may register for live webinars as well as OnDemand or CD recordings. Credits do not expire, and there are more than 300 webinars to choose from each year. Click here to see some of the webinar topics. For more information, please contact GBA’s SheKeya Snipes at 404.420.2020. Click here for a full list of the webinar subscription packages.

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...
South Coast Bank & Trust
First State Bank of Randolph County
Planters First Bank
Georgia Community Bank
Pinnacle Bank
United Bank
Oconee State Bank
Georgia Bankers Association
Georgia Community Bank - Blakely
Georgia Community Bank - Donalsonville
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.