June 28, 2019

Content Was King during Annual Meeting Program

Our keynote programs at the 2019 GBA Annual Meeting made it an unmatched learning experience for member bankers attending. There was something for everyone. Here are some highlights, and click here for a detailed summary:
  • As the Director of Investment of Investment Strategy for BNY Mellon, Jeff Mortimer has a unique perspective on economic trends.
  • Our Walt Moeling Memorial CEO Panel, sponsored by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, featured a lively discussion among CEOs with very different banks.
  • Randy Gravitt of InteGREAT Leadership walked us through four strategies bank leaders can put in play to be stronger leaders.
  • Virginia Heyburn of Fiserv gave us a full overview of the latest tech trends and customer preferences.
  • Our closing speaker Warren Macdonald shared how a life-threatening and life-altering accident changed his perspective on life.
Breakout sessions featured technical details in six diverse areas of management for any bank. They were:
  • Mark Kanaly of Alston Bird led a session outlining key trends, ideas and issues for directors.

  • Brendan McGowan of Safe Systems provided a detailed update on cybersecurity best practices and intelligence.
  • Donna Flynn of the Skills Mastery Group talked about talent management and techniques to find the best talent, keep strong performers and manage turnover.
  • Cadence Bank’s Mike Allen led a helpful session about the latest credit trends that included lessons learned from the last downturn, some current market observations and tips for actions banks can take now to prudently structure their portfolios for future risks.
  • Haberfeld’s David Furnace shared a host of techniques for ensuring earnings growth, growing non-interest income and addressing key funding needs.
  • Kurt Shreiner of Atlantic Capital Bank teamed up with James Stevens of Troutman Sanders to talk about opportunities for partnering with fintech companies and shared some thoughts on competitive approaches in the technology space that are and can be effective.
Click here to see photos from the 2019 Annual Meeting.

Hall Outlines Successful GBA Year

GBA is wrapping up its 126th year of serving Georgia’s banks and bankers, and Chairman John Hall of American Pride Bank, Macon, summarized another strong year during his address to members at the annual meeting this week. "So, it truly was another busy and successful year in the life of the Georgia Bankers Association. What I’ve shared with you today is just the tip of the iceberg, and I confidently report to you that the membership has been well served’" he said. Some of the accomplishments he noted included the leadership bankers showed in responding to Hurricane Michael, the effective advocacy during the Georgia General Assembly session, education programs that attracted more than 3,000 bankers and the insurance, retirement and other benefits only available from GBA. He concluded by urging members to stay plugged in. "My challenge is for you to stay engaged and keep your staff members involved with GBA. There’s something of value for you every day. Take full advantage of the investment you and your bank make in the treasure that is the Georgia Bankers Association. If you do that, your bank will benefit, your team members will be stronger bankers and Georgia’s banking industry will continue to thrive." Read his full remarks here.

Copeland Installed as 130th GBA Chairman

J. Charles Copeland took the helm of the GBA as its 130th Chairman during GBA’s Annual Meeting this week. Copeland is president and CEO of First National Bank of Griffin. During his remarks at the meeting, Copeland talked about the strengths banking brings to any community and the tremendous value in the basics of what bankers do for their hometowns. "So, my challenge to our members is to never undervalue the benefit of a well-run, broad-based bank squarely focused on meeting its community’s needs...Regardless of the size or type of bank you have, the strengths of recycling local deposits into local, in-market loans also are a source of strength to the community," he said. He also acknowledged his appreciation of the value involvement in GBA has. "I believe in this association. I support this association. And, I receive exponentially more from this association than I put into it. The friendships and relationships I have developed through the GBA are invaluable. This was never more apparent to me, and became most obvious, during our bank’s time of adversity, so I am thrilled to be able to give back." he said. His priorities are to encourage strong engagement in GBA advocacy and education programs, diversity in bank and association leadership and economic development. Read his full remarks here.
Other officers and new board members were elected for the 2019-2020 year and installed during the meeting, as well. Spencer N. Mullis, president and CEO, Morris Bank, Dublin, is Chairman Elect, and James L. Flatt, president and CEO, AB&T, Albany, is Vice Chairman. Brad E. Barber, president and CEO, First National Bank, Bainbridge, was elected to serve a three-year term as Secretary/Treasurer.
Several new board members elected by their peers or appointed to At Large positions to begin their terms are:
  • Group 2: Susan Moss, president and CEO, Planters and Citizens Bank, Camilla
  • Group 4: Charles Sweat, president and CEO, First Peoples Bank, Pine Mountain
  • Group 6: Chuck Haley, president and CEO, The Peoples Bank, Eatonton
  • Group 8: Daryn Russell, president and CEO, Commercial Banking Company, Valdosta
  • Group 10: Ed Pope, president and CEO, F&M Bank, Washington.
The incoming Chairman also makes two At-Large appointments each year. Chuck Copeland has appointed Bill Walker, president and CEO, Legacy State Bank, Loganville, and Darron Burnette, South Georgia / North Florida division CEO, Synovus Bank, Statesboro, to serve two-year terms.
Chris Edwards, president, United Bank Corporation, Zebulon, who will become chair of GBA Services Inc., in July, will serve as that organization’s representative to the GBA Board. Rhodes McLanahan, president and CEO, First American Bank & Trust Company, Athens, will serve representing the GBA Community Bankers Committee as its chair, beginning in July.
As incoming president of the Leadership GBA Executive Committee, Andrew Ainslie, VP/commercial lender, Bank of Madison, becomes that group’s representative on the GBA Board of Directors.

Board Members Make Indelible Contributions

As we welcome new members of GBA’s Board of Directors, we also want to take a minute to recognize those Board members who will be rolling off at the end of the month. They have served ably in elected, appointed or designated positions, and the industry and association is better because of their contributions. Please join us in thanking:
  • Past Chairman: Palmer Proctor, Fidelity Bank, Atlanta
  • Secretary / Treasurer: Ken Bibb, Geo. D. Warthen Bank, Sandersville
  • Group 2: Glenn Willis, South Georgia Banking Company, Tifton
  • Group 4: Johnny Smith, Newton Federal Bank, Covington
  • Group 6: Henry Pope, Exchange Bank, Milledgeville
  • Group 8: Michael Lee, Ameris Bank, Valdosta
  • At Large: Harold Reynolds, Bank South, Greensboro
  • At Large: Scott Beeley, Bank of Terrell, Dawson
  • GBA Services Inc. Chair: Dawn Griffin, Liberty First Bank, Monroe
  • Leadership GBA President: Keith Anthony, Planters and Citizens Bank, Forsyth.

GBA Insurance Trust Elects Directors

The GBA Insurance Trust held its annual business meeting June 24 and elected three directors. The following bankers were elected by their peers to serve a three-year term, expiring in 2022:
  • Jackson McConnell, Pinnacle Bank, Elberton
  • Johnny Smith, Newton Federal Bank, Covington
  • Rick Whaley, The Citizens Bank of Americus
  • Joe Brannen, Georgia Bankers Association, Atlanta
Whaley is the chairman of the GBA Insurance Trust, and he gave a summary of the Insurance Trust’s activities in the past year. Highlights were:
  • The Trust is in excellent financial shape.
  • The WHEN wellness program is showing success. For example, 24% of those screened needed intervention but had no claims history. That’s an example of how the program can help identify problems early.
  • There has been a 10% reduction in claims expense for at-risk member participants.
  • Telemedicine was introduced and is proving popular.
  • The Trust is investing in artificial intelligence to better understand data.

50-Year Bankers Honored

One of the favorite traditions of the GBA Annual Meeting is to honor Georgia bankers who have dedicated 50 years or more of their careers to the banking industry. Following are the lifelong bankers we recognized this year: Thank you for your service!

A Big Shout Out to Sponsors and Exhibitors at Annual Meeting

We simply could not have an Annual Meeting with such strong content, networking opportunities and premier location without the support of companies who sponsor and exhibit at the event. The companies and their representatives who attend make significant investments to support GBA and the industry. Please share your thanks with them, as well. Please take a look at the list of 2019 Annual Meeting Sponsors here. You can find a list of all our exhibitors here.

New Report Finds Credit Unions Operate with ‘Scant Regard’ for Statutory Mission

Our members won’t be shocked to learn that new research recently released found that credit unions are falling short of their mission to serve households of "small means." We’ve heard story after story about credit unions turning their backs on those they were created to serve, and the study bears that out. According to the research by analyst Karen Shaw Petrou of Federal Financial Analytics, credit union members are disproportionately from middle- and upper-income households, and credit unions’ lack of "mission compliance" deepens U.S. economic inequality. The report found that the National Credit Union Administration maintains no data on credit unions’ effectiveness at providing financial services to people of "small means," and that its definition of "low-income" is far more expansive than that used by other federal agencies. As a result, the report found, designated low-income credit unions simply replace community bank credit instead of providing new credit. The study recommends renewed policymaker and public attention to the credit union mission and effective enforcement to ensure that it is meaningfully and materially achieved. We encourage our members to read the report here and use the information to help us educate members of Congress about the need to reform the rules. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027 or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.

FDIC and CFPB to Host Webinar on Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation

This week, the FDIC and CFPB announced they will be co-hosting a webinar to outline strategies to address and prevent elder financial exploitation. The webinar on July 25 from 2 to 3 p.m. EST will focus on the benefits of appropriate collaboration between financial institutions and law enforcement and will provide resources and strategies for financial institutions to develop strategic relationships. The webinar will also discuss the unique challenges involved in detecting and preventing elder financial exploitation and explain how Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filings can be used to combat it. The webinar will cover Money Smart for Older Adults, a free resource developed by the FDIC and CFPB to raise awareness among older adults and their caregivers about how to prevent elder financial exploitation and encourage advance planning and informed financial decision-making. Register for the webinar here. GBA also provides access to, and supports, other resources to help you protect older customers such as the ABA Foundation’s Safe Banking for Seniors program and the AARP BankSafe training for frontline bank employees, which GBA members helped develop.

Deadline Extended to July 18 for Comp. & Benefits Survey

We understand HR pros are busy with month-end project work and have a holiday next week, so we’ve decided to extend data collection for the GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey to July 18. This is the absolute latest it can go to make sure the reports are due in time for late-summer distribution. The more banks that participate, the stronger the end reports are for everyone. Participating banks save 70% off the price of the survey reports, which are the most comprehensive in the market. To access the survey website and participate, click here. The password to access the site is GBA#2019. With questions and details about accessing the survey, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036, or Randy McGraw at Matthews, Young - Management Consulting, 919.644.6962.

There’s No Better Time than Now to Talk with GBA Strategic Partner BankMarketingCenter

BankMarketingCenter.com (BMC) is a web-based marketing portal that helps banks quickly and easily produce professionally designed, bank-branded marketing material. For the same amount you would normally pay for one agency-designed ad or one quality stock photo, you’ll instead have access to thousands of professionally designed marketing materials, and more than 9 million stock photos from Getty Images. Once your marketing resources are created, you can easily send, via BMC’s portal, through your bank’s compliance approval process and send it to the printer or publisher of your choice. Each item will be saved in an organized order history, which can be helpful for during regulatory exams. BMC also has a comprehensive and easy to deploy digital display solution. GBA members interested in learning more about BMC are encouraged to request an online demo soon. With feedback or questions, please contact BMC’s Keith Pagel, 678.528.8041.
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Something for Everyone at GBA Compliance Conference Sept. 18-20

Compliance pros have three registration options this year to tailor the GBA Compliance Conference content to their individual needs. The conference will devote a day-and-a-half to loan compliance and a full day to deposit compliance. You may register for the loan compliance sessions, deposit compliance sessions or both for the full conference experience. The conference scheduled for Sept. 18-20 at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta SW in Peachtree City is an effective way for you to learn about the latest regulatory guidance and best practices in the compliance arena. Click here to see the breakdown of days and sessions.
Click here to register online and see hotel information. A complete agenda will be available soon. If you have 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. Allen will cover the following: Identifying the borrower, identifying the collateral, evidencing the debt, attaching and perfecting the collateral, real estate specifics, residential construction lending and guarantees. Register here to secure your spot. Please contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

The BSA Experience Session Highlight: BSA Independent Testing

Regulations require that an independent audit be completed generally every 12-18 months. The method used for BSA audits to meet regulatory requirements has significantly changed over the years to include a greater focus on testing the effectiveness of your internal controls including systems, staffing, and overall governance of the BSA program. In his session at the BSA Experience Aug. 20-23 at Middle Georgia State University, Bradley Carroll, CPA, CFF, QIAL, CIA, CRMA, CFSA, Principal, Frazier & Deeter, will focus on regulatory expectations, how BSA audits have changed over the years, and what financial institutions can expect on future BSA audits. Carroll will take you through specific areas of risks and include a more effective and efficient testing model used as a result of regulatory technology internal audit coverage. This approach allows auditors to select a greater pool of samples to cover more transactions and customers in testing while giving financial institutions better visibility for which areas/accounts/transaction types to focus on for improving their overall BSA program. In order to provide this unique hands-on experience, registration is limited to 50 participants. Register now to secure your spot. Contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

GBA Strategic Partner Dart Appraisal Offers the Best Custom Appraisal Management Solutions

What we’ve learned in a short time about Dart Appraisal is that their singular focus on appraisal management solutions, over the last 25 years, has resulted in an expert, national appraiser panel that consistently delivers helpful results to wherever they are called. Dart also understand that appraisal management is not one-size-fits-all. And, Dart is committed to meeting every one of their client’s specific needs. Dart can customize solutions and it’s dedicated teams are continually looking for ways to improve their customer service every step of the way. Those are just a couple of the reasons why we believe they’re a great choice to be your bank’s answer for appraisal management. Download a helpful brochure about Dart here or click the button below to connect with one of Dart’s appraisal management experts.
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One Week Left of Early-bird Registration Pricing for 2019 Leadership Conference

Up-and-coming career bankers shouldn’t wait to sign up for the 2019 Leadership Conference July 22-25 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra, FL. July 8 is the last day to take advantage of the early-bird registration for $50 off your registration price. The excellent educational sessions are reason enough to attend or send your emerging leader(s) to the conference, but first-time and repeat attendees tell us over and over that it’s the camaraderie, relaxed atmosphere, family friendly events, and gorgeous location that make this event a highlight of their year. This year’s conference includes sessions on how Amazon and other subscription services are changing customer expectations, disaster recovery and crisis preparedness best practices, economic trends from an ABA economist, a message on leadership from Rodney Bullard of the Chick-fil-A Foundation and much more. Here’s a link to the full program and registration access. Don’t miss it. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Online Learning with ABA Courses - July-September Offerings

ABA-facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Here are sixteen courses coming up in July-September. Any employee of a GBA member bank can participate at the member rate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings.

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 the certificates offered. With questions, 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, kprokos@gabankers.com, 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...
Pinnacle Bank
Peach State Bank & Trust
Heritage 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.