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March 29, 2019   

Four Georgia Community Banks Recognized as Top-50 Performers

Georgia has more top-performing community banks than any state in the Southeast, according to analysis out this week from S&P Global. Four Georgia banks cracked the company’s list of 50 best performing community banks in 2018 with assets under $3 billion. Congratulations to Quantum National Bank, Bryan Cohen, CEO, for a No. 6 ranking. Congratulations are also in order for the state’s other top-50 performers, First Madison Bank & Trust, Jay Staines, president and CEO; South Georgia Bank, Bran Thompson, CEO; and Douglas National Bank, Stuart Smith, president and CEO. See the full list here.
Kennedy and Ligon

General Assembly to Adjourn Sine Die April 2

The 2019 session of the Georgia General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn next Tuesday. This was a busy week for us as two of GBA’s three priority bills saw action. The House gave final passage to SB 157 by Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon). The bill will allow banks to participate in a deposit sharing program for public depositors as a way to avoid pledging requirements. The House action cleared the bill for the Governor’s consideration. Another GBA priority bill, SB 37 by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) was passed by the House, and the Senate is expected to soon agree to the helpful House-passed changes. A number of other bills GBA has been monitoring on behalf of the industry saw action, so be looking for our E-Legislative Update we’ll publish after the legislature adjourns for the week. With questions, contact GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

Ops Tech Conference Pours on the Intel

A big crowd of member bank operations and technology professionals spent most of this week together at the GBA Operations and Technology Conference. The pre-conference and conference sessions were from Monday through Wednesday, with in-depth sessions each day. Click here for a full report of the sessions and a unique giveaway by Finosec. GBA’s Operations and Technology Committee presents the conference, led this year by committee Chair Lamar Doolittle, the Geo. D Warthen Bank, and Vice Chair Jaye Eubanks, United Bank. Special thanks to our exhibitors and sponsors who helped make the conference possible. Here are just a few scenes from the conference, and look out for a full photo album on social media:

GBA Member Profile - Jarrod Prickett
Working with People, Weeding Plants and Watching Mad Men

Jarrod Prickett, vice president and commercial lender at First American Bank & Trust Company in Athens, learned three important lessons at his first job at ABC Plant Nursery in Albany. "It taught me how to talk with people and that I enjoyed working with people. It also taught me that I don’t want to weed plants in the summer in South Georgia," Prickett says in his GBA Member Profile. A member of the Leadership GBA Executive Committee, Prickett discusses his fascination with all the various ways his clients make money, relationships formed through involvement in Leadership GBA, his favorite TV shows and more. Read more about Prickett in his profile here

50-Years in Banking Coming up for Williamson

SynovusMillie Williamson began her career in banking in 1969 as a teller for West Georgia Bank of Tallapoosa. Her official anniversary will be Aug. 18, but the bank recently recognized her at its annual meeting with a special thank-you gift that tallied the months, years, weeks, days, hours and minutes of her years of service. Now a part-time drive-in teller in the Synovus Tallapoosa office, Williamson has seen the bank name change from West Georgia Bank of Tallapoosa, Citizens Bank & Trust of West Georgia, Bank of North Georgia to Synovus. She has held several different roles including loan teller, customer service representative, administrative assistant, assistant branch manager and senior teller. Congratulations Millie! We’ll also recognize her at our Annual Meeting this June. If you know or are someone who is hitting the milestone this year, please let us know! Please send an email to GBA’s Kathy Friestad with the following information: Name and current title, bank name, years of service and brief work history, photo and details of any recognition events planned.

Fraudulent Cashier’s Check Alert - West Central Georgia Bank

Member banks are asked to be alert to counterfeit cashier’s checks that appear to be issued by West Central Georgia Bank. The bank has received numerous such fake checks this week. They’ve originated from multiple states including Virginia. For a sample image, more details and if you receive a suspicious item, contact West Central Georgia Bank’s Sheila Johnson, 706.647.8951.

TILA, EFTA Exam Procedures Updated

Bank regulatory agencies this week published updated exam procedures related to Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) rules amended by the CFPB. These interagency procedures reflect:
  • New requirements under Regulation E that concern prepaid accounts and that govern disclosures, limited liability and error resolution, periodic statements, and posting of account agreements.
  • Amendments to Regulation Z that cover certain overdraft credit features that may be offered in conjunction with prepaid accounts.
The procedures go into effect on April 1. Get more details here.

Bank Director Miley Adams Recognized for Business Success

We always love to read about and recognize business success stories, especially if they involve those in the extended community of Georgia’s bankers. Miley Adams is a director for Planters and Citizens Bank, Camilla, and his family’s business, Joe B. Adams and Sons, Inc., has been named the Camilla Chamber of Commerce’s Agribusiness of the Year. A really nice article about Adams and the business is in the current edition of the Mitchell County Tradition magazine. Jud Vann, chairman of the bank, emailed a copy of the article you can access here. "Miley is a great and good Christian, family man, farmer and citizen," Vann said. "I’m glad to have him as a friend and fellow board member."

New Endorsed Bank Workforce Development Program

GBA is proud to endorse the BankWork$ job development program to teach specific banker skills and match talent with banks as prospective employers. The national program is administered in Georgia by the Urban League of Greater Atlanta. Carefully screened participants in the program go through a free eight-week training program, taught by bankers and Urban League staff, that prepares them for success as tellers, customer service representatives and personal bankers. To date, 60 people have completed the courses during the past year in Georgia. Seven of the nine graduates from this spring’s program already have job offers at participating banks. GBA members Citizens Trust Bank, SunTrust Bank, Regions Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Unity National Bank, Fidelity Bank, Fifth Third Bank and BB&T, as well as Woodforest Bank, participate in the program. Get more info here.

Please Help Welcome our Two Newest GBA Bank Counsel Section Members

We’re excited this week to introduce our bulletin readers to the two newest members of GBA’s Bank Counsel Section: Ms. Katy Furr and Mr. Kevin Stine, shareholders at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, in Atlanta. You can find their contact info below. Please take time to make them feel welcome in GBA’s community of bankers, partners and friends.
Ms. Katy Furr
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C.
3414 Peachtree Road, N.E.
Suite 1600, Monarch Plaza
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
Mr. Kevin Stine
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C.
3414 Peachtree Rd., N.E.
Suite 1600, Monarch Plaza
Atlanta, GA 30326

Banking and Compliance Schools Alert
Enrollment Deadline is April 19 for Two Premier GBA Schools

Don’t wait any longer to make sure your bank has a representative at GBA’s premier schools for career bankers. The enrollment deadline is coming up on April 19 for the 2019 Georgia Banking School and GBA Advanced Compliance School taking place May 5-10 in Athens. These programs check all the boxes of what you want and expect from any investment in banker education, specifically developing the next generation of bank leaders, building management-level bench strength for your bank, exposing your bankers to the most knowledgeable industry experts and connecting to a community of bankers to build a professional network.

Two Important Discipline-Specific Conferences Coming Up

Bank security and agricultural lending are two of the most important subjects for our member bankers. Register now for these popular, informative and essential programs.
  • Bank Security Conference, April 11-12, St. Simons - Physical security, information security, protecting elderly customers, case studies, natural disaster response and plenty of peer sharing is in the offing for this conference. Join your peer security officers to learn and build key professional contacts. Details and registration here.

  • Rural Development and Lending Conference, May 16-17, St. Simons - Georgia Ag Commissioner Gary Black and a host of experts on agribusiness in Georgia comprise a program essential to bankers specifically serving Georgia’s number-one industry as well as those located in non-metro markets. Details and registration here.
With questions or for more information about any of these conferences, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Limited space available!
Take a Deep Dive into BSA - All Levels to Benefit

GBA is proud to announce its newest program, The BSA Experience: A Deep Dive into the Bank Secrecy Act and Knowing How to Comply. GBA has partnered with Terri Sands, founder of Secura Risk Management, to create this one-of-a-kind, four-day program for BSA professionals. This experience is designed to take BSA officers, compliance officers, risk management officers, internal auditors and their teams through all topics that support an effective BSA program. The BSA Experience will be Aug. 20-23 at Middle Georgia State University, Macon. In order to provide this unique hands-on experience, registration is limited to 50 participants. Register now to secure your spot. Please contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

Last chance to register!

Loan Documentation Seminar - April 3

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 April 3 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.

Bank Marketers Peer Networking & Vendor Share - April 30

GBA’s Marketing Peer Group will meet April 30 at Middle Georgia State University, Macon. This group of bank marketers meets twice a year and last fall more than 35 marketers came together from all over the state to discuss trends in the marketing world and share ideas. This spring the program for the Marketing Peer Group will include an attendee favorite peer exchange session as well as a vendor information exchange session and industry relevant speakers. Register here and stay tuned for a detailed agenda. Registration is only $125 per person. Please contact GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035, with questions.

Looking for the Best Vendors, Products or Service Providers?

For the benefit of our members, GBA Services Inc., (GBASI), has already done the due diligence for you! With the guidance of the GBASI Board of Directors, GBASI endorses a wide variety of quality products and services through Strategic Partnerships with leading vendors. GBASI also offers a variety of helpful products and services through direct sales. By combining the collective buying power of the entire banking industry in Georgia, GBA members can take advantage of exclusive savings. Click here to see and learn more about all our GBA Strategic Partners and available products and services. Have questions or feedback about any of these solutions? Please contact Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.

Online Classes - April Offerings

Resources for Commercial Lenders

Check out these five courses that start in April. These ABA-facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings. For more information, contact Shan Haugabrook, 404.420.2020.

High-Performance Learning with ABA Certificates

Build the skills and knowledge needed for advancement with industry-recognized ABA certificates. GBA members get a discounted rate, and you don't have to be an ABA member to register. These online programs bring unmatched content in an engaging, flexible, and mobile format that suits those who are on-the-move and on-the-job. Click here to see the Certificate Programs available. 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...
Pinnacle Bank - Athens
Southern First Bank
Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co. - Augusta
First Port City Bank
Pinnacle Bank - Braselton
Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co. - Metter
Ameris Bank
Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co. - Sandersville
Oconee State 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.