August 18, 2017      

Joe Edwards

Jim Edwards

GBA125 Facts
These Apples Didn’t Fall Far From their Trees
Throughout our 125-year history, GBA has helped generations of bankers and their families. And, holding a GBA leadership position has been a family affair, as well. In fact, three sets of Georgia banking families have contributed two generations of leaders for GBA’s chief elected officer position. GBA’s first chairman, Mills B. Lane, Sr. of the Citizens Bank of Savannah was elected in 1892. Mills B. Lane, Jr. of the Citizens & Southern National Bank served as chairman in 1941-1942. Robert Strickland, Jr. with Fourth National Bank served as chairman in 1927-1928 and was followed by his son Robert Strickland with Trust Company of Georgia in 1967-1968. And the third set is Joe Edwards, United Bank, Barnesville, who served as chairman in 1988-1989 and was followed by his son Jim Edwards, also of United Bank, who served as chairman in 2012-2013. Joe will be one of the three bankers sharing their stories with those attending GBA’s 125th anniversary celebration in Newnan on Aug. 31.

Mills B
Lane, Sr.

Mills B
Lane, Jr.

Robert Strickland, Jr.


Anniversary Events Begin Next Week
Starting next Tuesday, we're bringing the celebration of GBA's 125th anniversary to a community near you. We'll be in Macon, Valdosta and Statesboro next week. Our friends at Georgia CEO invited GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen to share a one-minute video about what these events are all about and you can watch the video here. "We're celebrating the middle word of our association's name: bankers, and we're looking forward to seeing so many members around the state over the next few weeks," Brannen said. If you haven't registered for attend the events we're having in the coming weeks, you can still sign up. We want to see you there! Click here for details and to register...


GBA Member Profile
Focus on Others Defines Flatt
Luke Flatt
says he’s got a strong inner drive to succeed, but that’s outwardly focused on treating others with respect and a desire to see them do well. “Everyone wants to be treated with respect and to be honored and appreciated for the gifts they possess and the contributions they make. My goal is to do that every day with everyone I encounter,” says Flatt, president and CEO of AB&T in Albany and an At Large director on the GBA board. Read more about Flatt in this week’s GBA member profile. You’ll find out what his favorite part of the day is at the bank, how he and the bank benefit from GBA membership and what he and his family like to do in their spare time.

Give Feedback to SBA on Regulatory Burden
Many members participate in or help borrowers access U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs, so there’s a good opportunity to weigh in on burdensome, excessive regulations that get in the way of easily doing business with the agency. The SBA this week issued a request for input on which regulations could be repealed, replaced or modified as part of the President’s order for federal agencies to reduce regulatory burden. Comments are due 60 days after the notice is published in the federal register. Read more here, including the specific questions for comment...

Recognize Your Bank or Small Business Customers as Rock Stars
You can score big relationship points with your customers by publicly recognizing them for their success. One way you can do that is through the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Georgia Economic Developers Association annual Georgia’s Small Business Rock Stars contest. Any small business that employs fewer than 100 people is eligible. Read more here...

How Prudent Investments Get Made by GBA Retirement Services
Our view is that retirement success is best achieved with a holistic approach delivered by a discretionary trustee where all of the right things are done for the participant. An integral component of that is the implementation of a prudent investment process. Here’s how Unified Trust’s prudent investment process works. It’s overseen by Unified Trust’s Trust Investment Committee (TIC). The Committee is charged with…


GBA Retirement Services has a Board of Directors that oversees Unified Trust’s prudent investment process. It meets quarterly and digs deep into the details to make sure that our retirement plan participants are receiving the very best product possible for a fair and reasonable fee. “Personally, being a board member of GBARS, I have the firsthand knowledge of the due diligence our Board and staff take to ensure the quality and value of our retirement investments,” says David Brooker, Citizens Bank of the South, Sandersville.“ Equally impressive has been GBARS’ new partnership with Unified Trust Company. As president and CEO of my bank, I have the greatest of confidence with our retirement investments and the GBA Retirement Services administration."

Crime and Punishment

Holey Jeans, Batman! Bank Robbers Arrested

Two suspects in a string of recent bank robberies were arrested last week. Christian Ware, female, age 18, of Memphis, TN, and Tremmell Adams, male, age 30, of Kennesaw were arrested Aug. 11 in an investigation involving the robbery of four banks and the attempted robbery of two others that occurred in the metro Atlanta area and in Chattanooga, TN. Read details of their recent robbery spree and see security camera photos of Ware in action here…

Last Call for Georgia Peanut Bank Week Supplies!
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 has been extended to Aug 25. Georgia Peanut Bank Week is scheduled Oct. 16-20. This year's theme is: "Peanuts. Sustaining Georgia’s Rural Economy.” Click here to download an order form and other free Bank Week supplies...

How to Hire Millennials
We hear from members a lot about the challenges of attracting new, young talent to the banking profession. Turns out, banks do a lot of things right to attract young workers, but also have some hurdles, according to an interesting survey about generational trends by GBA Associate Member Computer Services, Inc. (CSI). The survey says 91 percent of Millennials see working for a financial institution is a respectable career, but only one in three says they’re likely or very likely to accept a job at a financial institution. Click here for access to the survey results...

Last call! Consumer Real Estate Lending for Small Banks Seminar - Aug. 24
There’s still time to register for GBA’s Consumer Real Estate Lending for Small Banks seminar with Steve Moore, Bank Compliance Services, on Aug. 24 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Registration is $250 per person. Click here to register online. Please contact GBA’s Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021 with questions.

Compliance Conference Loaded With Top-Notch Sessions and Speakers

The agenda is packed with speakers who are compliance experts, industry leaders and fellow bankers who will help you navigate the bumpy and “always under construction” compliance road. Come and learn from Rick Freer (ABA), Melissa Sneed (GA Dept. of Banking and Finance), Terri Sands, Pam Perdue and Gary Clayton (FDIC), Carl Pry, Jim Bedsole, David Blake and more. Online registration is quick and easy - click here to reserve your spot and to see a detailed agenda and hotel information. Save $50 on the registration fee through Tuesday, Sept. 5. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Learn about the Next Generation of FinTech and Financial Institutions at CEO Conference
FinTech companies are increasing their footprints in the financial sector through innovations in payments, lending, security and data analytics, making it faster and more customer friendly when making risk decisions and moving payments faster. How are financial institutions responding to this reality, and what are the legal and compliance considerations in partnering with FinTech companies? Teri Sands, senior vice president, State Bank and Trust Company, and Michelle Tyde, counsel, Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton, will provide an overview of FinTech relationships, regulatory requirements, business considerations, best practices for working through vendor contracts and other legal scenarios. GBA’s President /CEO Conference is Oct. 1-3 at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro. You can check out the conference brochure here and register here now.

Bank Counsel Conference Also Scheduled Oct. 1-3
Mark your calendar for GBA’s annual Bank Counsel Conference set for Oct. 1-3 at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro. Any bank lawyer will benefit from attendance, not just your general counsel. If your bank hires specialized attorneys or firms, they should consider attending, too. The conference will be held in conjunction with GBA’s annual President/CEO Conference and Bank Accountant Conference. Click here for more details about the Bank Counsel Conference...

Century Bank of Georgia Warns of Fraudulent Cashier’s Checks
Banks are encouraged to be on the lookout for fraudulent cashier’s checks bearing the Century Bank of Georgia name. If you have a question about a cashier’s check from the bank, please contact Century Bank of Georgia’s Rhonda Massengill at 678.721.2023 or

2017 BankPAC Campaign Update
It’s been a great week for the 2017 BankPAC Campaign! If you haven’t yet contributed, here are your fundraising guides and contribution forms for easy use when your bank makes a contribution to the StatePAC and eligible employees and directors make personal contributions to the FedPAC. Eligibility and suggested contributions are included on the contribution forms. Take a look at the overall campaign progress here. With questions, please call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027. Many thanks to the CEOs of the following banks making a contribution to the GBA BankPAC this week...

Georgia Banking School Board of Directors Begins Planning for 2018 School
The Georgia Banking School Board of Directors met last Friday in Athens to begin work on the 2018 school curriculum. The Board is chaired by Darron Burnette, Synovus Bank, Statesboro. Other members are...

Five Highlights from Upcoming IRA Update Workshop
A lack of training and the misuse of the terminology "rollover" vs. "transfer" can cause IRA accountholders to receive letters from the IRS showing thousands of dollars in taxes owed. Save your customers from this hassle by attending GBA’s IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop Sept. 21 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. One of the most respected IRA experts in the country, Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp. will separate fact from fiction for the more technical areas of IRAs, focusing on recent changes with content at the intermediate to advanced level. Click here for five highlights Konarik has planned for this year’s workshop...

Loan Documentation Seminar - Sept. 27
The 10 Most Common Loan Documentation Problems and More
To help member banks prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques, GBA is hosting its Loan Documentation seminar on Sept. 27 at The Brickyard Golf Club in Macon. Mike Allen of State Bank and Trust Company will address a comprehensive range of topics. Commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists will all benefit from this seminar. Allen will cover the following...

Internal Audit Seminar - Sept. 28
Recent Trends in Financial Institution Fraud
Presented in partnership with Crowe Horwath, LLP, GBA is hosting an Internal Audit Sept. 27 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. In addition to a detailed review of auditing the Electronic Funds Transfer, deposit and branch operations functions, Mike Thomas, partner, Crowe Horwath, LLP, will discuss trends in the following areas of financial institution fraud, specifically...

Marketing Peer Group - Oct. 24
CRM, Marketing Hot Topics Top Agenda
GBA member bank and Associate Member marketing officers and any banker with marketing responsibilities will not want to miss the next Marketing Peer Group Meeting Oct. 24 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Thanks to GBA’s Marketing Committee for planning a program with timely sessions on the tools and strategies that will keep your bank relevant in today’s environment. See preliminary details here...

Registration Now Open for November Financial Risk Management Conference
The goal of the GBA 2017 Financial Risk Management Conference, Nov. 8-9 at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest Hotel, is to provide guidance in answering these questions and more - so be sure you’re registered to attend. It is an excellent opportunity for address important questions in an environment of friendly peers. The registration fee for members is just $350. Also, this conference has been approved by NASBA for professional education credits. If you have questions, contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

Upcoming GBA-U Webinars
A GBA-U Webinar is a great way to quickly get the training you need without travel or time out of the bank. Webinars are live and allow time for questions and answers. The $265 registration price gives you access to one web site "seat," one telephone site license and all handout materials. If you can't attend the webinar, you may buy the audio CD, handout materials and a password to see the session online. With questions, please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021. Here is a sample of upcoming offerings...

ABA Certificates Boost Your Career
ABA certificate programs build the skills necessary for career advancement. Through a prescribed course of study, certificates provide practical, tailored knowledge specific to a job role in the bank. Programs are continually reevaluated and refined to meet current needs and changes in the industry.

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 Bo Brannen at 404.420.2014.

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 If your bank is a SUM Program member, your customers can use any SUM ATM without paying a surcharge. 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. Regardless of how many ATMs your bank has, with SUM, your customers have even more options for withdrawing funds anytime, anywhere. Customer advantages include…

Specialized Marketing & Branding for the Digital Age from FMS
Digital marketing channels such as email marketing, social media marketing, blogs, online display advertising, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and mobile marketing are critical for earning new business from today's bank customers. Financial Marketing Solutions (FMS), a Strategic Partner of the GBA, is a niche branding and marketing agency solely serving the financial services industry. FMS can help you solve the riddle of how to attract and retain clients through digital channels. For more information, please contact Sean Hockenbery of FMS at 615.591.2073.




Van Norman



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 Bogan Brannen