June 23, 2017         

Proctor takes the helm at this week's GBA Annual Meeting

Proctor installed as 128th GBA Chairman

H. Palmer Proctor Jr. took the gavel as GBA’s 128th Chairman this week at GBA’s Annual Meeting. Proctor is the president and chief executive officer at Fidelity Bank in Atlanta. Proctor said that during his term, he wants to ensure bankers fulfil the common mission the association has worked toward since 1892. “Our predecessors created this organization 125 years ago with a common goal in mind: to deal with the friction points against our industry, educate bankers to be the best professionals they can be and find ways to make banking better not just for the banks, but for the people we serve,” he said in his remarks. “It is important to work together as one team, the GBA, to face these challenges head on. Let’s continue the tradition and continue to build an organization that will be helping bankers like us for another 125 years and beyond.” Read his full remarks here...
Other officers and new board members were elected for the 2017-2018 year and installed during the meeting, as well. John F. Hall, president and CEO, American Pride Bank, Macon, is Chairman Elect, and J. Charles Copeland, First National Bank of Griffin, is Vice Chairman. Several new board members were elected by their peers or appointed to At Large positions to begin their terms are...
Drews delivers his State of the Association address in Colorado Springs

Drews Outlines State of the Industry & Association

GBA Chairman Rick Drews declared the state of the Association to be strong, and he emphasized the people of banking as being the reason the industry continues to be linchpin of commerce, economic growth, prosperity, community and family financial stability in Georgia. “What I see every day at my bank and by getting to know more about you all in my role as GBA Chairman also is heartening. I know this sounds cliché as each of us would say our customer service is what makes different. But the reality is - it’s true. We know our communities. We live there. We go to church with our customers. We see them in the grocery stores and the restaurants on the weekend. Attending PTA meetings - where likely one of our folks is on the board. Our kids go to school and play little league ball with their kids - and, our banks likely pay for the team sponsorship. We listen, we’re involved, it matters to us, and we care,” he said. “We are the people of Georgia banking. And standing behind us is The Georgia Bankers Association. It’s your Association, run by bankers for bankers. It has been empowering me, you and our predecessors for 125 years.” Read more highlights here...

Reg Relief Moves to U.S. Senate

We’ve been reporting on the CHOICE Act that recently passed the U.S. House, and the focus now turns to the U.S. Senate. Hearings began last week in the Senate Banking Committee whey members heard from bankers and other industry stakeholder. This week, financial regulators testified talking about ideas they have that could be helpful. “A regulatory structure that fosters a safe, sound, robust and competitive banking industry is essential to allow us bankers to serve the needs of our communities. We’ve seen how the prescriptive rules coming out of the Dodd-Frank Act have caused too many banks to either stop offering traditional services like mortgages, or have clients who don’t fit Washington’s idea of a qualified bank customer. This has to stop and we hope the Senate will move on legislation soon,” said GBA Chairman-elect John Hall, American Pride Bank, Macon, who also serves as chairman of GBA’s Public Affairs Committee that focuses on legislative and regulatory issues. Click here for a summary of our comments...

Magazine Chooses Hometown Banker for Inaugural Issue Feature

Beth Alston, Editor & Publisher of Georgia’s newest community magazine, Americus, chose, “…their friendly, hometown bank president,” to feature in her new venture as he represents what’s important to her and the magazine: a reflection of the local community and its values. That banker is GBA’s past chairman Rick Whaley, President and CEO of Citizens Bank of Americus. The in-depth article is a great read about how a kid followed his father’s footsteps into the Army, earned a Green Beret, completed a college degree and entered banking having never thought of that as a career. Whaley is now one of the industry’s most ardent and well-respected advocates. Whaley tells of two life lessons in the article, 1) you can be anything you want to in life if you’re willing to be passionate, willing to commit the time and effort, and make the sacrifices; and 2) life is all about the choices you make. “Bankers like Rick Whaley are who make our industry integral to the success of so many communities. It’s not so much the name on the door, it’s the Georgians who happen to be bankers behind those doors that make a difference in so many people’s lives,” said GBA president & CEO Joe Brannen. Whaley and his wife Ginny, a flight attendant with Delta, are super active in the community while somehow finding time to enjoy the outdoors and participating in AKC Retriever Field Trials. Citizens Bank of Americus is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.

GBA’s 125th Anniversary Year Kicks Off

This year’s Annual Meeting for GBA was its 125th gathering, and we kicked off a year-long salute to the people who continue making Georgia banking great. Check out the short video here that led off the meeting, which features bankers from around the state. Throughout the year we’ll feature more and more banker stories about service to their customers and communities as a salute to the 125 years bankers have joined together for the benefit of the industry.
Brian Stann

Annual Meeting Program a Hit

Our keynote programs at the 2017 GBA Annual Meeting offered something for everyone this year. We covered key business trends, touched on leadership approaches and took a look at key future trends. Here are some of the highlights. Next week, we’ll recognize all those exhibitors, sponsors and breakout leaders who did so much to make the 2017 annual such a success.

Plan Now to Attend Leadership GBA's Signature Event - July 17-20

We’re drawing closer to the start of the 2017 Leadership Conference July 17-20 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. If you haven't committed to joining us, just read this list of sessions you won't want to miss:
  • A legislative and association update from GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler and David Oliver, including preliminary thoughts coming out of the recent 6th district runoff and some major trends we're seeing develop
  • An economic update and forecast with Wells Fargo’s Tim Quinlan
  • A legal look at what is coming down the line for banking’s future leaders with GBA General Counsel Jonathan Hightower of Bryan Cave
  • A diverse panel of bank execs discussing ways they profitably grow their banks
  • Expert coverage of ROI on Mobile Banking for Community Banks with FISERV’s Doug Elser
  • The story of hostage victims from Carolyn Downs about how she and her husband endured more than 20 hours in a terrifying situation that involved securing a large ransom for her husband’s release.
That's just a brief overview, and you’ll also have a chance to relax, recharge and reconnect with your fellow bankers and their families in a fun, first-class location. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.
Doug Wren, at right, with GBA past-chairman Rick Drews

50 Year Bankers Honored

One of the big traditions of the GBA Annual Meeting each year is to honor Georgia bankers who have dedicated 50 years or more of their careers to the banking industry. This year, we saluted three bankers for their long and successful careers. Congratulations, and thank you for your service to your banks, communities and the industry!
  • Doug Wren of Persons Banking Company is celebrating his 50th year in banking. Wren began his career in 1967 at old First National Bank of Atlanta, working part time in the proof encoding department when he was a sophomore in college. Over the years, Wren has served as Commercial Lender, Branch Manager, COO, Bank President, and Regional President. Currently Doug serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer.

  • Patricia Rose has worked at the Bank of Terrell for 50 years. Her first job at the bank was running the proof machine, and she’s now the bank’s Vice President, BSA officer, Corporate Secretary and Board and Loan Committee Secretary.

  • Bobby Voyles, vice chairman of BankSouth in Greensboro. Voyles has been with the bank for 50 years. He began his career at the bank as cashier, and has served as Executive Vice President, Director, President, CEO, Vice Chairman of the Bank, Vice Chairman of the Board, and Director and Chairman of the BankSouth Foundation.

Welcome New Associate Members

GBA’s board of directors this week approved the following new companies for Associate Membership. Please get to know these new organizations and thank them for their support of GBA:
  • Luse Gorman, PC - Washington, D.C.
    Luse Gorman, PC is a law firm specializing in securities, corporate, regulatory and transactional law, and executive and employee compensation, including stock and debt offerings, mergers and acquisitions; securities and regulatory compliance; governance; enforcement matters; and employee benefits. Tom Hutton, thutton@luselaw.com, 202.274.2000.

  • Visible Equity - Salt Lake City, UT
    Visible Equity is analytics, data warehousing and visualization software that helps financial institutions identify, measure and monitor risk and opportunities. Brooke Fabian, brooke.fabian@visibleequity.com, 888.409.1560.

  • ChaseCompGroup - Atlanta
    ChaseCompGroup is a national compensation consulting firm with consultants who have worked in the executive compensation arena for over 40 years, with a specific focus on the community banking industry for the last decade. Diana Chase, dchase@chasecompgroup.com, 404.228.1013.

GBA Insurance Trust Elects Directors

The GBA Insurance Trust held its annual business Meeting June 19 and elected three directors. The following bankers were elected by their peers to serve a three-year term, expiring in 2020.
  • Remer Brinson, State Bank and Trust, Augusta
  • Stan Kryder, First Landmark Bank, Marietta
  • Glenn Willis, South Georgia Banking Company, Tifton
Ed Hortman, CEO of Ameris Bank, and chairman of the GBA Insurance Trust, also provided a summary of the Insurance Trust’s activities. Highlights were...

Handel Elected to Congress

Congratulations to former Secretary of State Karen Handel for winning a special runoff election to take the GA-6th Congressional District seat formerly held by now-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Handel is well known to Georgia bankers and has been an able advocate for regulatory burden relief on banks and other businesses. GBA met with Handel during the campaign and briefed her on the myriad issues facing the industry. “We’ve worked with Representative-elect Handel over the years and always found her to be a quick study and supportive of our overall goals. She will add another strong voice of reason to our U.S. House delegation, and we look forward to working with her when she’s sworn into Congress,” said GBA Senior Vice President for Government Relations Elizabeth Chandler.

Flood Insurance Bills Clear Committee

One of the must-pass bills this year would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program prior to its slated Sept. 30, 2017, expiration. The U.S. House Financial Services Committee this week passed the reauthorizing legislation. Several other flood-related measures also were reported that are intended to provide a more permanent solution to funding as well as a robust private flood insurance market providing an alternative to the government-backed insurance. Georgia is blessed with an abundance of river, tributary, stream, lake and coastal communities and the lenders and their borrowers need more certainty about flood insurance coverage and mapping. This much-needed legislation should be considered by the full House soon. Here’s a link to the committee’s press release giving more details about the package of five bills reported. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027 or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.

Senior Lending Officer Roundtables Wrap-up

All four GBA Senior Lending Officer Roundtables met last week in Macon and Atlanta. Paul Sims, president of community bank consulting firm Guided Solutions, facilitates the roundtables. Topics covered SBA Lending, lender performance evaluations, recent exam experiences, streamlining loan approval processes and marketing ideas. If you are a Senior Lender and would like to join one of the roundtables, click here for more information or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop - Sept. 21

Costly reporting errors cause customers to receive letters from the IRS showing thousands of dollars in taxes owed. One of the biggest culprits is the lack of training and misuse of the terminology "rollover" vs. "transfer," causing IRA accountholders to receive these unnecessary letters and bills from the IRS for taxes owed. Are you looking for a seminar that is going to separate fact from fiction for the more technical areas of IRAs? If so, register today for GBA’s IRA Advanced Update and Review Workshop Sept. 21 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. An IRA expert with more than 30 years’ experience in the financial industry, Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp. will answer these and many more common questions...

Did you know……..

Ethical Issues for Bankers – Bankers Code of Conduct

Ethical Issues for Bankers teaches how to observe an institution's code of conduct and adhere to federal laws. The course examines the guidelines that determine banking ethics, and introduces the ethical framework to perform upright decision-making and explores ethical dilemmas that occur in financial institutions, and how to apply a thoughtful four-step approach to such dilemmas. This course is applicable for bank personnel at all levels. Learning objectives include...

Summer Online Classes

Online Summer School – Training on Your Schedule

ABA online classes feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. These courses have weekly assignments as well as midterm and final exams. Any employee of a GBA member bank can participate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member. All you need is a computer, printer and Internet access. Please register two weeks in advance to secure a "seat." For more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings...

Upcoming GBA-U Webinars

A GBA 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. Check the GBA-U Calendar of Events at www.gabankers.com for more details.

GBA Job Bank

New Positions in Risk Management, Loan Operations and More

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.
Citizens Trust Bank

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 Bo Brannen and David Oliver, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment…

Just One Week Left to Submit GBA Compensation & Benefits Survey Info

The deadline to participate in the GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey is Friday, June 30. Banks that participate in both survey components get participant pricing of $150, which is a $250 discount off the full price for non-participating banks. Please visit our GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey website for details and instructions. If you have questions, please contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036.

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.