September 8, 2017   

Preparing for Hurricane Irma
We're all closely watching the track of Hurricane Irma. We join Gov. Deal and others in encouraging banks, bankers, their families and customers to be prepared. Gov. Deal issued a state of emergency in advance of the storm for many Georgia counties expecting some degree of effects from the storm. Earlier this week we distributed to CEOs a customizable news release with financial preparation tips that banks can use in their local markets. Below are some links to that and other resources you may find helpful in preparing. With questions about resources, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036.


GBA in the News
State Banking's Performance and Service Highlighted

We've been featuring the people of banking as we celebrate our 125th anniversary, and an article in this month's Georgia Trend magazine also carries that theme. "Banking is all about people," says Heath Fountain, president and CEO of Planters First Bank in Cordele and GBA Group 3 board member, in the article. "The products and services between banks are fairly commodity; there's a little bit of difference. It's really about the experience and interaction with the people." The article also highlights the recent good financial performance of the state's banks, which parallels the growth of the Georgia economy. "The banking industry is a direct reflection of the health of the state of Georgia, and Georgia's doing well," said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO, "and so the banks are also doing well." More from Georgia Trend here...

Member Meetings Roll into North Georgia
GBA's 125th Anniversary meetings this week were in Gainesville and Rome, with big crowds of members coming together for fellowship, a little history session and inspiring stories from bankers. The Georgians who happen to be bankers we heard from this week shared humorous, sometimes surprising and emotional testimonials about their career paths and passion for their profession and industry. Click here to read about some highlights from this week's meetings...




Cobb Area Banking is a Family Tradition Elrod is Proud to Continue
First Landmark Bank's Jan Elrod and other members of her family have been proud to contribute to the community of banking in and around Cobb County for two generations. Both her mother and brother enjoyed careers in banking. “I guess it was in my blood,” Elrod told us recently. Elrod attributes her success as a banker today to both that heritage and to her participation in GBA Committees and attendance at GBA events like this month’s upcoming Compliance Conference. Elrod, who currently chairs the GBA Compliance Committee tasked with planning this year’s conference, shared more about the benefits of her bank’s GBA membership and some other interesting personal details in our most recent GBA Member Profile here…


Chairman's Message Calling all CEOs for the President/CEO Conference
"The Community Bankers Committee has planned an outstanding agenda for this year's President/CEO Conference," said GBA Chairman Palmer Proctor of Fideilty Bank, Atlanta. "The sessions will be timely and informative. But just as valuable are the networking opportunities with not only other Georgia bank executives, but our Bank Counsel and Accountant members, as well." The conference is Oct. 1-3 at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro. Here's a link to the conference brochure and registration information. The conference will be held in conjunction with the annual Bank Counsel Conference and Bank Accountant Conference, so networking with those professionals is also a highlight of the program. There's still time to register, and we still have a few rooms available in our room block at the special GBA rate of $189 per night. With questions, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

Bankers Featured among Most Admired CEOs
We love to see member bankers highlighted as good leaders that stand out among all businesses in the state. The Atlanta Business Chronicle last week published its list of most admired CEOs, and we were pleased to see two bankers recognized. Congratulations to Sonny Deriso, Atlantic Capital Bank, and former GBA Chairman, and Bill Linginfelter, Regions Bank.



Members Wanted for Bank Counsel Section
An important membership group within GBA is our Bank Counsel Section. In addition to representing their particular bank clients, these attorneys and firms provide your association with valuable expertise and insight about banking law. Participation in GBA is one way these lawyers and firms can give something back to the industry that generously supports their practices. We're asking for your help to grow membership in this part of your association. If your bank works with attorneys or firms that are not Bank Counsel Section members, we'd appreciate your help recruiting them. Here are the two ways to help...

HR Resource
Three Detailed Reports Comprise Compensation & Benefits Survey

Don't wait to get your copy of the 2017 GBA Compensation and Benefits Survey that is now available. There are three sections to the results this year. Section 1 - Compensation Trends and Benefits includes questions about bonus and incentive pay trends as well as all health and welfare benefits. Section 2 - Directors Compensation Survey covers all the details about various director pay and benefits. Section 3 - Salary Survey is the traditional salary benchmark tool to help you compare your jobs and compensation strategy to your true labor market competitors. Perks and value points include...

Internal Audit Seminar to Cover EFT, Deposit and Branch Operations Functions
Mike Thomas, partner, Crowe Horwath, LLP, will lead a practical, hands-on discussion of effective practices in auditing the Electronic Funds Transfer function, the deposit function and the branch operations function as well as recent trends in financial institution fraud at GBA's Internal Audit seminar Sept. 28 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Thomas will delve deep into...

Compliance Conference, Sept. 20-22
Two More Reasons to Attend Annual Compliance Conference

  1. Attorney Loretta Salzano, Franzen & Salzano, P.C., will discuss Incentive Compensation Plans and Customer Harm.

  2. Jim Bedsole of BankSouth will lead a session on E-Sign and Electronic Disclosure Delivery.

Click here to see the full agenda and to register online. If you have questions, contact GBA's Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.


Cast Your Vote for FHLB Director
By Rick Whaley, president and CEO
The Citizens Bank of Americus
Vice Chairman, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (Bank) is conducting an election to fill one public interest independent directorship on its board of directors for a four-year term that begins on Jan 1, 2018. Eligible institutions throughout the Bank's district, including Georgia, will elect the public interest independent director. The Bank's board of directors has nominated Robert L. Strickland, Jr. for re-election to the directorship. More from FHLB Atlanta director Whaley here...

GBA Retirement Services- Changing Your Enrollment Experience
According to PlanSponsor e-News, "A recent survey revealed issues employees have with open enrollment season, including material too difficult to understand and not enough time to make benefits decisions." One of the many things that sets GBA Retirement Services apart from the competitors is our 401(k) education and enrollment process. We have begun referring to our 401(k) enrollment meetings as Financial Planning Meetings because the information we present to our participants is so personalized and encompassing of their full financial picture. More about GBA here...

Time to Tee it up for GBA's BankPAC Fundraiser Oct. 18
Our annual PAC campaigns allow us to support candidates who will listen to our members' concerns. One of the signature BankPAC fundraising events is coming up. And, it's arguably more fun than a meeting at the bank to talk about why contributions are important. Leadership GBA's annual Georgia BankPAC Classic is Oct. 18 at The Club at River Forest, Forsyth. The two-person scramble tournament is sure to be a blast for everyone. Registration is $150 per person, $250 per team or $450 for a team plus hole sponsorship (a $100 savings). The proceeds will be donated to the GBA StatePAC. Click here to register. With questions, please call GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

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...

Marketing Peer Group - Oct. 24
CRM Done Right is Business Done Right

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. Al Suosso, solutions specialist with Jack Henry & Associates, will start off the meeting by discussing customer relationship management (CRM) sales and service planning tools. Roundtable discussions will begin after lunch. Topics include available resources, sharing experiences and hot button issues. 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. Registration is $125 per person. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA's Alison Moreau at 404.420.2034.

Financial Risk Management Conference, Nov. 8-9
Implementation Considerations on the Road to CECL

Come to GBA's Financial Risk Management Conference Nov. 8-9 to get the latest update. Mandi Simpson, professional accounting fellow with the OCC's Office of the Chief Accountant, will talk through some CECL implementation considerations, including insights into developing a plan, things to consider along the route to a successful CECL implementation and initial supervisory expectations and resources. There will be time for Q&A, so come prepared with your most pressing CECL questions. The conference will be at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest Hotel. Click here to see the detailed agenda and to register online. 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.

FFIEC Outreach Website Available
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) launched a new Industry Outreach website for financial institutions, trade associations, third-party providers and consultants. The website is designed to share information about current issues related to financial institution supervision and to provide updates to supervisory guidance and regulations. To learn more about the program or sign-up to receive FFIEC email updates, visit

Beige Book: Modest Economic Growth Noted by Fed
Contacts for the Federal Reserve's Sixth District, which includes Georgia, reported economic activity rose modestly through late August. Credit remained readily available for qualified borrowers. Some contacts reported mortgage activity slowed due to a limited supply of homes for sale and a decline in auto lending due to decreasing demand. Commercial loan activity was brisk and small businesses used loan proceeds to refinance or expand their business. Get the full scoop here...

Banking 101 Courses Available
Banking Fundamentals includes three 4-week courses that combine the principles of the banking industry with real-world application. Ideal for emerging bankers or bankers seeking to gain an understanding of the changing world of financial services, it is an online, paperless, series of courses the combines peer collaboration with instructor guidance. The member price of each session is $215.

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 website "seat," one telephone site license and all handout materials. If you can't attend the webinar, you may buy the CD of the recording, handout materials and/or 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...

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.

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...

Morris Bank

United Bank





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