April 9, 2021  

McLanahan and Wilson Nominated to GBA Statewide Offices

Flatt to Assume Chairmanship

The GBA Nominating Committee has met and according to its Chair, Chuck Copeland, president and CEO, First National Bank of Griffin, the committee unanimously recommends the 2021-2022 GBA Chairman-elect be C. Rhodes McLanahan, president and CEO, First American Bank & Trust Company, Athens, and the Vice Chairman be Kimberli (Kim) D. Wilson, president and CEO, OneSouth Bank, Blakely. “Rhodes and Kim are well-respected, forward-looking bankers. They are going to be outstanding leaders for the GBA community of bankers,” Copeland said. James L. Flatt (Luke), chairman, president and CEO, AB&T, Albany, automatically becomes 2021-2022 GBA Chairman in July.


McLanahan Wilson Flatt


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New GBA Board Members Elected

As specified by the GBA bylaws, the membership elects a board member to represent each of its even-numbered geographic groups during odd-numbered years. Elections for directors representing groups 4, 6, 8 and 10 have been completed. The following bankers, elected by their peers, will begin a two-year term on the GBA Board of Directors beginning July 1, 2021:

  • Group 4: Bill Stump, chairman, president and CEO, Community Bank & Trust-West Georgia, LaGrange

  • Group 6: John Childs, president and CEO, Exchange Bank, Milledgeville

  • Group 8: Parrish Clark, CEO, Guardian Bank, Valdosta

  • Group 10: David Voyles, president, Pinnacle Bank, Elberton


Stump Childs Clark Voyles


The incoming Chairman also makes two At-Large appointments each year. Luke Flatt has appointed Bill Easterlin, president and CEO, Queensborough National Bank and Trust Company, Louisville, and Stephen Cheney, CEO, Thomasville National Bank, to serve two-year terms.


John Barker, president and CEO, First Bank of Pike, Molena, will serve on the board representing the GBA Community Bankers Committee as its chair. Susan Moss, president and CEO, Planters and Citizens Bank, Camilla, will serve on the Board in the position designated for the chair of GBA Services, Inc. She also serves as the Group 2 representative.


As incoming chair of the Leadership GBA Board, Jenny Wofford, Pinnacle Bank, becomes that group’s representative on the GBA Board of Directors.


Easterlin Cheney Barker Moss Wofford


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Georgia Part of FDIC Campaign to Promote Bank Accounts

The FDIC this week launched a public awareness campaign about the benefits of opening a bank account, with a specific emphasis on Atlanta and Houston markets. The FDIC’s #GetBanked campaign encourages consumers to consider opening a checking account and includes a checklist to help consumers choose the best account to meet their needs as well as a list of local partners to help consumers find low-cost bank accounts. GBA endorses the effort to support financial empowerment by encouraging consumers to consider opening a checking account that can result in access to safer and lower-cost financial products. It’s an important issue throughout Georgia, not just the metro Atlanta area. In a letter to FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams, we noted the progress made in recent years throughout Georgia in reducing the level of unbanked and underbanked households. We also requested the FDIC expand its efforts to non-urban and rural markets, and asked for additional state- and MSA-level data to help better understand the need in Georgia. We also encourage members to consider offering Bank On certified low-cost, no-overdraft bank accounts. Many banks already offer qualifying accounts and can apply, at no cost, for a Bank On certification through the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund). In addition to bringing new customers in to your bank, these accounts may qualify for CRA credit. For banks that don’t currently offer accounts that meet every Bank On standard, the industry’s top core providers, who provide the operational backbone for many banks, have committed to simplifying the process for banks to create and offer qualifying accounts. Get more details about Bank On Accounts here. We’d love to hear about any efforts your bank is making to reach out to unbanked households in your markets.


Related: April is national Financial Literacy Month, and many GBA members have financial literacy activities planned. Those include participating in Teach Children to Save activities in classrooms and other community outreach efforts. Teach Children to Save day is April 22, but activities are scheduled throughout the month. Please send us photos and information we can share as part of our industry advocacy. And, we’d love to hear about any efforts your bank is making to reach out to unbanked or underbanked households in your markets. Send information to David Oliver and Katina Prokos.


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New York Libor Bill Becomes Law

We don’t usually cover the doings of the New York state legislature, but Tuesday New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill of note. The legislation will likely become a model for other states in facilitating the transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) in 2023. The bill allows contracts that use Libor referenced-rates that don’t have fall-back rates specified to automatically fall back to the reference rate recommended by the Federal Reserve or the AARC, which is currently the Secured Overnight Financing Rate. New York law governs many of the $200 trillion in outstanding contracts that reference U.S. dollar Libor. GBA Bank Counsel Chair Reggie O’Shields, FHLB-Atlanta, is heading up the section’s efforts to ensure the applicable laws in Georgia are adjusted to facilitate a smooth transition from Libor.


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Last Call for Security Conference – April 14-16, St. Simons

How to Combat Business Email Compromise

FBI Special Agent Todd Renner will join us next week at the GBA Security Conference for a detailed session about the latest business email compromise trends and tactics for protecting your bank. This is one of the most prevalent forms of fraud around today. You can still make a last-minute reservation for this in-person event that starts Wednesday, April 14 with the Roles and Responsibilities overview, followed by a reception. Get all the details and register here.



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In-person Conference

Crystal Ball Sessions on Ag Set for Rural Development and Lending Conference

Members attending this year’s Rural Development and Lending Conference May 201-21 at the King and Prince, St. Simons, will get a thorough outlook on the ag economy, forecasts for cotton and other key crops, and a crop insurance update. Sessions will also cover funding sources for small ag businesses, tech trends and Georgia Ag Commissioner Gary Black. Important: The hotel deadline is April 21. Register for the conference and make hotel reservations as early as people are snapping up capacity quickly at resorts all along the Georgia coast. Get all the details and register here.


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Registration Now Open for Women in Banking Conference

Registration is now open for the 2021 Women in Banking Conference, Aug. 12-13 at Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA. Women bankers, GBA Associate Members, Bank Accountant and Bank Counsel section members are invited to attend. Our loyal attendees tell us it’s their favorite conference of the year with excellent professional development sessions, informal networking, information sharing opportunities and a little time to relax and renew. The GBA Women in Banking Committee, led by Martha Brown, Planters and Citizens Bank, Camilla, and Cristi Donahue, Oconee State Bank, Watkinsville, is working to finalize the program, which is shaping up to be one of the best yet. Click here for registration and hotel information, the agenda and more. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Thank you to FHLB- Atlanta and McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Company for supporting this event through sponsorship. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


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BaZing Fuel - The Best Checking Reward!

Learn about BaZing Fuel with GBA Partner StrategyCorps

Please plan to join GBA partner StrategyCorps on April 14 at 3 p.m., for an inside look at what the newest version of its BaZing app has to offer your bank, including a revolutionary debit card rewards program called BaZing Fuel. StrategyCorps’ Dave DeFazio will also share insights about how their app can drive engagement with your customers by providing all the other personal services consumers are demanding. Click here to register.


Related: Planters First Bank this week was the first bank in Georgia to begin offering gas rewards through BaZing. Read the press release here. Certain checking accounts will now proudly feature a service branded as Planters Perks, powered by BaZing. Remember, BaZing also offers discounts on other services including roadside assistance, cell phone protection, ID theft protection/restoration and bill negotiation. To learn more about Planters Perks, powered by BaZing, click here. Contact StrategyCorps’ Ryan Harbry at ryan.harbry@strategycorps.com, 404.819.1438, with questions.


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Leadership Conference Update – Evening Events, Kids, and More

We’re expecting a super crowd at the 2021 Leadership Conference, July 12-14 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra, Florida. The educational program is in place and registration is open. The golf outing will be Tuesday afternoon; click here for info on reserving a tee time. With vaccine distribution up and restrictions easing, your GBA team has been working closely with Ponte Vedra Inn & Club to determine how we can safely and comfortably accommodate registrants and their families at our two traditional evening events. The Leadership GBA officers will meet early next week to discuss options, and we’ll update you by email with that info. Sponsorship opportunities are available and we have a few exhibit spaces left that may be reserved online. A huge thank-you to these associate members who are supporting the event through sponsorship: CSRA Business Lending, FHLB of Atlanta, Holmes Shaw Agency, Mauldin & Jenkins, Point to Point Environmental, Troutman Pepper and Wipfli. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


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An Easy and Efficient Way for Employers and Job Seekers to Connect!

Join GBA Partner BankTalentHQ for a Virtual Career Fair on April 20

GBA partner BankTalentHQ is excited to announce that it will host a Virtual Career Fair on April 20, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Employers will be able to select the times they can be available to chat with job seeking candidates seeking full-time, part-time and internship positions. The candidates will be diverse students and alumni from colleges and universities across the US. The best part? It's happening all online! REGISTER NOW to find the top talent for your team. Visit www.banktalenthq.com to see all the great career resources they have to offer.


Here’s why your bank should sign up for the virtual career fair:

  • Reduce recruiting costs by using a virtual solution to screen and recruit quality candidates

  • Interact in your own, private chat room with the option to conduct video interviews

  • Unlimited access to all registered candidates’ hiring information including exporting digital resumes

  • Greatly reduce time, travel, and staff required to participate in all day, on-site events

  • Efficiently bring officers, department heads and other decision-makers in to the recruiting process

  • Eliminate transportation and overhead costs associated with using a booth

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GBA Annual Meeting

Important Waitlist and Island Access Information

While we are thrilled at the response from our bankers to our Annual Meeting, June 20-22, at The Cloister at Sea Island, we have a number of registrants who are on the waitlist for a hotel room. We are working diligently on this and will update all waitlisted people by email early next week. Meanwhile, we need to share some very important information from Sea Island for anyone that does not have accommodations in the official GBA room block. Due to unprecedented demand at The Cloister and on the island, access to Sea Island has been restricted through Sept. 30. This means that only GBA registrants staying in a room in the GBA block will have access to the island. We are working on this with the resort but cannot guarantee this will change. If you are registered and booked a room at The Inn outside of the GBA block or are registered and staying offsite, email Kathy Friestad. We will request access to GBA meetings and evening events and let you know if access is granted. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


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New In-Person, Single-Day Programs
Popular Loan Doc, ISO and New-Account Seminars Coming up

  • Loan Documentation Seminar – April 14

Speaker: Mike Allen of Cadence Bank 

Learn more here.


  • Information Security Officer Seminar – May 19

Speaker: Tom Hinkel of Safe Systems

Sponsored by Safe Systems
Learn more here.


Just added!

  • New-Account Documentation and Compliance Seminar – June 16
    Speaker: Suzie Jones of Training Resources Consulting           
    Learn more here.

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GBA Webinars: Director Training and Sales Skills

Can’t join live? Recordings are available for one week after each training.

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New Virtual Marketing Seminar

Winning New Customers in Times of Change

We know that finding the right marketing tactics for your bank can be a challenge, even more so with a limited budget and competitive ecosystem. How do you differentiate your bank from the others in your market? We know that it takes many touchpoints with a brand for a consumer to make a buying decision, so how do you ensure your bank is there when your future customer is ready to make a decision? GBA members can get some answers by participating in a one-day virtual seminar from our counterparts at the North Carolina Bankers Association June 8. The day is in five parts: 

  • Part 1 – The Customer Journey in Banking: Creating an Effective Customer Experience

  • Part 2 – Financial Product Marketing: Choosing the Right Digital Channels to Acquire New Customers

  • Part 3 – How Your Bank Can Partner with Influencers and Publishers

  • Part 4 – Key Metrics for a Successful Digital Strategy

  • Part 5 – Closing Remarks: Tips and Considerations for Digital Marketing Success

Cost is $300 if you register by May 25, $350 afterward. Get details and register here.


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Join live or purchase a recording!

Spring into April with Webinars from National Experts

Do you have a BankWebinars.com webinar subscription package? Save 10-30% with a subscription package (details here). Use your credits on the webinars below or purchase webinars individually. View the full calendar here. Questions? Email events@gabankers.com

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ABA Online Training

GBA members may access these great programs at the member rates.

  • Certificate Programs (select member option) — More than 20 Certificates across six critical skills categories including Commercial Lending, Compliance, Retail Banking and more


  • Facilitated Online Courses (select member option) — Virtual learning with an instructor and peer interaction, weekly assignments and deadlines. Categories including Retail, Compliance, Executive Management and more


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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.


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Savannah - Colony Bank

Tim Hazelman and Lisa Brantley have joined the bank as mortgage loan originators for its Savannah market. Read more here.


Tifton - South Georgia Banking Company

Erika Culpepper has joined the bank as senior vice president of its 2nd Street branch in Tifton. Read more here.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

EVP Chief Retail Officer Cristi Donahue was recently featured in the Oconee Enterprise as part of a Women’s History Month commemoration. Read more here.


Washington, DC - Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

Director Ken Blanco will step down on April 9. Blanco has been director of FinCEN since December 2017. Former FinCEN Deputy Director Michael Mosier will serve as acting director starting on April 11. Read more here.


Washington, DC - Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

National Bank Examiner Ralph DeLeon will retire from the OCC on April 30.



Hazelman Brantley Culpepper Donahue



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 Katina Prokos.

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