Dec. 11, 2020  

GBA Joins Push for Extended TDR Accounting Relief

This week we signed on to a letter with our state association counterparts from around the country urging key members of Congress and the administration to extend temporary relief from troubled debt restructuring (TDR) accounting. The letter makes the case that a premature expiration of the regulatory relief will hurt small businesses and consumers facing temporary disruptions in cash flow most, and that it would slow the pace of future loan modifications and possible forbearance. Section 4013 of the CARES Act expires at year end, and the letter urges that the extension be put in place prior to that. Read the letter here.


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Getting the Scoop on All Things Credit

Credit and lending officers from GBA member banks are attending the 2020 GBA Credit Conference, which kicked off Thursday. Look for details next week. Here are some snapshots of Thursday’s activities. Our thanks to GBA's Credit Committee for putting together a great program. The Committee is chaired by Stacy Brantley, Morris Bank, Dublin and the vice chair is Philip Bernardi, Oconee State Bank, Watkinsville.



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Weigh in on Community Bank Trends and Economy

State-chartered members are encouraged to participate in the fourth-quarter Community Bank Sentiment Index survey now available from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. The nine-question survey gives community banks an opportunity to have their voices heard. As a reminder, Georgia Banking Commissioner Kevin Hagler is chair of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors this year, so we hope to have a large number of Georgia bankers respond to support him. Take the survey here.


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FBI Director Urges Deeper Partnership with Law Enforcement

Speaking at an industry conference this week, FBI Director Christopher Wray urged bank security teams to strengthen their contacts with the FBI to help combat fraud, cyber criminals and other forms of crime. There’s opportunity for outreach in local markets, he said. “We now have private sector coordinators in every FBI field office. If you haven’t met that person in your city, you should make the connection,” he added. “Early notification to law enforcement can limit your losses and those of your customers. The FBI reviews every SAR we get.” He also covered some cybersecurity updates including a note for banks to be wary of efforts to hack third-party vendors. Watch the speech here.


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DBF Proposes Variety of Updates to Rules and Regulations

Bankers and others have until Jan. 6 to submit comments to a host of proposed changes to Georgia Department of Banking and Finance rules and regulations. Proposed changes cover topics including applications, fees, operating hours, lending limit issues, school savings and banking education programs and more. We spent some time with the proposal and did not see any changes that should cause concern. However, we depend on our members for input on issues like this, so please let us know if you see something we should comment on. Here’s a link to the notice of proposed rulemaking that includes all the details.


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2020 BankPAC Campaign Update

The 2020 BankPAC campaign has enabled GBA to support those elected officials who support the banking industry like never before. If you and your bank have yet to contribute, please find the campaign materials on the BankPAC page of GBA’s website. And, check out the progress of your GBA Group here. The GBA StatePAC is very close to reaching its goal – won’t you be the bank to put us over the top? We appreciate all of our contributors and want to thank United Bank, Zebulon, Jim Edwards, CEO, for contributing to the GBA StatePAC this week and the eligible employees, officers and directors from the following banks for contributing to the GBA FedPAC this week:

  • Colony Bank, Fitzgerald, Heath Fountain, president & CEO

  • First National Bank of Griffin, Chuck Copeland, president & CEO

  • Loyal Trust Bank, Johns Creek, Charlie Brown, President & CEO

  • United Bank, Zebulon, Jim Edwards

Thank you for your support of this important effort! With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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Prepayment Available for 2021 Programs & Events

If you’ve got training and development dollars budgeted but want to book the expenses this year, we’ll be glad to help you pre-pay for registration for GBA programs we’ve already got on the calendar for 2021. If you identify the events you know you want to attend, let us know and we’ll prepare an invoice for you and get you pre-registered. The link below has a list of some of the key events already scheduled. Please contact for more information.


2021 GBA Programs and Events


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The Cloister at
Sea Island

GBA Executive Committee Zooms to Kick Off 2021 Annual Meeting Planning

Members of GBA's Executive Committee met virtually last week to begin planning the GBA 2021 Annual Meeting, June 20-22 at The Cloister at Sea Island. Enthusiasm was high about the prospects for gathering in person and bringing the annual meeting “back home” to Georgia’s beautiful coast next summer. We’re working on the programming to cover topics of emphasis for GBA Chairman Spence Mullis, Morris Bank, such as leadership development, economic development and much more. Mark your calendar now, and keep an eye on upcoming editions of the GBA e-bulletin for an announcement regarding meeting registration, hotel reservations, sponsorships, and exhibiting. If you need information for budgeting purposes, the banker registration fee will not change from 2020 ($765) and room rates in the GBA block at The Cloister are $429 (plus tax and a $38/night resort fee) and $190 (plus tax, no resort fee) at The Inn at Sea Island. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with any questions.


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Want to Win a YETI Cooler from a GBA Partner? Learn How!

Time is running out to visit GBA’s Virtual Trade Show, so don’t miss the chance to win some terrific prizes like the YETI cooler shown here. You can enter for your chance by visiting Promontory MortgagePath’s booth. Promontory MortgagePath LLC (PMP) delivers mortgage fulfillment services and advanced digital point-of-sale solutions. With PMP’s help, banks can efficiently scale their mortgage operations whatever their current model. From models designed to introduce mortgage technology and boost processing power to complete solutions that include licensed loan coordinators, PMP combines a collaborative digital-mortgage platform with comprehensive fulfillment services, giving banks the technology and scalability required to compete in today’s competitive market. To learn more, visit their website or contact Paul Katz at or 202.257.2927.


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Remote Work: How Banks Can Build and Lead a Team – Jan. 21

We’ve been navigating uncharted waters for months now and remote work looks like it’s here to stay. While remote work is new to so many of us -- it’s not new to BELAYBELAY has been growing a successful company through remote work for over 10 years and is proud to lead the charge in disrupting the status quo by dismantling the ‘way things have always been done.’ Join Krisha Buehler, BELAY’s vice president of human resources, on Jan. 21 as she shares answers to some of the most asked questions regarding remote work in this new webinar:

  • How do you measure productivity in a remote environment?

  • What traits indicate a person can work remotely?

  • How can managers support employees who work remotely?

  • Is remote work sustainable for my bank/company long term?

Register here (only $99 per person through Jan. 7!) Questions? Email Jenna Lynn Warner.


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Discover Debit Helps Increase Profitability and Breathe New Life into a Key Delivery Channel

Your bank’s debit card portfolio can help you generate more revenue right now. Has your bank’s debit card program been on autopilot for too long? VISA and MasterCard will likely fight to keep your business, but Discover Debit wants to invest in your bank, your customers and your community. By implementing Discover’s debit card program, you will realize an immediate impact on your interchange income and expense. Discover offers unmatched support marketing their debit card program in your community. Your bank’s Discover debit card will be your customers’ first choice every time they pull out their wallet. Discover® Debit is the only program that delivers superior economics, simplified rules, fee transparency and unmatched program flexibility. To find out more, contact Rich Green at 601.790.7853.


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Upcoming December Webinars

We appreciate members choosing the programs we offer for your ongoing needs. Check out these upcoming virtual offerings. View the full calendar here for dates, times and more programs. With questions, email


Save 10-30% with a webinar subscription package - details here!

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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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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:


Atlanta - Southern First Bank

The bank’s Atlanta team is supporting the Atlanta Humane Society by accepting donations of dog and cat food and treats at its 309 East Paces Ferry office through the month of December.

Atlanta - Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Foundation has provided a $400,000 grant to Atlanta Legal Aid in order to provide free or low-cost legal assistance and representation for people in Atlanta disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and at-risk of eviction.

Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

The bank hosted two Customer Appreciation Pop-Up events at its main office and Bogart locations. The bank partnered with ESP’s Java Joy, Chick-fil-A and Nedza’s to treat customers and the community with Java Joy coffee, Chick-fil-A breakfast, a Nedza’s takeaway edible and a commemorative OSB 60th anniversary mug.

Additionally, OSB volunteers recently served their local community with ACTS.


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Atlanta - Truist

On Dec. 9, the one-year anniversary of the merger of equals, Truist published its Atlanta Community Impact Report, which shares some of the ways bank team members brought the company’s purpose to life throughout a challenging year. Read more here.


Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

Mitch Bernier has joined the bank as a commercial lender. Read more here.


Eastman - Great Oaks Bank

Wes Bearden has joined the bank as vice president and commercial relationship manager. Read more here.


Greenville, S.C. - United Community Bank

Jay Rajaee has joined the bank as Chief Security Officer. Read more here.


Pelham - Family Bank

The bank this week announced the retirement of CEO Charles Rooks and Executive Vice President Beth Barfield effective the end of this year. Read more here.


Thomasville - TC Federal Bank

Greg Eiford has been promoted to CEO. Matt Brown will retire as CEO effective Dec. 31. Read more here.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

Holly Hardigree Stephenson has joined the bank’s Board of Directors. Read more here. Phillip Jackson has been promoted to Vice President - Credit Analyst.


Henderson, Nev. - The KeyState Companies

Senior Vice President Brian Amend has been promoted to Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps.


Washington, D.C. - Promontory MortgagePath, LLC

Elisha Werner has joined the company as Chief Compliance Officer, Mortgage Operations.


Macon - Georgia Farm Bureau

Congratulations to for state Rep. Tom McCall, the longtime chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, who has been elected as the bureau’s new president. Read more here.




Bernier Bearden

Rooks and Barfield






Amend Werner McCall



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 Katina Prokos.

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