Feb. 12, 2021  

Chandler testifies

General Assembly in High Gear

Members of the Georgia General Assembly took action on nine banking related bills and introduced 13 new bills of relevance to the industry this week. GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler, SVP-Government Relations, testified on the industry’s behalf on Rep. Bruce Williamson’s Forestry Torts bill, HB 90, during a House Judiciary Committee Hearing. Get all the details on her testimony and the other important legislation in our Legislative Update email we’ll send out separately.


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Update on PPP and other Aid Programs

We continue to communicate key guidance and program details about PPP and other pandemic-related news directly to CEOs, committee members and other key contacts by email as we get the information. This week’s topics included updates on PPP hold codes, compliance check errors, Reg O PPP loans, EIDL Grants and Advance Payments, Processing Fees, the status of new pandemic-relief legislation, vaccine rollout and the latest PPP lending statistics through Feb. 7. Here’s a look at those:



  • 34,139 in-state borrowers have received a loan approval

  • Total in-state loan volume is $2,141,047,757

  • Average in-state loan size for first and second draw loans is $62,716


  • 1,290,778 loans have been approved

  • $100,924,718,302 is the total net loan volume (so approximately 36% of the money is committed)

  • First draw loans only represent 7.5% of all loans

  • Banks and S&Ls with assets of $10 billion or less made 47% of all loans representing 51% of total loan volume

We are hearing reports the new authorization for PPP lenders to assume responsibility for resolving hold codes and compliance check errors have been helpful in getting many loans moved through the SBA’s portal and into processing. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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Conference Update

Fintech Heavyweights set for Virtual Operations & Technology Conference

We’ve got two powerhouse fintech sessions lined up for the Virtual Operations and Technology Conference Feb. 24-25. The OCC’s Chief Innovation Officer will be with us, as will other high profile fintech leaders. Take a look at these sessions that will be back-to-back on Fridays. These sessions alone make the conference a great value:


  • FinTech Focus 1: Partnerships -- Zach Duke, president, Finosec will lead a discussion with industry leaders in fintech - Nathan Baumeister, CEO, ZSuite Technologies, and Derik Sutton, VP of marketing at Autobooks.com. They will discuss how they partner with banks, and their perspective of partnerships. What does success in a partnership look like from a fintech perspective? What makes an ideal customer for a fintech? How does the fintech prioritize innovation initiatives?


  • Fintech Focus 2: Regulatory Perspectives -- Melissa Sneed, Georgia Department of Banking & Finance and Beth Knickerbocker, Chief Innovation Officer, OCC, will be with us to discuss regulator views on fintech partnerships and other operations and technology issues.

Here is the full conference agenda. With no travel involved and hours of unique programming, this virtual event is an incredible value.  Most, if not all sessions, will be recorded and available for viewing for a limited time after the event. And we have set up a special LinkedIn group for participants to encourage networking and connections in the virtual space. See more details and register here. With questions, email Alison Moreau at  amoreau@gabankers.com.


Senior Lenders Get Special PPP Power Hour Session

A big group of senior lending officers took part in a special PPP Power Hour discussion Tuesday. The session was an add-on to their annual package of Senior Lending Officer Roundtables. Topics discussed included updates on application volume, a variety of technical interpretations of program rules and guidance, handling application error messages, data discrepancies and application holds. Special thanks to SLO Roundtable facilitators Karl Nelson and Eric Nelson, KPN Consulting, for leading the session, and to GBA General Counsel Jonathan Hightower and Kevin Strachan of Fenimore, Kay Harrison and Ford for joining the call to share their expertise. We have a few openings for additional participants in the Roundtables if you or your bank would like to participate. Sessions start in early March. For information on the Senior Lending Officer Roundtables, contact Jenna Lynn Warner.


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New .Bank Domain Names Coming on Line in March

A limited set of common community bank names will become available for the .bank domain by application to fTLD Registry Services starting March 1. The names will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible applicants. Get details about the specific names and the application process here.


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Scenes from the BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament

It was a little damp, but members turned out in big numbers Thursday for the Leadership GBA-sponsored Sporting Clays Tournament to benefit the GBA StatePAC. Look for more details next week.



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An Unhappy Valentine’s Story

Romance scams have risen sharply since 2019, with instances increasing by 50% since then. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says in 2020, consumers reported losing a record $304 million to romance scams, with a median loss of $2,500 reported, more than 10 times higher than the median loss for all other types of fraud. The FTC’s report said that those aged 40-69 most often fell for such scams, and those older than 70 suffered the most financial loss. Here’s a good infographic resource you can use to help prevention efforts.


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Six Pack of Marketing Programs Kicks off with LinkedIn Strategies

Take a break from your busy day at the bank with our six pack of amazing professional development sessions for bank marketers this spring. First up, on March 16, is “The LinkedIn Guy,” Gregg Burkhalter, whose session will show you what you should be doing daily on LinkedIn to build your personal brand, grow your professional network, and increase brand exposure for your bank. Here’s the full lineup of sessions happening on six consecutive Tuesdays from 10-11 a.m.

  • March 16: LinkedIn: Personal Branding for Professional Success

  • March 23: Creative Ideas for Digital Networking and Community Outreach

  • March 30: Effectively Use Social Media to Advance Your Bank’s Brand

  • April 6: Leveraging Technology to Drive Marketing Success

  • April 13: How to Become the Resilient Leader Who Thrives During a Crisis

  • April 20: Peer Sharing and Roundtable Discussion Session

Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036.


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GBA Partner PointeNorth Insurance Can Work with and Help Your Local Agent to Get You the Best Coverage

GBA is proud to endorse PointeNorth Insurance Group as its preferred full-service, independent insurance agency, providing one of the broadest collections of personal and business-related insurance solutions in the Southeast. Additionally, PointeNorth serves as the primary broker for the GBA-endorsed ABA Insurance Program. ABA Insurance Services, a Member of Great American Insurance Group, serves the banking industry by offering D&O, bond, property and casualty, cyber and related insurance to financial institutions across the country. To learn more, please contact PointeNorth’s Paul Halloran, paul.halloran@pninsurance.com, 770.858.7554.


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HR Professionals Institute March 24-26

Gear up for Unrivaled Virtual HR Event

The way we work has changed so much during the past year, so we’ve put together an event for HR pros designed to help you successfully manage your teams. The GBA HR Committee has put together a virtual conference agenda that focuses on new ways of doing business. Among the highlighted sessions are:

  • How to Build a Culture of Community and CareRodney D. Bullard, Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility, Executive Director, Chick-fil-A Foundation


  • Working from Home: 5 Ways to Step Up Your Delegation, Krisha Buehler, VP, Human Resources, BELAY


  • Employee Communication Essentials – How to Effectively Reach all the Troops, Ann-Stanton Cannarella, SVP, Corporate Communications Director, Ameris Bank 


  • Embracing a Constantly Shifting New Normal, Coley Williams, Director of Mental Health, and Stephanie Kraemer, Client Success Manager, Wellview


  • Networking and Peer Sharing Session: Unwind by spending a little time in a series small group discussions with your peers. Meet new colleagues, renew connections, have a little fun and talk shop. We'll set up several Zoom breakout rooms and randomly move people into different groups during the session timeframe to mix up the conversation.

Other sessions are in the works. We’ve adjusted pricing for this as a special virtual event, so you get hours of programming at a great value. Recordings of sessions, as allowed by presenters, will be available to presenters for a limited time so that you may watch at your convenience. With questions, email Alison Moreau at  amoreau@gabankers.com.


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Feb. 23, 3-3:45 p.m.

GBA Partner Livestream: Optimizing Retail Checking Performance with StrategyCorps

Retail checking products are absolutely essential to stay connected with your customers, particularly as the checking relationship moves towards being more digital. Please join new GBA partner StrategyCorps on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. for a free livestream event. To be respectful of your busy schedule, this livestream event will be short (45 minutes) and sweet. The content will address:

  • Best practices to identify and retain your primary customers or members and smartly reacquire non-primary ones

  • Learn to intelligently install the most popular method consumers prefer to buy things: the subscription pricing model

  • Discover a simple lineup that appeals to every checking buyer type — one your front-line personnel can easily understand and sell.

Click here to register, or contact StrategyCorps’ Regional Director Ryan Harbry, ryan.harbry@strategycorps.com, 404.819.1438.


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GBA 2021 Compliance School - Year One - Building the Base

Registration is open - don’t miss out! 

GBA Compliance School will be back in session May 2-7 in Athens. The GBA Compliance School Board has lined up an all-star cast and this proves to be the best session yet. Faculty includes:

  • Jim Bedsole, Chief Compliance & Risk Officer, BankSouth

  • Patti Joyner, CRCM, founder, Financial Solutions

  • Andre’ Kennebrew, Consultant, Chick-fil-A Corporate

  • Carl Pry, Managing Director, Treliant

  • Pam Perdue, SVP, Chief Compliance Officer, Heritage Southeast Bank

  • Kenneth Simmons CRCM, CAMS-Audit, FCI, Compliance & AML Solutions, LLC

  • Thomas Williams, SVP, Senior Compliance Manager (CRCM), United Bank

GBA Compliance School: Details and enrollment access here


With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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Streamline Vehicle Title & Lien Release Management with DDI Technology

The GBA has endorsed DDI Technology for more than 10 years because its Premier eTiltleLien® solution enables your bank’s loan operations team to improve reporting and manage exceptions within a simple, user-friendly application. Committed to excellence, DDI continues to focus on improving their products, education and consulting services in all areas of vehicle registration. DDI fosters partnerships with progressive and innovative businesses including federal, state and local governments by supplying them with the technologies to enable dealer and finance partners to provide the best service to their customers while saving time and money. The four biggest benefits to working with DDI include:

  • Simplified Titling Process

  • Reduction of Fraud & Errors

  • Elimination of Space-Wasting Paper Storage

  • A Responsive Customer Support Team.

For more details about DDI Technology or to join the more than 4,000 customers they have today, please contact Director of Sales Todd Phillips, 803.808.4937.


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GBA’s March In-House Webinars




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Upcoming Webinar Hot Topics in 2021

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 for dates, times and more programs.

Questions? events@gabankers.com.


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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:


Cordele - Planters First Bank

On Feb. 5, bank team members working remotely and at the office wore red to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease.

Louisville - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co.

On Feb. 5, bank team members wore red to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease.


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Atlanta - Ameris Bank

Tony Licwinko has joined the bank as a commercial banker responsible for expanding commercial banking relationships throughout the Southside area of Atlanta. Read more here.


Augusta - BankSouth Mortgage

Sharon B. Pierson has joined the bank as a mortgage banker in its Augusta branch.


Broxton - the former Broxton State Bank, now Colony Bank

Our sympathies to the family, friends and former colleagues of President and CEO Curtis Summerlin, who recently died. Read more here.


Cordele - Planters First Bank

The bank partnered with 13WMAZ to broadcast several commercials, including one during the Super Bowl.


Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Brandy West has been promoted to East Market retail sales manager/AVP.


Fitzgerald - Colony Bank

Joy Parrish has joined the bank as director of deposit operations. Read more here. Kelly Kremer has joined the bank as a mortgage loan originator for its Albany market. Read more here.


Fitzgerald - Community Banking Company of Fitzgerald

Our sympathies to the family, friends and former colleagues of late EVP/COO/CFO Becky Powell, who died on Feb. 7. Read more here.


Pooler - First Chatham Bank

Janice Johnson has been promoted to banking officer.


Statham - ServisFirst Bank

Tim Finney has been promoted to vice president, correspondent sales manager. Read more here.


Swainsboro - The Citizens Bank of Swainsboro

Benjamin T. Ross was elected to the bank’s Board of Directors. J. Rufus Youmans, Jr. retired from the Board of Directors after 39 years of service. Gay Dailey has been promoted to Chief Credit Officer.


Watkinsville - BankSouth

Our sympathies to the family, friends and former colleagues of late Market President Kenneth Mann, who died on Feb. 6. Read more here.


Licwinko Pierson


Parrish Kremer




Ross Dailey


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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