January 5, 2018 

It’s Go-Time for General Assembly Monday

The Georgia General Assembly’s 2018 session will start Monday. It’s the second year of the two-year legislative cycle, so there will be some carryover legislation from 2017 on the agenda as well as a host of new bills. There will be the usual banking department housekeeping bill, a problematic foreclosure bill by Sen. Jesse Stone and ongoing discussions about how to strengthen rural Georgia communities, among other issues. See the first installment of the issues we’re monitoring here, and follow along during the session on the State Issues page of our website in the Advocacy section. Our GBA Advocacy team is ready for action, led by Elizabeth Chandler, SVP-Government Relations, Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO, and Steve Bridges, Government Relations Consultant. Contact any of them with questions.


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Championship Lineup for Legislative Forum and Reception

Our annual Advocacy program kickoff events Jan. 10 have a lineup of five-star experts and dignitaries. Register now for the GBA Legislative/Economic Forum and Legislative Reception at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. We’ll get started at 3 p.m. with the latest economic forecast from Lindsey Piegza, Stifel Investment Services, Chicago, IL. Inside-the-beltway national political insight will follow from John Ashford, chairman and CEO, The Ashford Group, Alexandria, VA. And, Commissioner Kevin Hagler, Georgia Department of Banking and Finance will bring you up to date on the state of the industry and cover the main topics in the annual Department Housekeeping Bill. We’re pleased to announce Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle will headline the program when we move into all things political. Cagle will be joined by Senate Banking & Financial Institutions Committee Chairman William Ligon (R-Brunswick) and House Banks and Banking Committee Chairman Greg Morris (R-Vidalia) to give you an inside peek at what’s likely to be front and center this session. Hundreds of GBA members, legislators and other state office holders have already told us they will attend the Legislative Reception that is from 6-7:30 p.m. To register, click here. With questions, please call GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


Piegza Ashford Hagler Cagle Ligon Morris


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Share How Tax Relief is Being Invested Locally

There’s been a steady stream of news from banks and other companies about how they’re putting tax relief from the tax reform bill to good use. Banks nationwide, including several GBA member banks, have announced hundreds of millions of dollars in new contributions to community investment projects, their charitable foundations, technology investments and increases in employee pay and benefits. This will all flow into our communities in the coming years and boost economic activity. We’d like to know if your bank or company has announced such plans, as well, so we can share with the public and policymakers the immediate real-world effects of the legislation. Please email Joe Brannen, Elizabeth Chandler and David Oliver with your examples and announcements, or mention us in any social media posts by adding @GABankers to your text.


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2017 BankPAC Campaign Closes Out

Our thanks to the many bankers, directors, associate members and bank counsel members who contributed to this year’s BankPAC Campaign. This endeavor is a key component of GBA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the banking industry and the BankPAC Board of Directors is grateful to all participants. Most recently, Lee Clark, president & CEO of First State Bank in Wrens contributed to the GBA StatePAC. Thanks to all for a great year! With questions, please call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.420.2027.



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Take Action

Update Your MyGBA Member Profile Today

Help us make sure we know your key contact information and topical interest areas by updating your MyGBA profile today. This is essential to make it easy for you to register for events and so we can send you information about GBA programs and benefits that add value to your membership experience. You can access MyGBA in the Member Center drop down navigation menu that runs across the top portion of www.gabankers.com. If you are unsure of your login credentials, your username is the current email we have on file for you. You can use that to access the “Forgot my password” feature and re-set your credentials. Here’s a rundown of all the information you have at your fingertips:

  • Name, address, phone number and email address

  • Current and past involvement with GBA Committees and Boards

  • Upcoming GBA events for which you’ve registered

  • See and export a list of most of the GBA events, conferences, seminars and other professional development courses in which you’ve taken part

  • A history of your personal GBA FedPac contributions

  • Subscriptions to GBA publications

  • Professional development interests and key responsibilities to help us deliver relevant resources with you.

Employees of member banks, Associate Member companies and Bank Counsel Section members have profiles. We hope you enjoy and make use of this feature for members. Please let David Oliver and Bo Brannen know if you have any questions or need any help with the sign-in or updating process.


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Tax Guidance from SEC as Resource

Just before Christmas the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued to its staff guidance about accounting for tax reform that may be a good resource. The guidance generally provides a one-year period for making refinements to estimates, but notes that if actual or reasonable estimations of tax reform effects are available, they should be reported in the year of enactment, which is 2017. It also includes guidance on Regulation 8K disclosure requirements. The SEC guidance also effectively sets the framework for expectations by the banking agencies in examining non-SEC registrants, so it is worth a look. Read the guidance here...


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Financial Crimes Risk Management Symposium - Jan. 31

Elder Financial Exploitation Education: A New Training Tool for Your Employees

Get information about Bank Safe, a new interactive training program designed by AARP for financial institutions to train their frontline staff and management on the identification of elder financial exploitation and recommended procedures for identifying and reporting, from Pete Stuart, at-risk adult crime specialist, director of Security, State Bank and Trust Company, at GBA’s new Financial Crimes Risk Management Symposium Jan. 31 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. Presented in partnership with Secura Risk Management, this symposium provides a forum for attendees to actively participate with speakers and peers in discussions on cybercrime, emerging threats and methods for fighting such crime. In addition to Stuart’s session on elder financial exploitation, attendees will learn about:

  • Mitigating Current Trends In Cybercrime Activity

  • Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery

  • BSA/AML Officers Panel: Concerns and Successes of a BSA/AML Program.

Register by Jan. 23 for the early-bird price of $275 per person. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA’s Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.


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GBA-U Seminars

Ring in 2018 with Valuable Training at GBA-U Seminars

Career bankers at any level will benefit from our lineup of timely and informative seminars in 2018. See below for the schedule of upcoming GBA-U seminars:

  • On Jan. 30, Mike Allen, State Bank & Trust, will address how to analyze personal tax returns and commercial financial statements at the Analyzing Financial Statements seminar. Click here to register...

  • On Feb. 6, Steve Moore, Bank Compliance Services, will provide an in-depth look at Fair Lending, including a detailed description of “side-by-side loan file analysis,” common loan practices with potential fair lending effects and other components of an effective program. Click here to register…

  • On Feb. 7, Patrice Konarik, Sunwest Training Corp., will provide the new IRA banker and supervisor with an understanding of all areas of the IRA account, as well as the newly enacted regulations, during the IRA Basics seminar. Click here to register...

  • On Feb. 21, Kris Trainor and Michael Gordon, Mauldin & Jenkins, will provide practical techniques to improve your bank’s overall Call Reporting process, including a detailed line-by-line review with helpful tips for reporting individual items and a review of the proposed and finalized changes for 2018. Click here to register…

Registration is $225 per person ($250 per person within one week of the seminar date). With questions, please contact GBA's Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.


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GBA Rountdables Reminder

The calendars for this year’s GBA President/CEO, Finance/Operations and Leadership have been set. All sessions for these roundtables will again be at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon, Georgia from 9 a.m. 3 p.m. Invoices for the President/CEO and Finance/Operations 2018 GBA Roundtables have been mailed to current standing peer members of the tables. Many of the tables are full right now, but if you are interested in joining your Georgia peers in the President/CEO and Financial/Operations groups, please contact Susie McGehee, 404.420.2010, or Elaine Demarest, 843.686.5044, for more information. For information about Senior Lending Officer Roudntables, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. Here’s a link to the calendars for all the roundtables.


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How to Help Military Service Members Plan for Retirement Benefit Changes

There are changes taking effect this year for how armed services members save for retirement. The Uniformed Services Blended Retirement System (BRS) rolls out this year and includes an automatic contribution and a matching contribution from the government into the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). This blended system will also include a defined benefit, much like the legacy plan, after 20 years of service at a reduced rate. To take advantage of the BRS plan, eligible service members must opt in to the system. We’re supporting efforts by national trade organizations to spread the word and share helpful resources. This is a good way to proactively help your customers who serve our country. Get details and resources here, including customizable digital ads and social media messaging.


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New! Leadership GBA BankPAC Sporting Clay Tournament Feb. 8

Sign up now for our newest event supporting GBA’s StatePAC. Leadership GBA’s BankPAC Sporting Clay Tournament is Thursday, Feb. 8, at Old Hudson Plantation, Sparta. Put together a foursome or two of bankers, directors, community leaders or even customers to share a round of clays and talk about important banking issues. Registration is $150 per person, $500 per four-person team, or $700 for a team and stand sponsorship (a $150 savings). Check out detailed information about the tournament and registration information here. With questions, contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


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2018 Operations and Technology Conference - Register Now!

If you are your bank’s technology officer, IT manager, ISO, or if you’re involved in deposit operations, business development or even compliance, take a close look at the Operations and Technology Conference coming up March 6-8 in Atlanta. For complete details, click here. This conference includes pre-conference sessions on managing IT and operations, best practices for your next disaster recovery table-top exercise, factors to consider when selecting your telecommunications provider and when evaluating your debit card program, and what to do after you’ve filled out your CAT. The conference will offer sessions on staying relevant in today’s payments race; a look at the regulatory landscape, managing your core vendor relationships, a deep dive into the next generation payments movement; a panel discussion on technology and communications best practices, and a session on biometrics from two Microsoft pros. Plus, there will be two peer exchanges, so don’t miss this opportunity to learn and share information with your colleagues, as well as visit with our 15 exhibitors. Register for the pre-conference sessions ($295), the conference sessions ($350), or both ($595). Click here to register and see hotel information. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.


Scenes from the 2017 Operations and Technology Conference


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Georgia Bank HR Professionals to Meet in March on Jekyll Island

HR professionals from GBA member banks around our state will gather at GBA’s 2018 HR Professionals Institute March 21-23 on Jekyll Island to learn, information share and network with colleagues. This year’s conference will include favorite features such as an extended conference format and early release to enjoy informal networking time. Conference topics will include leadership, workplace health and well-being, diversity, the opioid crisis, work/life balance, verbal de-escalation, and an interactive personality and communications tool, the Path Elements Profile (PEP), which attendees will use to understand their personality strengths and improve communication among bank team members. Click here for complete details, to register online, or to see hotel info. The registration price of $450 includes the administration, analysis and discussion of the Path Elements Profile. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.


Scenes from the 2017 Bank Security Conference


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2018 Bank Security Conference Registration Now Open!

Registration is now available for the GBA 2018 Bank Security Conference, which will be April 12-13 at the King and Prince Hotel on St. Simons. Sessions will be geared to meet the needs of novice as well as veteran bank Security professionals, and topics will include information on the new Bank Safe Program to train employees to prevent elder financial abuse, a partnership of AARP, the Department of Human Services, and the GBA; the Safe Catch Program; new bank technologies and how they affect your job of protecting your bank and your customers; human trafficking; victim advocacy; ID theft/check protection; and a two-hour session with essential information for bank security officers. The early registration price is $350 per person. Click here to register now. The GBA room rates will be $219 (resort view/historical building); $234 (partial oceanview) and $249 (oceanfront). Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 404.420.2024.


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New Year, Smarter You!

Georgia Banking School and GBA Basic Compliance School Make It Happen

The new year brings a fresh perspective and an excitement about what’s ahead. Capitalize on that new outlook by enrolling yourself or a fellow banker in the 2018 session of Georgia Banking School or GBA Basic Compliance School. Graduates from both schools consistently rank their school experience as a highlight in their professional and personal life. Both schools offer a truly unique learning experience that lasts long after the classroom time has ended. These two schools will run concurrently May 6-11 at the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel in Athens, GA. Save $130 on tuition through Feb. 9. For more information on the Georgia Banking School, click here; for the GBA Basic Compliance School, click here. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024 with questions.


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Did You Know We Offer…

Four Compliance Certificates

ABA certificate programs build the skills necessary for career advancement. Through a prescribed course of study, certificates provide practical, tailored knowledge specific to a job role in the bank. Programs are continually reevaluated and refined to meet current needs and changes in the industry.​​​​​​​​​​​ 


These courses are designed for individuals who are involved in the financial management of their bank, including junior officers up through CEOs, CFOs and other senior officers who make key decisions that affect bank profitability. These courses cover the analysis of bank performance, the measurement and management of interest rate risk, and the management of funding, liquidity and capital. All of the facilitated courses use the same textbook, and each course includes exercises in which participants apply these concepts to their own institution. Candidates should have an understanding of accounting and financial markets before beginning the required courses. Experience in the use of electronic spreadsheets is helpful but not required.



Online Classes

Train your team. Build a strong foundation in the basics.

These ABA online classes are coming up in January and February. Facilitated online courses 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 company can participate at the member rate. Your bank does not have to be an ABA member. All you need is a computer, printer and Internet access.

  • Bank Lines of Business is a four-week comprehensive review of the products and services that banks offer customers—from deposit products to insurance and investments—and strategies for retaining and growing market share. This program deepens and broadens your bank employees' understanding of how banks serve individual, small business and corporate customers’ financial service needs. This new course begins Jan. 22.

  • Marketing Management is four-week course that examines management activities from ongoing brand management to public relations and digital marketing to return on investment. Understanding the practices needed to prioritize projects, assess performance and balance resources will enhance your marketing success. To be an active contributor on a marketing team you must have working knowledge of marketing management. This new course begins Jan. 22.

  • Analyzing Bank Performance is a seven-week course that provides an overview of tools and techniques to analyze and improve a bank’s financial performance. Participants observe the effects of certain kinds of risk on a bank’s financial track record, and the correlation between risk optimization and superior financial performance. The next course begins Jan. 29.

  • Managing Funding, Liquidity, and Capital is a six-week course that provides a summary of the bank funding types, liquidity issues and management of capital. Learn what funding is used by banks, how liquidity needs may be addressed by storing liquidity on the balance sheet or by securing additional funding, and bank capital’s purpose, regulatory requirements and the effect on profitability. The next course starts Jan. 29.


  • Building Customer Relationships is a four-week course that guides students through the strategies for earning customer loyalty, value-added sales and marketing, and creating and maintaining strong bank customer and partner relationships. It builds the critical relationship management skills so essential to successful banking careers. This course begins Feb. 5.


  • Commercial Lending is a 12-week course suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about the commercial lending process—the backbone of most banks’ lending portfolios. Learn what goes into making a successful commercial loan and how to manage a customer relationship once the loan is approved. This course begins Feb. 5.


  • Money and Banking is a 16-week fundamental study of how money functions in the U.S. and world economies. How money supply, the banking system, the Federal Reserve and the federal government are all interrelated, and how changes in the financial system can affect individuals, businesses and governments on a world-wide basis are covered. This course begins Feb. 5.


  • Analyzing Financial Statements is a sixteen-week practical introduction to financial statement analysis from the perspective of the commercial loan officer. Gain the skills needed to effectively assess the risks related to a customer—current and prospective—and evaluates possible sources of repayment for the loan. This course begins Feb. 12.

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...


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More 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 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...


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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.


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What's the Real Value of Your Check Program?

E-payments have transformed the marketplace, making the concept of a paperless world seem more possible than ever. Yet for all the dazzle of digital payment modes, checks endure as a viable payment method for consumers and businesses alike. Is your bank maximizing the profitability of its checking program? Many don’t, either because they wrongly undervalue the revenue-building power of the enduring check, or because they simply aren’t sure how to go about tapping its potential. Check out this video that covers the value of check programs in banking relationships. For a thorough checkup of your checking program and for more information, please contact Deluxe's Kevin Jefferson at 336.676.0321.


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Employee Benefit Selections are Easy and Affordable with Holmes-Shaw

Holmes-Shaw has built a full portfolio of complementary products and services around the GBA Insurance Trust's core benefit programs, allowing participants and their employees to expand their benefit selections affordably. Some of these products and services include:

  • Medical Benefits

  • Group Life Insurance

  • Long Term Disability Insurance

  • Dental Coverage

  • Voluntary Accidental Death Coverage

  • Voluntary Short Term Disability Insurance

  • Voluntary Life Insurance.

The variety helps Holmes-Shaw meet each company's unique needs, and Holmes-Shaw develops programs directly with insurance companies or through strategic partnerships, allowing them to present the best options to its clients. With questions or to learn more about how Holmes-Shaw can help your company enhance its benefit offerings, contact Bruce Shaw, 770.642.2150.


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Atlanta - SunTrust

SunTrust Bank Atlanta Division President & CEO Jenna Kelly was recently featured in a video by Metro Atlanta CEO talking about the bank’s onUp Movement that helps people make smart financial choices based on personal values and life goals. See the video here. Ellen Fitzsimmons will join the bank effective, Jan. 8, as General Counsel and Corporate Executive Vice President.


Cairo - First National Bank of Decatur County

Congratulations to Customer Service Representative Brenda Newton, who recently retired after 35 years of service and commitment to the Cairo community.


Claxton - The Claxton Bank

Congratulations to Banking Officer/CSR Rhonda Haire, who recently retired after 41 years of service to the bank


Gainesville - Peach State Bank & Trust

Michele Piucci has joined the bank as Senior Vice President/Deposit Operations Manager. Read more here...


Moultrie - Ameris Bank

Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Executive Andrew Cheney retired, effective Dec. 31, 2017, however he remains active in a non-employee advisory role with the bank and holding company.


Moultrie - Southwest Georgia Bank

Congratulations to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer George Kirkland, who has retired effective December 31, 2017.


Rome - Heritage First Bank

Ryan Earnest has been named Chief Executive Officer. Read more here...


Kelly Fitzsimmons Brenda Newton with FNBDC Cairo Market President Barry Pollock


Haire Piucci Earnest


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 Bo Brannen.

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