July 30, 2021  

Advocacy Alert

Make the Case for Bills to Bolster Competitiveness with Farm Credit

We need member action to support the Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America bills (ECORA) that include helpful provisions for banks. The bills would let you deduct the interest received from borrowers on farm related real estate loans. That deduction will allow you to offer FCS-type rates by passing those savings along to your borrowers. Please use this easy way to contact the Georgia delegation with your support. With questions, contact GBA’s Joe Brannen at 404.401.0271 or Elizabeth Chandler at 404.372.7893.


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Bank Accountant Section Board Meets

Georgia’s team of top bank accounting experts gathered this week for a check in and program planning. The GBA Bank Accountant Section Board elected new officers, reviewed key accounting trends and laid out the agenda for the GBA Bank Accountant Conference coming up Sept. 26-28. The board elected Marjorie Carter of McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co. as its chair and Doug Mims, of Carr, Riggs & Ingram as vice chair for the 2021-2022 program year. Topics of note included thoughts on the Fed's new CECL tool for community banks, a brief update on the status of state-level Sub. S Corp. tax credit processing, thoughts on efforts to eliminate TDR accounting for those that have implemented CECL and advocacy for reconsideration of CECL accounting for loans purchased with credit deterioration. Cybersecurity, excess liquidity at banks and protecting bank non-interest income sources also came up. Conference registration is open, and we encourage members to register now because our block of hotel rooms is in high demand. The conference is open to member bank accounting professionals and partners and associates working for Associate Member accounting firms. With questions contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.


Chair Marjorie Carter of McNair,
McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co.
leads the meeting.

Members of the GBA Bank
Accountant Section Board

Past Chair Ian Waller of Nichols,
Cauley & Associates
leads the
election of board officers.

Jon Tomberlin of Dixon Hughes
speaks up on an issue.


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Direct PPP Forgiveness Guidance Released by SBA

The SBA Wednesday delivered its guidance about the process for borrowers to request PPP loan forgiveness directly from the agency. Here’s the general gist of how it will work. Lenders may to opt-in to the process, and they will be given a single secure location for all their borrowers with qualified loans to apply using the electronic equivalent of SBA Form 3508S. Upon receipt of notice that a borrower has applied for forgiveness through the platform, lenders will review the loan forgiveness application in the platform and issue a forgiveness decision to SBA. The forgiveness platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers on Aug. 4, 2021. 


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CEO / Leader Updates

Cannabis Licenses, Farm Credit Competition, Celebrating Georgia’s Olympians

Our series of ongoing time-sensitive emails to member CEOs, committee members and other key contacts continued this week. Email alert topics included details and resources about the following:

  • Cannabis Production Licenses: The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission announced the six companies granted licenses to produce and distribute medical cannabis products. One of the requirements for proposed licensees was to show evidence of a Georgia banking relationship in their application.


  • ECORA Campaign (Farm Credit Competitiveness): We shared advocacy resources mentioned above to support the Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America bills (ECORA) that would let you deduct the interest received from borrowers on farm related real estate loans.


  • Georgia’s Olympians: We’re all rooting hard for our Georgia Olympians. We shared a link to more information about the 20 Georgians on Team U.S.A.

If you’d like more information about any of those topics, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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New COVID-19 Homeowner Relief Resources

There are several new COVID-19 relief measures for homeowners if you’ve got customers coming out of pandemic forbearance programs. The measures would help borrowers with loans through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Agriculture avoid foreclosure. Relief measures include extending mortgage terms and other methods to help reduce monthly principal and interest payments. Get all the details here.


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Fraud Alert

Fake Carver State Bank Cashier’s Checks Circulating

Please be on the lookout for counterfeit cashier’s checks bearing Carver State Bank’s name. The bad checks are blue, which is not the color of the bank's officially issued cashier’s checks. Contact David Douse at the bank at 912.447.4209 with questions or if someone tries to run one of these through your bank.


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Participant Success should be Number One Priority in a 401(k) Plan

Do you know if your employees are on track for a successful retirement? Most sponsors do not know how to measure success in a retirement plan. We believe a plan is successful when the majority of your employees can retire with a sufficient replacement income in retirement. Most experts believe you will need at least 70% of your current income in retirement. Watch this short video for more information by clicking here.


We believe in putting the needs of participants first and helping them achieve a successful retirement. With GBA Retirement Services, 65% of all participants in our Master Trust program are on track to replace 70% of their income in retirement. The industry average is only 25% to 30%. Now is a great time to begin your plan review for the upcoming 2022 plan year. Even if you are not looking to make a change, as a fiduciary, you should be reviewing your retirement plan regularly and we can help you with your due diligence file. Please contact us for a plan comparison and to learn more about how we are helping participants reach retirement successfully. Contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025.


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Action Alert

Enroll Now for 2022 Georgia Banking School, May 1-6

Online enrollment is now open for the 2022 session of the Georgia Banking School, which will be May 1-6 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens. We had a 10-year high in enrollment last session, so plenty of  bankers recognize the value of this program. For more than 60 years, the school has developed generations of Georgia bank leaders who shape the industry in our state. It offers everything you want and expect from an investment in banker education, specifically preparing the next generation of bank leaders, building the pool of management-level talent in your bank, and connecting students to the most knowledgeable industry experts and a community of fellow bankers. The Georgia Banking School Board, led by Darron Burnette of Synovus Bank, has been hard at work reviewing the curriculum and planning next year’s session. So, with budget season approaching, here are some action items to consider:

  • CEO action – Identify emerging talent and allocate budget so you can have a representative at each school

  • HR officer action – Take a look at specific development plans to identify candidates

  • Alumni action – Recruit your teammates or colleagues at other banks by sharing how the programs helped your career

  • Banker action – Enroll early to secure your spot!

Georgia Banking School details and enrollment access here.


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New Dates Added for Exclusive Member Demos with GBA Partner Compliance Alliance

Below you will find two more upcoming demo days with our partner Compliance Alliance exclusively for GBA members. Following the demo, you will be offered a complimentary 48-hr trial.

Here is some recent banker feedback about Compliance Alliance (C/A) 

“C/A staff responds CONSISTENTLY by answering the question posed, proceeding to the basics (the rule requires a, b, c, d…), and almost always expanding (remember to consider…, tell me more details, so I understand the context or specific circumstances). I love your accountability and passion for helping us with compliance.”


“Compliance Alliance is the best vendor any bank can have; they have been my lifesaver. There’s no other company out there that can provide you with the knowledge that the staff has or resources they provide on the website.”

Please contact Brittney Stacey, brittney@bankersalliance.org, 512.776.0713, if you have any questions or feedback.


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Record Registration at Women in Banking Conference – There’s Still Space Available!

We’re expecting a record crowd – more than 100 women bankers and Associate Members – at the GBA Women in Banking Conference, coming up Aug. 12-13 at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton. The GBA Women in Banking Committee has planned an exceptional program, with sessions digging into timely banking issues as well as an executive leadership panel and a round-robin of “Top Things Every Woman Banker Should Know SOMETHING About.” The program is sure to inform, educate and energize bankers as they round out 2021 and head into 2022. And don’t forget, we’re closing out the conference with a heavy dose of laughter with comedienne, author and singer Heather Land. Click here for a glimpse of Land's hysterical filtered Snapchat posts. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn, network, and share with fellow women colleagues at this year’s conference. Click here for the conference website and registration and hotel information. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


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All Day Virtual Bank Career Fair – Sept. 21

Cloud Recruiting with GBA Partner BankTalentHQ—Find Great Candidates. Zero Travel.


Who is invited?

  • Event open to diverse students and alumni from colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

  • Candidates seeking full-time, part-time and internship positions

  • All degree levels, class levels and majors

How does it work?

  • Click here to learn how CareerEco Virtual Events Work.

Top reasons to participate:

  • Lower recruiting costs by using our online virtual solution to screen and recruit quality candidates

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

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

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

  • Efficiently involve subject matter experts and other decision-makers in the recruiting process

  • Eliminate transportation and overhead costs associated with booth design and production

Click here to register today. Visit www.banktalenthq.com for more details.


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Compliance Conference - Registration is OPEN!

The agenda is almost finalized for this year’s GBA Compliance Conference, Oct. 20-22. One session you won’t want to miss is “Compliance Review: How To” presented by James Moore, CRCM, of Steve H. Powell & Company. Moore will drive home the importance of conducting internal reviews of each part of your compliance management program. The presentation will include compliance review schedules, compliance work paper examples, compliance review sample reports and tips for selecting samples. Discussion will be provided for clearing exceptions, taking management’s response, and reporting the results of the review to the Board. This year’s Compliance Conference is at the King and Prince on St. Simons, and it begins at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and ends at noon on Friday, Oct. 22. Click here to access the event website for more information and to register for the conference. Contact Alison Moreau with questions.


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New Info on Financial Risk Management, Credit Conferences

Put a calendar hold out there for two big late fall conferences. Registration will open soon.


  • Financial Risk Management Conference

Nov. 4-5, The Omni Hotel at the Battery, Atlanta


Agenda highlights:

  • Capital Planning for 2022 and Beyond

  • Liquidity/Investment Panel

  • Accounting & Tax Update

  • Commercial Loan Pricing

  • ALM Panel

  • Economic Update

  • Credit Conference

Dec. 2-3, The Westin Buckhead, Atlanta


Agenda highlights:

  • Housing Market Update

  • Economic Panel

  • Regulatory Panel

  • Ag Update

  • Roundtable Discussion

  • Cybersecurity

  • Economic Update

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New In-Person, Single-Day Programs

Check out these upcoming GBA seminars. You can find more information and register online by clicking the links below. With questions, contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner.

Speaker: Suzie Jones, Training Resources Consulting


Speaker: Mike Allen, Cadence Bank


Speaker: Mike Allen, Cadence Bank

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Only Two Spots Left!  

The BSA Experience: A Special Message from Terri Sands



We’re just weeks away from The BSA Experience. Don’t forget to register (there are only two spots left) and book your hotel room. The cut-off date for booking your hotel room has passed but the hotel is still honoring our special rate! Click here to learn more and register.


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Ideal Online Training for New Bankers

Banking Fundamentals includes three, four-week-long courses that combine the principles of the banking industry with real-world application. Suitable for bankers seeking to gain an understanding of the changing world of financial services, this course offers an online, paperless, series of courses that combines peer collaboration with instructor guidance. All readings are included in the course.

Building Customer Relationships 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 essential to successful banking careers.


The Banking Industry is an essential introduction to the business of banking. The course covers the evolution of banking since the 2008 financial crisis, the role of banks in the U.S. economy and the environment in which banks operate and compete. It provides a look into various banking career tracks to inspire, prepare and motivate new bankers. The course also covers innovations in financial products.


Bank Lines of Business is a 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.

Facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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Join live or purchase a recording!

CRE Appraisals, Credit Memo Writing, Ad Compliance and more!

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 and recordings individually. View the full calendar here. Questions? bankwebinars@oncourselearning.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:


Cartersville - Century Bank of Georgia

Bank employees started “Blue Jeans for Charity” last year to give team members the option to wear jeans and donate to charities. Employees then vote on which charities to donate the funds to. Recently, $500 each was donated to the Etowah Valley Humane Society and the Tranquility House. So far in 2021, they have donated $2,000 to local charities, and almost $5,000 has been donated since the Blue Jean Charity Fund began in 2020. Read more here.



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Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

Kayla Williams was promoted to assistant branch manager of the bank’s main location.


Savannah - First Chatham Bank

Crystal Cross has been promoted to treasury management services officer. April Brackin has joined the bank as assistant vice president/branch manager at its Rincon branch. Jason Gallegos joined the bank as vice president/commercial lending. Michele Ingram has been promoted to vice president of deposit operations. Marcus McBride has been promoted to vice president/branch manager at the bank’s Hodgson Memorial branch. Melissa Williams has been promoted to assistant vice president and senior credit analyst. Mackenzie Austin has joined the bank as banking officer/operations manager of its Hodgson Memorial branch.


Winter Haven, FL/Atlanta - SouthState Bank/Atlantic Capital Bank

SouthState Corporation and Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc. last week jointly announced the signing of a definitive agreement pursuant to which Atlantic Capital will merge with and into SouthState. Read more here.


Franklin, TN - Financial Marketing Solutions (FMS)

President and CEO Sean Hockenbery, Executive Vice President Amber Farley, Executive Creative Director Clark Hook and Executive Vice President Zach Pannell.have assumed ownership of the marketing agency, which is a GBA Strategic Partner. Tim Pannell and Laurie Pannell, who co-founded FMS in 2004, will move on to a new role with the launch of their new FMS Consulting, a brand consultancy and strategic planning partner working alongside FMS.



Williams Cross Brackin Gallegos



Ingram McBride Williams Austin



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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