July 9, 2021  


Deadline is July 15

Weigh in on Community Bank Conditions

There’s an important survey we encourage members to take, with a deadline of July 15. The 2021 National Survey of Community Banks is still open for comment, and we ask Georgia banks to take part in support of our Banking Commissioner, Kevin Hagler, who is the immediate past chair of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). This key survey contributes to the Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference sponsored by the CSBS, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB),and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This year’s questions focus on current bank conditions and emerging issues, responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, product and service design and offerings, and the future of community banking. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Take the survey here.


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CEO / Leader Updates

Virus Tracking Update, PPP Forgiveness Resource, Child Tax Credits and More

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:

  • Turning the corner on Covid? A couple of resources detailing state and national virus statistics and some analysis of policy decisions made at the state and national levels.


  • Gov. Kemp’s executive orders: Copies of the most recent orders winding down Covid-19 related restrictions and emergency powers.


  • PPP forgiveness webinar: Access to a webinar from GBA Associate Member, Stout, and a co-presenter, Dykema, that may be helpful as members work with borrowers.


  • Child tax credits: Payments will begin posting by direct deposit July 15. Be on the lookout for new customers wanting to open accounts so they can also get direct deposits for the round of payments scheduled for Aug. 13. This could be one way to help reduce the number of unbanked households, a goal we share with many others. Here’s a link to the IRS child tax credit update portal for more information.


  • Opportunity index: A study from a commercial real estate (CRE) advisory firm that examines the challenges and opportunities in CRE resulting from the pandemic in 22 major U.S. cities, including the Atlanta MSA. There’s some good news like the MSA ranks 5th overall among the 22 cities when compiling all the study metrics.

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


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GBA Member Profile


What Training as a Concert Pianist Taught Lori Tucker About Teamwork

United Bank Chief Experience Officer Lori Tucker studied piano for more than 11 years and competed in many competitions throughout her childhood and teenage years. After earning a seat on a nine-person piano team for the Georgia Governor’s Honors program, she soon realized that life as a professional musician was not for her. “I lacked the passion and focus needed to prepare for a flawless solo performance, yet I found that I loved joining other musicians in a chamber group or providing the musical support for a theatrical/musical performance. Maybe that’s where I learned it’s more fun to gather with others and succeed as a team,” Tucker said. The Vice Chair of the GBA Women in Banking Committee discusses her career in banking, love of managing teams, the professional mentor who shaped her work style and more in the latest GBA Member Profile.




Why Attend GBA’s Women in Banking Conference?

“Our committee of peer bankers crafted the Women in Banking Conference specifically to build skills of Georgia’s women bankers at all levels of their organizations,” says Women in Banking Committee Chair Cristi Donahue, Oconee State Bank. “It’s a sure-fire investment in your career, and a great way to strengthen your network. Every bank and Associate Member firm should have at least one representative attend.” Join Donahue, her fellow Women in Banking committee members and women bankers from throughout the state at the conference Aug. 12-13 at Chateau Elan in Braselton. Get all the details and register here.


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GBA, Others Urge Rejection of Model Data-Privacy Legislation

GBA signed on with 49 state bankers associations in a letter that says a proposed model state-level law about data privacy isn’t a good idea. We believe there should be more exemptions in the proposed law for banks, as they are already subject to stringent federal data security standards and, as constructed, the proposal would increase potential lawsuits against banks. The letter to the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) argues that state privacy legislation has and should continue to recognize existing federal frameworks crafted by Congress and the strong privacy and data security standards already in place for the financial sector under the [Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act] and other financial privacy laws. If passed, the proposed legislation would be eligible for introduction in the states with the backing of the ULC. Read the letter.


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The Ponte Vedra
Inn & Club

Leadership Conference Ready for Launch

The final countdown is on for the return of GBA’s Leadership Conference, which begins Monday in Ponte Vedra. We’ve got nearly 350 GBA members and their families registered for our premier summer event focused on sharpening the skills of the state’s emerging bank leaders. The agenda is packed with economic intel, strategic thinking, tech trends, housing updates and leadership skill building. We’ll also elect and install Leadership GBA officers and board members. And, there’s ample time for business and family networking that makes this a premier member event. We’ll cover all the action next week. Get all the details and slip in a last-minute registration here.


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Special Family Wellness Resource from GBAIT Partner Wellview

GBA Insurance Trust’s partner in health, Wellview, has created a Healthy Family Toolkit for all GBAIT health plan and GBA members to use. This exclusive site is full of articles and advice to help you and your family create healthy habits and deeper connections. Click here to explore the expert resources to support healthy habits for all types of families with kids of all ages - from pregnancy and beyond! GBA Insurance Trust provides health insurance and wellness plans for 182 member companies and more than 18,000 members and their families. Contact Dan Thomason or Susan Kelley for information.


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GBA Partner Webinar: Jump-Starting Your Mortgage Business with Promontory MortgagePath

Promontory MortgagePath is offering a complimentary on-demand webinar focused on helping you transform your mortgage business to meet evolving borrower expectations and market demands. During the webinar, panelists will discuss innovative strategies for maintaining a good product mix, and reducing origination costs. You don’t want to miss this chance to jump-start your bank’s mortgage business. For questions, please contact Promontory’s Diane Capersdiane.capers@mortgagepath.com, 314.593.5015; or Sue Shaffersuzanne.shaffer@mortgagepath.com, 901.283.3034. Access the webinar here.


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Compliance Alliance Question of the Week

“We're going to be changing our disclosures in a way that we believe would require us to give a 30-day advance notice under Regulation DD. I know that Reg DD applies to consumers, but what about consumers that have DBA accounts?” Click here for the answer to this week’s question.


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Only four 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 four spots left) and book your hotel room. The cut-off date for booking your hotel room is Monday, July 26, 2021 and rooms may sell out before this date!  Click here to learn more and register.



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Seminar: Georgia Specific New-Account Documentation and Compliance – Aug. 10 

Join us Aug. 10 in Macon for the popular New-Account Documentation and Compliance Seminar with Suzie Jones of Training Resources Consulting. This full-day workshop, customized to Georgia state law, teaches essential new account opening procedures, best practices, and compliance requirements. It answers complex questions asked by customers and staff while focusing on vital information for every new account type. Learn more here.


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Save 10-30% with a subscription package

Webinars for Bank Training

Purchase a webinar subscription package now as you prepare for next year. How much does your financial institution spend on training? With a Webinar Subscription Package (WSP) from BankWebinars.com, we can help you greatly reduce that expense. With over 300 titles on our website, BankWebinars.com is your one stop shop for all your Webinar needs! Click here for details. Benefits include:

  • WSP Credits do not expire

  • Shareable for your entire institution

  • Simplify your budgeting process

  • Lower rate than purchasing individual webinars

  • Ability to choose Live, OnDemand, or CD Registrations

  • Over 300 Webinars to choose from each year

With questions, email 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:


Donalsonville - PeoplesSouth Bank

On July 1, the Donalsonville branch of PeoplesSouth Bank volunteered for a Make-A-Wish Foundation pancake supper fundraiser hosted by Miss Donalsonville, Abigail Grantham.


Vidalia - Mount Vernon Bank

AVP/Loan Officer Conner Thigpen presented Montgomery County Recreation Department with a check for $4,800 to help complete the installation of scoreboards on Fields 2 and 3.


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Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

Jana Harkins has been promoted to branch manager at the bank’s main branch.


Chatsworth - First National Community Bank/Heritage First Bank

The merger of Heritage First Bancshares, Inc., parent company of Heritage First Bank, and First Chatsworth Bankshares, Inc., parent company of First National Community Bank, has been finalized, effective July 1, 2021. Read more here.


Elberton/Monroe - Pinnacle Bank/Liberty First Bank

Pinnacle Financial Corporation, the parent holding company of Pinnacle Bank, and Liberty First Bank this week jointly announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Pinnacle will acquire Liberty First. Read more here.


Rome - Greater Community Bank

Matt Robbins has been promoted to executive vice president. Robbins is also the Group 7 member on the Leadership GBA Board of Directors. Read more here. Adam Green and Hannah Hall have joined the bank’s loan operations team.


Washington - F&M Bank and Trust Company

Chief Financial Officer Laura Swetnam is retiring after 40 years of service at the bank.



Harkins Robbins Green Hall Swetnam



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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