June 11, 2021  

Asset/Liability Management and Credit Committees Talk Shop

It was a busy week for two of GBA’s volunteer committees planning programming for the coming year. On Wednesday, Jay Torbert of Southeastern Bank in Darien chaired the Asset/Liability Management Committee meeting in Macon. The group discussed all the latest financial risk management issues and began planning its conference that will be in November. The primary challenge most committee members are managing through is excess liquidity in their banks. Customer finances have held up fairly well through the pandemic, and extensive government pandemic aid programs have pushed deposits to all-time highs. Many have also expanded their investment portfolios and are working with compressed margins.



It was the Credit Committee’s turn to huddle up Thursday, also in Macon. Committee Chair Philip Bernardi of Oconee State Bank in Watkinsville led the meeting, and members shared economic, loan demand and credit quality trends across all corners of the state. Conditions differ by market, but overall, credit quality remains good and loan demand varies greatly by market and asset class. General areas of concern related to borrower stability are labor availability and cost, general inflation and supply chain disruptions. The Credit Conference this year is in December, and the committee got a good start on putting together a strong program.



Mark your calendars for these conferences. Program details and registration information is coming soon.

  • Nov. 4-5: Financial Risk Management Conference, Omni Hotel, The Battery Atlanta

  • Dec. 2-3: Credit Conference, The Westin Buckhead, Atlanta

Contact Alison Moreau with questions, 404.420.2034.


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Courts Re-open, Veterans Assistance and more in Key Issue Update

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:

  • PPP Loan Data: 19,194 Georgia small businesses received loans of more than $344.1 million the last week of May. In the 2021 PPP round, the program totaled about $11.1 billion to 416,058 first- or second-draw loans to Georgians.

  • Courts Reopening. Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton issued an order ending Georgia’s 15-month-long statewide judicial emergency on June 30.

  • Veteran Assistance. There’s a new Covid-19 Veterans Assistance Partial Claim Payment Program intended to help veterans return to making regular payments on VA-guaranteed loans after exiting Covid-related forbearance.

  • Bank Account Reporting. We shared a look into the Biden Administration’s plans that would require banks and other financial institutions to expand information reporting on all types of accounts and loans.

  • Money Mules. We continue to hear scattered reports from members of suspected money mules trying to take advantage of the inordinate number of checks that are flowing to individuals as part of the Covid-19 federal stimulus response. Law enforcement is working with us.

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


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Rep. David Scott Weighs in on Inheritance Tax Plan

Georgia Rep. David Scott (D-GA13) last week sent a letter to President Biden opposing a component of his tax plan to pay for infrastructure improvements. Scott, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, outlined his dissatisfaction with the plan to restrict the “stepped up basis” on inherited assets as he views that as especially harmful to farm land being passed onto heirs. Read Scott’s letter here. We know bankers are following this issue closely as they have customers with investments and assets they hope to pass on to heirs, and family-owned banks also could be affected. We engage on changes to tax policy when bank interests are at stake, so be sure and let us know of any concerns you have. Contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.372.7893.


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How Life as a Middle Child Prepared Jennifer Eavenson for a Career in HR

It can take years for most people to figure out what career they would be best suited for, but United Bank’s Human Resource Director Jennifer Eavenson has been honing her skills in HR since day one. “I always laugh and say that as a middle child, I was born into the role of HR. I was the problem solver, soother and negotiated compromises with my siblings,” she said. The Group 4 representative on GBA’s HR Committee grew her interpersonal and relational repertoire in her early career at Davidson, a division of Macy’s, before following in her father’s footsteps by joining the banking industry. She shares about her perspective on hiring opportunities and challenges faced by banks today, the mentor who shaped her career by setting a great example, the surprising number of countries where she has gone horseback riding and more in the latest GBA Member Profile.


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Pitch in for GBA Compensation Survey

Data is due Friday, June 25, for the 2021 Georgia Bank Compensation Survey. Please participate in building the most detailed data on banking compensation and pay practices in Georgia to help you fine tune your compensation strategy. Participating banks get a significant discount off the survey report. The survey results will be published Aug. 9. If you need information or want to participate, contact Pearl Meyer’s Rhonda Snyder, rhonda.snyder@pearlmeyer.com or GBA’s David Oliver.


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More than 2.3 Million EIP Payments Disbursed

Bank operations areas should be alert for additional deposit inflows as more than 2.3 million additional Economic Impact Payments were disbursed in the past two weeks. The last two weeks of payments contain more than 1.2 million direct deposit payments with the remainder as paper check payments. This round of disbursements totals $2.2 billion. Read more details here.


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FHLBank Atlanta 2021 Election of Directors

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (Bank) has begun the election to fill certain directorships on the Bank’s board of directors, including the member directorships in Alabama and the District of Columbia, and one public interest independent directorship. The term of the directorships to be filled in this election begins on Jan. 1, 2022, and ends on Dec. 31, 2025. Pursuant to the Bank’s board-approved Equal Opportunity Policy Statement, which is available on the Bank’s website, the Bank encourages the consideration of diversity in nominating or soliciting nominees for positions on the Bank’s board of directors. Individuals interested in being considered for the public interest independent directorship must complete and return to the Bank, by 5 p.m. EDT on July 9, 2021, the application and related forms that are available on the Bank’s website. If you have questions, please contact Associate General Counsel Tina Carew at 404.888.8549 or tcarew@fhlbatl.com.


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eBook: The Complete Guide to Entering the Residential Mortgage Business from GBA Partner Promontory MortgagePath

With mortgage origination forecasts predicting near-record highs through this year and beyond, residential lending represents a tremendous opportunity for banks. Whether you’re a first-time entrant or have previously had a mortgage operation, the latest eBook from our endorsed partner, @Promontory MortgagePath LLC will help you navigate the early planning stages of launching — or relaunching — a compliant, profitable, tech-driven mortgage division in today’s market. Get the eBook here.



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Leadership Conference to Feature Housing Expert John Hunt

What’s ahead for the Georgia housing market? John Hunt, Chief Analyst and Principal of MarketNsight, will be a headliner at the GBA Leadership Conference, July 12-14 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra, FL. Hunt will discuss the latest housing trends and offer his forecast for 2021 and beyond. Housing was one of the few industries that actually did very well during the pandemic, he says. Ultra-low interest rates, historically-low inventory levels and changing demographics were the driving factors. Hunt, a trusted and regular presenter on all-things-housing at GBA conferences, has over 30 years’ experience in the housing industry, with an emphasis on qualitative and quantitative analysis, which has led to extremely accurate modeling and forecasting. From predicting the housing recession of 2006 to the dramatic loss of the First Time Buyers, to his recent analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hunt has continued to stay several months ahead of any forecaster in the field. You’re sure to benefit from his extensive knowledge and gain insight and information you can apply back at your financial institution. Click here to visit the event website with all the details. Thanks for our conference sponsors: Anthem; CSRA Business Lending; FHLB of Atlanta; Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford; Fiserv; Holmes-Shaw Agency; Mauldin & Jenkins; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co., LLC; Point to Point Environmental; Qualtik; Troutman Pepper LLP; and Wipfli. Sponsorships are still available. Click on the above link for info. Questions?  Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad.


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In-Person 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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Annual Meeting Countdown Begins

We’re just a little more than one week away from the GBA Annual Meeting. Your GBA team is making final preparations for our gathering at The Cloister at Sea Island and we hope members are looking forward to being together. All confirmed registrants received an “important information” email last Friday, with reminders to help finalize plans for travel. Registrants should also watch for a “reveal email” early next week of our meeting app, which will provide access onsite to everything they need to know, right on their phone or tablet. Attendees will be able to look up live information, verify a session time, view a speaker’s presentation, see who that exhibitor is and check an event location. Plus attendees will have a personalized schedule with activities and meetings they’ve registered for. With questions, contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad.  We’d like to thank our event sponsors:



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Ideal for New or Aspiring Lenders: Recording Included with Registration!

GBA Webinar: Breaking into Banking 101 – June 23

Commercial banking can be intimidating because of its complexity and the risk-oriented nature of the work. This webinar is a clear and thorough introduction to the key concepts, terminology, and processes involved in credit and lending. It doesn’t assume much prior knowledge of the topic, so it’s ideal for those in their first year in the industry. Learners will walk away with a clear understanding of their job and how their specific role fits into the bank’s overall profitability goals. Speaker: Andy Keusal, Keusal Learning. Andy recorded a video message about the webinar that you can view here. For all the details and to register, click here.


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New location, Athens, GA! Limited Enrollment

Spots Filling up Fast for On-campus BSA Experience!

We’re teaming up with Terri Sands of Secura Risk Management to present the third-annual BSA Experience! This year’s program is designed to provide the most pressing topics for BSA officers and support teams such as regulatory expectations, emerging trends that impact your daily BSA, increased fraud and changes to the BSA laws and regulation such as the updated FinCEN guidance on Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020. This year, we are offering a great program that provides subject matter experts and practical tools to simplify BSA compliance. In addition, each attendee will leave with two certificates to reflect the completion of The BSA Experience. Click here to learn more and register.


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Women in Banking Conference Features Top Travelers Economist

GBA will host its Women in Banking Conference  Aug. 12-13 at Chateau Elan in Braselton, and all women bankers and Associate Members are encouraged to attend. We’re excited to welcome Joanne Woodward, who will give us her insider's take on economic and public policy and the political outlook. Woodward, executive vice president of Public Policy for Travelers and president of The Travelers Institute, has an impressive and extensive background, with time at Goldman Sachs, where she was founding executive director of the company’s Global Markets Institute, the firm’s international public policy and institutional investor educational platform. She served on Capitol Hill for 12 years as Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, and she was chief economist for the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and the U.S. House Budget Committee under Chairman John Kasich. Sign up and book your hotel room soon. Click here for the complete agenda, hotel information, and more. We’d like to give a shout-out to our conference sponsors: ATM Solutions; Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta; Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford; and McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks and Company. Sponsorship opportunities are still available – click here for info. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions about the conference or sponsorship.


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Protecting Your Institution from Check Fraud: When to Obtain a GBA Thumbprint Signature

Despite continuous developments in the technology to safeguard our money, we unfortunately continue to hear about regular cases of check fraud among our membership. It’s still happening at banks big and small. Your bank can lower the odds of being affected by participating in GBA’s Thumbprint Signature Program. The program was designed to deter check fraud by collecting a thumbprint “signature” from non-customers when cashing checks. A thumbprint signature should be obtained when:

  • A non-customer presents an on-us or not-on-us check for cashing. (This includes employees of commercial account customers who present payroll checks drawn on the bank.)

  • A non-customer presents an on-us check for exchange to a cashier’s check.

  • A non-customer presents a government check for cashing.

To learn more about participating in the Thumbprint Signature Program, please contact GBA’s Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.


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Join live or purchase a recording!

June Webinar All-Access Pass

Gain access to a month’s worth of live webinars for just $795! June is a perfect time to explore the variety and depth of topics you can choose from to complement your compliance training program. We offer webinars for all financial institution professionals from the front line to the board room. Click here to learn about the June All Access Pass!

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. Questions? Email: 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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Reserve Your Spot Today for Fintech South 2021 and Save

Fintech South 2021 is the largest financial technology event in the Southeast U.S. Hosted by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and supported by the thriving fintech community in Atlanta, the virtual conference is taking place June 22-24. Join 2,000+ attendees from more than 20 countries to enjoy 40+ hours of content. New elements this year include dedicated time each day for AI-powered networking, interactive roundtable discussions with on-camera audience participation, highly produced main stage content, special music and cultural features, and information on over 50 exhibitors in a full-featured virtual expo. You can also enjoy special guests, including recording artist Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, NBA all-star Baron Davis and Mulan actor Jimmy Wong, as well as main stage keynotes from Blackrock, Cardlytics, Deluxe, Equifax, Fiserv, Invesco, Kabbage, Mastercard, NCR, Panoramic Ventures, PayPal, Truist and more. To register, visit www.fintechsouth.com. Reserve your spot today and save $25 with discount code: FTS21SAVE25.


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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 - SouthState Bank

The bank took part in HomeAid Atlanta’s record-breaking 20th Annual Essentials Drive by collecting donations of new packages of diapers and baby wipes at several bank branches. From April 1 through May 5, the metro Atlanta community donated more than 225,000 baby items in a record year for the charity. Read more here.

Claxton - The Claxton Bank

The bank recently awarded Jamon Mangusho, a 2021 graduate from Claxton High School, with a scholarship.


Richmond Hill - Great Oaks Bank

The bank and Arts on the Coast hosted a gallery opening and dedication this week. As part of the design of its flagship banking office in Richmond Hill, the bank reserved a space to house a permanent, rotating gallery featuring works by local artists. During the reception, the gallery was dedicated and named in recognition of Barbara and Jimmy Estes, who were instrumental in founding Arts on the Coast and in supporting the arts in Richmond Hill. Read more here.


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Alma - Pineland Bank

Andy Johnson has joined the bank as the senior vice president and market executive of its Douglas market. Joe Burns has joined the bank’s IT Department as systems administrator.


Athens - First American Bank & Trust

Craig Meeks has been promoted to president of the bank. Jarrod Prickett has been promoted to senior vice president and senior lender. Read more here.


Atlanta - Coastal States Bank

Eric Rivenbark has joined the bank as commercial banking team leader for the Atlanta region.


Braselton - Peach State Bank & Trust

Senior Executive Vice President Terry Evans will retire on June 11 after 47 years in banking. Read more here.


Cordele - Planters First Bank

Jamie Langham has been promoted to regional resident in Bibb County.


Dalton - First Bank of Dalton

Chattanooga-based First Volunteer Corporation and FBD Holding Company, Inc. announced today an agreement to acquire FBD Holding Company, Inc., the holding company for First Bank. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. Read details here.


Houston, TX - Cadence Bank

The bank this week announced a strategic business alliance with Houston-based Unity National Bank of Houston, the only Black-owned banking institution in Texas. The cooperative alliance brings growth capital to Unity National Bank, strengthening its ability to make commercial loans and deliver other banking and financial solutions to businesses, individuals and families in minority and underserved communities in Greater Houston and Atlanta. Through this mentor-bank relationship, Cadence Bank will provide certain advisory services to Unity National Bank.


Madison - Bank of Madison

SVP/CFO Clifton Hanes is retiring on June 30 after 31 years the bank and 43 years in the banking industry.


Richmond Hill - Great Oaks Bank

Susan Stewart has joined the bank as vice president, senior credit underwriter. Read more here.


Atlanta - Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE)

Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE) has been awarded $250,000 in Strategic Health Impact Investment funding from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation. Read more here.


Austin, TX - Review Alliance

Kiera Gacoka has joined GBA Partner Review Alliance as a Virtual Compliance Officer.



Johnson Burns Meeks Prickett



Evans Langham Stewart Gacoka



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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