June 18, 2021  

Georgians Earn GSBLSU Degrees

Congratulations to the seven Georgia banking professionals who earned their diploma from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU June 2. Here’s a list of the Georgia graduates. This year, there were 38 total students from Georgia enrolled. GBA is among the 15 state bankers associations sponsoring the school, and with this year’s class, 1,681 Georgia bankers have successfully completed the intensive 3-year program conducted during two weeks in successive years. We were glad to see first-year student Madison Lamb, Bank of Dawson, Shellman, be elected by her fellow classmates to the school’s Advisory Council. She’ll serve in that position for the duration of her tenure. The school adapted to the current environment by hosting a combination of an in-person experience for the third-year class for the last week while virtual learning was the order of the day for the first week and for the first- and second-year students. In-person instruction resumes next year when the school will be held on the LSU campus May 23 - June 3, 2022. Mike Allen, Cadence Bank, Atlanta becomes the school president next year and Ryan Earnest, president and CEO, Heritage First Bank, Rome, and a 2008 school graduate, will begin his second two-year term on the Board of Trustees. For more details, click here.


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Updates Feature PPP Forgiveness, Infrastructure Proposals, Election Analysis

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 Forgiveness: Some movement on long-delayed forgiveness approvals

  • Socially Disadvantaged Farmer Loan Forgiveness Paused: A Wisconsin Judge issued a temporary restraining order pausing the rollout

  • INVEST America Act: Evolving infrastructure bill in U.S. House. Summary of Georgia projects included.

  • Election Autopsy: A summary of the Democrats’ post-election analysis

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


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GBA Goin’ Coastal for Annual Meeting

About 400 bankers, Associate Members and family members will be attending the 2021 GBA Annual Meeting at the Cloister on Sea Island next week. We’re all set for an amazing event. Our program includes the latest intel on the economy, a peer CEO best practices discussion, strategies for diversity and inclusion, adapting branch and retail strategies, economic development and servant leadership, the state of the association address by GBA Chairman Spence Mullis, and a closing session about key traits of championship athletes. We’ll elect and install new officers, recognize incoming board members and incredible careers in banking, and focus on a variety of technical issues in four breakout sessions. Members and families will also enjoy ample networking and peer connection time. With questions about the meeting, please contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad at 404.420.2024. We’d like to thank our event sponsors:



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Child Tax Credits Incoming July 15

Bank operations areas should be alert for additional deposit inflows beginning July 15. The IRS will begin direct deposits and check issuances for the advanceable Child Tax Credit authorized by the American Rescue Plan in March. More than 36 million American families may be eligible for the monthly payments, and the IRS has begun communicating with those families. Direct deposits or checks will be dated the 15th of the month or the previous business day should the 15th fall on a weekend or holiday. Payments will be sent monthly through the end of 2021.


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How to Maximize Your PPP Relationships

Community banks have the unique opportunity to expand and strengthen their relationships with their small business PPP loan borrowers. GBA Associate Member Onovativ shares how to boost engagement with your PPP relationships using six key strategies and a free, downloadable cross-sell letter template. Access the resources here.


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Help Available to Participate in GBA Compensation Survey

Help is available for HR teams pressed for time to complete the GBA Salary Survey. Rhonda Snyder with Pearl Meyer has some capacity and techniques that can help you input data so you can take part in the important 2021 Georgia Compensation Survey. Reach out to her at the contact info below if you are interested. Data is due Friday, June 25, for the 2021 Georgia Bank Compensation Survey. 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, Snyder at rhonda.snyder@pearlmeyer.com or GBA’s David Oliver.


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Last Call: New and Aspiring Lenders

Breaking into Banking 101 – June 23

New lenders and aspiring commercial bankers can get their feet wet with all the basic concepts by taking part in this special web-based seminar. 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. For all the details and to register, click here.


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A Few Rooms Remain for Leadership Conference

Don’t delay another day to register for the GBA Leadership Conference, July 12-14 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra, FL. We’ve got just a few rooms left, and we’ve already got a near-capacity crowd registered. This is the headline in-person conference for Georgia’s emerging bank executives. Sessions will include exclusive looks at the economy, advocacy updates, strategic planning, technology tactics, housing trends and management skill building. 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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Crime and Punishment

Farm Equipment Fraudster and Bank Robber Plead Guilty

Two Georgia men will face significant consequences for recent crimes for which they’ve pled guilty. Rickey Carter, 60, of Nashville, Georgia, pleaded guilty to orchestrating a complicated fraud involving millions of dollars of loans by multiple creditors. “Carter thought he was smart enough to swindle millions of dollars from these banks, but he wasn’t smart enough to avoid being caught and punished,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “He will be held accountable for the damage he has done, sending a strong message to anyone considering such fraud that it is a serious crime with serious consequences.” Read more about Carter here. Dontrell Scott, 28, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to one count bank robbery in which he said he had a gun and demanded cash from a SunTrust Bank teller in November 2019. Read more about Scott here.


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GBA Partner ServisFirst Offers the Best Plug and Play Credit Card Program - Tailor Made Just for You

Over the next week, when you have a few minutes, please take a look at some of these short and informative videos from GBA partner ServisFirst. You will hear from some of their team members about what sets their agent bank card program apart from all others. You can access the complete library here, or jump to one on the list below.

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Women in Banking Conference Has Powerful Lineup

A panel of peer executives, a leading political and economic strategist, a banking industry overview, a wellness tune-up session and a nationally recognized comedienne are all part of GBA’s Women in Banking Conference Aug. 12-13 at Chateau Elan in Braselton. So, why not join your peer women bankers and Associate Members at this year’s conference? 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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Five Challenges Banks Can Solve with SNL Banker – Discounts Available for GBA Members

GBA is proud to promote SNL Banker, an offering from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as our recommended solution for financial performance management. The SNL Banker tool empowers banks to use internal, customer data as one of their most valuable assets. It also helps banks address the following problems:

  • Your bank has plenty of data to work with, but the time it takes to create reports makes it hard for management to quickly make business decisions

  • Your bank is only using the native capabilities of your core for reporting. That’s not what they were designed to do

  • You still have distinct silos between departments and it’s hard for management to prioritize business decisions

  • Your bank is worried about staying relevant with customers who have increasing options for financial services

  • Your bank is concerned about customers who have become unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic and have loan commitments.

Discounts for SNL Banker are available for GBA members through our partnership with S&P Global. To schedule a demo of SNL Banker, click here or contact Amy Garner, amy.garner@spglobal.com, 770.687.6369.


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Customized for Georgia

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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Join live or purchase a recording!

CRE Tune Up, Compliance Briefing, HR Basics, Customer Service and More

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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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:


Suwanee - Quantum National Bank

The bank donated pens and notebooks to the kids at Rainbow Village for their summer camp projects. Pictured at right is Rainbow Village’s Michelle Alcorn with the wagon full of notebooks and pens.


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Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Bronson Lavender has joined the bank as the market manager for its Lumpkin, Dawson and Forsyth counties markets.


Fitzgerald - Colony Bank

Cindy Minter has joined the bank as director of treasury, senior vice president. Read more here. John Harris has joined the bank as a mortgage loan originator for the Valdosta market. Read more here.


Greensboro - BankSouth

Eric Fletcher has been promoted to market president of the bank’s Watkinsville office.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

EVP Chief People Officer Tara Dorsey is now a Senior Certified Professional through SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management). The bank also hosted a grand opening event for its new corporate headquarters on June 12. Our thanks for President and CEO Neil Stevens for inviting GBA’s Joe Brannen to speak during the festive occasion.


Atlanta - Mauldin & Jenkins

The accounting firm this week announced its merger with CDPA, PC, an Alabama-based accounting and consulting firm, effective July 1, 2021. This merger increases Mauldin & Jenkins’ office locations to 12 across the Southeast, adding offices in Athens, AL, Florence, AL, and Huntsville, AL, respectively. Read more here.



Lavender Minter Harris Fletcher



Dorsey Oconee State Bank
headquarters grand opening
Mauldin & Jenkins and
CDPA joint logo



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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