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Home I GBA University I Member Services I Volunteers I Government Relations I Calendar of Events     March 28, 2014

Retailer Challenge to Interchange Rules Rejected

Banks and the Federal Reserve last week won an important victory related to debit card interchange rates. A Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision that would have required even lower debit interchange fee caps. The court said the Federal Reserve’s rule and current caps are a reasonable interpretation of the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act. The ruling upheld the Fed’s use of fixed costs, network processing fees and fraud loss costs in the interchange fee cap calculation, although it said the Fed would need to provide further justification for its inclusion of transaction monitoring costs. The court also found that the Fed followed the Durbin Amendment in its “anti-exclusivity” provision on network choice. Read more here.


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GBA Committee Members

Pass it Forward and Nominate a Fellow Banker to Join Your Committee
It's time to make sure our committees and boards are “staffed” to continue their work for the upcoming GBA year. You can help to ensure that volunteer committees and boards continue to be filled with dedicated and forward-thinking volunteers by nominating a fellow banker to become part of your committee, or to find a colleague the perfect volunteer spot on another committee. More than 250 Georgia bankers serve on GBA committees, so think about that opportunity for yourself or others from your bank. For additional information about the various committees and boards and their roles, please click here. To recommend someone for a committee, or to volunteer yourself, click here. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad at 404.420.2024. 


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Last Call for Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium – April 3

There’s still time to register for the Southeast Georgia Community Bank Symposium coming up April 3 at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro. You’ll hear industry experts who will focus on the many issues facing financial institutions today. Topics to be covered include a GBA regulatory and legislative update, a regulatory panel discussion, smart balance sheet management, technology and banking and much more. To register, click here. Be sure to take advantage of the special pricing structure by registering several people from your bank for this event. The registration fee is $149 for the first attendee and $119 per person for each additional attendee. With questions, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


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Two New Directors Join Insurance Trust and Retirement Services Boards

The Boards of GBA Insurance Trust, Inc. and GBA Retirement Services, Inc. met this week for their annual spring board meetings. Each board welcomed a new member for their first meetings. Joining the Insurance Trust board is Jackson McConnell, president and CEO of Pinnacle Bank, Elberton, and joining the Retirement Services board is Rick Drews, CEO of Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville. The Insurance Trust provides health, life, disability and other benefits to the employees of over 200 member companies. The Retirement Services Trust provides defined contribution 401k and defined benefit administration to the employees of over 60 member companies.

  McConnell Drews


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President Signs Flood Bill

There’s good news this week on the Flood Insurance front. President Obama March 21 signed the flood insurance and affordability bill passed recently by the U.S. House and Senate by wide, bipartisan margins. The law reinstates lower rates for grandfathered properties that were repealed under the 2012 Biggert-Waters law and extends the effective date for new escrow rules required under Biggert-Waters from July 6, 2014, to Jan. 1, 2016. GBA supported the legislation. The law also clarifies that many loans would not be subject to mandatory escrow requirements, including those originated, refinanced, increased, extended or renewed before Jan. 1, 2016. The costs of the law are offset by a $25 annual fee on NFIP policy holders for primary residential properties and a $250 annual fee for policies on second homes and businesses.


Related: Flood Zone Determinations are available from GBA Strategic Partner ServiceLink National Flood


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Compliance Peer Group Talks Flood, UDAAP Trends

A roomful of bank Compliance professionals gathered this week for the GBA Compliance Peer Group meeting in Macon. The agenda included a timely update about flood insurance compliance (see article above). Brad Washburn of Steve H. Powell and Company detailed new rules that go into effect in July. Peers also got a good overview about UDAAP provisions. Harriet Price, also of Steve H. Powell and Company, gave an instructive presentation that included case studies and best practices. She advised the attendees to pay special attention to various FDIC Financial Institution Letters with guidance about UDAAPs going back as far as 2002, citing instances in which the guidance has been referenced in recent exams. Roundtable discussion topics bankers brought up included ideas about bank compliance program structure, third-party vendor risk management, ability-to-repay compliance issues and more. “The morning review of the current and proposed Flood Rules along with UDAAP expectations was very informative. The afternoon peer group exchange was very helpful to explore different compliance options with different products,” said Brian O’Quinn, AVP/compliance officer, First National Bank of Griffin. With questions about the peer group, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.



Related: GBA has more than 20 compliance related programs on its calendar through November. Check them out here.


Related: Basic Deposit and Operations Seminar April 15; Lending Compliance (including new escrow rules and UDAAP) Seminar April 16.


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Mobile Banking Use Skyrockets

Consumers continue to expand their use of mobile devices for basic banking transactions, according to the Federal Reserve Board's latest report on the use of mobile financial services. As of December 2013, 33 percent of all mobile phone users and 51 percent of smartphone users had used mobile banking in the past 12 months. This is an increase from 28 percent in December 2012 for mobile phone users and 48 percent for smartphone users. The most common mobile banking activities continue to be reviewing account balances, monitoring recent transactions, or transferring money between accounts. The use of mobile phones to deposit checks by taking pictures of them using the phone's camera again increased substantially between surveys, with 38 percent of mobile banking users having deposited a check with their phone in 2013. The use of mobile financial services is particularly prevalent among the 17 percent of the population that is underbanked (people with bank accounts but who also use check cashers, payday lenders, auto title loans, pawn shops, or payroll cards). Among the 88 percent of underbanked consumers with mobile phones, 39 percent had used mobile banking in 2013. Here’s a summary of the survey.


Related: GBA's Marketing Peer Group will discuss mobile banking and mobile marketing trends May 20. Details and registration here.


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Owner Jim Justice to Tell His Story of The Greenbrier at Annual Meeting

When Jim Justice bought the Greenbrier in dramatic fashion in May, 2009, snatching it out of bankruptcy, it made national news. The story since then, of how a coal miner returned the legendary resort to near-profitability in 18 months, with record occupancy rates, a PGA golf tournament and even a casino, is partly a story about daring, financial risk and business vision. But mostly, it’s a story about one man and the little postage stamp of America he calls home. Come hear Jim share his story of how he plotted the coup of an “unimaginable” opportunity to own an American icon and, as an Appalachian to the bone, a chance to rescue his little swath of the nation. GBA’s 2014 Annual Meeting is scheduled for June 15-18 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV. A complete meeting package will be mailed soon, but you can go ahead and register now. GBA has reserved a block of rooms at The Greenbrier for $279 a night for single or double occupancy.  Make reservations with the hotel directly at 855.453.4858. Be sure to say you are with the GBA to receive this special rate. The cut-off date for reservations is May 16. With questions about the Annual Meeting, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


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Volcker Rule Takes Effect April 1

The OCC this week reminded banks it supervises that provisions of the final Volcker Rule component of the Dodd-Frank Act take effect April 1. The final regulations prohibit certain short-term proprietary trading activities, limit hedge-fund investments and institute a number of other measures. Bank activities and investments should conform to the requirements of the final regulations by the end of the conformance period, which the FRB has extended to July 21, 2015. Depending on the size of the institution and the types of activities it is involved in, there are varying compliance and reporting requirements. Community banks with $10 billion in assets or less are subject to a simplified compliance program.  Read the full OCC Bulletin here. The rule’s provisions come at a significant, but uncertain cost. The OCC said last week the Volcker Rule may cost the banking industry between $412 million and $4.3 billion. The wide variance in the OCC’s estimate is due to “the uncertainty of the final rule’s impact on the market value of banks’ investments in impermissible covered funds,” the agency said.


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Tax Update

Supreme Court Ruling on Severance Payments Affects All

The Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision Tuesday, March 25, holding that severance payments are subject to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax. This eliminates any differences in the taxation of severance payments for social security and income tax, says a tax update bulletin shared with us by GBA Associate Member Porter Keadle Moore, LLC. Wages to involuntarily terminated employees will are subject to FICA taxes on these wages. The Supreme Court held that the definition of wages for FICA purposes should be interpreted broadly. This decision comes after Quality Stores, Inc. closed its stores and fired 3,100 workers. Quality Stores paid taxes on the severance payments and then asked the IRS for a refund of the taxes paid. In this decision, the Supreme Court denied their request. The court ruled that under FICA’s definition of wages the severance payments were made to employees terminated against their will and were varied which made them not includable as unemployment benefits. Many taxpayers considered filing or have filed protective refund claims pending this decision. This resolves the matter in the government’s favor, eliminating the need for these refund claims. Please contact PKM Partner, Pat Tuley at 404.420.5670 with questions.


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Password Scam

Fake Forgetfulness Flags Fraud

Cyber criminals compromise accounts and complete fraudulent transactions in many different ways. Sophisticated schemes that use advanced malware get a lot of the press. But fraudsters continue to successfully compromise accounts and steal money with relatively simple, human-engineered attacks as well, as exemplified by the scheme described in this article by Craig Priess, founder and VP, of GBA Associate Member Guardian Analytics. The article outlines the use of the forgotten password feature many password protected sites have, and it also offers prevention tips for your bank.


Related: GBA's Security Conference will cover a variety of fraud-prevention topics and more April 10-11 in Savannah. More details here.


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Smart Balance Sheet Management on Agenda for Northwest Community Bank Symposium – April 23

Join Rob Cochran, CFO of BrandBank, Atlanta, at the Northwest Georgia Community Bank Symposium as he provides us with primer on the valid and sensible use of hedging and derivatives. What fits for community banks? He’ll also provide tips on dealing with unrealized bond losses and provide smart strategies to prepare for rising rates. This event is April 23 at Berry College in Rome. To register, click here.  Be sure to take advantage of the special pricing structure by registering several people from your bank for this event. The registration fee is $159 for the first attendee and $129 per person for each additional attendee. With questions, please contact GBA’s Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.


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Georgia Banking School and Southern Operations and Technology Schools, May 4-9, 2014, Athens


Keynote Speaker to Banking School, SOTS Students

“Strategy is Everyone’s Business – Especially the Rising Executive’s”  

On Sunday, May 4, more than 100 first year and returning Georgia Banking School and Southern Operations and Technology School students will arrive in Athens for an intensive week of coursework, classroom challenges, and management simulation exercises – all with the goal of returning to their banks better bankers and emerging leaders. Kicking off its 53rd on-campus session, the Georgia Banking School will convene with a keynote address by Jeff Rendel, a former federal regulator, financial executive and Congressional lobbyist. Rendel will explain that strategic planning – and its execution – is not set aside exclusively for the CEO's office and the board room. Every budding executive’s participation level in and contribution to strategic planning will differ, yet everyone’s involvement is necessary for the organization’s success. Shouldn’t you or one of your bankers be there? Tuition for GBA members is $1,750 and includes all instruction; supplemental materials; room and board for Sunday-Thursday nights; daily breakfast and lunch; Welcome Reception and Dinner on Sunday, May 4; and daily refreshment breaks. Click here to view the Georgia Banking School brochure. To register for the 2014 session, click here. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, Training & Development Manager, with questions at 404.420.2024.


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GBA 2014 Bank Security Conference April 10-11, Savannah
Technology to Help Your Bank Stay Ahead of Fraud
Ricky Robertson,
director of Security at Community & Southern Bank in Chatsworth, and Pete Stuart, director of Employee Security at State Bank & Trust in Macon, will wrap up GBA’s 2014 Bank Security Conference with a session about the benefits of establishing a solid case management program. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from two seasoned bankers as they share information about programs that include tracking, fraud trends, restitution and loss avoidance. The session will conclude with a roundtable discussion about establishing a case management program and examples of successful program implementation. The conference will be held at the Savannah Riverfront Marriott Hotel, and the per person registration price is $350.  Click here to register or view the brochure.


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Basic Deposit and Operations Compliance Seminar April 15

Register for GBA’s Basic Deposit and Operations Compliance SeminarThis seminar is Tuesday, April 15, at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. In easy-to-understand language, this one-day seminar will cover the regulatory requirements in the areas of deposit and operations compliance. The following topics will be covered:


·         BSA, CIP, OFAC

·         Reg DD, Reg E, Reg CC

·         New overdraft disclosure requirements, opt-in process

·         NOW & MMDA account rules

·         New privacy notices.


The registration price $225 for members and $195 for any additional registrants from the same institution. Click here to register. With questions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.


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Basic Lending Compliance Seminar April 16-17

Time is running out to sign up for GBA's Basic Lending Compliance Seminar to be led by Steve Moore of Bank Compliance Services, Avondale Estates. The Basic Lending Compliance Seminar will provide an in-depth look at consumer lending compliance and will cover basic compliance requirements, common problem areas, and offer extensive Q&A opportunities to address individual concerns. We will also complete several real-world lending compliance reviews and develop risk-based loan compliance self-audit checklists. Topics to be covered are:

  • Truth-in-Lending Requirements, including NEW escrow rules effective June 1, 2013

  • GFE + HUD settlement statement

  • “Higher-Priced” mortgage loans

  • Flood insurance

  • Fair Credit Reporting Act/FACT Act

  • Regulation B.

This two-day seminar will take place at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Contact Homewood Suites at 478.477.9776 to reserve your room at the GBA corporate rate of $109 per night. For more information or to register, please click here. With questions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.


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Legal Issues of New Account Documentation and Compliance Seminar April 24

This one-day seminar will teach new account personnel proper account-opening procedures and compliance requirements. Topics to be covered include signature-card contracts, a CIP compliance overview, TIN compliance, individual accounts and much more. The seminar is designed for new accounts representatives, back-up new account personnel, certificate-of-deposit staff, and bookkeeping and accountholder service personnel. GBA will host this seminar April 24 at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp. in Kendalia, Texas, will be presenting. The registration price is $225. Click here to register. With questions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.


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Analyzing Financial Statements Seminar April 30

Register now for GBA’s Analyzing Financial Statements Seminar. Led by Mike Allen with State Bank & Trust, Atlanta, this one-day seminar is designed for entry-level commercial lending officers, credit trainees and analysts. Topics to be covered include analyzing personal tax returns, analyzing commercial financial statements and much more. The Analyzing Financial Statements Seminar is April 30 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Click here to register online. With questions, please contact GBA’s Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.

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Safety and Soundness Seminar - May 1

Based on the reduction in the number of bank closures as well as the significant profitability in 2013, this banking crisis appears to be coming to an end. That said, between a troublesome economy and unprecedented low interest rates, we are clearly not without challenges in 2014. If those challenges aren’t enough, we can also count on additional requirements from the Dodd-Frank Act and Basel III. How we manage each of these opportunities will have a lot to do with our success in 2014, and this workshop is designed to provide bankers with an opportunity to discuss these challenges with banking regulators. Karl Nelson and Eric Nelson of KPN Consulting will lead the seminar. The sessions will feature a panel of regulators comprised of representatives from the Federal Reserve Bank, the OCC, the FDIC, and the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. The panel will address each of the CAMELS issues. This seminar will be at the Georgian Club in Atlanta May 1. Please click here for more information. If you have any questions, please contact GBA’s Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.


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Marketing Peer Group to Meet May 20

Join GBA member Marketing officers for a day of informational sessions from a variety of experts and an extended peer exchange session at the new GBA Marketing Peer Group meeting
May 20, hosted at First Landmark Bank in Marietta. The final agenda is in development and expert presenters will be announced, but we’ll focus on:

  • Effectively Using Digital Media Marketing Channels – Trends, tips and strategies for mobile, social and other new media channels.

  • Peer Exchange and Idea Sharing – Quality networking time with fellow Marketing professionals

  • Business-to-Business marketing tips – Ideas to help you attract and retain business relationships.

The meeting is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is one of two GBA Marketing Peer Group meetings the GBA Marketing Committee will organize in 2014. A second session with a similar agenda will be held in the fall, most likely in Macon. Marketing professionals can attend either or both. The price is $99. Register here. With questions or to get more information, please contact Kathy Friestad at 404.420.2024.


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AIB Course Highlight

AIB Law & Banking: Applications

This newly updated AIB course reflects the ways that banks do business and how they are affected by laws and regulations, presented in plain English for the non-lawyer. It is devoted to the basic laws and banking regulations that govern deposit accounts, lending, real estate lending, bankruptcy, non-deposit products and services, international banking, marketing, safety and soundness, and information reporting.

There are 30 CRCM CE Credits for this course. Click here to learn more or to register or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


Here are instructor-led AIB online classes coming up in April. These courses have weekly assignments as well as midterm and final exams. All you need is a computer, printer and Internet access. Classes with an asterisk require Microsoft Excel Software. Please register two weeks in advance to secure a seat in the class. For more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Here are other upcoming AIB courses:


April 7

Commercial Lending-New Course!

April 7

Managing Interest Rate Risk

April 14

Consumer Lending

April 14

General Accounting

April 14

Introduction to Agricultural Lending

April 14

Principles of Banking

April 21

Basic Administrative Duties of a Trustee

April 21

Principles of Banking Accelerated

April 21

Marketing Financial Services

April 28

Law and Banking: Applications

April 28

Money & Banking

April 28

Principles of Banking

April 28

Supervisor Certificate


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GBA-U Webinars

The Exceptional Teller, Disclosures, BSA and ALLL Webinars Coming up

A GBA Webinar is a great way to quickly get the training you need right from the comfort of your office. Here is a sample of upcoming offerings. Check the GBA-U Calendar of Events for any webinars you are interested in at


April 3

The Exceptional Teller Series--Part 1

April 15

2014 Integrated Disclosures: The New Closing Disclosure

April 16

The Exceptional Teller Series--Part 2

May 2

BSA Series: 4 Hotspots - Marijuana Businesses, Elder Abuse, Virtual Currency and Model Validation

May 7

Account Titling, Ownership and Signatories

May 8

Calculating and Maintaining the Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses/Allowance for Credit Losses

May 9

Sharpen Your Skills as a Trainer

May 12

For Sales Leaders: Motivate Your Sales Team

May 13

Excel Explained: Introduction to Spreadsheets

May 13

Introduction to Residential Mortgage Underwriting

May 14

Customer Service Under the CFPB

May 15

How to Analyze a Start-up Business

May 15

Improving Employee Performance in Everyday Work Situations & Reviews

May 21

Handling Loan Applications - Required Training for Loan Originators

May 28

Opening New Accounts for LLC's

May 28

RC-C Loan Codes for the Call Report


Webinars are live and allow time for questions and answers. The $255 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 Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.


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Save Big on Office Supplies with Office Depot Program

Join a growing number of GBA member banks, Associate Members, Bank Counsel Section members and employees of those companies that are saving big on their office supplies by participating in the GBA Office Depot Group Purchasing Program. Get discounts up to 80 percent off MSLP on a core list of 350+ frequently ordered, deeply discounted products featuring many high use commodity items. Plus, choose 75 additional items customized to your company that will get steep discounts. There’s no cost to sign up, and as an Office Depot customer you will have access to Office Depot's exclusive Business Services Division website, strategic brand name partnerships, multi-billion dollar buying power, and ease in economizing your operations. Enjoy customer service from Office Depot that is unmatched in the industry. See a full list of benefits here. For more information, please contact Don Lachance, Business Development Manager, 678.325.9671, or Cord Lomauro, Business Development Manager, 770.891.8884.


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How to Get an Effective, Compliant Overdraft Privilege Program

John M. Floyd and Associates is the GBA endorsed provider of the JMFA Overdraft Privilege® program. JMFA is a performance-improvement and profitability consulting firm, and the JMFA Overdraft Privilege® is a valuable non-discriminatory, 100-percent compliant automated overdraft program that strengthens account holder satisfaction and raises market share. Here's a link to additional information about JMFA Overdraft Privilege®. We encourage you and your bank to give John M. Floyd and Associates an opportunity to evaluate your current overdraft procedures or programs. And, we hope they'll get the opportunity to earn your business should you feel their product is a good fit for the bank and your customers. For more information please contact Waid Thompson, JMFA's regional sales director, at 888.345.8639.


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Find a Job, Post a Job with GBA Job Bank

The Georgia Bankers Association offers free job posting resources for our member banks. These listings can be viewed online or through our print publication, the GBA Bulletin, mailed every other week. Resume postings are also available. For more information, please contact Kenyetta Parks at 404.420.2035.


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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 Bo Brannen and David Oliver, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. See these and other member community contributions on GBA's Facebook page.

Here's our latest installment:


Atlanta – Georgia Banking Company

John Arnold, Joy Beam-Burns and LuAnn Rollins represented the company recently in the “12th-Annual Spring Chicken Run.” All proceeds went to support the Christian Aid Mission Partnership and Our Father’s Hands to fight the effects of poverty in the community.


Albany – Heritage Bank of the South

For the seventh year in a row, the bank has teamed with local document management companies to host a free community shred day. The 2014 Community Shred-A-Thon is FREE to the public and will be held Saturday, April 12 from 9 a.m. - noon at a location in each of the following Georgia communities: Albany, Rincon, and Valdosta. – Heritage Bank of the South

The bank’s Valdosta branch made a donation to the Lowndes Associated Ministries to People (LAMP), a local nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the homeless and those in need. Pictured at right are Jodi Williams, teller; Sam McCord, LAMP director; Alicia DeRoche, branch manager; Janet Strickland, teller; and Dimple Sali-Carter, customer service representative.


Sponsorship Available: GBA Associate Members may sponsor GBA's Community Connections feature to support our member banks' activities in Georgia communities. Contact David Oliver at 404.420.2036 for information.

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Atlanta – Community and Southern Bank

Vickie Waddell, Retail Banking Associate, was recognized by the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce at the Good Morning Cherokee breakfast for her dedication and service to Teen Leadership Cherokee from 2000-2013.


Atlanta – Fidelity Bank

David Dorsett has joined the bank to head up Commercial Lending.


Covington – Newton Federal Bank

Melissa Kerbow has been promoted to Vice President, Director of Mortgage Services


Macon – State Bank and Trust

Leigh Hartley, Senior Mortgage Lender, State Bank & Trust Company, has been awarded the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia Gold Award for the 15th consecutive year. In addition, she also received the President’s Award given to a select few members.


Savannah The Coastal Bank

Candace Adkins has been promoted to branch manager at its Godley Station office.


Atlanta -- Moore Colson

Bert Mills has been elected Managing Partner of the Firm


Valdosta – Coleman Talley LLP

Valdosta law firm J. Stephen Gupton, Jr. P.C. will merge with Coleman Talley LLP effective April 1, 2014.  “We are excited to welcome attorneys Steve Gupton, and John Dalton to Coleman Talley,” said Russ Henry, Managing Partner of Coleman Talley LLP.  “Steve and John’s practice area expertise will be an excellent addition to our team of lawyers.”









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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