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Home I GBA University I Member Services I Volunteers I Government Relations I Calendar of Events      March 7, 2014

 

GBA Priority Bill Passes Senate

The Georgia General Assembly is in session every day this week, and Friday will be day 34 of the 40-day session. Thursday the Senate passed GBA's priority bill, H.B. 824 by Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus), that clarifies fees charged by Georgia-chartered banks are in fact fees and should not be considered interest. The bill now goes back to the House, which is expected to agree with a slight amendment made in the Senate. Our thanks to Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro) for ably handling the bill in the Senate. GBA's other priority bill, H.B. 809 by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) making Georgia a less-friendly state for patent trolls, is also expected to come up for a final vote in the House soon. It's been a busy week. Monday was Crossover Day, which is the day bills must pass their body of origin in order to be considered by the other body. Several bills GBA has been monitoring saw action this week, and we will report more in our Legislative Update after the General Assembly adjourns for the week. With questions, contact either Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Joe Brannen, 404.402.2026.

 

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Georgia Supreme Court Issues Positive Ruling

The Georgia Supreme Court March 3 issued an important ruling related to the standard of care a trustee has in serving as a corporate officer. In the ruling, the court overturned an appeals court decision that would have resulted in a trustee's management of certain family entities to be scrutinized using a higher-than-appropriate level of fiduciary standards. In the case, Rollins v. Rollins, four of nine grandchildren of the late Rollins family Patriarch, O. Wayne Rollins, are beneficiaries of five family trusts established by their grandfather. The plaintiffs filed suit alleging that the trustees breached their fiduciary duties by failing to provide accountings and by mismanaging the trust assets, which are interests in the family entities. The original trial court ruled against the plaintiffs, but the court of appeals reversed that decision. GBA filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting a request for the Georgia Supreme Court's to review the case to clarify the appropriate trustee responsibilities in such matters. Here's a copy of the Georgia Supreme Court's ruling.
With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.

 

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Flood Insurance Bill Passed by U.S. House

The U.S. House this week passed a GBA-supported bill that would make big strides in protecting the affordability of flood insurance. The bill caps rate increases for policyholders at 18 percent per year, reinstates grandfathered status for properties built to code before updated flood maps were adopted and allows new buyers to assume existing flood policies when buying properties. The provisions address many of the significant concerns we had with the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. We'll support the legislation as it moves into the Senate for consideration. Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in the fall introduced a similar bill, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which is also pending action. With questions or comments, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

 

Related: GBA's Compliance Peer Group will discuss flood rules March 25 in Macon. Click here to learn more and to register.

 

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

 

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Great Breakout Sessions Set for 2014 Annual Meeting

The planning process is well underway for GBA's 2014 Annual Meeting
June 15-18 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Back by popular demand, we will have several breakout sessions that will cover topics including bank consolidation, the challenges of the modern bank director, managing rising interest rates, the new world of mortgage lending and much more. A complete convention package will be mailed in late March, but you can go ahead and register now. GBA has reserved 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. After this date, all reservations will be subject to prevailing rate and space availability. With questions about the GBA Annual Meeting, please contact GBA's Susie McGehee at 404.420.2010.

 

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How Durbin and Franken are Wrong on Data Security

GBA joined 52 other state bankers associations this week in opposing efforts by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Al Franken
(D-Minn.) to specifically increase scrutiny on banks' data security efforts in the wake of large retail security breaches. GBA signed on to a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen outlining the industry's concerns with the senators' request for information from the Federal Reserve Board on the data security efforts of banks, along with an implicit urging for greater oversight of financial institutions. "We believe this is a thinly-veiled effort to once again advance the regulation of interchange under the guise of current concerns over data security." The banking industry is a leader in consumer data protection, the letter said, accounting for only 3.7 percent of breaches in 2013, while business accounted for 33.9 percent of breaches (affecting 81.7 percent of all records breached). Here's a link to the letter. With questions or comments, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.

 

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Operations and Technology Conference

Branch Trends, Fraud Identification, Mobile Banking Take Center Stage

Great ideas about how to use technology to get closer to customers as well as protect them were two of the key themes this week at the annual GBA Operations and Technology Conference. A large crowd of member Operations and Technology professionals attended. The agenda included a discussion of the latest technology trends for branches, including video teller machines and other assisted-service technologies. Also, attendees saw a fascinating and sobering demonstration of how cyber criminals are committing fraud against banks and their business customers, along with some ideas about how to recognize and combat such attacks. A panel of students and young employees gave interesting insights about their career aspirations and what they're looking for from banks as employers to close out day one. On Thursday, there was an in-depth regulatory session, a spirited peer exchange and a close look at what several GBA member banks are doing with mobile banking technology. The conference is planned and hosted by GBA's Operations and Technology Committee. Jim Stewart, United Community Bank, Blairsville is the committee Chairman, and Leesa Anderson, State Bank of Cochran, is the Vice Chair. Thanks also to our many sponsors and exhibitors who helped make the conference a success. They are listed here.

 

Related: GBA's Information Security Officer (ISO) Seminar is March 20 in Macon. For more information or to register, click here.

 

 

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Improved Georgia Bank Performance Highlighted

GBA's efforts to promote the improved environment for the state's banks paid off this week with
an article in the Savannah Morning News. The article highlighted the continued climb in the number of banks reporting profitability and the continued improvement of customer credit quality. Member bank CEOs Brian Foster, First Chatham Bank, and Jim LaHaise, Coastal Bank, were also quoted in the story. With questions, call David Oliver, 404.420.2036.

 

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Take Care in Payroll Reporting of Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Vehicles

Non-qualified deferred compensation vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as a way to reward, retain and attract key employees, so it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that such plans are administered to comply with payroll tax rules, says GBA Strategic Partner Executive Benefit Specialists, LLC (EBS). The consequences of poor tax planning can be costly for the executive participant and the bank. This linked AALU Washington Report from Feb. 6 highlights the importance of properly administering non-qualified deferred compensation plans. The take-away from the article, EBS says, is that employers must be aware of, and have in place, procedures that properly take into account the rules for paying and withholding FICA taxes on amounts deferred under these plans. Contact EBS to learn more about how implementing a non-qualified benefit can help your bank recruit, reward, and retain key employees. EBS has implemented hundreds of non-qualified benefit plans including executive and director deferred compensation plans and supplemental executive retirement plans (SERP). Over the past 16 years, EBS has implemented well over 200 BOLI transactions with clients in 34 states. For more information, contact Jim Foyt at 877.242.9751.

 

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Smart Balance Sheet Management to be Discussed at Bank Symposium - April 3

Join Rob Cochran, CFO of BrandBank, Lawrenceville, at the Southeastern Community Bank Symposium as he provides you with primer on the valid and sensible use of hedging and derivatives. What fits for community banks? He'll also provide tips for dealing with unrealized bond losses and provide smart strategies to prepare for rising rates. The Symposium is April 3 at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro. 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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How to Evaluate Auctions to Clear OREO Inventory

We noted in last week's overview of the FDIC year-end information that Georgia bank OREO levels in 2013 declined by about $600 million from year-end 2012. That's' certainly good news. Banks looking to continue shedding OREO assets may be considering auctions as a possible way to do so. Here's a helpful article from GBA Associate Member John Dixon & Associates outlining the various auction types and tips for choosing an auction company.With questions, contact John Dixon & Associates' Buddy Lee, 850.765.2353, or Bob Green, 770.425.1141.

 

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Bank Robber Gets 210 Months in Prison

Recco Roger Collins, of Albany has been sentenced to serve nearly 18 years' (210 months) in federal prison for armed bank robbery by the Honorable W. Louis Sands, United States District Court Judge, in Albany. Collins had pled guilty to driving a getaway vehicle during a February 2013 robbery of Peoples South Bank in Donalsonville, as well as to robbing the Trust Bank in Adel during the same month. U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said, "Mr. Collins provided the getaway ride for two violent criminals, and, while doing so, he put human lives and property in jeopardy. He has well earned his lengthy stay in federal prison." Read more details here.

 

Related: GBA's Bank Security Conference is April 10-11 in Savannah. Get more info. and register here...

 

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Beige Book

Expansion Continues, but Weather Puts Brakes on Economy

Economic activity expanded slowly in early January and February across the Federal Reserve's Sixth District, which includes Georgia. The outlook remains positive overall, even though winter weather affected some sectors, according the Fed's Beige Book economic summaries out this week. Reports from bankers suggested that loan demand increased for purchases but decreased for refinances. Tourism, homebuilding, commercial real estate and manufacturers all reported positive trends. Retailers reported sluggish sales. "Banking and credit union contacts expressed mixed concern about the implementation of the new Qualified Mortgage Rules," the report said. "Some community bankers reported that they have exited the residential mortgage business altogether because of increased regulatory burdens, while others indicated that they do not believe it will have a negative effect on overall mortgage lending. Get more details here.

 

Related: Mercer Economist Roger Tutterow is speaking at the Southeastern Community Bank Symposium on April 3.

 

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Last Chance

Loan Documentation Seminar - March 13

Don't miss the opportunity to learn from Mike Allen, Executive Vice President, State Bank and Trust Company, Atlanta at GBA's Loan Documentation Seminar as he shares techniques for proper loan documentation. Prevention of loan losses through implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques is critical in the banking industry today. Mike will cover these issues along with other topics including: background and review, identifying the borrower, identifying the collateral, evidencing the debt, attaching and perfecting the collateral, real estate specifics and much more. Designed for commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists, the seminar will be held on March 13th at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. With questions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.

 

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The Information Security Officer (ISO) Seminar - March 20

Join the growing crowd of Information Security Officers, Compliance Officers and network administrators already signed up for this seminar that will highlight all the information you need to be a successful professional in this role. You will get a better understanding of the regulatory requirements and expectations, and we will define the internal roles and responsibilities including coordination with NetAdmin, reporting to the board of directors, leading the IT steering committee and the ISO's role in audits and examinations. Helpful checklists and white papers will be included. Registration is $225 for members and will be held at the Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. For more information or to register, click here. For personal assistance contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2015.

 

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Compliance Peer Group Meeting - March 25

Compliance Management, UDAAP and New Flood Rules

The next GBA Compliance Peer Group Meeting is March 25 at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. We have two speakers for this event. Brad Washburn with Steve H. Powell and Company will discuss new flood rules and Harriett Price, also with Steve H. Powell and Company, will cover UDAAP and tips for complying with updated guidelines. Click here to learn more and to register or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

 

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GBA Seminar Spotlight

IRAs, Deposit Ops., Lending Compliance and Analyzing Financial Statements on Seminar Calendar

 

IRA Basics Seminar - March. 19

Don't miss the opportunity to learn everything from A to Z about IRAs during this popular annual seminar. Included with the cost of the seminar, each attendee will receive the 225-page IRA Training and Reference Manual, otherwise known as the "IRA Survival Guide" or the "Red Book." Designed for new account representatives, certificate of deposit personnel and any officer/manager who oversees the IRA department, the seminar will be led by Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp. Click here to register...

 

Basic Deposit and Operations Compliance Seminar - April 15
In easy-to-understand language, this one-day seminar will cover the regulatory requirements for deposit and operations compliance. Click here to register. 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.

 

Basic Lending Compliance Two-day Seminar - April 16-17
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. Topics to be covered are:

 

  • Truth-in-Lending Requirements, including NEW Escrow Rules effective 6/1/13

  • GFE + HUD Settlement Statement

  • "Higher-Priced" Mortgage Loans

  • Flood Insurance

  • Fair Credit Reporting Act/FACT Act

  • Regulation B

 

Contact Homewood Suites at 478.477.9776 to reserve your room at the GBA corporate rate of $109 per night. Click here to register.

 

Legal Issues of New Account Documentation and Compliance Seminar - April 24

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. Patrice M. Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp. in Kendalia, TX, will be presenting. Click here to register. With questions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.

 

Analyzing Financial Statements Seminar - April 30

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 about any of these sessions, please contact GBA's Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.

 

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GBA-U Webinars

Call Reports; ACH Risk and Compliance; Bankruptcy and Security Training Available

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 www.gabankers.com.

 

March 10

Call Report Preparation

March 12

Complaint Management

March 13

ACH Risk Management & Compliance--Part 1

March 14

Speed Traps Ahead: Fair Lending Issues in Indirect Auto Lending

March 18

2014 Integrated Disclosures: The New Loan Estimate

March 19

Achieving Unclaimed Property Compliance--Best Practices for the Banking Industry

March 20

Safe Deposit Box Employee Compliance Certification Program

March 20

ACH Risk Management & Compliance--Part 2

March 25

Appraisal & Evaluation Regulations

March 26

Basic Bankruptcy for Bankers

March 27

Safe Deposit Box Employee Compliance Certification Program

March 28

Stop Getting Outsold!

April 1

Security Officer Workshop--Part 1

April 3

The Exceptional Teller Series--Part 1

April 14

Security Officer Workshop--Part 2

April 15

2014 Integrated Disclosures: The New Closing Disclosure

April 16

The Exceptional Teller Series--Part 2

 

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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AIB Course Highlight

AIB Analyzing Financial Statements-Newly Revised Course

Analyzing Financial Statements is a practical introduction to financial analysis from the viewpoint of the commercial loan officer. This program gives you the skills you need to effectively assess the borrower's ability to repay loans. This AIB course focuses on understanding business industries and types, plus why they borrow money. It also introduces basic concepts of business financial accounting and entity structures and explains the analysis of business financial statements and tax returns, including cash flow statements. Finally, the course discusses personal financial statements and tax returns, as well as combining business and personal cash flows into a global analysis. Click here to learn more or to register or contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

 

AIB Instructor-Led Courses

Economics for Bankers, Law and Banking, Principles of Banking Coming up

Here are instructor-led AIB online classes coming up in March. 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.

 

March 17

AIB Economics for Bankers

March 17

AIB Law & Banking: Principles

March 17

ABA Online Review Course for the CRCM Exam

March 17

AIB Principles of Banking

March 31

AIB Analyzing Financial Statements

March 31

AIB Principles of Banking

 

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GBA-Endorsed ABA Insurance Program Distributes $20,000 to 19 Participating GBA Member Banks

American Bankers Mutual Insurance, Ltd. has declared $1.1 million in distributions this year to be shared by more than 980 banks across the country. Nineteen Georgia banks will share more than $20,000. American Bankers Mutual Insurance, Ltd., the reinsurer of the ABA Insurance Services program, has declared distributions to eligible member banks for 24 consecutive years, totaling $79 million in distributions since the program's inception. Nearly $2.4 million of that has been shared with Georgia banks. Bank members of ABA that purchase their directors and officers, bond and related insurance from ABA Insurance Services are eligible to receive a distribution. For most banks, the distribution easily covers annual ABA dues for that bank. For more information about ABA Insurance, contact Patricia P. Williams, CPCU, 216.220.1280 or GBA's endorsed in-state agent, Hayward McEver, 404.949.3825.

 

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Please Take a Moment to Read this Important Information from GBA Strategic Partner Deluxe

Banks that have taken a competitive look at their check program over the past few years have realized big savings off their current check program costs. If your check program contract ends this year or if it has been a while since you've had a thorough review of your program, we ask that you consider talking with Kevin Jefferson of Deluxe, our endorsed provider of check programs. Through our partnership with Deluxe, the GBA is able to offer an exceptional program for your bank. The relationship between Deluxe and the GBA means that we work closely with them to ensure they provide your bank with excellent service and the program delivers:

  • Extremely aggressive pricing with high volume check packages priced less than $1.00 net/net per package

  • Rebates exceeding 50 percent

  • A conversion incentive to assist your bank in making a switch in addition to the ongoing discounted check printing pricing

  • Process improvement

  • Customer experience enhancements

  • Diligence for the organization (Board, Customers, Colleagues)

  • Improved terms and conditions.

The contract with your current check supplier most likely has an automatic rollover clause so we want to remind you about these benefits of the Deluxe program so you can consider it before your current contract rolls over. It is helpful to give Deluxe at least eight weeks to complete the transition. The time and effort required by your bank is minimal, and Deluxe does all the heavy lifting. If these benefits are compelling enough for you to commit to a review soon, please contact Kevin Jefferson, 336.676.0321for more details.

 

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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 new Facebook page. Here's our latest installment:

 

Camilla - Planters & Citizens Bank

The bank was pleased to recently lead a class for Pelham's Millennium Program on basic money management.

 

Carrollton - CharterBank

The bank is proud to be organizing a team for the March of Dimes' upcoming "March for Babies" that will support research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. Proceeds will also be used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care.

 

Eatonton - The Peoples Bank

The bank is proud to be a major contributor to the upcoming Veterans Wall of Honor in Eatonton. Project completion should be by Veterans Day 2014.

 

Griffin - United Bank

The bank is proud to sponsor the Griffin Area Concert Association.

 

 

Community Connections is brought to you by Diebold Inc.

For more than 150 years, Diebold, Incorporated, has brought together a combination of innovation, expertise and quality service to become a global leader in providing integrated self-service solutions, security systems and services. Find out more about Diebold here.

 

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Newsmakers

 

Atlanta - Bank of America

Georgia Market President Geri Thomas was recently honored at the National Council for Research on Women's 2014 Fire Starter Awards Dinner for her work promoting gender equality.

 

Atlanta - Private Bank of Buckhead

Welma Baer and Ivan Giron have been promoted to Assistant Vice President; Yeisa Calderon has been promoted to Senior Deposit Operations Specialist; and Renee Hinkson has been promoted to Senior Vice President. The bank's Deposit Operations function will now report to Hinkson.

 

Atlanta - State Bank & Trust Company

Jim Guthrie has been named Regional President, Mortgage Lending.

 

Columbus - Synovus

The Georgia State Senate this week adopted SR 1134  commending and recognizing Synovus Financial Corporation for its receipt of 16 Greenwich Excellence Awards.

 

Covington - Newton Federal Bank

Levi Bailey has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Loans.

 

Peachtree City - SouthCrest Financial Group

The holding company, Kenneth Maloy, CEO, completed the consolidation of its four bank charters as of Feb. 28.

 

Atlanta - Bryan Cave, LLC

Attorney Kathryn Knudson and Partner Walt Moeling have been selected for inclusion on the Georgia Super Lawyers 2014 list. Partner Rob Klingler has been selected for inclusion on the 2014 "Rising Stars" list.

 

Atlanta - Porter Keadle Moore

Todd Burks has been named Loan Review Specialist in the firm's expanding Enterprise Risk Management Department.

 

Gainesville - Small Business Access Partners (SBAP)

GBA Associate Member SBAP recently honored a number of GBA member banks and bankers at its annual awards luncheon. Chase Bank, Atlanta, was named 2013 Bank of the Year. The National Bank of Georgia, Athens, was named 2013 Small Business Advocate of the Year. Senior Vice President Brad Beard, Bank of North Georgia, Alpharetta, was named 2013 Economic Developer of the Year. Senior Vice President Josh Osborne, KeyWorth Bank, Duluth, was named 2013 Small Business Advocate Lender of the Year. Commercial Lender Laura Smith, Hamilton State Bank, Canton, was named the 2013 James A. Faulkner Lender of the Year. See photos below.

 

Savannah - Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

The Savannah City Council recently approved an agreement to partner with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, which will commit up to $250,000 in grants in 2014 for home repairs and down payment assistance for low-income Savannah households. The funds will be provided through local FHLB Atlanta member banks, with assistance from the city’s housing department.

 

Statesboro - Georgia General Assembly

Our sympathies to the family and friends of former State Rep. John Godbee, who died recently. Godbee was a lifelong educator and widely hailed for his efforts while in the General Assembly for helping bring university status to Georgia Southern University.

 

Thomas

Baer

Giron

Calderon

 

Hinkson

Guthrie

Bailey

Knudson

 

Moeling

Klingler

Burks

Godbee

 

The Chase Bank Team with Melinda Coker
and Lora Lee of SBAP

The National Bank of Georgia Team with Melinda Coker
and Lora Lee of SBAP

 

Brad Beard,
Bank of North Georgia, Alpharetta, and
Melinda Coker, SBAP Senior Vice President

Josh Osborne, KeyWorth Bank, Duluth, and and Melinda Coker, SBAP Senior Vice President

Laura Smith,
Hamilton State Bank, Canton, and
Melinda Coker, SBAP Senior Vice President

 

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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