Nov. 20, 2020  

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s sure been an unusual and challenging year, but there is so much we have to be thankful for at GBA. In the spirit of giving thanks, here’s a quick list of a few of the many things for which we’re grateful:

  • Members: There are thousands of bankers, Strategic Partners, Associate Members, Bank Counsel Section members and Bank Accountant Section members working together for the common good of the industry on any given day. We appreciate your service to our fellow Georgians as financial services first responders this year, your volunteerism to GBA, attendance at programs (virtual and in person!) and your investment in the association in support of the banking industry.


  • GBA Teammates: The GBA staff is truly a family, and we are blessed with a talented team.


  • Our industry, state and country: Yes, that's three in one, but they're all related in our view. We are blessed to work for an industry that has given so much to our state, our country and our fellow Americans.

Thanks for your ongoing support, and best wishes for a for a wonderful day of Thanksgiving to you, your families and friends in celebration of all of the blessings we enjoy. Our next Bulletin will be Dec. 4, but we'll dash out a quick E-Bulletin if there is breaking news that warrants immediate attention before then.


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Treasury and IRS Give PPP Taxation Guidance

We highlighted in an email to member CEOs and key contacts this week guidance from the Treasury Department and the IRS clarifying the tax treatment of expenses where a PPP loan has not been forgiven by the end of the year the loan was received. The IRS provided a Revenue Ruling that outlines the issue and provides examples, and it also provided a Revenue Procedure that provides a safe harbor allowing a taxpayer to claim a deduction in certain situations. The agencies are encouraging businesses to file for forgiveness as soon as possible.


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Ag Borrower Profit Outlook in South Better than Other Regions

Average profit expectations of ag borrowers in the South through the end of the year is about 10 percentage points higher than for those in Cornbelt and Plains states, according to a survey report out this week. Ag lenders in the South reported 60% of borrowers were expected to be profitable this year, compared to 50% and 46% for borrowers in Cornbelt and Plains states. Credit quality and the deterioration of agricultural loans were ranked as the top concerns facing lenders in 2020 for institutions of all sizes and across all regions. The report from ABA and Farmer Mac highlights a number of other national and regional trends. Read the report here.


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GBA Retirement Services Meeting Held this Week

The GBA Retirement Services Board of Directors, led by Chuck Copeland, First National Bank of Griffin, held its quarterly meeting this week by a virtual Zoom call. The Board consists of these nine community bankers who oversee the employee retirement benefit program trusted by more than one third of Georgia’s community banks. The Board meets regularly with the discretionary trustee and investment manager of the Trust, Unified Trust Company, to review the investments we offer and ensure we offer a top-notch, high-quality, low-cost 401(k) option for plans of all sizes. In addition to the quarterly investment review, this meeting included a budget review and approval of new fee schedules for 2021. We are happy to report a decrease in administrative fees for next year. More details will be sent to member plans in the Trust in the coming weeks. With assets now in excess of $200 million, being a part of the GBA Master Trust allows smaller plans, including plans of banks, associate members and bank clients, to gain buying power for an effective 401(k) solution for participants. If you would like more information or a proposal for 401(k) services, please contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025.


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Updated Democracy Days Materials for Runoff Election

We continue to encourage members to support participation in elections, as key runoffs are coming up. The key statewide runoff is Jan. 5 for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats as well as for one Georgia Public Service Commissioner position. We’ve updated our Georgia Bankers Democracy Days materials with the following key dates and resources. Materials include internal email and press release template, flyers to hand out or post in your banks, and social media posts encouraging people to vote. We’re sending those out to members that signed up previously, and if you hadn’t signed up before, you may do so here. Key resources and dates are: 

  • Absentee ballot applications –

  • Georgia My Voter Page –

  • Nov. 18: Earliest day for a registrar to mail an absentee ballot for the general election runoff

  • Dec. 7: Voter registration deadline to vote in the federal runoff election

  • Dec. 14: Advanced in-person or early voting begins

  • Jan. 5, 2021: Federal runoff election day

With questions, email David Oliver at


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Credit Conference Dec. 10-11

All-Access Virtual Attendance Options Available

More ways for bankers to learn critical industry intel

With a superstar agenda featuring updates on housing, CRE, the economy and much more, we want to make sure this year’s GBA Credit Conference Dec. 10-11 is available for as many people as possible. Because we’ll livestream the conference, we’ve added registration options to make it more convenient and affordable for more bankers to participate. The options are:

  • In-Person PLUS All-Access Virtual Pass – This option allows one person to attend in person but adds an affordable way for everyone else at the bank to attend one or more of the sessions from their office or remote work site. $495.


  • All-Access Virtual Pass – One registration price gets you a pass to share with everyone at the bank to see one or more of the streamed sessions wherever it is most convenient. $495

Single-person registrations for in-person and virtual attendance are also available at $395 per person. See all the details and access registration here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034


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2020 BankPAC Campaign Update

FedPAC Surpasses Goal, StatePAC Closing in

The 2020 BankPAC campaign has enabled GBA to support those elected officials who support the banking industry like never before. The FedPAC is at 123% of goal while the StatePAC is at 97% of goal, so a few more contributions there will get the campaign over this last hurdle. If you and your bank have yet to contribute, please find the campaign materials on the BankPAC page of GBA’s website. And, check out the progress of your GBA group here. We appreciate all of our contributors and want to thank the eligible employees, officers and directors from Colony Bank, Fitzgerald, Heath Fountain, president and CEO, for contributing to the GBA FedPAC this week. Thank you for your support of this important effort! With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027. 


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GBA January Legislative/Economic Events Take a Pause

Most organizations that host large events at the start of the General Assembly Session each January are postponing those events for now, and the GBA Executive Committee has decided we’ll follow suit and postpone our Economic & Legislative Forum and Legislative Reception, as well. Be on the lookout for information on alternate plans as they develop. These are much larger annual events than the events we’ve had good success holding through in-person and hybrid versions since August. Our hybrid Credit Conference is the next major GBA event, Dec. 10-11, with a variety of in-person and virtual registration options.


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HR Quick Poll Result

Remote Work Gets Traction, as does Vacation Rollover

The results of our recent quick poll about general and pandemic-related HR issues have been sent to the 42 member banks that participated. A couple of highlights are that about 32 percent those banks are considering more permanent work-from-home solutions for employees, and 29 percent that usually don’t allow rollover of vacation days are considering some sort of special vacation rollover benefit in this unusual year. The full quick poll results are available only to participating banks, so be on the lookout for the next quick poll in the coming weeks if you’d like to participate and get some quick feedback on hot-topic HR issues. If you have a question for us to consider, email David Oliver, Thanks to Pearl Meyer for making the value-added quick polls available to GBA and members. Rhonda Snyder,, is our partner at Pearl Meyer.


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Savings Video Contest Back for 11th Year

Banks looking for a fun financial literacy campaign can sign up to participate in the 11th Annual Lights, Camera, Save! video contest. The national competition is open to teenage filmmakers from all experience levels, the contest runs from Feb. 1 to March 1, with local banks participating in the contest accepting 30 second videos about the importance of financial management skills. Any bank may participate at no cost. The contest is run by the ABA Foundation. Get more details and register here.


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PPP Solutions and Resources for Georgia Bankers

The first phase of the Paycheck Protection Program is behind us, but the coming months will be focused on the challenges of forgiveness and potentially another round of PPP funding. Click here to learn more about navigating forgiveness and how to manage the next round of funding without the hassles from round one, hosted by GBA Associate Member, ACAP. For detailed information, contact Keith Kirkland, Senior Director of ACAP, at


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Trying to Market in a Pandemic? See What the Experts Say

By Neal Reynolds, President,, a GBA Strategic Partner


What budget is the first to get slashed in an economic downturn? As many folks know, it’s marketing. As a former ad agency guy, I have lived through many a downturn. There’s an old agency metaphor for spending money in a downturn. We said it was “like shooting at ducks that aren’t there.” Well, right now, a lot of banks are looking to save their No. 2 Steel for another day. But, perhaps they’re not ready to give up entirely on bagging a few. I found Bill Streeter’s recent post on The Financial Brand both informative and, well, a bit encouraging; despite the fact that the challenge he addresses is that of “pinched budgets plus tougher competition.” Why do I find it encouraging when we’re talking about an industry being in somewhat of an “unenviable position?” Because I think I can help. Bill goes on to say: “New marketing technology can bring efficiency, which helps with budgets, but you can’t just snap your fingers to get there. It requires investment in software and talent.” I couldn’t agree more. Click here to read more of Reynolds' article. To learn more, contact Reynolds at 678.528.6688 or


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Women in Banking Virtual Series

Three Live Sessions Still to Come! Three Previous Session Recordings Available On Demand

If you haven’t participated in our Women in Banking Virtual Series, there’s no better time to sign up than right now. We’ve got three live sessions coming up, and registrants can watch the first three sessions on-demand until March 1. The positive buzz about the series continues, and the content and speaker quality are instructive, inspiring, and encouraging – just right for these uncertain times. It’s a great way to close out this crazy year and kick off 2021 reenergized and renewed. Take a look at our three upcoming live sessions, and sign up to join us!

  • Session 4, Dec. 1: Embracing the Servant Leader Within You

  • Session 5, Jan. 6: Perspectives for 2021: Reconnecting with Your “Why”

  • Session 6, Feb. 1: It's Up to Us: Why It's Essential for Women in Banking to Support and Advocate for One Another”

Register now! Participate in the remaining three live sessions and access recordings of our first three sessions. A big thank-you to our series sponsors - click here to see the complete list, along with info on all upcoming sessions. Contact Kathy Friestad with questions.


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ABA - Earn Your Certificate in Digital Banking

What digital products and services do your customers expect? Be ready to meet their needs with ABA's new Digital Banker Certificate. This certificate takes a deep dive into new technologies, platforms, payment options and cybersecurity. The courses include on-demand reference materials to help you learn, and topic summaries you can easily share with colleagues and peers. Digital banking isn't just a trend—it's here to stay. Show your customers—both existing and new—that you have what it takes to provide quality service, no matter the platform.‌ Required courses:


1. Digital Banker Suite

  • Digital Beginnings

  • Moving to Mobile

  • Mobile Transactions

  • Promoting Online Safety

  • Digital Customer Service

2. Payments Suite

  • Payment System Emerging Products

  • Payment System Trends

3. Cybersecurity Fundamentals


Member price: $495. Click here to learn more and register. With questions, contact Alison Moreau.


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NEW Program Offerings!

WEBINAR SERIES: Cash Flow Analysis with Mike Allen + BSA/AML Webinar Series with Stout


Dec. 1-3, 2020: BSA/AML Overview, Parts I-III Webinar Series with Stout


This webinar will cover the following basics for early-career compliance officers or those needing a refresher:

  • What is money laundering?

  • What are the various types of money laundering and the related risks?

  • AML-related laws, rules, and regulations

  • What types of financial institutions are subject to AML regulations?

  • What do financial institutions need to do to comply?

  • What are the risks of non-compliance?

  • What are the Five Pillars?

  • What are the primary responsibilities of a BSA officer?

  • Training best practices

  • Overview of CDD and beneficial ownership

  • Policies, procedures, and controls basics

  • Independent testing

  • Case study examples.


Dec. 2-4, 2020: Business Cash Flow Analysis Webinar Series with Mike Allen



Through a combination of lecture and casework, participants with credit analysis duties will learn how to:

  • Identify positive and negative trends on the balance sheet.

  • Determine if a potential borrower has sufficient capacity to repay your loan.

  • Understand the Cash Flow and Operating Cycles of different businesses.

  • Four-step process of how to approach your analysis.

  • Identify what information is necessary to conduct sufficient analysis.

  • Types of loan structures/request.

  • Inventory valuation risk and methodology.

Questions about either series?


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Webinars: CTRs, Reg CC, and Power of Attorney Documents & more!

We appreciate members choosing the programs we offer for your ongoing needs. Check out these upcoming virtual offerings. View the full calendar here for dates, times and more programs. With questions, email


Save 10-30% with a webinar subscription package - details here!

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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:


Atlanta - CenterState Bank

The bank sponsored the 15th-Annual Sporting Clays Classic for the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The event raised more than $230,000, which will go toward serving youth and families in metro-Atlanta. Pictured are Stan Kryder, Frank Brown, Wes Smith and Ezra Jones.

Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

The bank recently donated to the United Way of Bainbridge - Decatur County.

Columbus - Synovus Bank

Bank team members pledged $541,000 to United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley as part of the 2020 United Way Campaign. More than 50% of all Synovus’ Chattahoochee Valley team members participated in this year’s “United in this Together” campaign, helping to surpass the annual goal of $540,000.

Suwanee - Quantum National Bank

The bank bought individual Honey Baked Ham gift cards for the residents of Rainbow Village and also made a donation to the organization. The gift cards were purchased from Home of Hope as part of its fundraiser, so the bank actually supported two organizations and 31 families. Pictured at right are bank President Brad Day, Rainbow Village Development Director Justice French, Rainbow Village Community Engagement Director Michelle Alcorn, and bank Compliance Officer George Hamje.

Waycross - PrimeSouth Bank

For its fourth-annual Go Gold for Childhood Cancer campaign, the bank teamed up with our employees and neighbors throughout the month of September to sell “Be Bold Go Gold” masks and gold ribbons that displayed a name in honor or in memory of their hero. The bank’s five markets donated the proceeds to Campground Ministries, CURE – Team Alexa, Mattie’s Mission and Wolfson Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cancer Center.

Atlanta - Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

The bank has awarded $26,938,914 million to assist in the funding of 61 affordable housing initiatives in 19 states and the District of Columbia as part of its 2020 Affordable Housing Program (AHP). In partnership with local for-profit and nonprofit developers, FHLBank Atlanta member financial institutions will use $27 million of AHP funds to assist in the acquisition, new construction, rehabilitation, or preservation of 4,099 affordable rental and homeownership units. Read more here.


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Atlanta - Cadence Bank

BJ Green, executive vice president of Georgia middle market banking, has been elected to the Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center Inc.’s Board of Trustees. His term will begin immediately and will last for 3.5 years, until May 31, 2024.


Atlanta - Citizens Trust Bank

President and CEO Cynthia Day recently received the 18th-annual Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award from OnBoard, the leading authority on women in the boardroom and executive suites of Georgia public companies and a catalyst to increase female directors on all for-profit company boards. Read more here.


Atlanta - Colony Bank

The bank recently announced the expansion of its Small Business Specialty Lending Group with nine new team members. Kandee Cotton, Elise Roper, Ken Glover and Michael Oppel have joined the team as business development officers; Peter Lee and Eric Langemach as underwriters; Amanda Sodano and Monika Hoefling as senior loan officers; and Anjela Ellis as a servicing specialist. Read more here.


Atlanta - Synovus Bank

The bank has opened a new banking center in Atlanta’s Upper Westside. The Marietta Boulevard branch is located at 2211 Marietta Boulevard. Read more here.


Cordele - Planters First Bank

VP/Compliance/BSA Officer Cynthia Ledford will retire on Nov. 20 after serving at the bank for over 23 years.


Pooler - Great Oats Bank

The bank has opened its new office in Richmond Hill at 42 Town Centre Drive, Richmond Hill GA 31324.


Rome - Greater Community Bank

Angela Hammond has joined the bank as vice president and commercial lending officer representing the bank’s Gordon and Bartow County markets. Read more here.


Atlanta - Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

Executive Vice President and COO Kirk Malmberg will retire effective Nov. 30.






Hammond Malmberg



Great Oaks Bank -
New Office

Great Oaks Bank -
Richmond Hill Team



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 Katina Prokos.

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