Oct. 16, 2020

44th-Annual Peanut Bank Week

Celebrating Georgia’s Superfood

Members this week are doing all sorts of activities to promote and support Georgia’s peanut industry. The 44th-annual Georgia Peanut Bank Week public awareness campaign is also getting media coverage around the state, with an example being an article in the Donalsonville News. Some of the bank activities include a boiled peanut giveaway at Morris Bank, social media posts by Bank of Dudley, Planters First Bank and Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, and peanut giveaways by Barwick Banking Company and CBC Bank. Look for more details next week. Members, please share your activities with Katina Prokos and David Oliver so we can include you in a roundup of activities.





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Educating Next Gen Accountants

Our thanks to Tim Keadle for inviting GBA president and CEO Joe Brannen to speak to his graduate level accounting class at the University of Georgia this week. The course, ACCT 7460, is designed to develop students' accounting and audit research skills and understanding of key issues faced in practice. Students also get an understanding of services other than the standard audit of corporation financial statements for the purpose of expanding the students' knowledge of marketplace needs in accounting services. Brannen gave the class an overview of trade and professional associations in general, shared specific details about the community of banking in Georgia and discussed the role GBA plays to influence accounting policy while helping our members adjust to policy changes. Keadle frequently includes outside professionals to enhance the learning experience for his students. Another recent speaker was GBA Associate Member James Stevens, who is a partner with Troutman Pepper, speaking on legal liabilities for accountants in an SEC practice. Before retiring from PKM/Wipfli, Keadle led the effort to establish GBA’s Bank Accountant Section. For a number of  years he has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at the J.M. Tull School of Accounting, a critical component of UGA’s Terry College of Business.


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GBA Member Profile

Creativity in Banking and Culinary Delights with Daniel Stanford

SunMark Community Bank EVP/CFO Daniel Stanford got his start in the banking industry right after college as a bank examiner for the state of Georgia, during which time he saw firsthand how integral banks are to their local areas. “Seeing the impact these bankers made on local communities and individuals was always appealing to me,” he said. “I also enjoyed seeing how creative each banker was at making the most of their bank and market they were in.” The Chair of GBA’s Asset/Liability Management Committee, Stanford shares lessons from his first-ever job at Honeybaked Ham, his concerns and hopes for the future of the banking industry, his love of cooking and more in his GBA member profile.


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Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 5-6

NEW Live Streaming Option if You Can’t Make it in Person

Join financial management pros from around the state for the 2020 GBA Financial Risk Management Conference Nov. 5-6 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina. The agenda is packed and we thank members of the Asset/Liability Management Committee for their hard work putting together such a strong agenda. We’ve set up a live-streaming option so those with travel restrictions, health concerns or other conflicts can tune in to the sessions. Kicking off the conference is Chris Nichols, Chief Strategy Officer with CenterState Bank, who will talk to us about COVID-19's impact on banking. There will also be three panel discussions: an ALM panel, an investment panel and a regulatory panel. Lindsey Piegza, Ph.D., chief economist, managing director, Stifel Nicolaus & Co., will close the conference with an economic update. See the hotel’s protocols for wellness and safety as well as GBA’s approach to health and wellness at in-person events. We'll set up sessions and activities to ensure as much social distancing as possible. Please help us plan by registering early if you plan to attend. Get full details and access registration here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau.


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How to Navigate the Political Climate

Protecting your bank’s brand during this election season and in the wake of so many major societal issues is a challenge. Member bankers this week heard from a panel of crisis management and brand experts from GBA Associate Member firm Jackson Spalding that banks already are good at doing the key things needed to navigate these times: focusing on how you can help customers, planning and preparing, and knowing your values as an organization. When it comes to whether to choose a particular candidate as an organization, the advice is to focus on “participation over politics” by sharing messages about voting and taking part in the process. Another helpful key message is that no matter the outcome of elections, the bank will be there to help guide customers in managing and protecting their finances. Anticipating conversations and scenarios can help shape internal scripting to help employees with political conversations. Panelists also talked about how to handle social media conversations about politics, and shared examples of how banks in Georgia have been helpful in their communities. Thanks to Jackson Spalding’s Brian Brodrick for moderating the Brands and Ballots webinar, and to panelists Bryan Harris, Anne Lerner and Tiffani Thomas for sharing their expertise. The recorded webinar is available for purchase. Use this webinar registration form to order a copy.


Related: Join many of your fellow banks and bankers by signing up for GBA’s Georgia Banker Democracy Days get-out-the-vote campaign.


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Marketing Peers Share Good Ideas

GBA’s Marketing Peer Group met virtually Tuesday to share best practices from around the state. The group continued discussion from the Brands and Ballots webinar earlier in the day, shared tips on community and customer engagement and talked about resources for effective virtual training. Marketing Committee Chair Lorenda Smith, First National Bank, Bainbridge, led the discussion. An example she used about connecting to customers is how the bank had an appropriate socially distanced customer appreciation event by doing a drive-through lunch giveaway in partnership with a local Dairy Queen. Other banks, such as First American Bank & Trust Company, Athens, have done similar drive-through events such as hand-sanitizer giveaways, said the bank’s Julie Denton. River City Bank’s Rebecca Gilliam shared how the bank has been focusing its social media efforts on spotlighting employees as a form of community outreach in the Rome area. And banks are being creative with financial literacy. Commercial Banking Company’s Haley Barnes shared how her bank put together a video session of Teach Children to Save and sent it to teachers to use in Valdosta-area virtual or in-person classrooms. Related to training, OneSouth Bank’s Erika Holmes described a series of product and services webinars through the Zoom platform that’s been helpful in training their bankers in widespread Georgia locations. With questions about the Marketing Peer Group, contact David Oliver.


Related: Engage regularly with Georgia Bank Marketing peers through the GBA Marketing Peer Group on Facebook.


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Opportunities Abound for Community Outreach in October

In addition to Georgia Banker Democracy Days and Georgia Peanut Bank Week, there’s a bountiful harvest of additional resources GBA supports that members can use to connect with customers and their hometowns. Here are links to several campaigns and resources.

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PPP Forgiveness Process Underway as Congress Considers Additional Aid

We continue to hear from members that their approved Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness applications submitted to SBA are being approved and reimbursements to the banks are being received. The new SBA Form 3508S borrowers receiving loans of $50,000 or less may use was slated to be available through SBA’s portal Friday. Some bankers noticed an email about the need to adjust their Institutional Settings in the portal so SBA will send the correct interest payments based on whether the bank used the 365/360 or Actual 365 accrual method with their notes. Also, we continue to hear concerns about EIDL advances being deducted from forgiveness payments, especially when the borrower had already followed SBA rules and deducted the advance from the original loan amount. We’ve reached out to SBA seeking clarification. Senate Majority Leader McConnell has announced plans to hold a vote on a bill next week that will include several pandemic-related and PPP matters such as a simplified process for PPP loans under $150,000. And Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin continue to hold talks about a possible additional round of stimulus. Reaching consensus has proven elusive with many thinking this will all be pushed to after the Nov. 3 elections.


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2020 BankPAC Campaign Update

The 2020 FedPAC campaign has surpassed its’ goal and the StatePAC campaign is making great progress! 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 Morris Bank, Dublin, Spence Mullis, President & CEO this week for contributing to the GBA StatePAC. And, thank you to the contributors to the GBA FedPAC who are eligible employees, officers and directors from the following banks:

  • Morris Bank, Dublin, Spence Mullis, President & CEO

  • Providence Bank, a Division of Heritage Southeast Bank, Alpharetta, Brad Serff, President & CEO

  • SouthState Bank, Stan Kryder, Regional President, Atlanta

  • The Citizens Bank of Americus, Rick Whaley, President & CEO

  • United Bank, Zebulon, Jim Edwards, CEO

Thank you for your support of this important effort! With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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Unemployment Insurance Scam Prevention Resources

Members have reported numerous fraud attempts related to unemployment insurance recently. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has issued a helpful advisory that describes associated red flags for a variety of COVID-19 related unemployment insurance fraud attempts and how and when to report suspicious activity. Access the advisory here.


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National Outlook by Community Bankers up Slightly

Local economies around the country are faring a little better in the third quarter, according to community bankers participating in the Community Bank Sentiment Index by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. The overall positivity rating is still short of pre-pandemic levels, and there are elevated levels of overall uncertainty and concerns about long-term profitability. Read more here.


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Health Screenings by GBAIT Partner Wellview Health

GBA Insurance Trust, Inc. wellness partner Wellview Health visited the GBA office Tuesday to conduct their annual free wellness screening and health assessment for GBA employees, including flu shots for those who opted in. Wellview continues to provide this service to participating members with measures in place to ensure safety such as temperature checks, face masks and social distancing. The assessment measures BMI, waist size, cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and much more, followed by a confidential consultation with a Wellview Health Advisor. Wellview Health services are available at no cost to participating GBA Insurance Trust banks and all health plan members. Click here to learn more about Wellview and their services.


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LAST CALL! GBA Compliance Conference, Oct 21-23, Buford

Please join us, in-person or virtually for GBA’s 2020 Compliance Conference Oct. 21-23 at Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge in Buford. The agenda is packed and we thank the Compliance Committee for their hard work putting together such a strong agenda. The conference will feature an inspiring leadership talk, sessions on risk assessments, national regulatory updates, hemp banking, advertising compliance, fraud-prevention during disasters, human trafficking awareness, BSA and CRA updates, and more. We’ve set up a live-streaming option so those with travel restrictions, health concerns or other conflicts can tune in to the sessions. See the full agenda here and secure your spot by registering here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau. We’re working closely with the hotel to ensure a clean, comfortable environment. Hotel protocols infoGBA protocols info. Hope to see you in October! Contact GBA's Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034, for more information.


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Special Advanced IRA Training Coming Soon

Join Patrice Konarik, Sunwest Training Corp., for a special one-day webinar on Understanding the SECURE and CARES Acts of 2020 from the convenience of your home or office on Oct. 27 (9 a.m.-4 p.m. EST). After a year of deliberations, the SECURE Act was signed into law under the Appropriations Act on Dec. 20, 2019. Most of the provisions went into effect 12 days later on Jan. 1, 2020. These are the most substantial changes we’ve had to IRAs in almost 15 years. On top of that, the CARES Act was passed three months later, further making rules and regulation changes to IRAs. This webinar will help you explain to customers which changes are permanent and which are temporary. It will also cover disclosure rules. Because of this, you may have to do some explaining to your customers on what the permanent View the full description here. Each paid participant will receive the latest 275-page 2020-2021 IRA Training and Reference Manual - “The Red Book” in an electronic format for printing for these virtual classes. Register here (only $250 through Oct. 19!) Questions? Email GBA’s Jenna Lynn Warner.


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New Clients Don’t Pay Until 2021

Fast Forward to 2021 with GBA Partner Bank Marketing Center

BankMarketingCenter.com’s web-based marketing portal offers your marketing department thousands of professionally designed, customizable print and digital templates and access to millions of Getty images. What’s more, the low price of their monthly subscription is probably less than what you would pay a designer for a few hours of work. Any new clients who sign up for BankMarketingCenter.com now, will get the remainder of 2020 Free. Learn more about BankMarketingCenter.com by scheduling a demonstration today: schedule your tour. With questions, contact Neal Reynolds, nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com, 678.528.6688.



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Learn About the Advantages of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) Programs from EBS

GBA Strategic Partner EBS specializes in the placement and service of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI). Their programs use BOLI to finance existing employee benefits and informally fund new or existing nonqualified executive benefit plans. EBS offers implementation and plan design services as well as administrative services. If you have BOLI now and need or want to consider a new servicer, EBS can assist you with compliance and reports essential for your bank, board and regulators. Given the fiduciary responsibilities of bank management and board members, it is crucial that banks partner with experienced and qualified professionals to service their BOLI programs and Nonqualified Plans. EBS provides comprehensive service through a group of qualified professionals with specialized expertise in insurance and public accounting. Each client is assigned a specific service team with extensive back office support. The professional designations held by members of the organization include CPA, JD, CLU, MSFS, MBA, CFP, ChFC and others. Under the guidance of EBS, billions of dollars of BOLI face amount have been placed with the highest-rated carriers offering institutional pricing. Their informal funding solutions are built on sound economic foundations and are conservatively structured from a tax perspective. As an added benefit to GBA members, EBS will provide a complimentary, customized BOLI Assessment Report and Carrier Due Diligence Review Report. Contact Jim Foyt at 877.242.9751. EBS, a bank consulting company, does not engage in the practice of law or accounting. Any questions concerning legal, tax or accounting advice should be referred to your appropriate counsel or advisors.


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Credit Conference - Dec. 10-11

Credit Conference Agenda Sneak Peek

Registration is open for GBA’s 2020 Credit Conference, scheduled for Dec. 10-11 at the Atlanta Marriott Renaissance Waverly Hotel. Here is a sneak peek at the agenda. Laura Hope Whitaker, ESP executive director, will open the conference by sharing her story in a session titled, “Sometimes you choose your job, other times your job chooses you.” Other sessions include:

  • John Hunt, principal, MarketNsight, president, ViaSearch, will give a housing market update 

  • Cal EvansSynovus, will discuss the CRE year in review and 2021 forecast

  • Jeffrey Harvey, director, Public Policy Department, Georgia Farm Bureau, will talk about the ag environment 

  • Mike AllenCadence Bank, will discuss credit quality trends

  • Roger Tutterow, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University, will give an economic update.

We will also have a regulatory panel moderated by Mark Kanaly, partner, Alston & Bird. Joining the panel will be Michael JohnsonFederal Reserve Bank of AtlantaJohn Henrie, FDIC; Jason Sisack, OCC; and Kevin Hagler, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Banking & Finance. With questions, contact Alison Moreau. Thanks to the Credit Committee chaired by Stacy BrantleyMorris Bank; and with vice-chair Philip BernardiOconee State Bank; for planning the conference. Click here to register.


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Fall Webinars: Tax Return Analysis, ARM Disclosures and Compliance 101

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 events@gabankers.com.


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:


Cordele – Planters First Bank

The bank’s Cordele branch won first place in the Crisp County Farm Bureau "Go Big or Gourd Home" Decorating Contest. The scene was created by bank team members Sandi Guest, Kathy Turner, Robin Bratcher, Brandye Hunt and Whitney Davis.

Newington – Bank of Newington

The bank’s County branches wore pink for Screven County SGA’s PINK OUT game to support Breast Cancer Research.


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Atlanta - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Alex Romeo has been named vice president over the Retail Payments Office's strategic business services and Federal Reserve Financial Services. Read more here.


Washington, D.C. – FDIC

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced the selection of 14 technology companies to compete in the next phase of the agency’s Rapid Prototyping Competition, a tech sprint designed to develop an innovative new approach to financial reporting, particularly for community banks. Three GBA Associate Member Companies are represented among those to which the FDIC has awarded initial contracts; Fidelity Information Services, LLC; First Data Government Solutions, LP (Fiserv); S&P Global Market Intelligence, LLC. Read more here.





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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