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August 10, 2018      

Ag Economy Doing Well Despite Weather, Trade Issues
It was encouraging to read Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black this week describe the state’s agriculture industry as being "rock solid" despite challenges from mother nature and international trade policy. "We have a very diverse portfolio. The beauty of being diverse is the ability to spread the risks," Black said in an Atlanta Business Chronicle article. Broilers, cotton and eggs are the state’s top crops by value. And, Georgia tops the nation in producing blueberries, broilers, peanuts and pecans. Crops performing well this year are cotton, peanuts and corn. The state’s blueberry farms have been hard hit by the weather, and pecans and cotton are most likely to be affected by tariffs on China. "The Chinese market is so important to pecans," Black said. "It’s about 30 percent of our crop. …If Chinese retaliatory action is fully enforced into this market season, there’s no question money will be taken out of rural Georgia." Read more here...
Related: Next Friday, members of the GBA Agriculture Committee will be touring Premium Peanuts and the Pilgrim’s Pride poultry processing plant in Douglas. Look for details after the tour and follow the @GABankers Twitter feed for updates from the tours.
More Elected Bankers Serving their Hometowns
We continue to learn about more Georgia bankers who have leadership roles as elected officials around the state. Meet the three United Bank employees who serve their hometowns...
Jaye Eubanks
Stuart Pippin
Ryan Tucker
If you or a co-worker hold elected office, please let us know about it. We want to recognize as many bankers as possible for their leadership. Email your information and a photo to David Oliver and Katina Prokos.
We realize running for and holding elected office isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there are additional ways banks and bankers can show leadership and participate in the political process. See the article below for how to contribute to the 2018 BankPAC Campaign supporting our GBA StatePAC and GBA FedPAC.
Register today
Why Send Delegates to These Upcoming Conferences?

Making connections, continuing to sharpen your skills and being a better banker are the key benefits of attending GBA conferences. Make sure your bank is represented by one or more people at one of the following upcoming GBA conferences.
  • Women in Banking Conference: Aug. 22-24 – The economy, leadership, empowerment and more. Legacy Lodge, Lake Lanier. More details in an article below.
  • Compliance Conference: Sept. 12-14 – 2.5 days of all things compliance. The most thorough updates on the widest-variety of compliance topics. The Crowne Plaza Atlanta SW - Peachtree City. Details below about the BSA updates.
  • President/CEO Conference: Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – The conference brochure is being mailed this week. There’s a ton of Georgia-specific content not available anywhere else. The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
  • Bank Counsel Conference: Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Updates on key legal issues. Full agenda is in development. CLE Credits will be available. Network with bankers and accountants. The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
  • Bank Accountant Conference: Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Updates on key accounting issues. Explore big data’s effect on accounting. Full agenda in development. Network with bankers and lawyers. The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
And if you’re planning even further out, there’s our Financial Risk Management Conference Nov. 7-8 and our Credit Conference Dec. 13-14, both in Atlanta. Details are coming soon about registration and the program agendas. Contact Kathy Friestad or Alison Moreau with questions.
Alert: Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks from Arkansas Bank
Georgia banks are asked to be on the lookout for counterfeit cashier’s checks appearing to be drawn on The Bank of Star City in Star City, AR. At this time, all checks have a remitter of Michael Gerhart. The counterfeit checks have been presented in Georgia as well as Alabama, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Minnesota and New York, according to the Arkansas Bankers Association. For additional information, please contact The Bank of Star City‘s Mark Owen at 870.628.4286.
GBA Staff Profile
Leading by Serving Others with Shan Haugabrook

Member bankers who take advantage of GBA’s online training opportunities now have the enthusiastic assistance of new Professional Development Coordinator Shan Haugabrook. "It brings my heart great joy to use my gifts and talents to help someone else succeed," she said. Haugabrook oversees webinars, ABA-facilitated training and registrations for GBA after several years with the Georgia Nurses Association. In her GBA Staff Profile, she discusses her servant leadership approach to her life and career, lessons learned from association work, the importance of self-care and more. Read more about Shan here…
Legislation to Drastically Limit Overdrafts Proposed
Overdraft fees on debit card transactions and ATM withdrawals would be banned under legislation proposed last week by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. The bill – the Stop Overdraft Profiteering Act of 2018 — also would cap the number of overdraft fees charged per month to one and no more than six in any calendar year, and it would institute a three-day waiting period from the time of account opening and when a bank could offer overdraft protection. A study out this week by a consumer advocacy group shows that efforts by banks to help customers understand overdrafts and avoid or minimize fees have been effective. Click here for more details from the study and information about an overdraft compliance resource offered by GBA Strategic Partner John M. Floyd and Associates...
Crime and Punishment
Armed Robber gets 32 Years, Violent Takeover Suspect Arrested

Darius Taurean Caldwell, 33, of Duluth, Georgia was sentenced to 32 years, one day in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release as punishment for two counts of armed bank robbery, two counts of brandishing a firearm during the commission of those robberies, and the offense of possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Caldwell robbed banks in Doraville and Smyrna in late summer 2016. "Caldwell terrified and endangered the lives of innocent victims during these armed robberies," said U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak. "We are committed to keeping our communities safe and ensuring that justice is served for the victims of his crimes." More details here… In another case, two additional suspects have been arrested related to the violent takeover robbery June 28 of a United Bank branch in Woodbury. D’Asis Sheffield, 20, of Greenville, Georgia, was identified from a video that was released to the public through the media. He was one of three suspects seen inside the bank during the robbery. Another suspect, Dontavius Prather, 22, also was arrested with Sheffield. Prather is believed to be the driver of a getaway vehicle. Four total suspects have been arrested in the case. More details here…
2018 BankPAC Update
Have you contributed to the 2018 BankPAC Campaign yet? Now is the time to do so as we head into the general election season so that we are ready to support those candidates who support banking! Check out our new fillable forms for use in making contributions to the GBA StatePAC and GBA FedPAC and also see how your GBA Group is faring so far. Many thanks to those bank CEOs and Associate Members contributing to the GBA StatePAC this week:
  • Bank of Dawson, Barry Lyle, CEO
  • Legacy State Bank, Loganville, Rock Hunt, President & CEO
  • Morris Bank, Dublin, Spence Mullis, President & CEO
  • Newton Federal Bank, Covington, Johnny Smith, President & CEO
  • Waycross Bank & Trust, Russell Bates, President & CEO
  • Holmes-Shaw Agency, Atlanta, Bruce Shaw
And thanks to those officers, directors and eligible employees of the following banks for contributing to the GBA FedPAC:
  • Durden Banking Company, Twin City, G.W. Johnson, President & CEO
  • Flint Community Bank, Albany, Scott Tomlinson, CEO
  • Morris Bank, Dublin, Spence Mullis, President & CEO
  • Newton Federal Bank, Covington, Johnny Smith, President & CEO
  • State Bank & Trust Company, Atlanta, Tom Wiley, President & CEO
  • The Citizens Bank of Americus, Rick Whaley, President & CEO
  • United Bank, Griffin, Jim Edwards, CEO
With questions, please call GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.
Fifth-Annual Women in Banking Conference Aug. 22-24
Women are CEOs, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and much more. Their innovation and compassion allow them to be great leaders and inspire the next generation to reach even greater heights. In just a little over two weeks, GBA will host the fifth-annual Women in Banking Conference, and the program has been crafted with you in mind. There’s still time to register. Be sure you and your bank are in attendance among the more than 100 female banking-industry leaders who will gather for this professional networking and learning opportunity at The Legacy Lodge on Lake Lanier from Aug. 22-24. For a detailed agenda, hotel information and to reserve your spot at the conference, click here. For more information about the conference, please contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.
2018 Compliance Conference
Bank Secrecy Act Regulatory Update
Though we have seen some regulatory relief, now is not the time to relax your compliance programs and systems. Melissa Sneed, Deputy Commissioner for Supervision, Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, will give an update on BSA during the 2018 GBA Compliance Conference. The conference is Sept. 12-14 at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta SW in Peachtree City. The conference is planned and hosted by the GBA Compliance Committee, led by Sterling Williams, BrandBank, Lawrenceville. Online registration is quick and easy. Click here to reserve your spot. With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. See the full agenda and get more details here...
Crowe, LLP presents Internal Audit Seminar Sept. 18
On Tuesday, Sept. 18, GBA in partnership Associate Member Crowe, LLP, one of the largest public accounting, consulting and technology firms in the country, is hosting an Internal Audit seminar at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Presenters Matt Davis, CIA, and Mike Thomas, CPA will cover auditing the lending function, auditing mortgage banking functions and recent trends in financial institution fraud. Click here to register. Registration is $250 per person ($275 per person after Sept. 10). With questions, please contact GBA's Jenna Lynn Warner, 404.420.2035.
President & CEO / Bank Counsel / Accountant Conferences
Election Outlook a High-Demand Session

The Georgia general election will be only about a month away from when bank presidents, CEOs, attorneys and accountants gather for their concurrent conferences Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. Political pro Brian Robinson will give his take on the home stretch for Georgia campaigns and the national outlook. Robinson is former communications chief for Gov. Nathan Deal. He’s seen frequently on local and cable television political shows. The brochure for the President and CEO conference is being mailed this week. Here are room reservation details: GBA’s negotiated room rate is $189/night single/double. You may make your reservation in one of two ways. Online: Click here to access the GBA group reservations link that will take you directly to our block. By phone: Bypass central reservations and contact LaToya Rolling Benn, Ritz Group Reservations, by phone (706.467.7053) or email. GBA’s group code is "GA BANKERS / PRESIDENT CEO." The cut-off date for hotel reservations at the GBA rate is Mon., Sept. 10, and rooms may sell out before this date. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.
Top Five Mistakes 401(k) Plan Sponsors Make
Managing a 401(k) plan is a complex business. There are many intricacies involved in a retirement plan that require expertise knowledge in the field. According to an article in Investment News by Aaron Pottichen, these are the top five mistakes made by plan sponsors:
  1. Not remitting payroll in a timely manner...
  2. Not following the plan document correctly...
  3. Not benchmarking plan fees...
  4. Not documenting the reason for changes...
  5. Not selecting a quality auditor...
Click any of the above to learn more. Now is the best time to start reviewing your plan for the coming year. We would love to do a plan review and show you how GBARS can help manage your 401(k) plan more effectively! Contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025, or Danielle Driggers at 404.420.2002.
Strategic Partner Spotlight: Monarch Private Capital
What Types of Tax Credits are Available to Me and My Bank?
Tax credits are governmental incentives used to encourage specific business activities by mitigating tax liabilities for individuals or businesses. Federal and state governments offer these incentives to promote a particular economic, social or other purpose of public interest. A tax credit is much more valuable than a deduction. Rather than reducing one’s taxable income as with a deduction, a credit enables the taxpayer to reduce its tax liability dollar-for-dollar. There’s a wide variety of tax credits that positively impact our communities. Below is a list of popular federal and state tax credits and a brief description of each provided by GBA Strategic Partner Monarch Private Capital:
Popular Federal Tax Credits
Popular State Tax Credits
  • Film, Television & Digital Entertainment – The film and entertainment business generates an influx of jobs and purchases in a filming location. The local economy is boosted by the production crews’, workers’ and actors’ use of local hotels, restaurants and shopping venues. Georgia provides for a credit up to 30% of eligible expenditures
  • Affordable Housing Tax Credit – Awarded for private investment in the development of affordable rental housing for low-income households
  • Historic Tax Credits – Awarded for private investment in the rehabilitation of historic buildings. Some states offer Abandoned Mill and/or Textile Revitalization Tax Credits which are similar in nature and purpose.
Please contact Monarch Private Capital’s Director of Public Policy & Business Development John Carson, 678.304.6499 to learn more about tax credit purchases could help both you and your bank this year.
Two Easy Ways to Save on School or Home Supplies with Office Depot
We often tell you about all the steep discounts and bargains your bank can take advantage of for business and office supply purchases through our partnership with Office Depot, but most of us are in the thick of back to school shopping season right now too. It sure would be nice to catch a break on some of those expenses. GBA would like to remind you that our purchasing program with Office Depot is available to all GBA member employees for personal purchases as well. Note: Your bank does not have to be participating in the GBA program for you to save money shopping for your family.There's no cost to sign up, and when you make a purchase you are directly supporting the GBA and the banking industry. With questions about the program, please contact Office Depot’s Lisa Perlet or GBA’s Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.
  • Click here to sign up for an account online and start shopping today.
  • Download the printable discount card for use at any Office Depot retail location.
Online Classes - September
Back to School with Online Training
ABA facilitated online courses feature an online learning community with fellow students, instructor guidance and feedback. For more information, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034. Click here for a list of all ABA offerings. There are seven courses scheduled to begin in September...
Fill a Job, Find a Job with the GBA Job Bank
The GBA Job Bank is among the most popular and valuable benefits we provide to member banks and bankers. The Positions Available and Bankers Available sections on our website consistently are among the most visited pages. Best of all, the service costs nothing for member banks and bankers. To make the process of posting a job or resume easier and to answer any questions you may have, we've developed this Q & A document as a resource. It outlines how to submit open positions and resumes, our deadlines and timelines for posting, and other helpful details. If you have any questions, please contact GBA's Katina Prokos at 404.420.2021.
Click the image to learn more about CDARS/ICS from Associate Member Promontory Interfinancial Network
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...
Providence Bank
Porter Keadle Moore
Quantum National Bank
Ansley Burgamy
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.