Nov. 5, 2021  

100+ Employee Vaccine/Testing Mandate Standards Released

The Occupational Safety and Health and Health Administration on Thursday released its highly anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing. All businesses including our member banks and associate member companies with 100 or more employees will be affected. 


Among other things, under the ETS, employers with 100 or more employees must:

  • Adopt a policy in which all employees are “fully vaccinated” meaning two weeks after a one-shot vaccination (such as Johnson & Johnson), or two weeks after the second dose of two-shot vaccination (such as Pfizer or Moderna) by Jan. 4, 2022.

  • By Dec. 5, 2021, employers must have policies in place to provide paid-time-off to employees to get vaccinated, to recover from any side effects, and to require non-vaccinated workers to be masked in the workplace (subject to limited exception).

  • As of Jan. 4, 2022, employees who are not fully vaccinated but who enter the workplace will be required to be tested weekly for COVID-19. The ETS lists a number of tests that are acceptable for this purpose, including tests conducted by third-parties or tests taken by employees under employer supervision.

  • Employers will be required to maintain proof of vaccination, and a roster of employee vaccination status, available for inspection upon request by the Department, but they do not otherwise need to certify.

  • Employers are not required to pay for testing.

  • The requirements of the rule do not apply to employees who do not report to a workplace where other coworkers or customers are present, who work exclusively outdoors, or while working at home.

For more information, click here for a fact sheet and here for a summary of the Emergency Temporary Standard. For full details with FAQs, the Federal Register post and other information about the ETS, please follow this link.


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Home Run Start for Financial Risk Management Conference

Here are some early snapshots of the GBA member finance pros who joined Braves Country in converging on the Battery Atlanta and Truist Park this week. The first pitch for GBA’s Financial Risk Management Conference was on site Thursday at the Omni Hotel, and the conference wraps up Friday just ahead of World Series Championship celebration festivities. Look for coverage, details and more photos next week.



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Welcome Jayn Lawson to GBA Insurance Trust

We were pleased this week to welcome Jayn Lawson, who has joined the GBA Insurance Trust staff in a newly created position of Manager – Member Support. Jayn comes to the Trust following many years’ experience in human resources with several member banks. She is well known among human resources professionals statewide as she has a been a member of GBA’s Human Resources Committee and been an active participant at conferences and other events. She’s administered GBAIT’s insurance offerings at the bank level and also brings experience administering GBA Retirement Services 401(k) plans. In her new role with GBAIT, Jayn will the first person most members reach out to with questions or if they need some assistance with their insurance. She will be working alongside Lee Belaus, who was recently promoted to Manager – Finance & Accounting. “Our GBAIT staff is a tight-knit team, and each knows the other’s job. There is a lot of overlap built into our service model, which ensures consistency and constant availability from our associates. It was important to our management succession plan to recruit someone with the knowledge Jayn brings to the Trust, and we are delighted to welcome her to our team,” said GBAIT interim president and CEO Joe Brannen. Jayn’s email is, and her direct office number is 404.420.2002.


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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 via a virtual Zoom call. The board consists of these nine bankers who oversee the employee retirement benefit program trusted by over 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 fee schedules for 2022. We are happy to report a reduction for fourth quarter 2021 participant-paid fees and overall lower trust fees expected in 2022 due to the increase in Trust assets. More details will be sent to member plans in the Trust in the coming weeks. With assets now more than $245 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 678.549.4167.


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Lending Training Focus

Mike Allen to Lead Back-to-Back Lending Training in Two Weeks

Cadence Bank EVP, Director of Real Estate Credit Risk Mike Allen, a high-demand speaker, will present back-to-back lending training Nov. 16-17 in Macon. Click the links below for more information and to register.


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CEO/Leader Updates

IRS Reporting Success, FDIC Ombudsman Intel, Small Biz Concerns

Our series of ongoing time-sensitive emails to member CEOs, committee members and other key contacts continued during the past week. Email alert topics included details and resources about the following: 

  • IRS Reporting: Constituent and banker advocacy worked as President Biden last week announced an updated framework for his social and infrastructure agenda that did not specifically mention requiring banks to report deposit account money flows. We highlighted details of what is and isn’t in the plan.


  • FDIC Ombudsman: GBA’s Joe Brannen met last week with FDIC’s regional ombudsman, Charmion Haley. Topics included the economy, regulatory exam trends and her observations about what hybrid versions of in-person and virtual exams may look like in the future. If you have a problem or complaint with the FDIC that is not involved in litigation, arbitration or mediation, you may contact Haley for confidential assistance.


  • Top Small Business Concerns: We shared an article with details of the rapid pace of changes in the key concerns for small businesses during recent months. More than 3,000 business owners reported inflation is now the number one concern where just a few months ago, it was fear that their businesses would be forced to shut down by the government due to pandemic. Read details and an interesting point about why spending with local businesses is beneficial.

If you’d like more information about any of those topics, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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2021 BankPAC Campaign Update

The 2021 BankPAC Campaign continues to make great progress and now is the time to contribute to the StatePAC and FedPAC if you have not done so yet.  Contribution forms may be found on our BankPAC webpage for directions and suggested giving amounts. The BankPAC Board of Directors is pleased to see the progress so far and welcome your participation. Check out the progress of your GBA Group here. Many thanks to these banks for their recent contribution to the GBA StatePAC:

  • Ameris Bank, Palmer Proctor, CEO

  • First National Community Bank, Rome, Ryan Earnest, President & CEO

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

  • The Citizens Bank of Georgia, Cumming, Tim Perry, President & CEO

  • Planters First Bank, Cordele, Mike Phillips, CEO

  • The Piedmont Bank, Peachtree Corners, Monty Watson, Chairman & CEO

And to the following banks whose eligible employees, officers and directors recently made a contribution to the GBA FedPAC.

  • Ameris Bank, Palmer Proctor, CEO

  • Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville, Rick Drews, CEO

  • The Citizens Bank of Swainsboro, Milton Gray, President & CEO

  • First Chatham Bank, Savannah, Ken Farrell, President & CEO

  • First Port City Bank, Bainbridge, Scott Ewing, President & CEO

  • Great Oaks Bank, Eastman, Mike Odom, Chief Executive Officer

  • One South Bank, Blakely, Kim Wilson, President & CEO

  • Synovus Bank, Columbus, Kevin Blair, President & CEO

With questions, please contact GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler, 404.372.7893.


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Save the Date - Jan. 12

GBA Annual Legislative & Economic Forum and Reception Confirmed

The largest one-day event on GBA’s annual calendar is back for 2022! Mark your calendar and plan to attend the 2022 Legislative & Economic Forum and Reception on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Atlanta. Hosted by the GBA Public Affairs Committee and Board of Directors, these events are held in honor of members of the Georgia General Assembly as well as the executive branch and judiciary as GBA's way of showing the industry's appreciation for these public servants’ commitment to our state. All GBA members are invited and encouraged to attend this event. The forum will be from 3-6 p.m., with the reception immediately following until 7:30 p.m. We’re excited that Jeffrey Dorfman, the State Fiscal Economist of Georgia and a professor of economics at The University of Georgia, will join us to share his perspective on Georgia’s economy. We’ll have more guests to announce in the coming weeks, and watch your email for a registration announcement soon. Registration will include options to attend both the forum and reception, or the forum or reception only. GBA will also have a small block of rooms at the Hyatt for the night of the 12th. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


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National Family Caregivers Month

Resources Available for Elder Fraud Awareness

There’s a slew of good information available to you and your customers to help protect loved ones from elder financial abuse. As part of National Family Caregivers Month, please take advantage of these GBA and other resources. 

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GBA Partner Double Discount

Get the Rest of 2021 Free When You Sign Up with for 2022, Plus 20% Off!

You don’t need to wait for next year’s budget to start growing your business with GBA partner Sign up for a Jan. 1, 2022, start date and get the remainder of 2021 for free. provides banks with unlimited access to thousands of professionally designed, customizable marketing templates, as well as millions of Getty images and videos. Plus, GBA members get a 20% discount on top of this special offer. Learn more about by scheduling a tour today. With questions, please contact Neal Reynolds,, 678.528.6688.


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Dart Appraisal Offers the Best Custom Appraisal Management Solutions

GBA Strategic Partner Dart Appraisal knows that appraisal management is not a one-size-fits-all process. Dart has extensive experience with community banks that provide about 35 percent of their monthly volume. This has driven Dart to develop the best solutions in the industry. Their expert, national appraiser panel consistently delivers effective results wherever they are called. And, Dart is committed to meeting every one of their client’s specific needs. They can customize solutions every step of the way. Those are just a couple of the reasons why we believe they’re a great choice to be your bank’s appraisal management company. To learn more, contact Dart’s Michael Dresden,, 866.799.7488.


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GBA Partner ServisFirst Offers the Best Plug and Play Credit Card Program--Tailor Made Just for You

Over the next week, when you have a few minutes, please take a look at some of these short and informative videos from GBA partner ServisFirst. You will hear from some of their team members about what sets their agent bank card program apart from all others. You can access the complete library here, or jump to one on the list below.

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Strategic Planning Tool: Translating Relationships into Non-Interest Income

Much has been written about the utility of the bank branch in today’s digital-first environment. Has banking been changed forever based on consumers’ digital preferences? Is some of this for the best? Does the branch still have value? (Spoiler alert: Absolutely!) Effective banking is about building relationships and being present and accessible. If you’re wondering how branches should factor in to your strategic plan going forward, click here to read “The Loyalty Factor: Translating Relationships into Non-Interest Income” from GBA Associate Member Haberfeld Associates.


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Mark Your Calendars!

GBA 2022 Winter/Spring Conferences

Mark your calendars and save the date for the following 2022 winter and spring conferences!

  • Operations & Technology Conference - Wednesday, Feb. 23, through Friday, Feb. 25, at The DeSoto, Savannah. Registration now open!

  • HR Professionals Institute - Wednesday, March 23, through Friday, March 25, at the King & Prince, St. Simons.

  • Marketing Conference - Thursday, March 24 through Friday, March 25, at the King & Prince, St. Simons.

  • Bank Security Conference - Monday, April 11, through Wednesday, April 13, at the King & Prince, St. Simons.

  • Rural Development & Lending Conference - Thursday, May 19, through Friday, May 20, at the King & Prince, St. Simons.

With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau.


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Join live or purchase a recording!

Upcoming Webinars from National Experts

Webinar Subscription Packages: If your institution attends at least 5 webinars per year, a webinar subscription package is a no-brainer! Click here for more info.

See our full calendar of webinars 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 - SouthState Bank

The bank recently raised over $300,000 to support the more than 30,000 youth in the Atlanta Area Council Boy Scouts of America.


Leesburg - Georgia Community Bank

Team members at the Lee County branch of Georgia Community Bank dropped off snacks and drinks to the local fire stations to thank the fire fighters for their hard work and commitment to the community.



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Atlanta - Ameris Bank

David Sparacio has joined the bank as executive vice president, corporate controller. Read more here.


Atlanta - Georgia Primary Bank

Senior Vice President, Director of Guaranteed Government Lending Sherry Martin has been elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders.


Claxton - The Claxton Bank

Emily Hall has joined the bank as AVP/Consumer and Mortgage Loan Officer. Read more here.


Claxton - Glennville Bank

Bank Vice President Sharon Haire recently celebrated 47 years in banking. She started her banking career on Aug. 1, 1974, and plans to retire from full-time banking at the end of this year.


Savannah - Great Oaks Bank

Jon Seagraves has been elected executive vice president and Chief Banking Officer. Brad Brookshire has been elected executive vice president and Chief Risk Officer. Read more here.


Birmingham, AL - Main Street, Inc.

Jeff Gleason has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer. Read more here.


Atlanta - Georgia Bankers Association

The following GBA staff members were recognized for milestone service anniversaries on Nov. 1: Senior VP, Government Relations Elizabeth Chandler (25 years), Member Services Coordinator Erin Howard (15 years) and GBAIT Staff Attorney Keri Brooks (3 years).



Sparacio Martin Hall Haire (left)



Seagraves Brookshire Chandler Howard Brooks



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 Katina Prokos.

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