Feb. 11, 2022  

GBA Priority Bills Pass House

Our thanks to Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) for a fine job presenting GBA’s two priority bills to the Georgia House of Representatives this week. Both bills passed unanimously and will be subject to hearings by the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee Feb. 17. Our tracking list of legislation continues to grow as we added several new bills introduced this week. Committees were also active in considering other bills of interest. Legislators will complete Day 15 of their 40-Day session Friday. We will publish our weekly Legislative Update with more details once the session adjourns.


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Members Have a Blast for BankPAC Fundraiser

More than 100 members and guests participated in the fifth-annual Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament Thursday. This was by far the most participants in the short history of the event. Proceeds from the fundraiser, sponsored and staffed by Leadership GBA, will go to the GBAState PAC. The GBA StatePAC contributes only to candidates running for state-level offices such as the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor’s office, Lt. Governor’s office and other state constitutional officers. We’ll have full details including winning team results and sponsor recognitions next week.



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Rising Check Theft in the Spotlight

David Maimon and his Georgia State University students say old fashioned check theft is on the rise, even in today’s age of increased digital payments. Maimon, director of Georgia State University's Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group, recently published an article that made national news based on their recent study of 60 black market communication channels to identify fraud trends. They learned thefts of checks from mailboxes and related mail-based fraud has spiked since August 2021. The study estimates the face value of checks identified for last October alone was $11.6 million as written, but that’s only a tiny fraction of what the overall fraud amount would have been. Read more here, and access an interview with Maimon here.


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Five FDIC Priorities from Acting Chairman Gruenberg

As Acting Chairman Martin Gruenberg again assumed the top leadership post for the FDIC this week, he was quick to pinpoint his areas of focus for the regulatory agency in the coming year. Priorities are centered on CRA reform, climate change risk, reviewing the agency’s bank merger review process, assessing crypto-asset risks and finalizing the Basel III capital rules. Read all the details here. In addition to serving as FDIC Chairman from November 2012 to July 2018, this is Gruenberg’s third stint as Acting Chairman. He’s briefed GBA members multiple times over the years during our advocacy visits to Washington, D.C.


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Georgia’s Rural and Underserved Counties Defined by CFPB

The CFPB has published its latest lists of Rural and Rural or Underserved Counties used to determine exemptions from certain Truth in Lending Regulations. There are 67 Georgia counties defined as “Rural,” and 70 counties defined as “Rural or Underserved.” The CFPB has also updated its tool for helping bankers determine whether a property is located in a rural or underserved area.


Georgia Rural Counties

Georgia Rural or Underserved Counties

CFPB Rural or Underserved Areas Tool


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Registration Open for GBA Annual Meeting

We’re excited to announce that general registration for GBA’s 130th Annual Meeting is open. We are looking forward to a special Georgia homecoming June 13-15 at The Breakers, West Palm Beach, FL. Bank executive teams, directors, GBA Strategic Partners, Associate Members, Bank Counsel Section Members, Bank Accountant Section Members and their families are invited to attend. Here’s a run-down of the sessions and activities planned:

  • Economic Update - Joan Woodward, The Travelers Companies, Inc.

  • Innovation (Crypto and FinTech Focus) - Rob Morgan, American Bankers Association

  • Peer CEO Perspective - Kenneth Kelly, who lives in Georgia but works remotely and commutes to his job as CEO of First Independence Bank in Detroit, MI

  • A Georgia-bank CEO panel

  • Leadership across Generational Lines - Dr. Melissa Furman

  • Inspiration - Closing speaker Jim Morris is the subject of hit Disney film “The Rookie”

  • Election of GBA officers and installation of Board Members

  • A policy and advocacy update

  • Recognition of 50-year bankers

  • Timely and relevant Breakout sessions.

Click here to view the Annual Meeting website with online registration and everything you need to know. A big shout-out to our sponsors: Aubrey Thrasher; Crowe LLP; CRS Data; DA Davidson; Discover Debit; Elliott Davis; Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP; FHLBank Atlanta; FHN Financial; First National Bankers Bank; Holmes Shaw Agency; Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks and Co.; Qualtik; ServisFirst Bank; Southern Bank Equipment & ATMs; SouthState Bank; The Baker Group; Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP; Truist Securities; United Bankers Bank; Warren Averett CPAs & Advisors; and Wipfli. Click here for sponsorship info. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad.


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Last call!

Don’t Miss the 2022 GBA Ops/Tech Conference, Feb. 23-25 in Savannah

There’s still time to sign up for Georgia’s flagship multi-day conference for bank operations and technology professionals. The conference provides participants the opportunity to network, share best practices and learn from nationally known experts in an away-from-the-bank environment to foster creativity and connections. Topics covered on the agenda include:

  • Cryptocurrency and Emerging Technology

  • Payments

  • Cybersecurity

  • Best Practices

  • Operational Assessments

  • Vendor Management

The conference is planned by the Operations and Technology Committee, led by Committee Chair Dana White, AB&TClick here for all of the details and to register. With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau.


Exhibitor Space Available

We have a great crowd of bankers registered, which makes for a valuable opportunity to network with bankers across the state of Georgia. Associate members are eligible to sponsorexhibit or both sponsor and exhibit.


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The King & Prince

Concurrent Conferences - March 23-25, St. Simons

Detailed Agendas Now Available for HR Professionals Institute and Marketing Conference

The full rundown of speakers and sessions is now available for the GBA HR Professionals Institute and Marketing Conference, which will take place concurrently on March 23-25 at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons. Feb. 22 is the hotel cutoff, so make your reservations now!

  • HR Professionals Institute: Planned by the GBA HR Committee, led by Tonya Brooks, Citizens Bank of the South, this conference is the top learning experience for Georgia bank human resources professionals. Content includes information about effective policies and procedures essential to developing, attracting and retaining team members, managing compensation and benefits programs and establishing a winning culture for their banks. Peer networking and idea-sharing flourish during the institute. HR directors and staff at all levels should attend. Get all the details and register here.


  • Marketing Conference: Planned by the GBA Marketing Committee, led by First National Bank of Griffin’s Andrea Griffin, this conference is the premier in-person learning experience for Georgia bank Marketing professionals. Content includes the latest information about branding, business development, product and service marketing, social media and other channels, messaging, community programs, measurement and tracking and more. Peer networking and idea sharing flourishes during the conference, forging relationships and opportunities for further growth. Chief marketing officers and marketing professionals at all levels should attend. Get all the details and register here.

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Limited space; slots filling up fast!

Enroll in the Georgia Banking School to Level Up in Your Banking Career

Banking school is more than just the curriculum. It is learning the best from the business of banking and networking with peers from around the state of Georgia. As a reminder, we have limited space again this year and slots are filling up fast for new students. The Georgia Banking School Board has finalized the curriculum and this year’s on-campus sessions will cover the latest essential skill and trends for effective bank leadership. There's simply no better comprehensive program for emerging career bankers. Enroll by Feb. 28 for early-bird tuition pricing. Get Georgia Banking School details and enrollment access here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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Four Powerful Financial Education Campaigns

We encourage GBA members to participate in a variety of financial education campaigns throughout the year, and we support four strong campaigns run by the ABA Foundation. The campaigns and resources are free to all bankers and provide all the tools you and your team members need to support your local outreach. Details at the links below. 

There is access to these and many more programs and resources on GBA’s website under the Member Center dropdown menu, Financial Literacy Resources.


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Attention bank security officers and pros!

2022 Security Conference - April 11-13, St. Simons

The 2022 Security Conference is April 11-13 at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons. The GBA Security Committee, led by David Griffin, Colony Bank, is putting the final touches on the agenda for Georgia’s premier conference for everyone who has bank security responsibilities. Here’s an overview of session topics:

  • Policies & Procedures Workshop

  • ATM Crimes

  • Technology Trends Panel Discussion

  • Elder Fraud Update

  • Business Email Compromise

  • Legal Session

  • Internal Fraud Investigations

Get available details and register here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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Get Complete ELT Program Management from GBA Partner DDI Technology

DDI Technology’s ELT solution enables banks to streamline processes, improve reporting, and manage exceptions with a user-friendly application. Additional system features include total-loss payoff, user customization and integration. For more information, contact ELT Account Executive Luke Jumper at (803) 638-1229 or luke.jumper@dditechnology.com.


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Contact GBA partner EBS for a Complimentary BOLI Assessment Report and Carrier Due Diligence Review Report

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. Please contact Michael Pounds at mpounds@ebscomp.com.


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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Feb. 25 @ 2 p.m.

Experience Close Encounters of the Fintech Kind with GBA Partner StrategyCorps

Here’s an upcoming opportunity to see how fintech apps are taking over the minds of today’s consumers and changing the definition of financial advice. Join StrategyCorpsDave DeFazio for live online demonstrations of trending apps like Robinhood, Cash App, SoFi, and Affirm to better understand the new features that are increasing competitive pressures on today’s banking products. Dave will share ongoing research which explains the trends - including which mobile features matter most to each generation, from zoomers to boomers. Register now!


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Enroll by Feb. 28 for discounted tuition!

Master Strategic Compliance Management at GBA Compliance School - May 1-6, Athens

There are less than three weeks left to enroll in the GBA Compliance School at the early-bird discounted tuition rate, which ends Feb. 28! This year’s session of the GBA Compliance School (May 1-6 at the University of Georgia in Athens) builds on a student's basic foundation by providing practical applications for overseeing individual lending, deposit and operational regulations as well as for your overall compliance management program. Students will learn how to maintain an on-going, proactive compliance management program and provide additional tools to put in your toolbox that will help to protect against the potential storms, but it is also an opportunity to develop peer networks that are vital to navigating through compliance challenges and obstacles.


Who should attend? This session, designed by compliance pros on the GBA Compliance School Board, is perfect for those who attended Year 1, those who previously graduated from a GBA Compliance School and experienced compliance officers looking for continuing education credits. GBA will apply for CRCM credits through ABA.


GBA Compliance School: Details and enrollment access here.


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Attention Ag lenders!

2022 Rural Development and Lending Conference - May 19-20, St. Simons

The 2022 Rural Development and Lending Conference is May 19-20 at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons. The GBA Agriculture Committee, led by Nic Worthy, Colony Bank, is putting the final touches on the agenda, but here is a quick overview of sessions planned. All agriculture lenders and anyone involved with business development in rural markets will benefit from attending.

  • Timber Update

  • Agriculture Economic Outlook

  • Crop Insurance

  • Peanuts Update

  • Legal Update

  • Technology Trends

Get details and register for the conference here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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One/Two Day Trainings through April: New Year, Time to Train



Recordings included with registration!

In-person Seminars

All seminars will take place at Middle Georgia State University, Macon

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Stock up with Webinar Subscription Packages

Save 10-30% with a subscription package

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

How much does your financial institution spend on training? With a webinar subscription package, we can help you greatly reduce that expense. With over 300 titles on our website, Bank Webinars is your one stop shop for all your webinar needs! The average financial institution spends thousands of dollars on every employee for training per year. We want to help you provide all the training your employees need at a fraction of that price. 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 - Georgia Banking Company

The bank recently supported the fifth-annual Battle for the Brain Lip Sync Competition, hosted by Daughters Against Alzheimer's. All proceeds from the event will benefit Emory University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Of the $1,000,000 goal, $861,536 has been raised so far, and donations are being accepted until March 31.


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Atlanta - United Community Bank

Jennine Hunter recently joined the bank as a CRA mortgage loan officer in the Atlanta metro area. Read more here.


Atlanta/Savannah - Regions/Carver State Bank

The Regions Community Development Corporation (RCDC) in January closed three equity-focused deals that provide opportunities for minority-owned businesses and disadvantaged communities. One of the three recent deals was with Carver Financial Corporation, a CDFI and Minority Depository Institution (MDI). This $1 million equity investment from RCDC will assist Carver Financial in its efforts to support low and moderate-income, or LMI, communities. Read more here.


Augusta - Colony Bank

Chris McLaughlin recently joined the bank as Augusta market president.


Chatsworth - First National Community Bank

Alex Crenshaw has been promoted to senior vice president and market president (Acworth/Paulding County). Read more here.


Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Lauren Vaverka recently joined the bank team as vice president of business banking. Read more here.


Hahira - Commercial Banking Company

Hope Walk has joined the bank as Hahira branch manager and banking officer.


Sandy Springs - Signature Bank of Georgia

Our sympathies to the former colleagues, family and friends of Bank Director Emeritus Ed Gallup, who recently died. He served on the bank’s board since its inception in 2005 until 2018 and served as board chair from 2005 to 2015. Gallup was one of the Founders of Immucor, Inc., a leader in transfusion and transplantation diagnostics. Read more here.


Savannah - Carver State Bank

Bank President and CEO Robert James II is one of three new members that have recently joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC).



Hunter McLaughlin Crenshaw Vaverka



Walk Gallup James



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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