July 29, 2022 

McLanahan and Wofford

Georgia Bankers Attend ABA Summer Leadership Meeting

Four Georgians participated in a three-day nationwide gathering this week in Boston focusing on state and federal issues facing the banking industry. Sponsored by the American Bankers Association, the meeting drew state bankers association elected chairs, association professional staff, and ABA volunteer leadership. Attending representing Georgia were GBA Chairman Rhodes McLanahan, First American Bank & Trust, Athens; past ABA Chair Jim Edwards, United Bank, Griffin; current ABA Emerging Leaders Council Chair Jenny Wofford, Pinnacle Bank, Elberton; and GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen. “It was impactful to visit with our counterparts from across the country to share ideas and strategies to address major issues ranging from bank innovation, the future generation of bank leadership, navigating an increasingly complex federal regulatory environment, and the uncertainty of the outcomes of the midterm elections. It was refreshing to see our peers are just as energized as we are in Georgia to proactively engage together knowing that as we unite behind consensus approaches to these challenges, our collective voices will make a difference,” said McLanahan. In depth discussions were held on policy issues such as cryptocurrency regulation, the Fed’s growing interest in creating a central bank digital currency, the proposal out to modify the Community Reinvestment Act, CFPB’s approach on potentially regulating fees, the fallout at the state level of federal approaches to environmental, social, and governance issues, how the economy and the state primaries are affecting the outcome of the midterm elections, and progress being made in cybersecurity and talent recruitment.


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Edwards in action

Edwards Presents to American Legislative Exchange Council

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) held its summer meeting in Atlanta this week, and banking issues were on the minds of its members. This is one of several nationwide groups that bring together state legislators from around the country to hear from subject matter experts on a range of issues. ALEC is known for producing so-called “model bills” that legislatures around the country may consider enacting. One such proposal tracks a Texas statute that prohibits a bank from doing business with the state if they do not do business with the oil and gas industries. Jim Edwards, CEO of United Bank, Griffin, participated in a panel discussion with a banker from Kansas and representatives of the American Bankers Association. Edwards’ message to the proponents of the measure was that the free market should be at work here and banks should be able to lend to, invest in and generally do business with any entity or activity that is legal. And the opposite holds true, as well, that banks should also be free not to engage so long as they do not violate fair lending or antidiscrimination laws. Edwards and others went on to discuss that we are all frustrated with efforts to force environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies on industries, and this measure would only further those frustrations. The real emphasis should remain at the regulator level instead of complicating matters with state-level legislation. The measure was not acted upon, but we expect continued efforts from the proponents to do so. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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Advocacy Alert

Bill to Impose New Card Routing Requirements Introduced

U.S. Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022, a bill that would impose new routing requirements and mandates that banks accept fraud-prone transactions. We’re working with other state associations as well ABA and other national industry groups to coordinate opposition to the bill. “Routing mandates on credit cards is a multibillion dollar corporate welfare scheme for big box retailers that will lead to less secure, less innovative, and higher-risk transactions for American consumers,” Jeff Tassey, board chairman of the Electronic Payments Coalition, which represents card issuers and networks, said in statements to various media outlets covering the story including American Banker. Stay tuned for information about how to voice your opposition to the legislation with our senators. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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Compliance Conference - Oct. 19-21, Jekyll Island

Registration is Open and Agenda Confirmed

Join your fellow compliance professionals Oct. 19-21 for our annual Compliance Conference at The Westin Jekyll Island. Visit the conference website here for details about the agenda, hotel and to register. We are kicking off the conference with a Washington update about new or updated laws and regulations. During this session, Keith Barnett and Carlin McCrory from Troutman Pepper law firm will discuss the CFPB’s enforcement actions against banks, updates on the Community Reinvestment Act, the continued expansion of UDAAP under CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, fair lending issues with respect to small businesses, consumer access to financial information and legislative updates that impact federal banking regulations. Join us for this and all the other exciting and informative sessions. A big thank you to the following conference sponsors: Gold Sponsor, Ncontracts; Silver Sponsors Mauldin & Jenkins, Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors and Wipfli. Sponsorships are still available. We also have a few slots left for exhibitors. Questions? Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau.


Special for GBA participants: CRCM credit applied for at no additional cost


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2023 & 2024 Compliance School

How Compliance School is a Fit for More than Just Compliance Officers

Good compliance culture extends beyond every bank’s main compliance officer. Almost every employee plays a role. GBA’s two-year Compliance School program is the perfect training ground for any banker who has significant compliance responsibilities. Get more details here. Registration will open soon. Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, amoreau@gabankers.com, for information.


Special for GBA participants:  CRCM credit applied for at no additional cost. Last year's school earned participants 32.5 CRCM credits.


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Member Profile

What It Means to be ‘Clueless and Curious’ with Sam Drennen

Sam Drennen wasn’t looking for a job in community banking in 2004, but that’s what he found after a chance encounter with his friend Rhodes McLanahan in Washington, D.C., led to some consulting work with First American Bank & Trust. Drennen is now chief operating officer for the bank and he serves on the Leadership GBA Board of Directors. Learn more about Drennen’s career path, how his son recently put a unique perspective on some good career advice about remaining humble, a touching story of community involvement and his love of adventure in this week’s member profile here.


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Leader Updates

Housing, Voting, M&A Trends and a Helpful HR Tool

Our series of regular email updates to CEOs, committee members and other key leaders continued this week. Topics included:


  • Voting Trends Analysis and Current Polling: We shared the latest info from a political analysis tool called the Partisan Voting Index as one way to gauge the potential outcome of elections, as well as recent polling information about the races for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat and Governor.


  • M&A Trends: We passed along some information about the current state of the merger and acquisition environment provided by GBA Associate Member Michael Corso at Hovde. The week’s news here in Georgia seems to have bucked the trend of a slowing deal pace, as two acquisitions of Georgia banks were announced this week. See details in Newsmakers below.


  • HR Automation: We noted a new tool developed in partnership with GBA Insurance Trust to help member banks automate many of the duplicative tasks they have in managing employee benefits. Information about the product has been sent directly to member CEOs and Insurance Trust HR contacts by email.

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


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GBA BankPAC 2022 Campaign Update

The BankPAC Board of Directors is busy calling on their fellow banking colleagues around the state to ensure that this year’s BankPAC Campaign meets its’ goals. We are off to a strong start and need great participation in this important election year. Here are the materials needed to assist in you in contributing to the StatePAC (contribution may be from your state-chartered bank or holding company if a national bank) and the FedPAC (must come from eligible individuals – directors, officers and salaried employees.) Using a payroll deduction  method for individual contributions is an option to consider. With questions, please call Elizabeth Chandler at 404.372.7893. Thank you for considering this worthy effort that benefits the whole industry!


Contributing to the GBA StatePAC in the last week include the following banks:

  • AB&T, Albany, Perry Revell, CEO

  • Bank of Dudley, Sam Beall, President & CEO

  • Bank of Hazelhurst, Butch Kirkley, President & CEO

  • Citizens Community Bank, Valdosta, Glenn Copeland, CEO & COO

  • First Bank of Pike, Molena, John Barker, President & CEO

  • First Chatham Bank, Savannah, Ken Farrell, CEO

  • First National Bank, Bainbridge, Brad Barber, President & CEO

  • Flint Community Bank, Albany, Scott Tomlinson, CEO

And, contributing to the GBA FedPAC are those eligible employees, officers and directors from the following banks:

  • Altamaha Bank and Trust Company, Vidalia, Brent Sammons, President & CEO

  • American Pride Bank, Macon, John Hall, President & CEO

  • Georgia First Bank, Soperton, Maury Beasley, President & CEO

  • Planters and Citizens Bank, Camilla, Susan Moss, President & CEO

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

  • The Claxton Bank, Philip Williams, President & CEO

  • Planters First Bank, Cordele, Eli Tinsley, President & CEO

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Gain Confidence in Your BSA/AML Fraud Programs with GBA Partner Abrigo

Your bank’s BSA program and fraud prevention efforts are only as good as the tools you use. Abrigo’s BAM+ provides transparency into your AML efforts to better protect your bank. No two banks are the same, and Abrigo’s solutions are all tailored to fit your unique risk profile. Abrigo software also utilizes cutting-edge AI to create smarter alerts, reducing false positives and allowing you to focus your time where it matters most. Click down below to see what they have to offer. Contact Abrigo’s Laura Wahl for more info at laura.wahl@abrigo.com or 919.906.5649. 

  • BAM+ - BAM+ adjusts to better detect, manage, and resolve suspicious financial activity. Don’t settle for out of the box.


  • BAM+ Fraud - Get alerts about potential fraud and access a central case management system to resolve alerts quickly.


  • WirePro - Wire Transfer Automation software for secure wire transfer automation in real-time to better protect your customers/members.

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Debit Card Income Case Study Featuring Colony Bank and GBA Partner Discover Debit

Our readers who track revenue generating statistics closely know that in 2021, debit surpassed credit spend for the first time, and consumers made larger purchases with debit cards than ever before. That consumer behavior led to an 8% increase in total debit spend last year. Several GBA members have been looking at the revenue enhancing opportunities they would get with a switch to the GBA-endorsed Discover Debit platform, and we wanted to share a recent case study outlining Colony Bank’s success with the program. Colony Bank CEO Heath Fountain and his team at the bank have created a successful Discover Debit card program that meets the growing needs of customers while streamlining billing reconciliation and generating non-interest income. The case study shows how Colony team members Jim Jowers, Reagan Miller and Courtney Crews worked with other bank team members and the Discover team on a successful rollout. Click here to read the case study, and contact Brian Harbin at 678.325.9910 to learn more about Discover Debit.


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Save the Date!

2022 Financial Risk Management and Credit Conferences Coming Up Soon

Look out for announcements by email and in upcoming GBA e-Bulletins when registration is open for two premier GBA conferences for bank CFOs/finance team members and bank credit and lending professionals. Mark your calendars for the following:

  • Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 3-4, The Westin Atlanta Perimeter North
    This event, planned by the GBA Asset/Liability Management Committee, covers the full spectrum of finance topics essential for ensuring profitably run banks. This year's agenda will include an ALM panel, capital planning panel, liquidity and investments panel, and sessions on creating value, managing interest rate risk in the midst of volatility, and an economic outlook.


  • Credit Conference - Dec. 1-2, The Westin Atlanta Perimeter North
    This event, planned by the GBA Credit Committee, features market intelligence, credit trends, underwriting, risk management and business development topics essential for growing, thriving banks. This year's agenda includes sessions on the economy, the state of credit, an ag update, regulatory panel, industry and advocacy update, housing market update, roundtable discussion and an economic development panel.

Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, amoreau@gabankers.com, for information.


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Learning on All Major Bank Topics Available

Take advantage of your membership benefits on training, as all GBA members may access these great programs from the American Bankers Association at the member rates. 

  • Certificate Programs (select member option) — More than 20 Certificates across six critical skills categories including Commercial Lending, Compliance, Retail Banking and more


  • Facilitated Online Courses (select member option) — Virtual learning with an instructor and peer interaction, weekly assignments and deadlines. Categories including Retail, Compliance, Executive Management and more


With questions, contact Alison Moreau.


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Opening Accounts Online, CRE Appraisals, Advertising Compliance and More

Here’s a sampling of upcoming webinars.

See the full slate of upcoming webinars here.


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Recruit, Retain and Develop the Best Bankers with GBA Career Solutions


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 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’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 - Truist

The Truist Foundation recently announced it has awarded a $5 million grant to First Step Staffing, the largest nonprofit employment agency in the country dedicated to providing economic opportunity and a path to self-sufficiency for individuals with barriers to employment, including those who are experiencing or recently experienced homelessness. The grant will help First Step establish two new branch locations across the U.S. and pilot an enhanced client services program featuring client assessments, housing placement with financial assistance, and additional upskill training opportunities. Read more here.



Chatsworth - First National Community Bank

The bank has outlined plans for a series of branch-wide customer appreciation events in the third quarter of 2022. The plans include simultaneous celebrations on Aug. 12 with food and beverages served at each of the bank’s 10 locations to honor and celebrate the bank’s customers and to also welcome others in the communities the bank serves. Read more here.


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GBA Newsmakers


Atlanta - FifthThird Bank

Alex Rankie and Kevin Artis have joined the bank as commercial relationship managers.


Atlanta - Signature Bank of Georgia

Our sympathies to Rebecca Abraham and her nephews Jin and Kei for the tragic death of her sister and their mother, Bonnie Abraham-Mikami, this week in Roswell. A GoFundMe page with details may be found here for those interested in helping.


Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

Bree Maxwell has been promoted to vice president of the bank. She has previously served as assistant vice president and loan operations manager for the past five years. Read more here.


Clayton - Rabun County Bank

Bank President Greg Funkhouser announced his intention to retire effective Dec. 31, 2022. Funkhouser will continue to serve on the bank’s board of directors following his retirement. The bank’s board of directors selected Claude Dillard to succeed Funkhouser as president of the bank. In addition, Melanie Silvestri has been appointed co-CEO by the bank’s board of directors. Read more here.


Hattiesburg, MS/Atlanta - The First Bank/Heritage Southeast Bank

The First Bancshares, Inc., and Heritage Southeast Bancorporation, Inc. announced Wednesday the execution of a definitive merger agreement in which The First Bancshares will acquire Heritage Southeast Bancorporation. Upon the completion of the acquisition, Heritage Southeast Bank will merge with and into The First Bank. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2022. Read more here.


Loganville - Legacy State Bank

Wendi Spinks has been promoted to vice president of compliance, BSA, and human resources. Mandy Andrews has been promoted to customer service representative.


Macon - OneSouth Bank

William E. “Rusty” Gleaton, III has been named executive vice president/city president in Macon. Read more here.


Moultrie - Moultrie Bank & Trust

Congratulations to CEO Donna Lott and the bank team on the opening of the bank’s new office. The Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce recently held a new member ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the bank’s opening. Read more here. Pictured below: Moultrie Bank & Trust CEO Donna Lott cuts the ribbon “opening” the bank along with bank stockholders, employees, and members of the community and Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce.


Raleigh - First Carolina Bank

First Carolina Bank, a subsidiary of First Carolina Financial Services, Inc., reported net income for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 of $6.0 million compared to $4.1 million for the same period in 2021, an increase of 47.8%. In shareholder correspondence about quarterly earnings, the company highlighted the recent opening of the bank’s Atlanta office under the leadership of market president Thomas Forsberg and chief credit officer Steven Deaton at 125 Glenridge Point Parkway, Atlanta. Read more here.


Asheville, NC/Suwanee - Quantum National Capital Corp. and HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc

HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc., the holding company of HomeTrust Bank in Asheville, NC, this week announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement whereby Quantum Capital Corp., the holding company of Quantum National Bank, will merge with HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. Read more here.


Bloomington, MN - United Bankers’ Bank

United Bankers’ Bank announced a strategic partnership with Blue Team Alpha to offer cybersecurity services to UBB's community banks. Read more here. The bankers’ bank also announced its new instant payments solution Pidgin, developed by VSoft Corporation, projected to roll out in time for the FedNow program’s anticipated late 2022/early 2023 launch. Read more here.


Clearwater, FL - BankSmart

The company has become a member of the U.S. Faster Payments Council. Read more here.


Rankie Artis Maxwell Funkhouser Dillard



Silvestri Spinks Andrews Gleaton Moultrie Bank & Trust



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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