March 11, 2022  

Georgia Banking Leadership Takes Center Stage in D.C.

We were mighty proud to see Pinnacle Bank’s Jenny Wofford front-and-center leading the ABA Emerging Leaders Forum in Washington, D.C., Monday. Wofford, who chairs our Leadership GBA Board of Directors, has a similar role at the national level as chair of the ABA Emerging Leaders group. Wofford gave opening remarks at the forum about her leadership journey and the importance of participating in industry peer organizations in career development. She also served as the moderator of a panel discussion among bank CEOs serving as ABA’s officers this year, Scott Anderson, president and CEO, Zions Bank, Salt Lake City, UT, ABA chair; Dan Robb, president and CEO, Jonesburg State Bank, Jonesburg, MO, ABA Chair-Elect; and Julieann Thurlow, president and CEO, Reading Cooperative Bank, Reading, MA, ABA Vice Chair. Congratulations to Jenny for doing an impressive job of representing the strength of banking leadership in Georgia!


Related: See details about this year's Leadership Conference, July 11-13, below.


Wofford gives her opening remarks

Wofford moderates a CEO panel


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General Assembly Rolls Along

The state House and Senate were in session Tuesday and Wednesday this week, with Thursday used for a committee work day. Both chambers are back in session Friday, which is expected to be a long day as legislators are handling more bills in each chamber leading up to Crossover Day on March 15. A number of bills we’re monitoring received action this week and we’ll publish the details in our Legislative Update Friday after legislators adjourn. Friday will complete Day 27 of the 40-day session. Legislators will reconvene Tuesday for Crossover Day and be in session each day through Friday.


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Advocacy in Action

Rome Rotary Gets Banking Overview

Our mission to inform Georgians about our state’s banking industry took GBA to the Rome Rotary Club this week. Joe Brannen was the guest speaker at Thursday’s meeting at the request of River City Bank’s Shane Walley. With news out this week about President Biden’s executive order for government agencies to study cryptocurrency regulations and digital currency options, club members got a timely update on the industry’s views on that topic as well as fintech trends. Other areas covered were local banking conditions, bank cybersecurity actions to protect consumers and a highlight on banker leadership through the pandemic. GBA often speaks to banker and business groups to share the story about banking beyond the headlines. Contact David Oliver, 404.520.6311, with questions. Pictured from left: Scott Preston, Synovus Bank; Jamie Tallent, River City Bank; Walley; Brannen; Larry Osborne, (retired) SunTrust; Scott Tucker, United Community Bank; Bryan Holland, Synovus Bank; and Virginia Harman, McRae, Smith, Peek, Harman, & Monroe, LLP.


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Digital Assets, Central Bank Digital Currency Study Order Issued

President Biden this week signed an executive order prompting government agencies to take “concrete steps” to advance the use of digital currency. The goals of the order, broadly, are to ensure consumer protection, financial stability, national security and the ongoing leadership of the United States in the global financial system through the appropriate support of emerging digital assets and currency options. We’ll be watching this closely as our regulators and others dig in and do their work. In particular, we remain concerned that any Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) could compete with bank deposits and significantly alter the U.S. financial services system. Read the order here.


Related: ABA’s cryptocurrency and technology expert Rob Morgan will discuss this and other digital banking trends at GBA’s Annual Meeting at The Breakers in Palm Beach June 13-15.


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Satisfaction with Banks Remains High

Recent consumer polling shows banks continue to get good marks from customers for overall service and satisfaction, have generally positive attitudes about how banks provide overdraft programs and the ability for cannabis businesses to access banking services in states where cannabis is legal. Some highlights:

  • Nine in 10 Americans with a bank account say they are “very satisfied” or satisfied” with their primary bank account

  • 88% said they have options for popular accounts and services

  • 83% believe their bank is transparent about fees

  • 62% say the fees by their bank are reasonable

  • 89% find their bank’s overdraft program valuable

  • Three in four were glad their bank covered an overdraft as opposed to declining payment.

See an infographic here.


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In-Person Skill Building

Lending Focus Seminar: Analyzing Personal Cash Flow March 30

Mike Allen of Cadence Bank, a faculty member of the Georgia Banking School with more than 40 years of industry experience, will cover the A-Zs of how to analyze personal cash flow and personal tax returns. This program is designed for consumer lenders, commercial lenders, and credit analysts/underwriters. The seminar is in Macon. Get all the details and register here.


Other upcoming In-Person Programs

  • Financial Reporting: Call Report Seminar - April 13:  Participants will receive a detailed line-by-line review of the commonly completed Call Report schedules with helpful tips for reporting individual items. Michael Gordon and Kris Trainor of Mauldin & Jenkins are our experts.


  • Lending Focus: Loan Documentation Seminar - April 27:  Mike Allen leads this one. Participants will receive a detailed line-by-line review of the commonly completed Call Report schedules with helpful tips for reporting individual items.


  • Information Technology: Information Security Officer Seminar - April 27: Safe Systems’ Tom Hinkel leads this program that explores exam expectations and how the pandemic changed the ISO function (sponsored by Safe Systems)

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Webinar Spotlight

Hot Topic: OFAC Russia-related Designations; Belarus Designations

This webinar will review the new Russia-related sanctions. The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued Russia-related Directive 2 and Directive 3 under Executive Order 14024 and Russia-related General License 5, General License 6, General License 7, General License 8, General License 9, General License 10, General License 11, and General License 12. OFAC is also issuing Belarus General License 6 and General License 7. In addition, OFAC has published new Frequently Asked Questions and updated several Frequently Asked Questions. Names have been added to OFAC's list of Specially Designated Nationals list (SDN List), the Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions list (NS-MBS List), and the Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions (CAPTA List). OFAC officers, BSA officers, compliance officers, risk management, training and operations would all benefit from attending. Click here to register.


Other upcoming webinars include:

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Register Now for GBA Leadership Conference

Registration for GBA’s 2022 Leadership Conference opened this week. Sponsored by the Leadership GBA Board of Directors, this year’s conference will be July 11-13 at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra, FL. Built for your bank or company’s emerging leaders, the conference will feature educational sessions led by experienced bankers, industry experts and leadership professionals. Networking time is purposefully built into the schedule to facilitate strong peer relationships and family time. Families are encouraged to attend, and children may attend both evening events (additional fee). If you’re a young or newly appointed C-suite banker, a senior officer, a department head, a business development officer, or if you have community or government relations responsibilities, this conference is for you. GBA Associate Members, Strategic Partners, and Bank Counsel and Bank Accountant members are invited to attend as well as to support the conference through sponsorship or exhibiting. Exhibit space and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Click here to explore the conference website, register, see hotel information, or reserve your exhibit booth or sponsorship. Make your hotel plans soon, as this is a very popular conference and summertime is the busiest time for resort properties. A huge shout-out to our sponsors: Aubrey Thrasher, LLC; CRS Data; CSRA Business Lending; Elliott Davis; FHLB Atlanta; First National Bankers Bank; Holmes-Shaw Agency; Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co., LLC; Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC; Point to Point Environmental; Qualtik; ServisFirst Bank, Correspondent Division; Steve H. Powell & Co.; Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, LLP; and Wipfli, LLP. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad.


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Spring Conference Season is Here

Join your peers for these high impact GBA conferences coming up. 

  • HR Conference - March 23-25, St. Simons: Experts will present on leadership, recruiting, DE&I issues, legal updates and more


  • Marketing Conference - March 23-25, St Simons: Get the latest on corporate identity building, branding as a great employer, multiple peer roundtable discussions, community outreach ideas and a great closing speaker.


  • Security Conference - April 11-13, St. Simons: Sessions include Policies & Procedures Workshop, ATM Crimes, Technology Trends Panel Discussion, Elder Fraud Update, Business Email Compromise, Legal Session, Internal Fraud Investigations.


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Offered by more than 90 Community Banks Today

GBA Endorses ServisFirst Bank’s Agent Credit Card Program

GBA is proud to recommend the agent credit card program offered by ServisFirst Bank. ServisFirst issues cards for more than 90 community banks in the country. Through the program, GBA members can issue credit cards to their customers, both commercial and retail, with their bank’s logo. ServisFirst provides a simple, straightforward program that includes credit card marketing and portfolio management services at no cost to the bank. Get more details about the ServisFirst Bank agent card program contacting ServisFirst’s Tim Finney,, 478.952.6497, or Karen Grahn,, 205.949.0330.


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Five Challenges Banks Can Solve with SNL Banker – Discounts Available for GBA Members

GBA is proud to promote SNL Banker, an offering from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as our recommended solution for financial performance management. The SNL Banker tool empowers banks to use internal, customer data as one of their most valuable assets. It also helps banks address the following problems:

  • Your bank has plenty of data to work with, but the time it takes to create reports makes it hard for management to quickly make decisions.

  • Your bank is only using the native capabilities of your core for reporting.

  • You still have distinct data silos between departments.

  • Your bank is worried about staying relevant with customers who have increasing options for banking services.

  • Your bank is concerned about customers who have loan commitments affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discounts for SNL Banker are available for GBA members through our partnership with S&P Global. To schedule a demo of SNL Banker, click here or contact Amy Garner,, 770.687.6369.


Related: 2022 Community Bankers Conference hosted by S&P Global Market Intelligence, May 16-18 at Four Seasons Las Colinas, Dallas, TX. The 2022 Community Bankers Conference, hosted by S&P Global Market Intelligence is back. Through panel discussions, networking events, and one-on-one conversations, you’ll walk away with solutions for today and a ideas for tomorrow. Discuss strategy, differentiation, and performance, while listening to in-depth presentations and talking with peers. In addition, celebrate the Top Community Bank Award winners and enjoy a unique opportunity to learn in a world-class location. Click here to learn more and access registration details.


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GBA Endorses Asset Auction Services of Swainsboro-based South Auction

GBA is pleased to recommend the auction services offered by Swainsboro-based South Auction. South Auction has held auctions all over the country. In business for over 20 years, they have become a trusted resource for banks, attorneys and individuals in need of auction services. South Auction can work with your bank to find creative solutions for bank-owned assets, and they can be a resource for your clients who may need to sell assets quickly to protect their equity in real property. To learn more about South Auction, click here. Contact South Auction’s Joe Lanier with questions at or 478.455.1861.


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Annual Meeting Closing Speaker Announced

We’re excited to announce that Jim “The Rookie” Morris will be the closing speaker at GBA’s Annual Meeting this summer. Does Morris’s name ring a bell? He’s the real-life inspiration for the award-winning Disney classic “The Rookie.” The story is about how Morris realized his dream of becoming a major leaguer at age 35 despite a string of highly implausible events looked to have derailed his opportunity. This summer, Morris will share his “Rookie story” as well as new challenges life has thrown his way since then. He’ll explore the transformative power of surrounding yourself with the best, most accomplished people possible— and inspire us to overcome life’s obstacles. A big shout-out to our sponsors: Aubrey Thrasher; Crowe; CRS Data; DA Davidson; Discover Debit; EBS; 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.; Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC; Profit Resources, Inc.; Qualtik; ServisFirst Bank; Southern Bank Equipment & ATMs; Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders; United Bankers Bank; Warren Averett CPAs & Advisors; and Wipfli. Click here for sponsorship info. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad.


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Happy National Nutrition Month

Here’s a healthy resource from GBA Insurance Trust’s partner in health, Wellview. Wellview’s Care Team loves to support GBA members’ nutrition journey, especially for those with picky eaters in their families. Whether you are trying to expand your child’s palate or create a positive relationship with food, click here for the dos and don’ts of picky eating. GBA Insurance Trust provides health insurance and wellness plans for 182 member companies and about 13,000 members and their families. Contact Lee Monroe and Jayn Lawson for information.


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2022 GBA Compliance School to Teach Masterful Strategic Compliance Management

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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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:


Suwanee - Quantum National Bank

The bank donated food and household items to the North Gwinnett Co-op as part of its “March for Spring” food drive.


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Americus - Synovus Bank

Emory Parker Jr. has joined the bank as market president for Americus, succeeding Buddy Guth, who will retire March 31 after 37 years of service.


Atlanta - Truist

Truist Financial Corp. announced that CEO William Rogers Jr. will become chairman of the board, effective March 12. The company also announced that Thomas Skains will become a lead independent director. Rogers will succeed Kelly King as board chair.


Cordele - Planters First Bank

Tim Powers has joined the bank as regional president for Crisp & Dooly counties. Read more here.


Marietta - Capital City Bank

The bank last week held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of its new office location at 237 Roswell St. in Marietta. See a video of the event here.


Savannah - Great Oaks Bank

Haley Burke has joined the bank as vice president and senior credit underwriter. Read more here.



Parker Guth Rogers Powers Burke



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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