Nov. 4, 2022 

Financial Risk Management Conference Underway

Georgia bank CFOs and other finance professionals are gathered in Atlanta this week for the annual GBA Financial Risk Management Conference. This event, planned by the GBA Asset/Liability Management Committee, covers the full spectrum of finance topics essential for ensuring profitably run banks. Here are some scenes from Thursday’s sessions. Look for a full de-brief and more photos next week.



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AgFarm Tour Return a Big Hit

Members of GBA’s Agriculture Committee and guests took time out of their busy bank schedules last week to learn more about several of the state’s unique agribusiness-related operations. This was our first such tour of businesses representing Georgia’s largest industry since 2019. The first stop was Franklin’s Citrus Farm just outside Statesboro. The farm specializes in growing Satsuma Mandarins, Sweet Georgia Kisses or ‘Kishu’ Mandarins, ‘Ruby’ Red grapefruit and several other citrus fruits. It is the northernmost citrus farm operating in Georgia. Thanks to Shane Geurin of Renasant Bank for helping set up that visit. Next up was a visit to the massive Americold cold-storage facility in Bloomingdale. A Georgia-based company, Americold is a critical player in the global food supply chain, with 249 facilities worldwide. The Bloomingdale facility handles imports and exports of proteins such as chicken, beef and pork, primarily serving international markets. At a Wednesday evening reception and dinner, members were welcomed by Pooler Chamber and Visitors Bureau President and former banker Courtney Rawlins before a presentation by Todd Wall, CEO of Effingham College & Career Academy, Effingham County CTAE District Director and Director of Honey Ridge Agricenter. The agricenter is a unique, 324-acre working farm owned and operated by the Effingham County School District. Wall shared the story of how the farm and its programs have evolved into critical tools for developing new interest in agriculture careers among the county’s students. Ag Committee Chair Rachel Thompson, Bank of Newington, helped arrange the visit to Americold and Wall’s talk. Our final visit was a motor coach tour of the Georgia Ports Authority’s massive Garden City Terminal. The facility is the largest container terminal in the Western hemisphere and the largest export port in the United States. The facility has 48 towering cranes that can load and unload the largest ships in the world, some of which are longer than the Empire State Building is tall. Thanks to committee members Thomas Carter of the Georgia Development Authority and Joe Durham of J. Durham & Associates for sponsoring the motor coach for the tour. See pictures of the tour on our photo album here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.



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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. 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, American 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 and summary of retirement readiness for participants in the Trust, this meeting included a budget review and approval of fee schedules for 2023. We are happy to report a reduction in fourth quarter 2022 participant-paid fees and a significant price reduction from American Trust for our investment management fees beginning this quarter and going forward into 2023. More details will be sent to member plans in the Trust in the coming weeks. With assets more than $225 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. We’d also like to recognize and thank Ogden Persons for his longtime service to GBARS as a board member. Today was Persons’ final board meeting as he recently retired upon the closure of Persons Banking Company’s acquisition by Robins Financial Credit Union that was effective Nov. 1. 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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Georgia Community Reinvestment Fund Gets $30 Million in New Market Tax Credits

A new community-focused lending organization in Georgia got a big boost last week with $30 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution Fund. This is the first NMTC award to fund a statewide program in Georgia history. The Georgia Community Reinvestment Fund, an affiliate of CSRA Business Lending, is a non-profit that is a collaborative effort between CSRA Business Lending, the state’s top economic development agencies, community leaders, as well as some of Georgia’s largest community banks, to bring more New Markets Tax Credit investments into severely distressed low-income communities in rural and smaller metro areas of Georgia. The goal of GCRF is to use these tax credits to invest in transformational projects in areas of the state outside of Atlanta that have historically not had access to NMTC’s to spur economic revitalization, create business expansion and high-quality job creation and provide vital community facilities and services. “This would not have been possible without the support and collaborative effort of so many state agencies, trade associations, banks and economic development organizations in Georgia coming together to assist us over the past three years with this effort. It is obvious there is a shared commitment to try and do more for low-income communities in Georgia, especially rural Georgia,” said Randy Griffin, president and CEO of both CSRA Business Lending and the new Georgia Community Reinvestment Fund. For more details, visit the GCRF website here.


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GBA Member Profile

How to Ride Out the Low Times and Enjoy the Good Times with Andy Borrmann

When he’s not on the job at the bank, you can find Colony Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Andy Borrmann training for endurance sports, including triathlons; he just completed his second Ironman race in September. Competing in these sporting events has affected Borrmann’s outlook on his banking career and life. “In a 13-hour race, there are moments when you want to quit, but you’ve got to get through those 15 minutes. It’s more about learning how to ride out the low times than enjoying the good times,” Borrmann said. A member of the GBA Asset/Liability Management Committee, Borrmann shares his bank management philosophy (“You’re taking risks you can’t undo, so you want to be able to stand by them”), how the bank stayed nimble during the pandemic and what keeps him busy in the latest GBA Member Profile.


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Members Recognized among Top State Leaders

Bankers are community leaders as much as they are business leaders for their own organizations. Georgia Trend Magazine has honored quite a few member bankers among its annual list of 500 Most Influential Georgian’s. Congratulations to the following leaders for being recognized for their contributions to our state. Kevin Blair, Synovus; Cynthia Day, Citizens Trust Bank; Mike Donnelly, Wells Fargo; Bill Easterlin, Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co.; Jim Edwards, United Bank; Robert James, Carver State Bank; Randy Koporc, Fifth Third Bank; Bill Linginfelter, Regions Bank; Eddie Meyers, PNC Bank; Bartow Morgan, Georgia Banking Company; Palmer Proctor, Ameris Bank; Katie Saez, Truist Bank; Richard Slaton, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Doug Williams, SouthState Bank. Find the full list and profiles here.


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CFPB Proposes Rule about Personal Data Sharing

Last week the CFPB released a proposed rule that would require banks to provide a customer’s account history to a new financial provider at the customer’s request. The rule would implement a section of the Dodd-Frank Act, which also directs the agency to promote the development of standardized formats for information made available to consumers. GBA and other industry groups fully support consumers’ ability to access and share their financial data in a secure, transparent manner that gives them control. The main concern we have with this is that if the other provider isn’t a bank, it should be held to the same data security and protection standards and supervision as banks. Read more about the rule and how to submit a comment here. Comments are due no later than Jan. 25. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.520.2026, or Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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Mobile Apps Top Consumer Preference for Banking

For the third straight year, mobile banking apps were cited as the most popular choice for most consumers when banking. The updated survey of consumer banking preferences by the ABA shows that 45% of bank customers like mobile apps best, with 27% preferring laptop or PC banking. Branch banking actually increased as a choice, from 10% to 14%, and ATM and telephone banking declined. Read the full results here.



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Crime and Punishment

Macon Man Pleads Guilty in Ag Loan Fraud Scheme

We’re not quite sure why the Department of Justice press release classified this as a possible fraud against a community bank, but we’re happy to pass on the news of a bad guy getting justice for loan fraud. On Oct. 27, Garland Stephens, 66, of Macon, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud AgGeorgia Farm Credit. Stephens faces a maximum of 30 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release and a $1,000,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2023. According to court documents, Stephens was recruited in 2018 by co-conspirator William Spigener, III, 34, of Columbus—an AgGeorgia loan officer at the time—to pretend to be a borrower in order to obtain fraudulent loans from AgGeorgia. Spigener enlisted Stephens and other straw borrowers, and in exchange for using their personal identifying information and appearing at loan closings, he would give them a portion of the loan proceeds, collecting the majority of the money himself. Read all the details here.


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Discounted Credit Conference Hotel, Registration Pricing Ends Nov. 16

Register now for the GBA Credit Conference coming up Dec. 1-2. Early-bird registration prices end Nov. 16, and the deadline for GBA-negotiated hotel room rates end Nov. 8. The conference agenda is timely, as always. With higher interest rates in play, now’s the time to gather with peers to discuss best practices and get the latest market intelligence. Kennesaw State University’s Roger Tutterow will give an economic update and John Hunt of MarketNsight will give a housing update. We’ll have a regulator panel with representatives from the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, the FDIC, OCC and Federal Reserve. The second day will feature an ag update from state senator and seventh-generation farmer Tyler Harper as well as an all-star economic development panel and a peer roundtable. Platinum Sponsor: Steve H. Powell & Company; Silver Sponsors: Carr, Riggs & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors, CSRA Business Lending, Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, Point to Point Environmental, Inc., Qualtik, ServisFirst Bank and Wipfli LLP. Get details and register here. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


Tutterow Hunt Harper


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Two Lending Seminars with Fan-Favorite Speaker Coming Up

Mike Allen, a high-demand speaker and member of the Georgia Banking School Board of Directors and faculty, will present two popular lending seminars this fall at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. Click the links below for more information and to register.

  • Nov. 16: Business Cash Flow Analysis
    An introduction and practical approach to business cash flow analysis, this seminar is designed for small business lenders, commercial lenders, and credit analysts/underwriters. This seminar will assist those bankers who originate and underwrite small business and commercial loans by providing a framework of how to approach the technical and non-technical components to analysis, develop an understanding of what the key points of interest are relative to various requests, and ultimately determine a borrower's capacity to repay your loan. Get all the details and register here.


  • Dec. 8: Loan Documentation
    Prevention of loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques is the objective of this seminar. Topics covered will include background and review, identifying the borrower and collateral, evidencing the debt, attaching and perfecting the collateral, real estate specifics, residential construction lending and guarantees. Get all the details and register here.

Questions? Contact GBA's Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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GBA Retirement Services Annual 401(k) Training Seminar

The dates for the GBA Retirement Services Annual 401(k) Training Seminar are Dec 6 in Atlanta and Dec. 7 in Macon. HR administrators of banks in the Trust may attend either session at no cost to you! We will cover plan administration, website demos, testing review, compliance updates, overview of investments, new financial wellness tools, and fee reductions for 2023. Is your plan not a part of our Master Trust? We invite you to also come and learn more about our services. Give us a call to find out how our program is helping thousands of Georgia Bankers be fully prepared for retirement. We promise you won’t be disappointed. Have questions? Contact Mandy Richards at 404.420.2025 for more information. Please click here to register for Atlanta or Macon.


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Internal Audit Seminar - Dec. 9, Macon

On Dec. 9 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Crowe LLP Senior Manager Darren Shuster and Internal Audit, Fraud Prevention Consultant Mike Thomas will host GBA’s Internal Audit seminar. This seminar will be a practical, "hands-on" discussion of effective practices in auditing that will cover the following topics: auditing the lending function, auditing mortgage banking functions and recent trends in financial institution fraud. Register here to secure your spot. With questions, contact GBA’s Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Shuster Thomas


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Registration Now Open! Legislative and Economic Forum & Reception

Join the GBA Board of DirectorsPublic Affairs Committee and BankPAC Board on Wednesday, Jan. 11, as they host GBA’s annual Legislative and Economic Forum, followed by GBA’s annual Legislative Reception honoring members of the General Assembly, Constitutional Officers, statewide Judiciary and other dignitaries. Any member bankers, Associate Members or Bank Counsel Section members with management, finance, business development or government relations-related responsibilities or interests are invited to attend. The forum will be from 3-6 p.m., followed by the reception from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Downtown. We’re still building the full forum agenda, but we’ve confirmed University of West Georgia Richards College of Business Economics Chair and Professor William. J. “Joey” Smith to give us an economic update. Smith is also a popular instructor on economics for the Georgia Banking School each year. Click here for all the details and to reserve your spot. We have reserved a block of rooms at The Starling Atlanta Midtown Hotel (Curio Collection by Hilton) for Wed. night, Jan. 11 for $189/nt plus taxes and fees. Reservations may be made by calling 1-800-HILTONS (1-800-445-8667) or through GBA’s custom reservations link. When calling be sure to identify yourself as a member of the GBA Legislative Forum block. Event sponsorships are also available. Click here for that info. Thanks to our event sponsor, ServisFirst Bank! Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


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The DeSoto

2023 Operations and Technology Conference - Feb. 8-10, Savannah

GBA’s Operations and Technology Conference, Georgia’s flagship multi-day conference for bank operations and technology professionals planned by the GBA Operations & Technology Committee, covers the full spectrum of tech trends and operational issues including payments, vendor management, cybersecurity, innovation, fintech partnerships and more. The event 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. Speakers/sessions confirmed so far include:

  • Keynote Speaker – Andre’ Kennebrew, Chick-fil-A

  • Kim Kirk, Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.  – ABA Core Platforms Committee Update

IT officers, operations officers and anyone working in IT, technology and/or operations at the bank will benefit from attending. Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact GBA’s Alison Moreau.


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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 currently 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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The IRA Merry-Go-Round Seminar, IRA Basic and Advanced Issues - Feb. 7-8, Macon

There are too many issues and too many potential pitfalls financial institutions will experience if they don’t have a working knowledge of recent IRA changes. Forms have been changed, IRA software was most likely updated and most of the new rules have gone through several interpretations. Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp is back with her intensive, two-day seminar Feb. 7-8, 2023, at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, that will help you pull it all together. The IRA Basic class on Day 1 will cover the old rules and the new changes because most of the IRA rules prior to 1/1/2020 are “grandfathered”. Konarik will go over her totally updated IRA “Red Book” Training manual, which has lots of cheat sheets to show you the before and after. In the IRA Advanced Day 2, she will summarize the changes and then actually get into the nitty gritty of new distribution regulations to owners and beneficiaries. Get all the details and register here.


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Enroll Now in 2023 Georgia Banking School, April 30 - May 5

Online enrollment is open for the 2023 session of the Georgia Banking School, which will be April 30 - May 5 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens. For more than 60 years, the school has developed generations of Georgia bank leaders who shape the industry in our state. It offers everything you want and expect from an investment in banker education, specifically preparing the next generation of bank leaders, building the pool of management-level talent in your bank, and connecting students to the most knowledgeable industry experts and a community of fellow bankers. The Georgia Banking School Board, led by Darron Burnette of Synovus, has been hard at work reviewing the curriculum and planning next year’s session. So, with budget season approaching, here are some action items to consider:

  • CEO action – Identify emerging talent and allocate budget so you can have a representative at each school

  • HR officer action – Take a look at specific development plans to identify candidates

  • Alumni action – Recruit your teammates or colleagues at other banks by sharing how the programs helped your career

  • Banker action – Enroll early as there is a limit on the number of first-year students we can have.

Georgia Banking School details and enrollment access here.


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Also Open: GBA Compliance School Enrollment – Year 1: Building the Base, April 30 - May 5

Compliance School – Year 1: Building the Base registration is open. The school will take place in Athens, from April 30 -
May 5. Year 1 of the GBA Compliance School examines the fundamentals required to ensure a solid compliance management program. Whether you’re new to bank compliance or have been in the profession for years, this training will allow you to examine your program to make sure there are no cracks in the compliance monitoring foundation. Just as with your home, routine maintenance is needed to ensure the structure can weather even the fiercest of storms. Compliance officers as well as anyone who has compliance responsibilities as a component of their job (loan compliance, deposit compliance, operational compliance, BSA compliance). The school will equip them with the knowledge necessary to evolve their skill so they can add value to their institution. Click here to learn more and register.


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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 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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Compliance Alliance Question of the Week


Question: We had a borrower who selected that they did not wish to provide information regarding their gender, but a gender was also selected. Recollection tells us, if someone selects “I do not wish to provide the information,” and selects a gender, then the gender selection should be placed on the HMDA LAR. Is that correct?


Answer: Per Appendix B of HMDA, in these situations you would report what was provided by the applicant even though they also checked the do not wish to provide box. Any time an applicant selects the “I do not wish to provide this information” box but still inputs demographic information then the information that they did input, whether it is partial or complete, is reported." If an applicant provides partial or complete information on ethnicity, race, and sex and also checks the “I do not wish to provide this information” box on an application that is taken by mail or on the internet, or makes that selection when applying by telephone, you must report the information on ethnicity, race, and sex that was provided by the applicant." Read more here.


Remember, you always have access to upcoming hot-topic news on consumer and regulatory compliance updates on the Compliance Alliance News Page. Click the following link to Bookmark the News.


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BSA Critical Issues, Succession Planning Tips, Overdraft Hotspots 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.


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:


Griffin - First National Bank of Griffin

Bank employees recently completed a successful United Way campaign. The bank donated over $18,000 to the Griffin-Spalding County United Way to use in 2023. Bank team members Maria Peek, Angela Griffin and Laural Cobb led the campaign this year.


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GBA Newsmakers


Atlanta - Coastal States Bank

Cory Burdette has joined the bank as the senior vice president for the bank’s newly created Financial Institutions Group. Read more here.


Cartersville - Century Bank of Georgia

The bank announced several promotions this week. Carissa Aiken has been promoted to banking officer and branch manager. Nathan Bagwell has been promoted to banking officer and branch manager. Laurel Ferguson has been promoted to assistant vice president and deposit operations manager. Tamara Knight has been promoted to vice president, ITO and BSA officer. Jay Slaughter has been promoted to senior vice president and lending officer. Read more here.


Dublin - Georgia First Bank

The bank announced its expansion into the Dublin market with its third location opening at 1303 Bellevue Avenue Nov. 7. The bank is currently looking to build a permanent location in Dublin and will operate out of the temporary Bellevue branch until that project has been completed. Read more here.


Johns Creek - American Commerce Bank

Alex Roach has joined the bank as a commercial lender in its Johns Creek branch. He’ll be specializing in general commercial credit with a special focus on Owner-Occupied and Investor commercial real estate and construction.


McDonough - Heritage Southeast Bank

David Curry has joined the bank as business development officer. He will be responsible for overseeing strategy and execution of new business development and will be based at the bank’s office in McDonough. Read more here.


Metter - Pineland Bank

Our sympathies to the family, friends and former colleagues of Lanelle Jariell, who died Oct. 29. Jariell worked at the bank for 47 years in numerous capacities, including as president. Read more here.


Rome - Greater Community Bank

Executive Vice President and Senior Lending Officer Matt Robbins has been selected to serve on the 2022-2023 BancAlliance Board of Directors. Read more here.


Sandy Springs - Signature Bank of Georgia

This week, the bank’s board of directors announced the appointment of veteran banker Charlie Brown as Chief Executive Officer and Steve Reagin as president of the bank.


Savannah - Colony Bank

Katharine Miller has joined the bank team as a mortgage loan originator in its Savannah area. Read more here.


Suwanee - Quantum National Bank

The bank recently hosted its Fall Housing Market Briefing and retirement celebration for bank Vice President Steve King, who served at the bank for more than 10 years.



Burdette Aiken Bagwell Ferguson



Knight Slaughter Roach Robbins Brown



Reagin Miller King



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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