Sept. 16, 2022 

Celebrating GBA's 130th Birthday

Wednesday marked 130 years since representatives from 59 banks met on a hot September day in Macon to form the Georgia Bankers Association. At the time, Georgia was emerging as a postwar economic powerhouse, and our founders were optimistic about the state's economic future. They sought to form a common voice to advocate for a safe and sound, free and competitive banking system in order to serve their customers and communities as well as bolster our state's economic growth. All of these years later, we are proud to carry on their mission and be the resource that empowers and connects the thousands of Georgians who happen to be bankers. We are indeed stronger together, and we couldn't do it without our members. Read more about GBA's history here.


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Operations and Technology Committee Checks In

Our volunteer committee of technology and operations executives met this week in Macon. The meeting, held on GBA’s 130th birthday, was a prime example of the association continuing its legacy as a banker-led organization for the betterment of its members. Led by committee Chair Tracy Nesmith, Planters First Bank, and Vice Chair Shan Venable, Altamaha Bank & Trust Company, members of the committee discussed issues of importance to their banks, shared ideas and planned their annual conference. Some themes included ongoing challenges with check and other types of fraud as well as technology and operational efficiencies. Also of note were a variety of challenges related to talent, from attracting and retaining people to internal training and leadership development. Vendor management, digital transformation initiatives and system integration projects also are areas of focus. The committee began putting together the program for the conference, which will be Feb. 8-10 at the DeSoto Savannah hotel. Look for program information and registration to open soon. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


The GBA Ops/Tech Committee meets 130th birthday cobbler Nesmith (right) and Venable (center)
lead the meeting


Related Resource

New Videos to Help Seniors Avoid Scams

The ABA Foundation has seven new video clips you can download and share to help older customers recognize and avoid scams. Elder fraud prevention was among the topics at this week’s Operations and Technology Committee meeting, so we wanted to be sure and point to a helpful resource for members. Free for use by all GBA members regardless of ABA membership status, the videos are part of the Safe Banking for Seniors program. We encourage members to sign up for and use these helpful,  no-cost resources. Watch the videos here and find out how to download them.


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Leader Updates

How GA Stacks Up, FDIC Regional News and a Governance Resource

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

  • Georgia Bank Performance: We provided some additional insight into the recent data out from FDIC on bank performance in Georgia. In particular, we charted how Georgia bank performance in many categories bested the aggregate performance by banks nationwide.


  • FDIC Issues: We reported on some news from a regular call we have with FDIC regional staff members. There’s a new acting regional director for the Atlanta Regional Office, 32-year veteran John Vogel. He’s most recently been serving as Deputy Director of Operations/Chief of Staff, Division of Risk Management Supervision in Washington. We also shared details on the agency’s recent focus on NSF practices and commercial real estate lending concentrations.


  • Governance Resource: We passed along results of a governance best practices survey from Bank Director magazine that may be helpful in bank strategic planning discussions.

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


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South Georgia Community Bank Symposium – Oct. 13

Ag Banking Update to Close Program

We’re gearing up for South Georgia Community Bank Symposium Oct. 13, and we’re excited about the closing session, which will be an update on agribusiness banking from a couple of Georgia’s leading ag-banking pros. Todd Harrell of United National Bank, Cairo, and Adam Smith of Truist Bank in Douglas, will team up to cover a variety of trends they’re seeing in the market to help their peers work with ag customers. They'll touch on commodity crop and pricing updates, some big-picture thinking about market conditions and some positives they're seeing for banks and their customers in the ag sector. That’s in addition to the sessions covering the economy, initiatives at Valdosta State University and an industry and regulatory update. Bring a team of bankers to enjoy a good program, lunch and networking with your fellow bankers. The event is co-hosted by GBA and Valdosta State University’s Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration. Get full details and register here. With questions, contact David Oliver, 404.420.2036.


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Speak Up about FHLB’s Future

GBA joins FHLB Atlanta in encouraging members to participate in the recently announced The FHLBank System at 100: Focusing on the Future initiative. This initiative will include two public listening sessions and a series of roundtable discussions intended to evaluate the mission, membership eligibility requirements, and operational effectiveness of the Federal Home Loan Banks. FHFA will also accept written comments by mail or submission through its website. Read more about the initiative and how to participate here. Act quickly; the first listening session is Sept. 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., with a virtual attendance option for the in-person session in Washington, D.C. Written comments will close Oct. 21. Please do not hesitate to reach out to FHLBank Atlanta’s Sharon Cook, chief marketing officer, at or Sam Mahler, director of government relations, at with any questions.


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Conference Countdown

Compliance, Financial Risk Management and Credit Coming up

Register now for our signature fall professional skill conferences.

  • Compliance Conference: Oct. 19-21, Jekyll Island: Fair lending, crypto & cannabis, flood, HMDA, overdrafts, D.C. update and more. Note: There is an alternate hotel right across the street from the Westin, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Jekyll Island, 912.319.6019.



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Free Zoom Webinar with Live Q&A, Sept. 22 @ 2p.m.

Why Debit Matters - Debit and the Community Bank; Presented with Discover Debit and Colony Bank

Driven by an accelerated migration to digital payments, macro-economic trends and a love for convenience, consumers are using debit cards more than ever. Join us on Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. for an interactive look at the GBA-endorsed debit card program offered by Discover Debit. We’ll be joined by Colony Bank’s Kimberly Dockery and debit experts from Discover and the ABA as they share guidance on how to make the most of a debit program and discuss the opportunity community banks have today with Discover Debit’s proven and profitable program. Attendees will also hear about:

  • Trends affecting today’s current debit landscape

  • Growing importance of debit as a key source of revenue

  • Leveraging your debit brand to generate opportunities.

Click here to join the call on Sept. 22 @ 2 p.m.


Visit to learn more, or contact Discover’s Brian Harbin at


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Order Now!

Salary Survey Ready for Members

Our annual survey of Georgia Banking Compensation levels is available. The results can help your bank develop a comprehensive and competitive compensation package to address today’s tight labor market. This year's survey report represents:

  • 141 positions reported

  • Over 4,300 Georgia incumbents reported

  • 58 Georgia institutions

  • Policies and Practices Report with data on base salary programs and incentive plans.

The survey prices are $595 for participants and $1,275 for non-participants. please contact Rhonda Snyder at for details and to order a report.


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Place your order by Sept. 30!

Make Plans Now to Use GBA’s Holiday Closing Decals in 2023

We’ve recently connected with the banks on our standing order list for Holiday Closing Decals to confirm each order. If you need to check the quantity or status on your bank’s order or if you want to place a new order, please contact Bo Brannen at, or 404.420.2014. For over 30 years, the GBA has been the preferred source for banks to purchase top-quality, thoughtfully designed window and door decals that provide a professional appearance and communicate the federal holiday closings recognized by the Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with FDIC rules. The decals can brighten up your bank's front door or teller window with a variety of holiday-themed scenes. Each set includes 12 unique decals, including a blank decal that can be used for inclement weather closings, etc.


GBA Holiday Closing Decals feature:

  • A unique decal for each holiday

  • Large 6"x 9" size to maximize visibility

  • No messy adhesive for easy removal and reapplication

  • All-weather durability

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Social Security Account Outreach Materials

We’ve been asked to again share with members some good outreach materials to help you guide customers to important Social Security information. The materials help people understand and set up a free and secure my Social Security account to request a replacement Social Security card, check the status of an application, estimate future benefits, or manage the benefits they already receive.


The outreach materials include:

  • Sample email messages to share with your clients

  • Articles you can post in your blog or newsletter

  • Social media posts

  • Videos and posters.

Access the outreach materials here.


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Fall Seminars

Retail, IT Security and Lending Programs Coming Up

Register yourself of make sure key teammates participate in GBA’s fall 2022 schedule of seminars. Programs cover a range of retail, IT security and lending topics. See below:






Dasher Strickland Konarik Keusal Allen


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Compliance Alliance Question of the Week


Question: When an institution changes their privacy notice to cease sharing nonpublic personal information with nonaffiliates, does this trigger a mailing to all customers? 


Answer: No, this will not trigger a revised privacy notice. A revised notice is required when you want to disclose any nonpublic personal information about a consumer to a nonaffiliated third party in a way that was not described in the initial privacy notice. If you make a decision to change your sharing in a way that limits what you share then a revised notice is not necessary. There is a belief in the industry that every change to your privacy policies will trigger a revised notice but a notice is only prompted by a sharing of nonpublic personal information that is outside the boundaries of what was previously disclosed. Read more here.


Click to read more of the Compliance Alliance September Newsletter.


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September Updates from GBAIT Wellness Partner

We've reached September, and that means cold and flu season is right around the corner. There is no better time for members of the GBA Insurance Trust (GBAIT) to remind themselves of all that Wellview TeleMedicine can do, with 24/7 access to doctors over-the-phone for diagnosis, treatment and even medications. Check out for more information.


Additionally, GBAIT members were recently sent an email announcement about the new Wellview mobile app. The free app provides easy access to your health resources and Wellview Care Team, when and where you need it. Members can use the app to schedule and manage Wellview appointments, stay in-the-know with easy access to your latest health summary as well as the goals and action steps that you’ve set with your Wellview Health Advisor, and easily chat with the Wellview Care Team. Check out this flyer with links to download.


GBA Insurance Trust provides health insurance and wellness plans for 182 member companies and more than 18,000 members and their families. Contact Lee Monroe and Jayn Lawson for information.



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How to Combat the Challenges of Working and Managing Remotely

Remote and hybrid teams are challenged with learning new best practices while working from home, such as proper time management and productivity. Other challenges managers and their teams need to overcome include engaging remote teams and setting expectations. Check out this recent blog post from OnCourse Learning discussing ways to combat these challenges. In addition, the Remote Management: An OnDemand Webinar Series is a good resource for managing teams remotely.


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Money Laundering Red Flags, Troubled Debt Restructuring, Cyber Crimes 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:


Cordele - Planters First Bank

The bank bought items to help stock the Cody Cougar Store at Crisp County Primary School with funds raised during its Community Fundraising initiatives. Pictured from left are: Tim Powers, Monica Warren (CCPS Principal), Robin Bratcher and Daisy Guarchaj.

Greenville, SC - United Community Bank

In observance of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, bank employees honored 9/11 victims and heroes with acts of service in communities across the bank’s five-state footprint. In addition to the acts of service, the United Community Bank Foundation will be making a total of $25,000 in donations to local organizations that support first responders. Local activities and donations in Georgia include donating to Trails for Recreation and Economic Development of Rome/Floyd, Georgia, Firefighters Burn Foundation, Blairsville Shop with a Cop, Cobb County Public Safety Foundation, Glynn County Volunteer Firefighters, and Hall County Law Enforcement Foundation Fund; hosting lunch for first responders in Blue Ridge and Blairsville; and delivering lunch to police and fire departments in Pickens, Glynn and Brunswick counties.


Washington - F&M Bank

The bank recently held a successful 2022 school supply drive with donations from customers and employees.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

The bank recently sponsored the 2022 Hog Mountain Bowl, a local county rivalry football game, to support the teams’ athletic departments.



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GBA Newsmakers


Albany - Flint Community Bank

Bank President Frank Griffin was featured on WALB-TV in Albany this week discussing rising interest rates and banking conditions in south Georgia.


Dublin - Bank of Dudley

With 50 years of experience in the Laurens County banking community, bank Senior Vice President and Lender Clift Crews announced he will retire effective Dec. 31. To celebrate his 50 years of service with Bank of Dudley as well as the bank’s 117th birthday, the community and his friends are invited to attend “Clift Crews Day” Friday, Oct. 14, at its downtown Dublin branch. This event will feature snacks and socializing from 3:30-6 p.m., with Crews addressing the crowd at 5:30 p.m. A formal retirement reception will be held on Thursday, Dec. 1, at the downtown Dublin branch from 5:30-7 p.m. for Crews’ customers, family, friends and co/workers.


Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Megan Ballew has joined the bank team as branch manager and universal banker.


Fitzgerald - Colony Bancorp

The bank recently announced organizational changes. Eddie Hoyle, executive vice president and Chief Banking Officer, intends to retire on Dec. 31 after 11 years of service to Colony and 44 years in the banking industry. In connection with this, the company will separate Heath Fountain’s roles as president and CEO, and combine Hoyle’s responsibilities under the position of president. D. Copeland, who currently serves as special advisor to the company, has been named president of the company and the bank. Fountain will remain CEO, primarily focusing on the execution of the bank’s strategic plan and acting as the primary liaison between management and the Board of Directors. Additionally, it was announced that Kimberly Dockery, currently executive vice president and Chief Administrative Officer, will transition into the newly created role of Chief of Staff. Read more here.


Watkinsville - Oconee State Bank

Joe Godfrey has recently been promoted to senior vice president for the bank’s Gwinnett market.



Griffin Crews Ballew Hoyle



Fountain Copeland Dockery Godfrey



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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