Sept. 9, 2022 

State Banking Performance Solid

Loans, deposits and assets continue to grow at the 150 Georgia-based banks. FDIC data released this week shows that year-to-date through June 30, loans were up by 11.1% compared to the end of second quarter 2021, deposits grew by 9.6% and assets were up 8.8%. Employment was also up by 3.2%. Bank earnings gathered some momentum in the second quarter, with net income during the quarter of $488.9 million, which is a 2% increase over the second-quarter performance in 2021, and a slight increase over the previous quarter’s earnings. For the first six months of the year combined, net income was $937.7 billion, down 5.3% compared to the same six-month period in 2021. The 144 Georgia-based community banks reported similar results, with loans up 11.5%, deposits up 15.4%, assets up 13% and employment up 3.1%. Second-quarter community bank net income was up 3.8% compared to the same quarter a year ago, and down only 0.7% for the first six months of the year. Credit quality, capital and earnings ratios all remained strong. As call report data is reported in the state where the bank is headquartered, GBA’s analysis is restricted to the banks headquartered in Georgia at the end of second-quarter 2022. As of June 30, 2021, FDIC reported an additional 42 banks chartered in other states were doing business in Georgia. Those institutions reported holding an additional $230.6 billion of deposits in Georgia.



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FHLBank Atlanta 2022 Election of Directors

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta is conducting an election to fill three member directorships and one independent directorship on its board of directors. An email inviting members to cast their ballots was delivered Monday, Aug. 22, 2022. Eligible institutions in Georgia, Florida and Maryland will vote to fill the member directorship in their respective state, and eligible institutions across the bank’s footprint will vote to fill the independent directorship. All elected directors will serve four-year terms that begin on Jan. 1, 2023.


The nominees for the Georgia member directorship are, in alphabetical order:

  • Nitin Shah, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Embassy National Bank, Lawrenceville, Ga.

  • Rick Whaley, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director, Citizens Bank of Americus, Americus, Ga.

The FHLBank Atlanta board of directors has nominated the following individual for the independent directorship:

  • Kathleen C. McKinney, Senior Counsel, Public Finance, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., Greenville, S.C.


Shah Whaley McKinney


Every vote counts, and it is important your voice is heard. In addition to voting for a candidate for election to a member directorship position, please be sure to vote for the independent director candidate. An independent director nominee must receive at least 20 percent of the votes eligible to be cast to be elected. The deadline for the Bank to receive completed ballots is 5 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. If you have any questions about the 2022 director election, please contact Tina Carew, FHLB Atlanta Corporate Secretary, at 404.888.8549 or


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Slight Economic Expansion in Southeast Noted

Robust manufacturing activity, improved loan growth, strong auto demand and recovering business travel were among the highlights of economic conditions in the Federal Reserve’s Sixth District from July through mid-August. The Fed’s Beige Book said the region’s economy expanded slightly during that period. Banks also reported slower deposit growth. Read the full summary here.


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Member Profile

How Gayle Woolard’s Service Mindset is Just What the Doctors Ordered

AB&T’s Gayle Woolard got an early lesson in good customer service while in high school working her first job at a high-end gift shop. “The principles of clear communication, not making assumptions, how to be engaged and engaging with customers, attention to detail, and going back and checking everything have made a huge difference in my career,” Woolard, a member of GBA’s Women in Banking Committee, says. That led her to adopt a concierge approach in her role as a commercial lender and private banker, and in this week’s member profile she explains how that paid off in helping two particular clients who are doctors. Read that story, as well as learn about a unique hobby she picked up during Covid lockdown, in the latest GBA Member Profile here…


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Leader Updates

Seen on Wall Steet, Candidate Profile and More

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

  • Spotted on Wall Street: It was fun to recognize BankSouth CEO Harold Reynolds as was a member of a delegation of prominent Georgians gaveling the New York Stock Exchange to a close last week. The group, which included UGA Chancellor and former Gov. Sonny Perdue, UGA president Jere Morehead, Georgia Tech President Angel Cabrera, and Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy among others, was invited at the podium recognizing the two-game Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic at Mercedes Benz Stadium, the UGA-Oregon game last Saturday and the Georgia Tech-Clemson game Monday.


  • Mystery candidate? We shed a little light on the candidate, Chase Oliver, who is polling third in the race for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat. Oliver drew 2.9% in some recent polls, which is important as neither Raphael Warnock nor Herschel Walker are polling at above 50%. We shared some other polling data, as well.


  • Voter registration: The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports that 20% of those registered to vote in the upcoming general election have been added since 2020. A key factor is likely the fact that when new residents move to Georgia, they’re automatically registered to vote when they apply for their Georgia driver’s license, unless they opt-out. A map we included shows where the biggest increases in registrations have been.


  • PPP/Student Loan Forgiveness: We highlighted a podcast that featured member banker and Georgia State Rep. Will Wade of River City Bank. He was asked his thoughts about student loan forgiveness being compared to PPP borrowers getting loan forgiveness. He did a great job of pointing out that PPP was created to keep employees paid if they were working for a small business affected by government shutdowns. He talked from personal experience about the countless hours he and other bankers worked to get the loans into the hands of small businesses. The loans were made with the intention of being forgiven if the money was spent on payroll and other authorized expenses. Wade did a nice job pointing out how fallacious it is to compare the borrowers between the two programs.

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


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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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Share Your Input for Community Bank Index

We’re joining the Department of Banking and Finance in encouraging banks to chime in on the third quarter version of the 2022 Community Bank Sentiment Index. Produced by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, the index captures what community bankers nationwide think about the economic outlook of community banks. Five minutes is all it takes for you to do the survey and help make sure Georgia is well represented! You may participate through Sept. 30. Results will be published in October. Participate here.


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GBA BankPAC 2022 Campaign Update

With elections coming up soon, GBA BankPAC has been busy supporting our friends who are running for election. And, important to this effort obviously is raising the dollars to support those candidates. The GBA BankPAC Board is hoping that you will participate in this effort and have made the process as easy as possible. Here are the materials needed to assist 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:

  • BankSouth, Greensboro, Harold Reynolds, Chairman & CEO

  • Bank of America, Al McRae, Atlanta Market President

  • Heritage Southeast Bank, Jonesboro, Leonard Moreland, President & CEO

  • River City Bank, Rome, Jamie Tallent, President & CEO

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

  • Colony Bank, Fitzgerald, Heath Fountain, President & CEO

  • Community Bank & Trust, LaGrange, Bill Stump, Director of Community Banking

  • Exchange Bank, Milledgeville, John Childs, President & CEO

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

  • Great Oaks Bank, Eastman, Mike Odom, President & CEO

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

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

  • Heritage Southeast Bank, Jonesboro, Leonard Moreland, President & CEO

  • Synovus Bank, Columbus, Kevin Blair, President & CEO

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

  • Georgia Bankers Association, Atlanta, Joe Brannen, President & CEO

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Order Now!

Salary Survey Scopes out 141 Positions

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:

  • 58 Georgia institutions

  • Over 4,300 Georgia incumbents reported

  • 141 positions reported

  • 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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South Georgia Community Bank Symposium – Oct. 13

Network and Learn at Signature South Georgia Program

We’re back on campus next month for the South Georgia Community Bank Symposium Oct. 13. Bring a team of bankers to enjoy a good program, lunch and fellowship with other bankers. We’ll cover the latest in the industry and on the regulatory front with Melissa Sneed of the Department of Banking and Finance and GBA’s Joe Brannen. Valdosta State’s Dr. Cyndi Tori will share an economic update tailored to regional trends, and Dr. Karin Roland, dean of the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, will give members an update on the school’s programs and opportunities to partner. 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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Conference Countdown

Compliance, Financial Risk Management and Credit Coming up

Register now for our signature fall professional skill conferences.



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Fall Seminars

Great 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:







Jones Dasher Strickland Konarik Allen Keusal


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GBA Partner Promontory MortgagePath

Staffing Your Mortgage Department to Drive Growth

Banks today need expert staff support to successfully navigate the complexities of mortgage lending. Not only can it be difficult for community banks to find sufficient talent locally, but some staff such small mortgage departments that a single vacation or extended sick-leave can bring the entire operation to a halt. However, adding staff doesn’t necessarily have to mean adding fixed costs, and geography isn’t as much of a constraint on your ability to source top talent as it once was. Community banks around the country have partnered with Promontory MortgagePath to staff their mortgage divisions and position themselves for growth. Promontory MortgagePath’s comprehensive end-to-end mortgage solutions seasoned operations professionals function as extensions of your team, giving you the benefit of full-time mortgage and fulfillment staff without the added fixed costs. Plus, Promontory MortgagePath’ solutions are backed by an in-house team of the most highly experienced compliance professionals within the industry, who collaborate directly with your team to create a customized compliant solution rooted in your organizational values. Contact Promontory’s Sue Shaffer at, or 901.283.3034 to learn more. Read the full blog post on mortgage staffing strategy here.


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Compliance Alliance Question of the Week


Question: Would it be a requirement of any regulation for an institution to get a written cancellation request from a borrower to cancel automatic loan payments from a deposit account? We hold the Note and the account. Do we need the request to be in writing or are we required to accept a verbal request as well as written?


Answer: Preauthorized transfers are generally governed by Regulation E. Generally, under the Regulation, a preauthorized transfer may be stopped by providing the bank with either oral notice or written notice at least 3 days before the transfer is scheduled to occur. A bank is permitted to require written notice of a stop payment for preauthorized transfers, so long as this is disclosed within the account disclosure. Read more here.


In the situation where a bank holds both a loan account and a deposit account, it is important to review both your loan agreement, as well as the deposit agreement to determine whether or not any additional notice is needed to cancel preauthorized transfers. This is because while an institution may not require the payment of a loan account via preauthorized transfers, banks holding both a deposit account and a loan account are permitted to give the customer additional benefits if the customer agrees for loan payments to be paid via preauthorized transfers. 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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Cyber Attack, Money Laundering, Best-Ever Compliance Checklists, 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 - SouthState Bank

The bank is teaming up with The Grove Park Foundation and other local partners for the fourth annual Grove Park Community 5K.


Atlanta - FitnessBank, a division of Affinity Bank, FHLB Atlanta & GBA

We were glad to see FitnessBank, a division of Affinity Bank, among the members represented at the recent Kaiser Permanente Run, Walk & Roll in Piedmont Park. Pictured at the FitnessBank booth are GBA’s Bo Brannen and David Oliver with FitnessBank’s Glenn Shanholtzer and Josey Hilty.

Pictured with FHLB Atlanta's Kevin Wyckoff and his daughter, Oliver, Brannen and John Runnion.

Fitzgerald - Colony Bank

The bank recently announced that nominations have opened for the third class of its Colony Leadership Academy. Read more here.




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GBA Newsmakers


Atlanta - First Carolina Bank

Christian Cisneros recently joined the bank as a universal banker.


Atlanta - PNC Bank

Cristel Williams has been appointed vice president and director of Client and Community Relations for the bank’s Georgia market. She succeeds 14-year PNC veteran, Erica Dechicchis, who was promoted to senior vice president and market managing director for PNC Institutional Asset Management in the Georgia and North Florida markets.


Atlanta - Truist

Mike Maguire has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer effective Sept. 15. Read more here.


Atlanta - Truist (formerly SunTrust)

Retired Senior Vice President, Community and Government Affairs, Kirby Thompson has been appointed vice chancellor at Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.


Gainesville - Peach State Bank & Trust

Judy Buchanan has joined the bank as HR manager.


Lavonia - Northeast Georgia Bank

Our sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of retired bank Vice President Al Goldsmith, who died Sept. 4. Read more here.


Lawrenceville - First American Bank & Trust Company

Mike Ballenger has joined the bank team as senior vice president and commercial lender at its Lawrenceville branch. Read more here.


Milledgeville - Exchange Bank

Heather Cook has been promoted to business development officer. Read more here.


Swainsboro - Queensborough National Bank & Trust

Wes Wilkes has joined the bank as vice president, business development and loan officer in the Swainsboro market. Read more here.


Albany/Atlanta - Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC

The firm announced the appointment of 10 new firm partners effective Sept. 1, including three new partners working in its banking practice: Emily K. Dent, CPA, CRCM, CAMS (Albany); Rob Douglas, CPA (Albany); and Ashton Pellicano, CPA (Atlanta). Read more here.


Statesboro - Steve H. Powell & Company

James Moore has been promoted to senior vice president / compliance. Read more here.


Atlanta - Georgia Bankers Association Insurance Trust and GBA

We welcomed two new team members last week. Tessa Nolan is the new Chief Financial Officer for GBA Insurance Trust and Paragon Benefits, and Mary Frances Miller is GBA’s new Professional Development Administrator. Tessa comes to GBA following a successful stint as CFO for Affinity Bank and previously Newton Federal Bank. She’s also been active with GBA for several years, most recently serving on the Asset/Liability Committee and the Leadership GBA Board of Directors. Tessa’s contact information is, 404.420.2017. Mary Frances will be responsible for member data and information as well as supporting the Professional Development team as they plan programs and events. She’s a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in Sports Management. Mary Frances’ contact information is, 404.420.2010.



Cisneros Williams Dechicchis Maguire Thompson



Buchanan Goldsmith Ballenger Cook



Wilkes Moore Nolan Miller



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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