Aug. 11, 2023  

Women in Banking Conference Underway

The signature event in Georgia focused on leadership and development for women bankers kicked off Thursday. We’re excited to be hosting a huge crowd for the two-day GBA Women in Banking Conference. Here are some quick pics of Thursday’s action. We’ll do a full debrief in next week’s issue.



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GBA, Others Urge Chopra to Extend 1071 Delay to All Banks

We joined state bankers associations nationwide this week in requesting that CFPB extend to all FDIC insured banks the delay in implementing its small business data collection rule ordered by a court for members of the Texas Bankers Association and the American Bankers Association. Read the letter here.


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Georgia Peanut Bank Week – Oct. 16-20

Deadline to Order Red-Bag Georgia Peanuts is Today!

We hope you will plan to join banks all across the state the week of Oct. 16-20 by celebrating Georgia’s 4,000 peanut farm families and their support of Georgia’s state and local economies. Today is the deadline to order the red-bag Georgia Peanuts that always make Georgia Peanut Bank Week so popular in your branches. Don’t wait any longer to get your order to our friends at the Georgia Peanut Commission. Download the order form here. With questions, contact Maddie Frost, Peanut Bank Week Coordinator, at or 229.326.0141.


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Compliance School Board Plans 2024 Session

All the details for next year’s GBA Compliance School session are coming into focus. The Compliance School Board met last week to set the curriculum for the 2024 session, which will be the Year 2 – Strategic Compliance Management material. The board, chaired by United Bank’s Thomas Williams, reviewed every course, instructor and schedule to make sure the key content is up to date and of the highest quality. The board also welcomed three new members to their first school planning meeting. They are Debbie Greenway of Pinnacle Bank, Angela Woodard of Planters First Bank and James Moore of Steve H. Powell & Company. The 2024 session will be April 28-May 3 in Athens. See more details about the school here.


Debbie Greenway Angela Woodard James Moore


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Leader Updates

Jobs, Stolen Vehicles, Retirement Readiness

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

  • Jobs: We shared stats on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics Jobs report. The 187,000 new jobs reported were just slightly higher than the 185,000 jobs created in June.


  • Stolen Vehicles: Ford pickup trucks of the 2006 vintage are the most stolen vehicles in Georgia, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). We shared other details.


  • 1071 Delay: We shared additional background information about the court injunction delaying implementation of the CFPB’s small business data collection rule for many banks.


  • Retirement Readiness: We shared details about participation in 401(k) plans provided by GBA Retirement Services. The focus for the plans is to have participants prepared by saving to ensure retirement income at 70% of their final salary. There’s good news on this front, as 64% of those participating are projected to meet that target. That’s well above the national average of 25% being able to retire at that level of income.

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


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Dave DiFazio

Last Call! Raise Your Business Checking Game, Aug. 11 @ 2 p.m.

Free Webinar with Dave DiFazio from GBA Partner StrategyCorps

Community banks are very attractive partners for small business customers, but they need more from their checking accounts to create a rewarding primary relationship. We loved hearing from Dave DiFazio with GBA partner StrategyCorps earlier this summer at the GBA Annual Meeting about the apps and tools leading the way in digital banking. Dave is back this month for a free webinar to educate members about creating the kind of business checking account that will drive more valuable primary relationships to your bank. Please join us on Aug. 11 @ 2 p.m. to learn more about how to revitalize your bank’s business checking before the end of the year. Sign up for the webinar here.


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President/CEO, Bank Accountant, and Bank Counsel Conferences

Rooms Added to Block for Annual Tri-Conferences – Reserve Today!

We’ve got great news! Rooms have been added to the GBA room block at the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District for the GBA President/CEO, Bank Accountant, Bank Counsel Conferences, Sept. 24-26. If your bank or firm isn’t represented, click here to register and for hotel reservation info. Click here to see a detailed agenda. The President/CEO Conference is planned and hosted by the GBA Community Bankers Committee. It features general sessions relevant for attendees of all three conferences. The Bank Accountant and Bank Counsel Conferences are planned and hosted by the GBA Bank Accountants Section Board and the Bank Counsel Section Board, respectively. Each agenda has sessions tailored to address the unique needs of those peers. And a big shout-out to our generous event sponsors: American Bankers Association; Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors; EBS; Elliott Davis; FHLBank Atlanta; Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP; FNBB; James-Bates-Brannan-Groover-LLP; Mauldin & Jenkins; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co.; Nichols Cauley; Servis 1st Bank, Correspondent Bank Division; Symphona; Troutman Pepper; and Warren Averett, CPAs and Advisors. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions about the conferences or sponsorship.


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2023 Georgia Bank Compensation Survey Report Arrives Next Week

The 2023 Georgia Bank Compensation Survey reports will be available for members to order next week. We appreciate the participation of 61 GBA members in this year’s survey, which helped us develop a valuable resource to help banks develop a comprehensive and competitive compensation program. Don’t wait to get your bank’s order in process soon. Contact Rhonda Snyder at or 984.258.2409 to order your copy. The price for survey participants is $595. For non-participants, the price is $1,475.


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2023 BankPAC Campaign Update

The 2023 BankPAC Campaign continues to make great progress and we hope that you will participate in this key element of GBA’s advocacy efforts. You can find the campaign materials on GBA’s website where you can easily download contribution forms for the GBA StatePAC and FedPAC and find a link to make an individual contribution online to the FedPAC. Members of the GBA BankPAC Board are currently making calls to encourage your participation. With questions, please call GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler at 404.372.7893 or Bo Brannen at 404.731.9886.


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Georgia BankPAC Golf Classic

Tee Up to Support the GBA StatePAC!

Our 2023 Georgia BankPAC Golf Classic is a great way to entertain customers, prospects or team members, and all proceeds go to the GBA StatePAC*. Here's what you need to know about this fun event, which is sponsored by the Leadership GBA Board of Directors:

  • The event will be Oct. 18 at the River Forest Club in Forsyth

  • Golfers of all abilities are welcome

  • Individual Golfer tickets are $190, Two-Person Team tickets are $305, and the best deal is a Two-Person Team with Golf Hole Sponsorship tickets are $530.

  • You don’t have to set your team until closer to the event

  • Additional sponsorships are available for $280 and up

  • If you're not a golfer you can still come and enjoy the day by sponsoring a hole or volunteering.

Click here for more details and to register. Contact Kathy Friestad with questions.


* The GBA StatePAC contributes only to candidates running for state-level offices such as the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor’s office and the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Contributions can be made from an individual, from bank funds if you are a state-chartered bank or from a national bank holding company if the contribution is made from funds other than those resulting from the operations of the national bank.


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Attention GBA Associate Members

2024 Sponsor and Exhibitor Kit is Ready

This week we’ve published our guide to sponsoring and exhibiting at all 2024 GBA events. As you and your team plan your company’s marketing and event budget for 2024, we invite and encourage you to go ahead and confirm your participation in all the GBA events important to your company.


What GBA events can my company get involved in?

  • Annual Signature Events: Annual Meeting, President/CEO, Bank Counsel and Bank Accountants Conferences; Leadership Conference; and Legislative Forum & Reception

  • Annual Professional Development Conferences: Compliance; Financial Risk Management; Credit; Operations/Technology; HR; Marketing; Security; Rural Development & Lending; and Women in Banking

  • Annual Schools: Georgia Banking School, GBA Compliance School and The BSA Summit

  • Seminars: Various

Access the 2024 Sponsorship and Exhibit Kit Here


We’re happy to help you map out a full strategy for the year. Email GBA’s Kathy Friestad,, to request a call or meeting.


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Free Webinar from GBA Partner JMFA

Overdraft Litigation: Evaluating Your Risk Factors – Aug. 23 @ 3 p.m. EST

The threat of litigation can make compliance, competition and profitability a challenge. Class-action suits related to overdraft practices are being filed against banks of all sizes. Whether you already made changes to your program or decided to take a wait-and-see approach, we are inviting you to join Cheryl Lawson, EVP of Compliance Review for GBA partner JMFA on Aug. 23 for an important update. Sign up to learn more about:

  • The fundamental basis for most overdraft litigation, with examples

  • Key areas in your program to evaluate and review

  • The impact of your disclosures and staff training.

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Andy Keusal

Lender Training – Don’t Miss Out!

Commercial Lending 201: Analyzing Repayment Sources - Sept. 7, Zoom

Registration is open for the Commercial Lending 201: Analyzing Repayment Sources virtual course coming up Sept. 7. Presented by Andy Keusal, Keusal Learning, this nine-module online course is a “sequel” to the Fundamentals of Commercial Lending 101 course from earlier this year and is best taken after completion of that course, though it is not a prerequisite. The 201 course includes a case study and dives deeper into topics covered in modules 4, 6, and 8 of the 101 course that covered analyzing a borrower’s balance sheet, income statement, collateral, and risk ratings. This online course will be held by Zoom on Thursday, Sept. 7 from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. EDT. The recording will be available to registered participants for one month after the live training. Register for the 201 course here. Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau with questions about the online course.


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Space is filling up!

Opening New Accounts Seminar - Sept. 12, MGSU, Macon

Don’t miss your chance to learn from the pro! Customized to Georgia Law, Suzie Jones of Training Resources Consulting will a focus on documentation and compliance during this full-day seminar. Attendees can expect to learn essential new account opening procedures, best practices, and compliance requirements. Suzie will answer complex questions asked by customers and staff while focusing on vital information for every new account type. Learn more and register here.


New Speaker, Fresh Content!

Business Cash Flow Analysis Seminar - Sept. 19, MGSU, Macon

Join Peter Faser of Truist Securities, a faculty member of the Georgia Banking School, for an introduction and practical approach to business cash flow analysis. A highlight of the seminar is new and fresh casework to get the hands-on analysis needed to determine a borrower’s capacity to repay a loan. Learn more and register here.


Attention Loan Personnel

Loan Documentation Seminar - Sept. 20, MGSU, Macon

Shannon Fortson, EVP, Chief Credit Officer of Pinnacle Bank, is the new leader for our Loan Documentation Seminar. He'll cover how proper loan structuring and documentation techniques. Connect with peers and walk away with all the best tips and tools. Commercial loan officers, commercial loan personnel, loan assistants and closing specialists will benefit from this program. Learn more and register here.


Suzie Jones Peter Faser Shannon Fortson


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Lon Langston

Compliance Conference and HMDA Workshop - Oct 18-20, Jekyll Island

Compliance Leadership Session with Lon Langston

Ever feel defeated in your role as a compliance professional? You’re there to help, but where do you begin leading bankers to comply with compliance? They think you’re the enemy, when really you’re trying to keep the bank safe. In this session, Lon Langston, founder of Engaged Banker eXperience, will give Compliance Conference attendees proven methods from behavioral science to persuade, influence and lead everyone in the bank to cooperate. His session will help compliance pros get executives, objectors and agitators to willingly do what you need them to do as well as increase their effectiveness and enjoyment of work. Led by led by Chair Tabitha White, First State Bank of Blakley, and Vice Chair Lindsay Holloway, The Four County Bank, GBA’s Compliance Committee invites you to attend this annual conference for compliance professionals Oct. 18-20 at the Westin, Jekyll Island.


Thank you to these GBA Associate Members who are showing their support through sponsorship:

  • Platinum Sponsors: American Bankers Association and Steve H. Powell & Company

  • Silver Sponsors: Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors, Compliance Alliance, Mauldin & Jenkins, Ncontracts and Troutman Pepper.

Click here to register. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Terri Luttrell

Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 2-3

The True Cost of Fraud Session Set

We’ve got a unique look at the issue of fraud planned for this year’s 2023 Financial Risk Management Conference, Nov. 2-3 at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta. Terri Luttrell of GBA Strategic Partner Abrigo will lead a session providing a comprehensive understanding of various types of fraud affecting community banks, actionable steps to mitigate their impact and the importance of collaboration among industry peers and law enforcement partners. This is one of many outstanding sessions featured during the conference, which is hosted annually by GBA’s Asset/Liability Management Committee.


Get all the details and register here. We’d like to thank these Associate Members who are showing their support:

  • Gold sponsorship: Brean Capital LLC

  • Silver sponsorship: Carr Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors; FHLBank Atlanta; ServisFirst Bank and Wiplfi LLP.

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Will Bentley

Credit Conference - coming up Nov. 30 - Dec. 1

Agribusiness Update Added to Conference Lineup

The GBA Credit Committee, under the leadership of Michael Tesler, Ameris Bank, and Vice Chair Rebecca Abraham, Signature Bank of Georgia, has been working hard to finalize the agenda for the 2023 Credit Conference at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta. Will Bentley, president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council has been added to the lineup of speakers. Other sessions include:

  • Economic Update - Roger Tutterow, Henssler Financial Endowed Chair, professor of economics, Kennesaw State University

  • CRE - Cal Evans, senior director, Investor Relations & Market Intelligence, Synovus

  • Roundtable Discussion

  • Regulatory Update - Kevin Hagler, commissioner, Department of Banking and Finance, and Joe Brannen, president and CEO, Georgia Bankers Association

  • Dev Strischek, Principle, Devon Risk Advisory Group, LLC

We’d like to thank these Associate Members who are showing their support through sponsorship

  • Platinum Sponsor: Steve H. Powell & Company

  • Silver Sponsors: CRI - Carr Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors; CSRA Business Lending; Mauldin & Jenkins; Point to Point Environmental; and Wiplfi LLP.

Get all the details and register here.


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Compliance Alliance Question of The Week


Question: If we have a first lien HELOC, can we force place flood insurance?


Answer: HELOCs are subject to flood insurance requirements, including force placement. HELOCs are not subject to the flood insurance escrow requirements, but there is no similar exception from the flood insurance force placement requirements.


"In addition, the escrow requirement does not apply to the following types of loans: ... Home equity lines of credit." - Flood Insurance Exam Manual, p. 6.6-6.7


Subscribe to Compliance Alliance's email newsletters for timely compliance updates and resources. Sign up for one of the live Compliance Alliance demos on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to learn more.

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Trust and Wealth Management Conference Opportunity

GBA members are eligible to participate at member rates to attend the Florida Bankers Association’s 64th Annual Trust and Wealth Management Conference coming up in September. To access this special opportunity, all you need to do is contact FBA’s Sheri Sanderson, at She can manually register you at the member rate and either take a credit card payment by phone or send an invoice for payment. Full details on the Trust & Wealth event can be found below.

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BSA Summit, Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, Peachtree City

Registration is now open for GBA’s BSA Summit in Peachtree City at the Hilton Conference Center, Jan. 29 - Feb. 1. Facilitated by Kristen Stogniew of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund, attendees can expect a deep dive into the world of BSA compliance through a variety of sessions. Register here and secure your spot! Contact Aimee Corcoran with questions, 404.420.2035.


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Save the Date!



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Beneficial Ownership Changes, Reg CC, Consumer Loan Compliance Checklists and More

Here’s a sampling of upcoming webinars.

Want to see the full webinar schedule? Check out our webinar calendar for a full list of upcoming webinars.


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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:


Dublin - Morris Bank

As a participant in the Georgia HEART Hospital Program, the bank donated $250,000 to local hospitals in middle Georgia, including Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin and Dodge County Hospital. Read more here.



Gainesville - Pinnacle Bank

Bank team members recently volunteered for the Gainesville Meals on Wheels program delivering hot meals during the week for seniors in the area.


Perry/Hawkinsville - SunMark Community Bank

The bank recently sponsored the Hawkinsville-Pulaski County Chamber and Perry Area Chamber of Commerce’s joint Business After Hours event.


Rome - River City Bank

Bank team members stocked shelves, welcomed families, and packed Backpack Buddies for the upcoming back-to-school season at Northwest Georgia Hunger Ministries. The bank also donated $1,000 to the organization that will help purchase 10,000 pounds of food or 5,000 meals.


Savannah - BankSouth

The bank recently sponsored the Savannah Downtown Business Association golf tournament.


Soperton - Georgia First Bank

The bank provided 1200 chicken biscuits and 50 large pizzas to 17 schools across four counties last week for teachers pre-planning their school year’s curriculum.



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GBA Newsmakers


Atlanta - Craft Bank

Mechell Culpepper has joined the bank team as CFO.


Louisville - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company

Congratulations to CEO Bill Easterlin for receiving the James Collier Award from the Georgia Bar Foundation. The award is presented annually to an individual for their significant contributions to the Foundation in furthering its mission to support legal services for the poor, to improve the administration of justice, to promote professionalism in law practice in order best to serve the public, to aid children involved in the justice system, and to advance the legal system through historical study. The Foundation has a 19-member Board of Trustees, 16 of whom, like Easterlin, are appointed directly by the Supreme Court of Georgia and three of whom are members by virtue of being officers of the State Bar of Georgia. Easterlin was appointed in 2004 and has served continuously since then. The award is named honoring the late attorney Jim Collier, a longtime supporter of the Foundation and former member of the Bank of Dawson Board of Directors. Read more here.


Macon - Colony Bank

The bank opened a new banking center this week on Bass Road in Macon.


Savannah - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company

Judy Blackston has joined the bank team as a financial benefits coordinator and insurance agent. She will be based in the bank’s Oglethorpe Mall location in Savannah. Read more here.


Tifton - Colony Bank

Regional President Jason Morris was recently named to the 2023 University of Georgia Alumni Association Board.


Atlanta - Mauldin & Jenkins

Mauldin & Jenkins has been named one of INSIDE Public Accounting’s Top 100 Firms for 2023. Coming in at number 65, the firm climbed four spots ahead of the previous year’s ranking of the most successful public accounting firms. Read more here.


Atlanta - Federal Reserve Bank

David Altig has been named chief economic adviser and Paula Tkac has been promoted to executive vice president and director of research. The appointments took effect June 15, 2023, with full responsibilities to shift by the end of the year. Read more here.



Mechell Culpepper Bill Easterlin Judy Blackston Jason Morris Mauldin & Jenkins



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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