Feb. 10, 2023 

Volunteer or Nominate a Fellow Banker to Serve on a GBA Committee or Board

Did you know that there are more than 300 GBA members who serve on one of our 24 committees or boards? This level of banker input and engagement really is the secret sauce for how GBA has been such a strong value for members for 131 years now. And the common theme we hear from volunteers is they get so much more out of the experience than they are asked to give. If you’d like to share your talent, expertise and insight, now’s the time. We’re looking to fill spots on committees for the 2023-24 program year that starts in July. Take a look at all the opportunities here, and click here to access the volunteer/nomination form. Response deadline is April 11. In mid-May, our GBA team will be in touch with everyone submitting a form. Have questions? Contact GBA’s David Oliver. Also, we’ll be glad to connect you to a current committee/Board member who can answer your questions.


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A Look in on the Operations and Technology Conference

A capacity crowd of bank operations and technology pros and associate members are soaking up the details of all the latest tech and ops trends at our conference this week in Savannah. Here are a few scenes from the week so far. We’ll share a full debrief and more photos in next week’s issue. Thanks to Planters First Bank’s Tracy NeSmith and the GBA Operations and Technology Committee for planning another great conference. And, a huge thanks to this year’s silver sponsors, 5iron, Empyrean Solutions, Fiserv and Ncontracts.



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Scenes from BankPAC Sporting Clays Shoot

Here’s a look at some of the action from Thursday’s Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament. We had another big turnout this year. Check in next week for a full rundown of the event including who the day’s best shooters were. Thanks to Peach State Bank’s Candice Nanney and the entire Leadership GBA Board for coordinating another successful event. And, a huge thank-you to our sponsors: Banc Card of America; Bank of Madison; BHG Financial; Cash Transactions LLC (CashTrans); Citizens Bank of Americus; CSRA Business Lending; FHLBank Atlanta; First National Bank; Georgia Community Bank; Great Oaks Bank; ICI Consulting; Mauldin & Jenkins; Morris Bank; Northeast Georgia Bank; Peach State Bank & Trust; Planters First Bank; Point to Point Environmental; Securitas Financial Services, Inc.; Steve H. Powell & Company; The Piedmont Bank; and United Bank.



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Two Days of IRA Merry Go Round a Hit

There was a lot to absorb for the bankers attending this week’s IRA Merry Go Round Seminar in Macon. The sessions were jam packed with all the basic and advanced details for successfully navigating 90 changes to IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans that are now in effect after the SECURE Act. 2.0 was signed into law Dec. 29, 2022. Thanks to Julie Robinson of Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions for leading such a thorough learning experience. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Legislature Active on Banking Bills

The General Assembly completed Day 16 of their 2023 40-day session Thursday. Be watching for Friday’s Legislative Update where we’ll report on several bills of interest to the industry that received action this week. Among those are GBA’s priority bill making tweaks to the Banking Code that passed the House. Also, the Judiciary Committee reported a bill with GBA-requested language within the Uniform Transfer on Death Security Registration Act. We’ll cover a bill retailer interests had introduced prohibiting credit or debit card interchange being applied on the sales, use or excise tax portion of transaction. Other bills we’re tracking received action and we added several new bills introduced this week to our issue list that can be found on the State Issues page of the GBA website.


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Derek Williams

Williams Nominated for National Advocacy Role

Congratulations to Derek Williams, president and CEO, Century Bank & Trust, Milledgeville, on his nomination by his peers to become Chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) for the 2023-24 term. It’s always a great honor and credit to the quality of bank leadership in the state to have a Georgia banker serving in such a prominent nationwide advocacy role. “I am privileged to have been nominated and elected Chairman of the Board for ICBA,” Williams said in a bank news release. “I am committed to the principles of community banking, which we utilize at Century Bank & Trust, and will work diligently to ensure that community banks across America will continue to flourish and exceed the expectations of our customers.” Williams will take the reins as ICBA Chairman in March at the ICBA Annual Meeting.


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Get Clear on HMDA Reporting Changes

Note that FDIC has issued a Financial Institution Letter about HMDA reporting changes triggered by a court ruling that could affect many community banks. The court ruling means that the threshold for reporting closed-end mortgage loan data pursuant to HMDA is now 25 loans in each of the two preceding calendar years rather than 100 loans. There’s also information about the FDIC’s supervisory approach for enforcing the related requirements, especially as they apply to reporting on data from 2020, 2021 and 2022. Read the FIL here.


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Fraud Alert

Fake Checks with Colony Bank Name Circulating

Please be on the lookout for fraudulent checks bearing Colony Bank’s name with an account number ending in 244. The bank reports that this activity has been occurring since January 2023 and is ongoing. They have seen the remitter name Ray Larson, and checks have ranged from $2,550.34 to $45,600. Please contact the bank at 800.873.6404 (Extn.2606) to verify the authenticity of these checks before cashing or negotiating. Also, note any suspicious ACH activity. For more detailed information, call the phone number listed above or contact Christi Daniel at christi.daniel@colonybank.com


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New Georgia Bank Directory Now Available Online-Access with Your MyGBA Login

The new Georgia Bank Directory is now available online. You can access the directory by logging in to the GBA website with your MyGBA login credentials here. The GBA Bank Directory provides detailed information about GBA members and other financial institutions and holding companies doing business in Georgia. It also contains information about GBA Committee volunteers, board members and staff, Strategic Partners, Associate Members and Bank Counsel Section Members.


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Compliance Peer Groups are Back!

March 7, Macon, Middle Georgia State University

Organized by GBA’s Compliance Committee, this is one networking opportunity you don’t want to miss. Led by compliance specialist Sebrina Sweeney of Sweeney Compliance Group, attendees can submit topics during registration to generate discussion among their peers about common pain points and audit findings. Attendees will walk away with best practices they can implement to strengthen their bank's compliance management program. Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Protecting Your Bank from Check Fraud: When to Obtain a GBA Thumbprint Signature

Despite continuous developments in the technology to safeguard our money, we unfortunately continue to hear about regular cases of check fraud among our membership. It’s still happening at banks big and small. Your bank can lower the odds of being affected by participating in GBA’s Thumbprint Signature Program. The program was designed to deter check fraud by collecting a thumbprint “signature” from non-customers when cashing checks. A thumbprint signature should be obtained when:

  • A non-customer presents an on-us or not-on-us check for cashing. (This includes employees of commercial account customers who present payroll checks drawn on the bank

  • A non-customer presents an on-us check for exchange to a cashier’s check.

  • A non-customer presents a government check for cashing.

To learn more about participating in the Thumbprint Signature Program, please contact GBA’s Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.


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Dave DeFazio

Annual Meeting Program to Feature Dave DeFazio, Banking Strategist and Renowned Fintech Expert

We’re excited to announce that Dave DeFazio, StrategyCorps partner and fintech expert, will be a featured general session speaker at our Annual Meeting in June. Dave will give an interactive overview of how digital banks and apps are transforming the battle for customers. From 2019 to 2022, digital banks have the largest growth rates of primary relationships. Now, for the first time ever, more consumers in the Gen Y and Gen Z age groups name a digital bank as their primary institution than all of the community banks and credit unions combined. Experience live demonstrations of the banking apps that are reimagining the definition of PFI as Primary Financial Interactions instead of Primary Financial Institution. This is one of many impactful sessions lined up for the Annual Meeting, June 18-20 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Click here for details and to register. Our room block at The Broadmoor no longer has rooms on Tuesday night, June 20; we recommend requesting to be waitlisted with the hotel and securing available nights for your stay. Click here for information on our alternate hotel, Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


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Fundamentals of Commercial Lending 101 Webinar - Feb. 23, Zoom

Webinar for Aspiring Commercial Lenders Coming Up This Month

Commercial banking can be intimidating because of its complexity and the risk-oriented nature of the work. This course presented by Andy Keusal, Keusal Learning, is a clear and thorough introduction to the key concepts, terminology, and processes involved in credit and lending. It doesn’t assume much prior knowledge of the topic, so it’s ideal for those in their first year in the industry. Learners will walk away with a clear understanding of their job and how their specific role fits into the bank’s overall profitability goals. This webinar will be held via Zoom on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. The recording will be available to registered participants for one month after the live training. Click here to access the event website with everything you need to know. Here’s a message from the speaker:



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Hotel Deadline Approaching!

HR Professionals Institute, March 22-24, The King & Prince, St. Simons

Bank HR pros should be sure to make their hotel reservations by Feb. 21 for this year’s GBA HR Professionals Institute! Planned by GBA’s HR Committee, the conference agenda is designed to deliver the resources every HR professional needs. Attendees will hear an extended legal update session about employment law, learn how to manage the bank’s culture, get best practices for protecting your co-workers and customers from workplace violence and more. The HR Professionals Institute will be March 22-24 at The King & Prince, St. Simons. Click here to see the full agenda and to register. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Hotel Deadline Approaching!

Creativity Workshop, Crisis Management, SEO and Peer Sharing Center Stage at Marketing Conference

We’ve extended our spring marketing education program by adding a special creativity workshop to the front end of the traditional Marketing Conference. The agenda also includes a crisis communications master class from a fellow banker, an update on digital marketing and SEO trends, how to make sure you’ve got the right DE&I lens applied to marketing and two in-depth peer sharing sessions. The conference is March 22-24 at the King and Prince. The deadline for the special room rate is Feb. 21, so don’t delay. Get details and register here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Heart Month Resources from GBAIT Wellness Partner

Did you know that up to 80% of heart disease is preventable? February is Heart Month (not just because of Valentine's Day), and the SentryHealth Care Team is recognizing the importance of heart health and all of the ways participants can support a healthy heart, including by sharing this delicious, heart-healthy take on guacamole. Members can show support for American Heart Month by downloading this poster and sharing these heart-healthy activities with staff members. All members of the GBA Insurance Trust have access to the wellness benefits available through SentryHealth. The trust provides health insurance and wellness plans for 182 member companies and more than 12,500 members and their families. Contact Lee Monroe or Jayn Lawson for information. If you are an employee of a participating member company and are ready to do something good for your heart health today, reach out to your SentryHealth Advisor for personalized support at mysentryhealth.com or on the MySentryHealth app.


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Bank Robberies – Georgia Stats & Trends

Bank Security Conference, April 12-14, The Westin, Jekyll Island

Planned by GBA’s Security Committee, the Security Conference Agenda is shaping up to include everything bank security professionals need to sharpen their skills! One highlight of the conference will be a session given by FBI Special Agent Josh Floyd on Georgia bank robberies. As the bank robbery coordinator for the Atlanta field office, Josh will take a deep dive on what he’s seeing throughout Georgia and how the scenarios compare or even connect to similar robberies. Get the stats and trends you need to know to manage your bank security program effectively. This conference is planned for bank security officers and staff at all levels as well as anyone with security responsibilities at the bank. Click here for details and to register. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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GBA Schools – First Year Registrations, Early Bird Pricing

Early-bird tuition pricing for first year Georgia Banking School students and Compliance School Year 1 ends March 1. 

  • When: April 30 - May 5

  • Where: UGA Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens

Georgia Banking School. Since 1961, the GBA-sponsored school has been a highly effective resource for developing the leadership talents of Georgia bankers. Planned by the Georgia Banking School Board of Directors, the school’s mission is to prepare first- and mid-level managers to effectively and profitably serve the public. Here's what Ryan Martin, Senior Vice President and Savannah Market President at Truist and 2022 Georgia Banking School Graduate of Distinction, had to say about his school experience.


Learn More About Georgia Banking School Here


GBA Compliance School Year 1 – Building the Base. Planned by GBA’s Compliance School Board, the GBA Compliance School is a two-year program designed to give new and experienced compliance pros the tools necessary to build, monitor and maintain an effective compliance program. Year 1 begins this year, so don’t miss this opportunity to join this program and gain the fundamentals required to ensure a solid compliance management program.


Learn More About the GBA Compliance School Here


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Spring Seminars, Middle Georgia State University, Macon

GBA is hosting a variety of one-day seminars taught by the experts you know and trust – register today!

  • Back by popular demand, Mike Allen will present the Personal Cash Flow Seminar, March 29. Through a combination of lecture and casework, participants will learn how to calculate sources and uses of personal cash flow.

  • The Call Reporting Seminar, April 19, presented by Michael GordonMauldin & Jenkins, will equip you with practical techniques and resources to improve your overall call reporting process.

  • Learn what’s needed to prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques at the Loan Documentation Seminar, April 26, presented by Mike Allen

  • The fan favorite seminar The Information Security Officer 101 is back on April 27. IT security experts Josh Dasher and Emily StricklandSafe Systems, will take a deep dive into the “why” and “how” of the ISO's role.

With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Allen Gordon Dasher Strickland


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Rural Development & Lending Conference, May 18-19

Register Today – Rural Development & Lending Conference

Registration is open for the GBA 2023 Rural Development and Lending Conference May 18-19 at the King & Prince, St. Simons. Agenda sessions will include: a livestock update, ag regulatory update, crop insurance, peanuts, a farm bill update and a cotton update. Thanks to the GBA Agricultural Committee, led by its Chair Rachel Thompson, Bank of Newington, and Vice Chair Matt Rushton, AB&T, for their work on the agenda. Plan to get registered and secure your hotel reservation today. For more information about hotel and to register, click here


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Building an IT Strategic Plan, ACH Rules, Avoiding Check Fraud 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, kprokos@gabankers.com, and David Oliver, doliver@gabankers.com, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment:


Athens - Classic City Bank

Senior Vice President Ryan Hunt, alongside several other "superheroes," plunged for Hope Haven of Northeast Georgia this past weekend. For more than 60 years, Hope Haven has empowered people with developmental disabilities in the northeast Georgia community.


Atlanta - Citizens Trust Bank

The bank and Operation HOPE recently celebrated the development and success of Hope Inside’s Credit and Money Management program.

Atlanta - Truist Bank

Truist Financial Corp. recently agreed to give $15 million to the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The money will go into the foundation’s impact investment platform called GoATL, which aims to generate funds to address some of the region’s most pressing needs. Read more here (subscription required).




Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

The bank recently made their annual contribution to the United Way in order to financially assist nonprofits focusing on needs in education, income and health. The funds were raised by bank employees through payroll deduction.


Dublin - The Citizens Bank of Laurens County

The bank’s Student Advisory Council recently visited Georgia’s State Capitol.


Greensboro - BankSouth

Chief Banking Officer Daryn Russell recently inspired the ESP staff at their Motivation Monday talk.


Swainsboro - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.

The bank’s Swainsboro team members wore red for National Wear Red Day to help raise awareness about cardiovascular disease.



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GBA Newsmakers


Atlanta - First Carolina Bank

Brad Johnson has joined the bank as Atlanta market senior commercial banking officer. Read more here.


Donalsonville - First Port City Bank

The Seminole County Chapter of Young Farmers presented Brad and Amy Thompson with the 2022 Farm Family of the Year award at the Donalsonville/Seminole County Chamber of Commerce annual membership meeting. Thompson is a fourth-generation farmer and a member of the bank’s board of directors.


Rome - River City Bank

The bank recently announced the launch of its new Small Business Administration (SBA) Division, which is led by Reece Sanford, senior vice president, director of Government Guaranteed Lending, and Piper Douglas, senior vice president, SBA Senior Credit Officer. Read more here.


Thomasville - TC Federal Bank

Executive Vice President and CFO Linda Palmer will step down from the CFO role on May 18. Scott McLean, who joined TC Bancshares on Feb. 1, is expected to take over the CFO position upon Palmer's retirement.


Atlanta - James Bates Brannan Groover LLP

Colin Daniels has joined the law firm’s Real Estate practice group. Read more here.


Bloomington, MN - United Bankers’ Bank (UBB)

Traci Kaske has joined the UBB as senior human resources consultant to the USource Human Resources Consulting Services Team. Read more here.



Brad Johnson Brad Thompson and family Reece Sanford Piper Douglas Colin Daniels Traci Kaske



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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