Feb. 24, 2023

Big Week for Banking in General Assembly

Be watching for this week’s Legislative Update in your inbox. We’ll cover the packed hearing held to consider the retailers’ bill to prohibit interchange on the sales tax portion of debit and credit card transactions. Several other bills of interest to banking were passed by the House or Senate while others were reported out of committees and are awaiting floor votes. Legislators voted on bills we’re monitoring ranging from public sales under tax levies, commercial financial transaction disclosures and the selling of hemp-containing products. We now have more than a hundred bills on our tracking list, the most in memory for the first year of the two-year biennial. With questions, contact GBA’s EVP, Government Relations & Advocacy Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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Leader Updates

Labor Insights, Interchange, Senior Lender Sentiment, Digital Banking and M&A Trends

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

  • Interchange bill advocacy materials: We shared some helpful materials to help members explain to legislators why the proposed bill to prohibit interchange fees from being charged on the sales tax portion of a debit or credit card transaction is a bad idea.


  • Georgia exports up 40% in past five years: China, Mexico and Germany are the top three trading partners for the state of Georgia’s exports, and Georgia ranks 11th for international trade. We shared a report with all the details.


  • Core Provider and Middleware: On the heels of our big Operations and Technology conference, we shared reports from ABA about Core Platforms and Middleware.

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


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

We’re looking to fill spots on committees for the 2023-24 program year that starts in July. See all the opportunities here, and access the volunteer/nomination form here. Response deadline is April 11. In mid-May, our GBA team will be in touch with everyone submitting a form. A special note about the Leadership GBA Board of Directors: There will be five vacancies on the Leadership GBA Board for the coming GBA year (one from each of our three geographical groups, North, Central, and South; one Associate Member, and one At-Large member). If you are an active participant and supporter of Leadership GBA’s efforts, we invite you to nominate someone for the board, or to self-nominate. Contact GBA’s David Oliver with questions. Also, we’ll be glad to connect you to a current committee/board member who can answer your questions.


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GBA-Endorsed Agency PointeNorth Insurance Works with Your Local Agent for the Best Coverage

GBA is proud to endorse PointeNorth Insurance Group as its preferred full-service, independent insurance agency, providing one of the broadest collections of personal and business-related insurance solutions in the Southeast. Additionally, PointeNorth serves as the primary broker for the GBA-endorsed ABA Insurance Program. See below the list of benefits for banks participating in the ABA Insurance Program. To learn more, please contact PointeNorth’s Paul Halloran, paul.halloran@pninsurance.com, 404.423.4970.

  • Unique specialization with a focus on the banking industry

  • Experienced underwriters with financial industry backgrounds

  • Emphasis on loss control through the distribution of educational materials

  • D&O/Bond program co-endorsed by 34 state bankers associations

  • Nationwide presence with approximately 1,500 insured across the country

  • Leading provider of primary professional liability/bond coverage for banks with a 30% market share

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Registration Opening Soon for Annual Leadership Conference

We’re excited to announce that registration will open soon for the Leadership Conference, July 10-12, at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra, FL. Past attendees will receive a special email invitation to register, followed by an announcement on the GBA website. Hosted each summer by the Leadership GBA Board of Directors, this conference has become a must-attend event among emerging leaders in the Georgia banking industry. If you or someone in your bank or company is a newly appointed c-suite banker, senior officer, department head, business development officer, or has community relations or government relations responsibilities or interests, we encourage you to send them to the conference. Attendees will benefit from an excellent slate of educational sessions, two informal evening events (family-friendly), networking time with exhibitors and relaxation time with friends and family. Exhibit space and sponsorship opportunities are already available; click here to see the 2023 sponsorship/exhibitor kit and return the response form to reserve. We’d like to thank these GBA Associate Members who are showing their support through sponsorship: Presenting Sponsor: CSRA Business Lending; Gold Sponsors: FHLBank Atlanta, First National Bankers Bank, Point to Point Environmental, ServisFirst Bank, Steve H. Powell & Company; and Silver Sponsors: Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP, Holmes Shaw Agency - A Member of the PointeNorth Insurance Group, McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co., Troutman Pepper and Wipfli. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024, with questions.


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March 7, Macon, Middle Georgia State University

Compliance Peer Group Meetings are Back!

GBA’s Compliance Committee is excited to bring back our peer group meetings! 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. Registration includes lunch. Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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5 Steps for Easing into Enterprise Risk Management

By Michael Carpenter, Vice President, Risk Management, Ncontracts

Building out an enterprise risk management (ERM) program can be overwhelming for banks and other participants in the financial services industry. Risk management is a broad umbrella covering a wide range of risks, including operational, cybersecurity, compliance, reputation, and financial risk, among others. With so many areas to cover, it’s hard to know where to begin or how to get it all done. One common challenge bank’s face when building out a risk management program is a lack of time. Here are five steps to help simplify your bank’s ERM program buildout. Click here to access Carpenter’s full article and contact NContracts’ Sean Finney with question at sean.finney@ncontracts.com.

1. You don’t have to do it all at once

It may take two or three years to completely build out your bank’s risk management program, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get any value from the program during those first few years.


2. Decide where to begin

When building out a risk management program, there are two recommended approaches to choose from: Start with a strategic goal or initiative or start with the highest inherent risk.


3. Leverage your data to assess risk

Use the available data to identify and prioritize areas with the greatest inherent risk. Then identify the controls that help mitigate the risks.


4. Dig into controls

It’s also a good idea to create key performance indicators (KPIs) to help measure risk (and whether you are within your institution’s risk tolerance) and progress towards strategic goals.


5. Work your way through areas of lower inherent risk

Because risk management touches every area of a financial institution, each new area added to the program will build on what was already created, making the program stronger and more effective.

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Vera Stewart

Marketing and HR Conferences Spotlight

Vera Stewart, Southern Cooking Show Host, to Headline Both Conferences

We are excited to have Vera Stewart set for a joint closing session for our HR Professionals Institute and our Marketing Conference in March. Vera Stewart is a southern cooking show host, entrepreneur, caterer, mail order aficionado, cookbook author and mentor. Throughout her career, Vera’s true passion is mentoring young people. Don’t miss this entertaining story which is sure to motivate and inspire you as a HR or Marketing professional.

  • The HR Professionals Institute is March 22-24 at The King & Prince, St. Simons. Click here to see the full agenda and to register.

  • The Marketing Conference & Creative Workshop is March 22-24 at The King & Prince, St. Simons. Get all the details and register here.

With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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

Deep Dive on Growing Concerns in Georgia

Planned by GBA’s Security Committee, the Security Conference agenda will provide bank security professionals the tools necessary to execute their bank’s security program. Register today and join us as we take a deep dive with financial forensic specialist Mark Fellows and uncover the growing concerns in Georgia including elder fraud, human trafficking/smuggling and money mules. Learn what banks can do to help protect their customers and their assets. 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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Matt Pienezak

Annual Meeting Session Highlight: Reimagine ALCO – Ensuring That Clarity Drives Strategy, Not Fear

When we convene at the GBA Annual Meeting June 18-20, Fed funds will likely be at a 15-year high and there’s no telling where Treasury rates will be, or to what degree they will be inverted. Funding cost pressures are currently in high gear, the liquidity narrative is changing, loan growth outlooks are dampened, credit concerns are on the rise…and interest rate risk is top of mind. 2023 will produce notable headwinds for net interest margins and weigh heavily on your bank’s deposit, lending, investment, funding and overall balance sheet risk management strategy discussions. A perfect storm of events has shaken up the banking world and created one of the most challenging environments in modern banking history. Don’t miss hearing from Matt Pienezak from Darling Consulting Group for a high-energy and thought-provoking discussion of key considerations and strategies for managing your entire balance sheet in a world of great uncertainty. Where do we go from here? Join banking colleagues at the GBA Annual Meeting, June 18-20 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. A big shout-out to our event sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: Safe Systems, Inc.; Platinum Sponsors: Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP; FHN Financial; ServisFirst Bank; Gold Sponsors: American Bankers Association (ABA); CRS Data; First National Bankers Bank; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co., Inc.; Profit Resources, Inc. (PRI); Steve H. Powell & Company; Troutman Pepper; and Silver Sponsors: Crowe; Elliott Davis; FHLBank Atlanta; Holmes Shaw Agency – A Member of the PointeNorth Insurance Group; Mauldin & Jenkins; Nichols Cauley & Assoc.; Point to Point Environmental; United Bankers’ Bank; and Warren Averett. Click here for more information. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024, with questions.


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Exploring Bankers’ Priorities and Perspectives for 2023

by Shane Ferrell, Vice President of Product Strategy & Innovation, CSI

To find out how bankers will confront challenges associated with a changing technology landscape, digital acceleration, cybersecurity, regulatory changes and more, GBA Associate Member CSI surveyed banking executives from across the nation about their strategies and priorities for 2023. The results of this annual survey reflect both familiar challenges and emerging opportunities while also revealing the strategies that banks will deploy to stay competitive. What did bankers identify as top issues? Click here to read more and contact Shane Ferrell with any questions at shane.farrell@csiweb.com.


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Act Fast to Save on GBA Compliance School

Early Bird Pricing Deadline for First-Year Students Coming Up

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

  • When: April 30 - May 5

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

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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American Mortgage Conference set for May 1-3 in Charleston

GBA is proud to be among the state bankers associations co-presenting this year’s American Mortgage Conference with the North Carolina Bankers Association. Each year, the conference brings together policymakers, investors, experts in the financial services industry and mortgage practitioners of every kind, providing a prime opportunity to discuss important industry issues and analyze the progress being made in Washington. The next American Mortgage Conference will be hosted at Wild Dunes Resort just outside of Charleston, SC. Click here for full details and registration information.


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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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Employment Compliance Priorities, 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:


Atlanta - First Carolina Bank

During the month of January, the bank's Atlanta team supported Foster Care Support Foundation, Inc. Since 2000, Foster Care Support Foundation has served tens of thousands of children in the state of Georgia.


Hawkinsville - Planters First Bank

Downtown Hawkinsville's Main Street program and Planters First Bank hosted a Love Locks Scavenger Hunt on Valentine’s Day.



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GBA Newsmakers


Atlanta - The Piedmont Bank

The bank recently announced the completion of the purchase of a minority interest in Walton Funding LLC, a specialized lending and mortgage company based in Inlet Beach, FL.


Fitzgerald - Colony Bank

Leslie Ehlers has been promoted to senior vice president, Chief Marketing Officer. Read more here.


Johns Creek - Loyal Trust and American Commerce Bank/Monesty

Both banks were featured in a Neighborhood TV episode about the impact of community banking. Watch the video here.


Macon - Capital City Bank

The bank recognized 29 sales and service leaders at its annual Star Summit event, held recently at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro. Wealth Strategist with Capital City Strategic Wealth Nick Smith received additional recognition as the recipient of the distinguished Fire Starter award. Business Banker Joel Ginaldi received additional recognition as the recipient of the distinguished Rain Maker award.


Milledgeville/Eastman - Magnolia State Bank

April Thompson has been promoted to branch manager of the bank’s Milledgeville branch at 2451 N. Columbia St. Cindy Ward has been promoted to compliance officer for the bank.


Savannah - Great Oaks Bank

Tiffany Jackson has joined the bank as branch manager at the Savannah Southside office.


Valdosta - Citizens Community Bank

Congratulations to Chief Executive Officer Glenn Copeland for celebrating 50 years in banking. “I was honored to be with Glenn, his bank colleagues, and family to celebrate such an important milestone. Glenn has been active within the Georgia Bankers Association and a trusted confidant and advisor throughout his career. I look forward to working together for many more years to come,” said GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen.


Watkinsville - BankSouth

Keith Prather has been promoted to market president for the bank’s Watkinsville branch.


Cornelia - Financial Supermarkets, Inc.

Duncan Brett has been named senior consultant over the company’s western U.S. sales territory.


Atlanta - The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta recently announced the appointment of James Etheredge to the Atlanta board of directors. Etheredge is chief executive officer of Accenture North America. Read more here. Additionally, Joe Davidson has been appointed as senior vice president of The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Supervision and Regulation (S&R) Division, effective Feb. 16. In this position, Davidson will oversee the Atlanta Fed’s supervision of state member banks, bank and financial holding companies, and US branches and agencies of foreign banking operations. Read more here.



Leslie Ehlers Nick Smith Joel Ginaldi April Thompson Cindy Ward



Tiffany Jackson (From left) Joe Brannen and
Glenn Copeland
Keith Prather Duncan Brett Joe Davidson



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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