Feb. 3, 2023   

Kelley Wilson

Bankers Taking It All in at the BSA Summit

We’ve had a strong group of members gathered this week getting the full dose of the latest BSA/AML intel needed to run a tight ship to protect customers and their banks. The program included a special BSA boot camp, an update on the crypto economy, case studies, technology updates, cannabis issues, elder abuse prevention, OFAC issues, SARs and more. Here's what attendee  Kelley Wilson, CAFP, VP and BSA/OFAC/Fraud Officer, Colony Bank, had to say about the experience:


"Resourceful and refreshing! The speakers brought diverse perspectives on hot topics and refreshers on old topics," she said. "I came away from the BSA Summit with a longer to-do list but with the resources to get it all done. An awesome week for a BSA professional!"


A big thanks to our leader for the school, Kristen Stogniew, Esq., CFE, of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund for organizing the program and facilitating the sessions. Thanks also to our sponsors, Mauldin & Jenkins and Steve H. Powell & Company. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran.



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General Assembly Session Moving Along

Legislators completed the 12th day of their 40-Day session as they adjourned Thursday for the week. Be watching for GBA’s Legislative Update in your inbox Friday with news about three new legislators chosen Tuesday in special elections, the outcome of a committee vote on GBA’s priority bill, and a long list of bills that affect banking added to our tracking list. With questions about the session, contact GBA’s EVP for Government Relations & Advocacy Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027.


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Jason Isbell

GBA Member Profile

Attention to Detail, Emerson's Wisdom and Daily Wordle with Jason Isbell

With the Georgia General Assembly session in full swing, we want to highlight the banker volunteers serving on our advocacy-related boards and committees. Regions Bank Head of State Government Affairs and Economic Development Jason Isbell serves as an At Large member of the GBA Public Affairs Committee and has led a triple-threat career spanning the industries of law, government affairs and banking. His first job out of college was as an analyst for the Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office, which provided a foundation for his career in advocacy and allowed him to better understand the inner workings of state government. “Answers we provided policymakers literally impacted how billions of dollars of public funds were allocated, so misunderstanding or miscommunicating important information, even if it was deep into the minutiae of government funding, had consequences. No matter where my career has taken me, details still matter,” Isbell said. He worked eight years at the Alabama Bankers Association before joining the Regions Bank government affairs team. “I've enjoyed seeing the banking industry ‘from the inside’ these last 18 months and appreciate helping our customers whenever and however I can,” he said. Isbell shares much more about his career journey along with fun tidbits such as his daily habit of playing Wordle and weekend camper travels with his family in the latest GBA Member Profile.


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CFPB Proposes Major Change to Credit Card Late Fee Rules

There was big news out of the CFPB this week about proposed new rules governing credit card fees. The CFPB proposed a rule that would significantly cut the safe harbor for credit card late fees from $30 to $8 and do away with a higher safe harbor for subsequent late payments. The proposed Reg. Z amendment also would eliminate the annual inflation adjustment for the fees allowed in the current rule adopted in 2010. And, late fees would be capped at 25% of the required payment. We’ll be working with members on a comment letter. Please let us know your specific concerns, and we urge members to comment, as well. Comments must be received on or before April 3, 2023, or within 30 days after publication of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register, whichever is later. Read more info from CFPB about the proposal. With questions, contact Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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FDIC Signage Rule Comment Period Extended

We’ve got an update to a story we shared back in December when the FDIC proposed its first major change since 2006 to its rules about the official FDIC sign and advertising statements. The agency this week extended the comment period by 45 days. Comments now are due no later than April 7. The proposal also looks to clarify the agency’s regulations regarding misrepresentations of deposit insurance coverage. Read more here.


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Ryan Earnest

GSB-LSU Applications Being Accepted Now

The 2023 session of Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University is slated for May 22 through June 2 on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, LA. GBA is among the 15 southeast state banking associations that, since 1950, has sponsored the Graduate School of Banking. Held each spring on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. The course of study spans 25 months, with three, two-week resident sessions each year. During these resident sessions, banker/students receive approximately 180 hours of classroom instruction. Leadership speakers, evening study sessions, written examinations, and bank study projects between resident sessions are an integral part of the school’s comprehensive program. GBA’s designated trustee to the board is Ryan Earnest, president and CEO of First National Community Bank in Rome. “As a graduate of the school, I’ve experienced firsthand the significant roles the knowledge, skills, and peer connections have played in my career. I recommend the school to any banker seeking to broaden their understanding of our complex industry as part of their executive leadership development,” Earnest said. More information about application requirements, cost and other details may be found on the brochure here. Click here to apply online.


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Last Call! Support the GBA State BankPAC at Feb. 9 Sporting Clays Tournament

We’re looking forward to our sixth-annual Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament next Thursday, Feb. 9, at Old Hudson Plantation in Sparta. There is still time to sign up to shoot as an individual shooter, put a foursome together, or we’ll help put one together for you. Remember, all proceeds go to the GBA StatePAC.* Get all the details and register here. If you can’t make it to the tournament, we invite you to show your support for the StatePAC through sponsorship; click here for details. 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. We appreciate your support! Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad.


*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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Annual Meeting Registration Now Open!

Registration is open for all members to GBA’s 2023 Annual Meeting, June 18-20 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Click here to view the event website and to register. This event website is your home for everything you need to know about the Annual Meeting, so check back often for updates. And remember, meeting registration is required to book a room, so don’t delay as our room block will fill quickly. Plans for the meeting are in full swing and we’ve got some excellent educational sessions on tap, including an economic outlook from Phyllis Resnick, PhD., executive director and lead economist at the Colorado Futures Center; Matt Pieniazek, president and CEO, Darling Consulting Group, will discuss ALM/liquidity/funding/balance sheet/investment management issues; a CEO panel discussion; remarks from ABA Chair Daniel Robb; and closing speaker Col. Kurt Wendt, director for character and leadership with the Unites States Air Force Academy. Plus, we’ll have our traditional breakout sessions, and more. Don’t forget to check out the variety of optional afternoon activities. Sponsorships and exhibit space are available, and we invite our Associate Members to explore this opportunity and reserve your involvement now. Click here to see all of our wonderful Annual Meeting sponsors. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.


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Medical Shopper Tool Available for GBA Insurance Trust Participants

Members of the GBA Insurance Trust have access to a new tool that allows them to shop for their medical care. This project has emerged out of the No Surprises Act requirements with which the Trust must comply. The tool allows members to search for providers and medical services based on price, quality and convenience, with the intention of minimizing their out-of-pocket costs. We encourage members to explore the product and see how it can save you money. Trust members may access the tools by logging into their personal claim history at paragon.vbagateway.com and selecting the Shop for Care option. Be on the lookout for more information on this exciting new tool. With questions, contact Jacklyn Williams at Paragon, jwilliams@paragonbenefits.com.


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Last Call! IRA Merry-Go-Round Seminar - Feb. 7-8, Macon

On Dec. 29, 2022, SECURE Act 2.0 was signed into law as part of the federal government’s massive $1.7 trillion year-end spending bill. SECURE Act 2.0 contains numerous changes (90+) affecting both IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans, with some changes – such as the increase in the RMD starting age to age 73 for those who turn 72 after 2022 – effective immediately.


The IRA Merry-Go-Round Seminar, Feb. 7-8 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, will include the training you need to understand the impact SECURE Act 2.0 will have on your customers.

  • Increase in RMD starting age (73 beginning in 2023, transitioning to age 75)

  • Reduction of the 50% excess accumulation penalty for RMD failures

  • Roth contributions for SEP and SIMPLE IRA arrangements

  • Expanded opportunities for Qualified Charitable Distributions

  • Federal matching contributions for qualified savers (IRA and employer-sponsored plans)

  • Significantly increased SIMPLE IRA employer funding opportunities

  • New penalty exceptions for early distributions (including domestic abuse, terminal illness, and disaster recovery)

  • Expanded beneficiary distribution options for special needs trusts

  • Significant new/enhanced tax credits for small business plans

Get all the details and register here.


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Feb. 8-10, Savannah

Big Crowd Set to Attend Ops/Tech Conference Next Week

There's still time to join your peers for this year's Operations and Technology Conference next week in Savannah. Click here to view the all-star agenda, and click here to register. Thanks to the GBA Operations and Technology Committee, led by its Chair Tracy NeSmithPlanters First Bank, and Vice Chair Shan VenableAltamaha Bank and Trust Company, for their work on the agenda. For more information and to register, click here. A huge thanks to this year’s silver sponsors, 5iron, Empyrean Solutions, Fiserv and Ncontracts. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


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Get Sweetheart Deals on Office Products from ODP Business Solutions

Check out several great deals for members this month from ODP Business Solutions, a GBA Strategic Partner. You can save between $15-$35 per order depending on the amount of your purchase. And, every time you use ODP Business Solutions, you’re also helping support GBA. Ordering through the program provides members significant discounts on a wide range of office and banking supplies, furniture, print and copy services, promotional products, break room provisions and more. See details on the discounts here.


Click here for a complete overview of our Purchasing Program. With questions, contact Kimberly Gilbert at kimberly.gilbert@officedepot.com, or 855.337.6811, ext. 12815.


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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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Contact GBA Partner EBS for a Complimentary BOLI Assessment Report and Carrier Due Diligence Review Report

GBA Strategic Partner EBS specializes in the placement and service of Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI). Their programs use BOLI to finance existing employee benefits and informally fund new or existing nonqualified executive benefit plans. EBS offers implementation and plan design services as well as administrative services. If you have BOLI now and need or want to consider a new servicer, EBS can assist you with compliance and reports essential for your bank, board and regulators. Given the fiduciary responsibilities of bank management and board members, it is crucial that banks partner with experienced and qualified professionals to service their BOLI programs and Nonqualified Plans. EBS provides comprehensive service through a group of qualified professionals with specialized expertise in insurance and public accounting. Each client is assigned a specific service team with extensive back-office support. The professional designations held by members of the organization include CPA, JD, CLU, MSFS, MBA, CFP, ChFC and others. Under the guidance of EBS, billions of dollars of BOLI face amount have been placed with the highest-rated carriers offering institutional pricing. Their informal funding solutions are built on sound economic foundations and are conservatively structured from a tax perspective. As an added benefit to GBA members, EBS will provide a complimentary, customized BOLI Assessment Report and Carrier Due Diligence Review Report. Please contact Michael Pounds at mpounds@ebscomp.com.


EBS, a bank consulting company, does not engage in the practice of law or accounting. Any questions concerning legal, tax or accounting advice should be referred to your appropriate counsel or advisors.


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HR Professionals Institute, March 22-24, St. Simons

Workplace Violence – Make Sure Your Bank and Staff Are Trained!

Planned by GBA’s HR Committee led by Chair Terry KennedyExchange Bank, and Vice Chair Lance WhitleyColony Bank, this year’s conference agenda includes a session on workplace violence. As unpredictable as these events are, managers and employees can take key steps to prepare for these events. Sergeant Eric Rooks with the Gwinnett Police Department will provide attendees with the history of active violence, threat levels, awareness and how to respond to these events. Click here to see the full agenda and to register. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Marketing Conference and Creative Workshop, March 22-24, St. Simons

Peer Networking at Its Best! Round Table Discussions and Show & Share

Planned by GBA’s Marketing Committee, led by Chair Anna Grant JonesPinnacle Bank, and Vice Chair Haley Barnes, BankSouth Mortgage, the Marketing Conference program is packed with chances to learn from your peers! There are two in-depth peer sharing sessions on the agenda. In one session, member-led roundtable discussion will focus on common problems, solutions, resources and management expectations to strengthen your skills as marketing professionals. During the Show and Share session, attendees can showcase some of their recent work to help others generate ideas, formulate strategies for success and identify resources. See the detailed agenda and register here. And, there's an amazing new optional creativity workshop led by Clark Hook from Financial Marketing Solutions. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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One Month Left to Get Early-bird Tuition for GBA Schools

Early-bird tuition pricing ends March 1 for two GBA schools, so get registered today:


Georgia Banking School, April 30 - May 5, Athens

Georgia Banking School is scheduled for Sunday, April 30, through Friday, May 5 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel, Athens. 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. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


Learn More About Georgia Banking School Here


GBA Compliance School Year 1 – Building the Base, April 30 - May 5, Athens

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. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Learn More About the GBA Compliance School Here


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

Is Your Bank’s Security Program Safe and Sound?

Join us for our annual Bank Security Conference, April 12-14 at The Westin Jekyll Island. Learn from the pros and network with your peers to gain insight and best practices. Planned by GBA’s Security Committee, the conference registration includes a policy and procedures workshop to equip you with everything you need to make sure your program is safe and sound. Click here for details and to register. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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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 and Lending Conference, May 18-19, St. Simons

Bankers in Ag Lending, Sign Up Today for Upcoming 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 ThompsonBank of Newington, and Vice Chair Matt RushtonAB&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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Call Report Preparation, State of HMDA, Building an IT Strategic Plan and More

Here’s a sampling of upcoming webinars.


  • Letters of Credit – Feb. 15
    Audience: Loan officers, operations officers, credit administration personnel, and others involved in the letter of credit function.


  • ACH Rules Update – Feb. 21
    Audience: This course is designed for compliance personnel, auditors, operations personnel, senior management and all other interested in gaining knowledge on ACH topics.



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:


Milledgeville - Exchange Bank

The bank hosted a coat drive over the past few months to benefit Baldwin County students. Janet Cavin, Executive Director of Communities In Schools Milledgeville-Baldwin County, recently stopped by the bank to pick up the last items collected in the drive.


Savannah - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.

The bank’s Savannah team recently participated in Calvary Day School's "Student Life Skills Education Week" by conducting a money management course to more than 300 students.


Suwanee - Quantum National Bank

The City of Suwanee recently designated Jan. 27, 2023, “Quantum Bank Day.”


Watkinsville - BankSouth

The bank sponsored the inaugural Stiletto 5K Stampede in Watkinsville benefiting the Ashton Hope Keegan Foundation.



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GBA Newsmakers


Alma - Pineland Bank

Mark Denard has joined the bank in their Alma location as Chief Financial Officer. Read more here.


Atlanta - United Community Bank

The bank has added a Buckhead branch at 4600 Roswell Rd. The branch opened Feb. 1 features the bank’s first Interactive Teller Machine in Atlanta.


Dallas - American Pride Bank

Doug Fountain has joined the bank as commercial relationship manager and vice president in its Dallas Loan Production Office. Read more here.


Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Three new directors have been added to the boards of Pinnacle Bank and Pinnacle Financial Corporation: Kalki Yalamanchili, Jonathan Holmes and Rafy Bassali. Read more here.


Macon - American Pride Bank

Adam Patel has been elected as chairman and Tommy Patel and Raj Patel have joined the board of directors for the bank and its holding company, American Bancorp Inc. Read more here.


Warner Robins - Planters First Bank

Ryley Hobbs has joined the bank as a teller in its Warner Robins Banking Center.


Atlanta - Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE)/Truist Securities/First Horizon Bank

Shanon Stewart has been named Chief Credit Officer of ACE. Read more here. Additionally, ACE has announced the following officers to its board of directors, who began their roles on Jan. 1. Chair: Bill Zawrotny, partner with Jones Day; Vice Chair: Sibyl Slade, CRPC®, president, IntegriVest Wealth Advisors; Secretary: Dale Royal, CFA, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corp; Investment Committee Chair: Hollis Linginfelter, CFA, managing director at Truist Securities; Governance Committee Chair: Candy Moore, senior vice president/community relations southeast leader at Citi; Loan Committee Chair: Miguel Alandete, senior vice president/SBA lending manager, First Horizon Bank; Immediate Past Chair: Matt Bozzelli, deputy general counsel East, The Southern Company. Read more here.


Atlanta - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Senior vice presidents Brian Bowling, Leah Davenport, Jeff Devine, Richard Jones and Jason Molfetas have been promoted to executive vice president. Read more here.



Mark Denard United Community Bank Doug Fountain


Kalki Yalamanchili Jonathan Holmes Rafy Bassali Ryley Hobbs



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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