July 14, 2023  

Big Ideas, Big Crowd and Big Smiles at Leadership Conference

More than 430 members and their families packed a lot of learning and fellowship into four days this week at this year’s Leadership Conference. “The GBA family showed up in force again, and as members, we were treated to a program that filled a notebook of take-home ideas. This event never disappoints as it serves to help us be better bankers and build strong bonds with our fellow members and their families,” said Peach State Bank and Trust’s Candice Nanney, who completed her term as Leadership GBA Chair during the conference. The program began with an economic update by Kennesaw State’s Roger Tutterow. While he predicts a mild recession in 2023, he outlined the factors he believes will limit severe economic stress. Our CEO panel this year featured GBA Chairman Kim Wilson of OneSouth Bank, immediate GBA Past Chairman Rhodes McLanahan of First American Bank & Trust Company, and Past Leadership GBA Chair and current GBA Board member Walker Jordan of Bank of Monticello. They shared insights on leadership, building a culture, developing emerging leaders at the bank and lessons learned while growing into their roles over the years. The other panel discussion during the meeting was a fraud prevention and mitigation session featuring Wipfil’s Ryan Barrow, Fenimore Kay Harrison’s Crystal Huffman and Morris Bank’s Pete Stuart. They presented a variety of fraud scenarios they’ve seen recently, walked through possible ways to prevent such cases in the future, liability scenarios, the decisions to consider in making customers whole and working with law enforcement. Morris Bank CEO and former GBA Chairman and former Leadership GBA Chair Spence Mullis and Brannen Smith from the bank demonstrated the bank’s Code Blue bank culture coaching session. The emphasis was on cementing a common, consistent culture for the bank and its employees from their first day on the job. Attendees also got an update on the banking industry in Georgia overall and GBA advocacy priorities during a session with GBA’s David Oliver and Joe Brannen. The conference concluded with sports author Ross Bernstein's high-energy, high-impact closing talk. He shared 11 common traits of the championship-level athletes he’s worked with during his career and related them to leadership skills we can use to be successful. And, Candice Nanney got a nice surprise when Peach State Bank and Trust President and CEO Ron Quinn and the bank leadership team joined the conference remotely on Wednesday to announce her promotion to senior vice president during her closing remarks. The program, networking and family fellowship continue to make this one of GBA’s signature events each year. We appreciate the exhibitors who were with us, as well as all of this year’s sponsors. See photos of the conference here.



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New Leadership GBA Officers Elected, Installed

We’re excited to announce the 2023-2024 volunteers heading up the Leadership GBA Board of Directors. The new officers and board members were announced at this week’s Leadership Conference. "Leadership GBA is fortunate to have this group of talented bankers at the helm. Their enthusiasm and dedication to the industry are bound to make a positive impact. I look forward to their leadership of this vital part of our association," said Kim Wilson, GBA Chairman and president and CEO of OneSouth Bank in Macon.


The 2023-2024 officers are:

  • Chair: Kelly Smith, First National Bank of Griffin

  • Chair Elect: Brad Sheffield, Synovus Bank, Statesboro

  • Vice Chair: Bill Hogan, Northeast Georgia Bank, Lavonia

  • Past Chair: Candice Nanney, Peach State Bank and Trust, Gainesville

Kelly Smith Brad Sheffield Bill Hogan Candice Nanney


New board members elected this year are:

  • North Group: Thomas Forsberg, First Carolina Bank, Atlanta

  • Central Group: Andy Clifton, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Sylvania

  • South Group: Erika Holmes, OneSouth Bank, Macon

  • At-Large: Ryan Hunt, Classic City Bank, Athens

  • Associate Member Representative: Stewart Thigpen, Steve H. Powell & Company, Statesboro

Thomas Forsberg Andy Clifton Erika Holmes Ryan Hunt Stewart Thigpen


Congratulations to these leaders, and thanks to them for volunteering their time and talents in service to their fellow GBA members.


Thanks also to past chair Jenny Wofford, Pinnacle Bank, Elberton, and the following representatives, who completed their terms on the board at this year’s conference.

  • North Group: Matt Robbins, Greater Community Bank, Rome

  • Central Group: Barry Peavey, Community Banking Company of Fitzgerald

  • South Group: Michael Thigpen, Georgia First Bank, Soperton

  • At-Large: Kevin Massey, Georgia Community Bank, Dawson

  • At-Large: Eli Tinsley, Planters First Bank, Cordele.

  • Associate Member Representative: Mark Faas, Point to Point Environmental, McDonough

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Ask Your Member of Congress to Cosponsor the ACRE Act

The Access to Credit for our Rural Economy Act (H.R. 3139), also known as ACRE, would make it easier for farmers, ranchers and rural homeowners to access low-cost credit by enhancing competition between lenders for agricultural and rural housing loans, and thereby lowering the cost of credit for rural borrowers. ACRE excludes from gross income the interest a qualified lender receives on all loans secured by farm real estate and aquaculture facilities. Additionally, ACRE would exclude from gross income the interest received on home mortgage loans of $750,000 or less in rural communities of no more than 2,500 people. This tax exemption for  interest income on agricultural loans has been an effective tool to support rural lending by government-sponsored enterprises, and ACRE would simply expand that tax treatment to all federally insured banks. Please let your member of Congress know of your support and ask them to cosponsor this bill that would bring benefits to all parties. With questions, please contact GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler,  404.420.2027.


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Beige Book

Labor Markets Improve, Wage Pressures Easing

Economic activity in the Southeast grew slowly since late May, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book. The main highlight from the report is that labor markets became less tight, and wage pressures eased. Nonlabor costs moderated, on balance. Discretionary retail sales softened. Auto sales remained strong. Domestic leisure travel softened, and international and business travel rose. Housing demand remained strong. Transportation activity slowed. Energy demand was steady. Agriculture conditions softened. Read more here.


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Leader Updates

South GDP Contribution, Cotton, Regulatory Agenda, Georgia #33 in Fireworks

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

  • South GDP Contribution: In some good news about our state’s growth, recent data reports show the South leads the nation in growth. Bloomberg reported recently that Georgia is among the six southern states that are taking top honors moving GDP contribution away from the northeastern states, all part of wealth migration as the U.S. economic center of influence moves to the South.


  • Cotton: We shared an example of one of the cotton reports that is well-read among producers and other stakeholders and discusses price movements, acreage planted among the cotton-growing states and exports.


  • Regulatory Agenda: We shared a link to federal regulations regulators plan to propose or enact over the next six months. Check it out here.


  • Georgia #33: Fresh off Fourth of July celebrations, we had a little fun and shared that Georgia ranked 33rd in per capita fireworks spend last year. Alabama and South Carolina residents are among the top 10 spenders, ranked 6th and 10th respectively.

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


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2023 BankPAC Campaign Off to a Strong Start

Upon returning from GBA’s Annual Meeting, bank CEOs had the 2023 BankPAC materials waiting for them as this year’s campaign is now underway. In addition to this mailing, links to those materials are on GBA’s website for the contribution forms to the GBA StatePAC and FedPAC and a link to make your individual contribution online to the FedPAC. Members of the GBA BankPAC Board will be calling on you soon to encourage your participation in this very important work so that Georgia’s banking industry collectively has a seat at the table with our congressional delegation, members of the Georgia General Assembly and statewide elected officials. Many thanks to the banks below who have already made their contribution to the GBA StatePAC:

  • Community Bank of Pickens County, Jasper, Ryan Keeter, President & CEO

  • Wheeler County State Bank, Alamo, Hugh Lentil, Chairman & CEO

  • Classic City Bank, Athens, Colin Stokes, President & CEO

  • Legacy State Bank, Loganville, Bill Walker, President & CEO

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

  • The Geo. D. Warthen Bank, Sandersville, Ken Bibb, President

  • Northeast Georgia Bank, Lavonia, Rick Basinger, President & CEO

  • West Central Georgia Bank, Thomaston, Eddie Rogers, Chairman, President & CEO

  • The Four County Bank, Allentown, Mike Brown, President & CEO

  • Durden Banking Company, Twin City, Wade Johnson, President & CEO

With questions, please contact GBA’s Elizabeth Chandler, 404.372.7893, or Bo Brannen, 404.731.9886.


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Registration Now Open!

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, Saltmarsh, Cleaveland and 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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Women in Banking Conference – A Cool Way to End Your Summer

 GBA’s Women in Banking Conference is coming up Aug. 10-11 at the lovely Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton. We’ve got a strong crowd of more than 110 members registered, but if your bank or company isn’t represented, there’s still room for you. The agenda features sessions including economic development, managing generational differences, a session on prioritizing your mental health and how that benefits those around you, an executive leadership panel featuring three veteran bankers as they share lessons learned about work/life balance, and a mini-workshop on boosting your personal effectiveness and communication skills. Exceptional professional development, informal networking time and a beautiful location merge to make this one of GBA’s most highly anticipated events of the year. A big shout out to these generous Associate Members supporting the WiB Conference through sponsorship:

  • Platinum Sponsors: BHG Financial; Southern Bank Equipment & ATMs

  • Gold Sponsor: McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co., LLC

  • Silver Sponsors: Abram Armored; Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors; Elliott Davis; FHLBank Atlanta; Mauldin & Jenkins LLC; and Troutman Pepper.

Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions about the conference. 


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Sign Up Today!



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Andy Keusal

Lending Training

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.

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Customized for Georgia Law

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

A unique feature of our Opening New Accounts Seminar is that you can bring your bank’s signature cards, account agreements, resolutions and disclosures for thorough review. With a focus on documentation and compliance, this full-day seminar, customized to Georgia state law, teaches essential new account opening procedures, best practices, and compliance requirements.  It answers complex questions asked by customers and staff while focusing on vital information for every new account type. Join Suzie Jones of Training Resources Consulting and network with your peers for this fan favorite seminar. 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

GBA is excited to welcome Shannon Fortson, EVP, Chief Credit Officer of Pinnacle Bank, as the new leader for our Loan Documentation Seminar. Prevention of loan losses is crucial and begins with 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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Industry Hot Topic – Small Business Data Collection Rule

Compliance Conference & HMDA Workshop, Oct. 18-20, Jekyll Island

We’ve got you covered at GBA’s annual Compliance Conference. Planned by GBA’s Compliance Committee, led by Chair Tabitha White, First State Bank of Blakley, and Vice Chair Lindsay Holloway, The Four County Bank, the Compliance Conference program includes an extended session on the industry hot topic, Dodd Frank Act 1071. Chris J. Willis, partner with Troutman Pepper will break down the small business data collection rule with interpretation highlights and implementation best practices. In addition, an open forum will follow to help prepare you and your bank for the requirements set forth in the rule.


Secure your spot today and register here.


We’d like to thank 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.

With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Registration Open!

Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov 2-3, The Westin Buckhead Atlanta

Planned by the GBA’s Asset/Liability Management Committee, the conference sessions will include:

  • Economic Update - Ryan Hayhurst, The Baker Group

  • Panel discussion around Funding Alternatives

  • ALM & Liquidity Panel

  • Examinations Panel Discussion

  • Loan Pricing and Hedging in the Current Environment - Ed Kofman, SouthState Bank

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

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

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BankMarketingCenter.com Meets ChatGPT

GBA partner BankMarketingCenter.com recently announced the addition of AI-assisted content development to its suite of solutions through the integration of ChatGPT. "We are thrilled to partner with ChatGPT and bring the future of marketing to our banking customers today," said Neal Reynolds, CEO of BankMarketingCenter.com. “With the addition of AI-assisted content development, clients can very quickly generate articles they need for newsletters and blogs and any other content they might need in their marketing efforts, including suggestions for their marketing plans. We look forward to working with our clients in helping them get the most value from this amazing technology.” To learn more about Bank Marketing Center, visit www.bankmarketingcenter.com or contact Neal at 678.528.6688 or nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com. GBA members are eligible for a 20% discount on their subscription.


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Roger Tutterow

Registration Open!

Credit Conference - Nov. 30 - Dec. 1, The Westin Buckhead Atlanta

Planned by the GBA’s Credit Committee, the conference sessions will 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; Qualtik and Wiplfi LLP.

Get all the details and register here.


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Compliance Alliance Questions of The Week


Question: On Regulation E error investigations, does a customer have to be given provisional credit if the investigation is conducted within the first day of the dispute and proven the customer is liable for the purchases?


Answer: You're required to provide provisional credit if an investigation under Regulation E 1005.11 extends beyond ten days. https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-12/chapter-X/part-1005#p-1005.11(c)(2)


So, if you're resolving your investigation and issuing findings before that deadline, then there is no need for provisional credit under the Regulation.


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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Overdraft Programs, Robbery Basics & Beyond, Deposit Operations and Regulations, 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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Registration Opening Soon!



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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 - Wells Fargo

Bank team members recently volunteered for the Empty Stocking Fund assembling around 2,400 student supply kits.


Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Bank team members recently read to children at the Elbert County Public Library.


Thomasville - Thomasville National Bank

The bank recently sponsored Literacy for Thomas County, an organization that promotes literacy and financial literacy initiatives including "Little Free Libraries."



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GBA Newsmakers


Albany - Flint Community Bank

Bank team member Ann Tomlinson was named Oakie of the Quarter, nominated by her fellow team members as someone who represents the bank’s core values.


Cairo - First National Bank

Briana Connell has been promoted to relationship specialist. Cheyenne Todd has joined the bank team as a relations banker.


Charlotte, NC - Truist

This week, the Truist Securities team rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.


Greenville, SC - United Community Bank

The bank has launched a new and improved website, ucbi.com.


Memphis, TN - First Horizon Bank

The bank's "Let's Find a Way" campaign recently received eight marketing industry awards. Read more here.


Richmond Hill - The Claxton Bank

Chris Raiford has joined the bank’s Richmond Hill staff as commercial loan officer and city leader.


Watkinsville - BankSouth

Becka Smith has been promoted to portfolio manager at the bank’s Watkinsville branch.



Ann Tomlinson Briana Connell Cheyenne Todd Truist Securities


United Community Bank Chris Raiford Becka Smith



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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