June 16, 2023  

GBA Annual Meeting Next Week

More than 420 bankers, Associate Members and family members will be in Colorado at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs for the GBA Annual Meeting events starting Sunday. In addition to the GBA meeting to elect officers and install board members, GBA Insurance Trust members will meet and elect directors, and GBA Retirement Services members will get an update, as well. There’s plenty of business and learning on the agenda for sure, but members and families will also enjoy ample networking and peer connection time. Look for coverage and photos in next week’s edition. With questions about the meeting, contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad at 404.420.2024.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

More Detail on Q1 Georgia Bank Performance

We’ve done a little more analysis on the recent FDIC data about Georgia’s banking performance. The FDIC’s tables it releases publicly look at all banks reporting for each period, and in the first quarter this year there were 145 banks reporting, which is four fewer banks than in the prior year due to mergers and acquisitions. We wanted to see what the data from the same set of 145 banks looked like. There were a couple of interesting trends. Loan growth was robust, with a13.9% increase for all banks and 16.3% for the 140 banks defined by FDIC as community banks. Deposits at all banks were up 2.4%, and community banks saw deposit growth of 2%. Net income for all banks was up 17.8%, and a strong 52.6% for community banks. Thanks to ABA’s Tyler Mondres and its Economics and Research department for help with the data. Check out more in these charts.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Congrats to GSBLSU Graduates!

A solid group of 18 bankers from Georgia graduated June 2 from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. They were members of a class of 168 bankers from 19 states, the District of Columbia, and Mexico who earned their diplomas. GBA is among the 15 state bankers associations sponsoring the school, and with this year’s class, 1,713 Georgia bankers have successfully completed the intensive 3-year program conducted during two weeks in successive years. The Georgia Trustee on the Board overseeing the school is Ryan Earnest, president & CEO of First National Community Bank, Rome, and Georgia banker Mike Allen just completed a two-year term as school president.


Congratulations to the following graduates:


Jonathan Blackledge

Ameris Bank


Justin Adams Bradley

Cadence Bank


Ryan Budzinsky

Farmers & Merchants Bank


Sarah Elizabeth Cain

Peach State Bank & Trust


Jimmy C. Gulle

Kinetic Capital Advisory


Madison Halcyon Lamb

Bank of Dawson


Chris McLaughlin

Colony Bank


Jennifer M. Mendoza

FL Office of Financial Regulation


Nathan L. Miller

Federal Home Loan Bank


Ashley Shaw Moon

Peach State Bank & Trust


Gregory Andrew Mull

First National Community Bank


Eric Spencer Rivenbark

Coastal States Bank


Marcus Roland

Farmers & Merchants Bank


Quinn Rolfes

Capital City Bank


Michael Gregory Thigpen

Georgia First Bank


Kevin Lawson Vaughn

GA Dept. of Banking & Finance


Roy D. Washburn, III

Exchange Bank


Joshua Bryan Werner

GA Dept of Banking & Finance



For more information on the school, click here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Retirement Services Welcomes New Member Bank

GBA Retirement Services, Inc. is excited to welcome our newest member to the GBA Master 401(k) Trust: Community Bank & Trust - West Georgia, Lagrange, Steve Jefferies, CEO. We have enjoyed meeting with their team members as we prepare for them to join our program in July. We look forward to providing outstanding service for these plan participants in the years to come.


Some of the advantages of being part of the GBA Master Trust include:

  • GBA’s dedicated staff support as a primary resource and oversight of service providers.

  • American Trust Company as an investment manager and discretionary Trustee.

  • Reduced fees with high-quality service providers.

  • Ongoing investment education and retirement planning sessions for employees.

  • Personalized Managed Account Solution geared to each participant’s needs through the Unified Plan at no additional cost for participants.

We would love to do a plan review and show you why all of our members are pleased with the service and performance provided by GBA Retirement Services! Contact Mandy Richards, 404.420.2025, for more information about how GBA Retirement Services can help design or improve your retirement plan.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

New Bank Guide Available to Prevent Elder Financial Exploitation

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the ABA Foundation and FBI released a new guide that offers tips and other information to help front-line bank staff detect and prevent elder financial exploitation. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, victims reported more than $3.1 billion in losses from elder financial abuse in 2022, which is an 84% increase from 2021. The first part of the new guide provides an overview of elder financial exploitation and the detrimental impact it has on seniors and the economy. The second part of the guide identifies potential financial exploitation red flags that front-line bank staff can use to recognize the signs, including any changes in behavior or account activity that may seem suspicious. Access the new guide here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Deposit Insurance Webinars from FDIC

We encourage members to take advantage of three helpful webinars coming up from FDIC for bank officers and employees. They are:

  • July 19, 1-3 p.m. - Comprehensive Deposit Insurance Seminar for Bankers

  • Sept. 14, 2-4 p.m. - New Rules for Revocable and Irrevocable Trust Accounts (effective April 1, 2024)

  • Oct. 16, 3-5 p.m. - New Rules for Revocable and Irrevocable Trust Accounts (effective April 1, 2024)

Get more details and access to the sessions here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Leader Updates

Banker and Small Biz Sentiment, Gen Z Trends, Housing, Aliens

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

  • Fed’s Language: We shared some possible interpretations on what the Fed means by “pausing” rate increases as it did this week, along with an outlook on inflation for the next five years


  • How We’re Feeling: We also shared summaries of what members are saying about conditions in their markets during recent meetings, as well as the most recent Fed Sr. Lending Officer Survey and NFIB Small Business Banking Survey results.


  • Gen Z Shoppers: On the retail banking front, we shared an article and survey results that indicate banking technology as well as in-person experiences are important to that demographic


  • Housing: We shared insights in to housing starts, values and rent pricing nationwide, including how Georgia compares to other states.


  • Aliens: Yes, that’s right. We went there, if only for a little summer fun. Georgia ranks number two in terms of preparedness for surviving an alien invasion according to a New Jersey Casino advocacy group trolling for some headlines. Virginia tops their list by way of having a high concentration of military assets. Georgia has the second-lowest reported UFO sightings among the top 10 states, with just 2.35 sightings per 100,000 people. That’s less than our Florida neighbors where there have been 3.50 UFO sightings per capita. We in Georgia benefit from a high number of food and beverage manufacturing companies (849), 46% higher than our neighbors in Tennessee (581), which would play a crucial role surviving an alien invasion scenario. Not only that, Georgia has a more caves (12) to hide in compared to our neighbors, such as in South Carolina, that reports no caves in their state. Here’s a graphic. Now you know.

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


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Due Date June 30

Still Time to Participate in The Georgia Banking Compensation Survey

The survey data due date has been extended to June 30, and we encourage all GBA members to participate. The comprehensive survey report will deliver data on base salaries, salary ranges, short-term and long-term incentives, total cash compensation, and total compensation. Also, the report's in-depth policies and practices portion includes information on salary increases, merit increases, structure adjustments, outsourcing, turnover, and recruiting.


The survey schedule:

  • Survey Submission Extended Due Date: June 30

  • Survey Results Published: Week of Aug. 14

The report purchase price for participants is $595. The purchase list price for non-participants is $1,475. To participate, please contact Pearl Meyers' Rhonda Snyder at rhonda.snyder@pearlmeyer.com.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Two Great BSA Programs


New BSA Peer Group Summer Session Set for July 19 in Macon

Sign up now for our in-person summer session! Join us in Macon at Middle Georgia State University on July 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and grow your BSA network. Kristen Stogniew will be back to lead the group discussion and registrants can submit industry hot topics during the registration process to ensure those topics are covered. Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Kelley Wilson

Save the Date – Registration Opening Soon!

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

BSA compliance professionals, mark your calendars! GBA’s BSA Summit is back. Our next session is set for 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. Here's what attendee Kelley Wilson, CAFP, VP and BSA/OFAC/Fraud Officer, Colony Bank, had to say about her 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!"

Look for registration details soon. Contact Aimee Corcoran with questions, 404.420.2035.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Andy Keusal

Part 2 - Commercial Lender Training!

Commercial Lending 201: Analyzing Repayment Sources – Sept. 7

Andy Keusal, Keusal Learning is back to teach part 2 of his Commercial Lending training series. This 9-module, live (on Zoom) course is a “sequel” to the 101 course we offered back in February 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: analyzing a borrower’s balance sheet, income statement, collateral, and risk ratings. This course is most appropriate for credit analysts, lenders, portfolio managers, and others who need skills in financial statement analysis and writing credit documents. This webinar will be held by Zoom on Thursday, Sept. 7, 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. With questions, contact Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.


Back to top of E-Bulletin



Coming up Aug. 10-11 – Women in Banking Conference

Don’t Miss GBA’s Conference Built Exclusively for Women Bankers & Members

GBA’s Women in Banking Conference is Aug. 10-11 at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton. Prioritize the opportunity to gather, learn and share with fellow female colleagues during this conference built especially for you. The agenda, crafted by the GBA Women in Banking Committee, will include a range of topics including a look at Georgia economic development, managing generational differences, a dive into how prioritizing your mental health benefits those you lead, a panel featuring perspectives on work-life balance from three bankers representing various vantage points in their careers, and how to increase your effectiveness as a leader through the lens of color. Click here to see the detailed agenda, to register, and for hotel information. Interested in sponsoring the event? Click here. A big shout-out to our generous Associate Members who are sponsoring the conference: Platinum Sponsors: BHG Financial; Southern Bank Equipment & ATMs. Gold Sponsor: McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co., LLC. Silver Sponsors: Carr, Riggs & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors; Elliott Davis; FHLBank Atlanta; Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC; Troutman Pepper; and Wipfli. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024, with questions.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Registration Now Open!

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

Registration is now open for our annual Opening New Accounts Seminar. 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. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

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. The highlight of the seminar features 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. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Back to top of E-Bulletin



Sept. 24-26 – President/CEO, Bank Accountant, & Bank Counsel Conferences, Savannah

Bank Performance, Economic and Regulatory Updates, Peer Panels

Excitement is building around GBA’s President/CEO, Bank Accountant, & Bank Counsel Conferences set for Sept. 24-26 at the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District. Georgia’s only President/CEO-level concurrent conferences focused specifically on top-management skill-building, intelligence sharing and connections, each of the three agendas will feature sessions tailored to address the unique needs of those peers. The agenda will include:

  • An economic update from Chris Low, chief economist from FHN Financial

  • A regulatory panel with representatives from the FDIC, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Georgia Department of Banking & Finance

  • An update on U.S. and Georgia bank performance projections and predictions rolled forward into 2024 by Nathan Stovall, principal analyst for FIG Research from S&P Global Market Intelligence

  • A CEO Panel, featuring Spence Mullis, Morris Bank, Dublin, Heath Fountain, Colony Bank, Fitzgerald, Charles (Twig) Haney, Bank of Madison, and Jay Torbert, Southeastern Bank, Darien.

  • Closing the conference will be Lee Wetherington, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy for Jack Henry & Associates.

Click here to register and for hotel info. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024, with questions.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

BankMarketingCenter.com Announces HootSuite Integration

GBA partner Bank Marketing Center is pleased to announce that it has integrated the post scheduling features of the HootSuite social media platform into its web-based marketing portal. Bank Marketing Center’s mission is to provide banks with the best method of marketing messaging, and they know social media marketing is critical in the quest for market share. The HootSuite management tool – which supports Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social media platforms enables users to schedule and manage their full range social channels all in one place, and at one time. The social media posting and scheduling process is now drag-and-drop easy. Visit www.bankmarketingcenter.com for more great marketing ideas and contact Neal Reynolds, 678.528.6688, nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com, with questions.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Registration Now Open!

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

Planned by GBA’s Compliance Committee, the 2023 Compliance Conference is shaping up to bring you all the tools and connections needed to perfect your bank’s compliance management system. Join us for this expanded program!  GBA’s Compliance Conference has two components this year with an optional pre-conference workshop focused on HMDA. Attendees have the option to register for the workshop and conference, conference only or workshop only. Click here for all the details and to register. We’d like to thank these GBA associate members who are showing their support through sponsorship – Platinum: Steve H. Powell & Company and American Bankers Association. Silver: Mauldin & Jenkins, Ncontracts, Troutman Pepper and Compliance Alliance. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Compliance Alliance Question of The Week


Question: Does CAN-SPAM require a marketing email to have some variation of "AD", "ADV" or "ADVERTISEMENT" in the subject line?


Answer: That is not a specific requirement. What the law requires is that there is a clear and conspicuous identification of the message as an advertisement. CAN-SPAM gives you a lot of leeway in how you accomplish that but stating “advertisement” in the subject line is a common, but not exclusive, means of accomplishing that. 15 USC 7704(5) 15 USC 7704: Other protections for users of commercial electronic mail (house.gov).


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

Back to top of E-Bulletin



Back to top of E-Bulletin

Looking to Simplify Your Construction Loan Process? GBA Partner Abrigo Can Help

15% Discount for GBA Members, Web Demo Scheduled June 27 @ 2 p.m.

A new software solution from GBA partner Abrigo lets Georgia banks manage the lending process for residential and commercial construction projects from any mobile device or computer. With over $70 billion in construction loans managed by lender clients on nearly 100,000 projects, this award-winning software automates workflows, detailed reporting, and audit trails for residential and commercial construction. In addition, Abrigo Construct eliminates complicated tracking in spreadsheets and paper files, improves efficiency and draw interest, and identifies potential risks. Other product highlights include: 

  • Automated Calculations - reduce the risk of data entry errors by quickly calculating remaining budgets

  • Mobile inspections - quickly provide staff with the information needed to fund a draw request

  • At-risk loan alerts - identify at-risk construction loans faster and decrease the risk of overfunding.

Learn more about Abrigo Construct and mark your calendars for June 27 at 2 p.m., when the Abrigo team will walk us through a full demonstration of their software solution. You can register here for that. In addition, GBA members receive a 15% discount. With questions, please contact Abrigo’s Eric Bartlett at Eric.Bartlett@abrigo.com.


Back to top of E-Bulletin


TRID Hot Spots, Branch Manager Best Practices, 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.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

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.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

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:


Fort Valley - SunMark Community Bank

The bank recently partnered with Fort Valley State University to provide a financial literacy class to their Rep4 students. This program is designed to provide 11th and 12th graders the tools necessary to plan their college path.


Louisville - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.

The bank recently donated $100,000 to Jefferson Hospital as part of the Georgia Heart Hospital Program. Read more here.


Watkinsville - BankSouth

The bank recently hosted a booth at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce’s Summerfest Business Expo.

Additionally, the bank awarded a scholarship to Hailey Heinen, who graduated from Lake Oconee Academy.



Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Newsmakers


Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

Joy Godwin has joined the bank as AVP/deposit operations supervisor.


Claxton - Southern Bankshares, Inc.

The company, which is the holding company for The Claxton Bank, announced a new investor group from Jacksonville, FL, has agreed to purchase a controlling ownership position in the company from the current majority shareholder. Philip Williams, the company’s president and CEO, will continue in a senior leadership role focused on serving the bank’s customers in Claxton, Richmond Hill and other Georgia markets. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year. More details here.


Dallas - First National Community Bank

Jennifer Hunton has joined the bank as assistant vice president and branch manager for its forthcoming Dallas, GA, branch. Plans were announced earlier this month to open the full-service banking facility in Paulding County, Georgia within the city of Dallas, subject to receipt of appropriate regulatory approvals. The bank plans to open the branch during the first quarter of 2024. Read more here.


Eatonton - Farmers and Merchants Bank

Chief Operating Officer and Senior Lender and Director Bill Gower recently announced his upcoming retirement on June 30. Gower will remain a director of the holding company, Putnam Greene Financial Corporation, and two affiliates, Farmers & Merchants Bank and The Farmers Bank.


Greensboro - BankSouth

Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance and Risk Officer Jim Bedsole this week received the 2023 American Bankers Association’s Distinguished Service Award for Compliance. The award, which recognizes leadership, initiative and accomplishment in banking regulatory risk and compliance management, as well as volunteer service through ABA, was presented during ABA’s Risk and Compliance Conference in San Antonio, TX. Read more here.


Omega - South Georgia Banking Company

Bank Vice President David Keith celebrated his 50th anniversary at the bank on June 15.


Pembroke - First Bank of Coastal Georgia

Bank President and CEO Doyce Mullis recently announced his upcoming retirement on July 5.


Richmond Hill - Great Oaks Bank

Kimberly Boyce has joined the bank as vice president, treasury services manager. Read more here.


Washington, D.C. - American Bankers Association (ABA)

Chris Fisher and Justin Melvin have joined ABA’s congressional relations team. Read more here.



Joy Godwin Philip Williams Jennifer Hunton Jim Bedsole David Keith Kimberly Boyce



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.

Back to top of E-Bulletin