May 19, 2023  

Scenes from Rural Development and Lending Conference

Member bankers who specialize in serving rural areas and banking for agribusiness are at their annual conference that kicked off Thursday. Here are some scenes from the opening sessions, which included state Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper. Check back next week for a roundup of things we learned.



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Neil Stevens

Kim Kirk

Stevens and Kirk Wrap up Service on National Community Bank Advocacy Council

ABA’s Community Bankers Council, which meets twice a year, is made up of approximately 100 bankers from across the country from institutions with generally less than $5 billion in assets. Members are appointed by the ABA chair. Congratulations and thanks to Oconee State Bank’s Neil Stevens and Queensborough National Bank & Trust’s Kim Kirk for being Georgia’s representatives on that council for the past term. They just completed their service, with Stevens attending the most recent meeting two weeks ago.




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Grace Fricks

Christopher Nunn

Fricks, Nunn Featured for Entrepreneurial Support

There’s a nice story in Georgia Trend magazine this month that features two Associate Member organizations, among others, that provide outstanding support small businesses in Georgia. Among those featured is Associate Member company Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), and its CEO Grace Fricks. The story chronicles the growth of ACE from its roots in Cleveland, GA, to Atlanta, and now into South Georgia. The expansion into South Georgia is being made possible from a $3.7 million grant from the Truist Foundation. ACE is one of 29 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in Georgia. Also noted for small business support is Associate Member Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and its Commissioner, Christopher Nunn. The DCA administers the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) as well as the Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund. Holly Hunt, the SSBCI program manager, is attending and exhibiuting at the Rural Development and Lending Conference this week. Read the full story here.


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Chime in on GBA Compensation Survey – Data Collection Ends May 26

We encourage all members to participate in painting a clear picture of the compensation environment in Georgia by taking part in the 2023 Georgia Banking Compensation Survey. Data collection concludes on May 26. The survey report will be available in August and will cover hundreds of different positions and include data about:

  • Base salaries

  • Salary ranges

  • Short-term & long-term incentives

  • Total cash compensation

  • Total compensation

Participants get a significant discount on the survey report. Attract, motivate and retain the best talent with access to the metrics and insight you need to create a well-designed compensation program. Contact Pearl Meyer’s Rhonda Snyder at to participate.


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Leader Updates

Congressional Earmarks, April CPI, Special Assessment, ROI

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

  • Congressional Earmarks: We shared a spreadsheet of the recently announced earmarks from the Georgia delegation to be considered in the 2024 appropriations bill.


  • April CPI: We shared a report and some highlights from the recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics’ April Consumer Price Index, which rose 0.4%, more than the 0.1% March data.


  • FDIC Special Assessment: We provided more details about the announcement from FDIC about how the agency is proposing to cover the cost of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank (NY) under the Dodd-Frank Act’s systemic risk exception scheme. Read more in the May 12 GBA E-Bulletin.


  • ROI: With a review underway of the many state tax credits to learn if the credits are generating the intended results, we shared examples of where public money is invested to generate economic activity, such as through projects sponsored by local development authorities, and how local bankers serve on the boards of almost all those authorities.

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


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BSA Peer Group Coming Up

Inaugural BSA Peer Group Meeting, Virtual Session, May 31

Join GBA's BSA Summit lead facilitator, Kristen Stogniew, for our first BSA Peer Group meeting. We will be focusing on the account opening process and enhanced due diligence. Registrants can also submit industry hot topics during the registration process to discuss during the meeting. Get all the details and register here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Don't Fight the Tape: Get Beyond Chasing New Deposits with GBA Partner StrategyCorps

By StrategyCorps' Mike Branton and Gregg Early


It has been a wild ride for banks. The shift from a low-growth, low-interest rate environment to its complete opposite in less than 12 months has created significant turmoil for community banks. There's a new normal taking shape, meaning that banks need to find new ways to manage the risks and explore new opportunities to compete in this environment. Single-mindedly hunting for new deposits will be an ineffective short-term effort that won't alleviate significant long-term challenges transforming the financial sector. Of course, this doesn't mean banks must abandon their prudent, conservative financial discipline and swing for the new digital fences. Still, it does mean there needs to be more adaptation to the new normal than simply relying on the tried-and-true approaches of the past to solve the real challenges of the present. Read more from GBA partner StrategyCorps. For more information on how StrategyCorps solutions can bridge a new approach to building value for customers and growing primary accounts, please get in touch with Mike Branton at or visit


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

Detailed Conference Agenda Now Available!

The GBA Women in Banking Committee, under the leadership of Chair Lori Tucker, United Bank, Zebulon, and Vice Chair Jenn Whitmire, Pinnacle Bank, Elberton, is excited to unveil the detailed agenda for the 2023 Women in Banking Conference, Aug. 10-11 at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton. Click here to take a look at the timely and beneficial sessions coming your way later this summer. There is something for all women bankers, strategic partners and Associate Members! Don’t miss this opportunity to meet, learn and share with your fellow colleagues. Register today to reserve your spot. Click here to register, see hotel reservation info, or to reserve your sponsorship. A huge thank you to our generous Associate Members who are supporting this conference through sponsorship.  Platinum Sponsor: BHG Financial; 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. With questions, contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2034.


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Compliance Alliance Question of The Week


Question: If a customer calls and asks about our current deposit rates do we need to include a statement of “annual percentage yield” along with the rate?


Answer: In any oral response to a consumer inquiry on deposit rates, Regulation DD requires that you state the annual percentage yield. The interest rate may be stated in addition to the annual percentage yield as set out here:


"(e) Oral response to inquiries. In an oral response to a consumer's inquiry about interest rates payable on its accounts, the depository institution shall state the annual percentage yield. The interest rate may be stated in addition to the annual percentage yield. No other rate may be stated." Get more detail here.


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.

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Registration Opening Soon!

Compliance Conference, Oct. 18-20, The Westin, Jekyll Island

Registration will open soon for our annual Compliance Conference. Planned by GBA’s Compliance Committee, the compliance conference is for any compliance professional needing to sharpen their skills. We’d like to thank these GBA Associate Members that are showing their support through sponsorship – Platinum: Steve H. Powell & Company and Silver: Mauldin & Jenkins, Ncontracts, Troutman Pepper and Compliance Alliance. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Risk Management Controls: A Primer from GBA Associate Member NContracts

By Michael Carpenter


Risk management is a critical aspect of banking operations. However, one area that often draws resistance is risk management controls. The concept may seem intimidating or overwhelming, but when you break down the components, you’ll find risk management controls aren’t nearly as complicated as you think. So, how can we best understand Risk Management Controls to affect buy-in from all employees? Risk management controls are measures or mechanisms implemented to mitigate risk. Risk controls can be classified in the following ways:


  • Preventive controls aim to prevent a risk event from happening. Examples include automated software controls, employee training, and firewalls.


  • Detective controls identify and detect risk events or issues that have occurred to quickly address them and reduce their impact. Examples include audits, monitoring systems, and fair lending data analysis.


  • Corrective controls resolve issues once they have been identified, with the goal of reducing the impact of risk events and preventing them from recurring. Examples include incident response, root cause analysis, and contingency plans.

Read more from GBA Associate Member NContracts. Visit for more info.


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How to Manage Your ACH Origination Risk, Fair Lending Review, TRID Hot Spots 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,, and David Oliver,, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment:


Clayton/Dillard - Rabun County Bank

The bank celebrated Customer Appreciation Day on May 12 in its Clayton and Dillard offices.


Clayton/Cornelia, Rabun County Bank and Traditions Bank, a division of Rabun County Bank

Rabun County Bank and Traditions Bank employees recently served lunch to teachers to celebrate Teacher Appreciation week.


Dublin - Citizens Bank of Laurens County

The bank recently sponsored the local Chamber of Commerce May Business After Hours event.


Lake Oconee - Exchange Bank

The bank recently contributed $25,000 to St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital through the Georgia HEART (Helping Enhance Access to Rural Treatment) Program. Read more here.


Milledgeville - Exchange Bank

The bank awarded a $1,500 scholarship to Tucker Ivey, Outstanding Graduating Senior from Georgia Military College. Read more here.



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GBA Newsmakers


Alma - Pineland Bank

The bank held an event to celebrate four team members who have served for 50 or more years at the bank. Gloria Dean and Retha Hutto each have been with the bank 56 years. Rod Rentz and Lawrence Bennett each have served for 50 years. Pictured below are Rentz, GBA President and CEO Joe Brannen, Dean, Bennett and Hutto.


Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

Azhar Farooqui has joined the bank’s SBA/USDA team as vice president and SBA lender.


Camilla - Planters & Citizens Bank

Angie Willingham was recently voted the “Best Teller” in the 2023 Readers Choice Awards for Mitchell County for the second year in a row. Beth Palmer has been promoted to bank vault teller.


Macon - Oconee State Bank

The bank held a ribbon cutting this week for its new branch in Macon.


Peachtree Corners - Piedmont Bank

Jonathan Grogan has joined the bank as an SBA lender.


Sandy Springs - Signature Bank of Georgia

The bank recently ranked in the top 10 SBA 7(A) lenders in Georgia for Q1 2023 by gross loan volume. The bank’s SBA team is led by Maria Lawson.


Waycross - Waycross Bank & Trust

Linda James celebrated her 35th anniversary with the bank on May 16. Pictured below with President and CEO Russell Bates, she was one of the first employees of the bank and has been with the bank since before its doors opened for business June 1, 1988. James’ celebration kicks off the bank’s 35th anniversary festivities, which will continue throughout the remainder of the year.


Bloomington, MN - United Bankers’ Bank

Karen Von Guten has been promoted to vice president, USource manager. Read more here.


Atlanta - Georgia General Assembly

Congratulations to the three state legislators who were named Legislators of the Year by James Magazine/Insider Advantage this week. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin) also serves on the Advisory Board of Directors for the Citizens Bank of Laurens County. Also recognized were House Minority Leader James Beverly (D-Macon) and Senate Rules Chairman Matt Brass (R-Newnan).


Richmond Hill - Georgia Bankers Association

Our sympathies to former GBA Chairman and First Lady Jimmy and Becky Burnsed on the death of their son, Ty Burnsed, last week.



Pineland Bank Azhar Farooqui Angie Willingham Beth Palmer


Oconee State Bank Jonathan Grogan Maria Lawson Linda James


Karen Von Guten Matt Hatchett James Beverly Matt Brass



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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