Oct. 13, 2023  

Scenes from South Georgia Community Banking Symposium

A big crowd of members and guests gathered Thursday in Valdosta for our annual South Georgia Community Banking Symposium in partnership with Valdosta State University’s Langdale College of Business Administration. Here are some scenes from the event. Look for a summary of the program and more photos in next week’s edition.



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47th Annual Georgia Peanut Bank Week Starts Monday

Many GBA member banks will be celebrating and promoting Georgia peanuts next week during the annual Georgia Peanut Bank Week, co-sponsored by GBA and the Georgia Peanut Commission. The annual campaign takes place at the perfect time of year: peanut harvest. See the list of participating banks.


In 2022, Georgia peanuts were planted on more than 680,000 acres throughout Georgia and accounted for 52% of peanut production in the United States. Peanuts were planted in 77 of Georgia’s 159 counties with an average yield of more than 4,250 pounds per acre.


For this year's Georgia Peanut Bank Week, our friends at the Georgia Peanut Commission are offering print and digital resources to use. The official poster, recipe card, peanut fact sheet, press release template, and children's activity sheets can be found on the Peanut Bank Week page of GPC’s website here. Please reach out to Maddie Frost at bankweek@gapeanuts.com or 229.326.0141 if you have any questions.


If your bank is participating in Georgia Peanut Bank Week, please send photos and information to Katina Prokos and David Oliver, or tag us in your social media posts about your efforts. We’ll share them in the next GBA E-Bulletin and on our social media channels. @gapeanuts, @GABankers #gapeanuts #georgiapeanutbankweek #georgiabanks


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John Hall

Hall Elected to American Bankers Association Board of Directors

We’re excited for John Hall, president and CEO of American Pride Bank, Macon, as this week he was elected to the ABA’s board of directors. Hall will serve a three-year term. “John will be a strong advocate for Georgia banks and their needs at the national level by serving on the ABA board,” said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO. “He’s well-versed on all the key issues and is a tireless voice in supporting the critical role community banking has in a vibrant, diverse economy.”


Hall was GBA Chairman in 2018-19 and is a longtime member of the BankPAC Board of Directors and Community Bankers Committee.


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Survey Shows

Consumer Confidence in Banks Remains High, Overdraft Protection and Cannabis Banking Gain Support

A recent national survey conducted by Morning Consult for the ABA found that 84% of Americans are either "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their primary bank, with 94% rating their bank's customer service as "excellent," "very good," or "good." Consumers praised the accessibility and competitiveness of the financial services sector, with 79% agreeing that innovations and technological improvements have made financial services more accessible. A majority (73%) believes the industry is highly competitive, and 78% feel their banks are transparent about disclosing fees. The survey also revealed that a majority of respondents oppose additional regulatory requirements on banks, with 61% believing such regulations could hinder economic recovery. Additionally, 88% of consumers appreciate overdraft protection offered by their banks, and 77% prefer their bank to cover overdraft payments rather than returning or declining them. Significantly, 55% of U.S. adults support legislation allowing cannabis-related businesses access to banking services. Read more here.


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Leader Updates

Jobs, Credit Card Debt, Home Prices and Winter Weather Forecast

This week’s topics in our regular email update to CEOs, committee members and other key leaders included:

  • Jobs: We discussed details about how recent news about jobs, lower wage growth and a variety of significant domestic and international issues could affect the Fed’s decision next month about interest rates.


  • Credit Card Debt: Georgia ranks 7th in total credit card debt outstanding at just more than $41 billion according to a popular personal finance website. The average household in Georgia owes just less than $9,000 in credit card debt, which ranks 9th nationally.


  • Home Prices: Cape Coral, FL, has replaced Atlanta as the so-called most overpriced housing market in the country according to Florida Atlantic University. While Atlanta housing is expensive, comparison to other markets is important, too. In a Zillow report as of Aug. 31, Atlanta's average home price ranked 40th among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.


  • Farmer’s Almanac: We took a fun look at the winter weather forecast from the long-trusted Farmer’s Almanac. The verdict: cold and snowy for extreme Northwest Georgia, wet and mild everywhere else. Sorry kids; no white Christmas anywhere in the state.

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


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FDIC's 'Know Your Risk' Campaign to Educate Public on Deposit Insurance

The FDIC recently launched a nationwide campaign called "Know Your Risk. Protect Your Money" to raise public awareness about deposit insurance. This campaign aims to educate consumers, especially those who may lack confidence in the U.S. banking system, are unbanked or use alternative financial services, about the protection deposit insurance provides. Recent concerns after regional bank closures and online misuse of the FDIC's name prompted this initiative. The campaign features digital ads and social media content, emphasizing the importance of understanding deposit insurance and its coverage limit of at least $250,000 per account. It runs from now through November and will resume in January 2024 to coincide with the traditional tax filing season. For more information or to access campaign resources and toolkits, visit FDIC.gov/news/campaigns/know-your-risk and follow on social media at #IsYourMoneyInsured.


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Crime and Punishment

Georgia Man Sentenced to 51 Months in Federal Prison for Bank Fraud Scheme

Marqualdis Antwon Logan, also known as "Alphonso Baugh," from Stone Mountain, has been sentenced to 51 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $272,097 in restitution after pleading guilty to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Logan was involved in a scheme that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from private individuals' bank accounts. He was arrested in November 2022 while traveling in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, Logan admitted involvement in a separate scheme where he withdrew more than $100,000 from a victim's account using stolen identifying information from the victim's deceased husband. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, with prosecution led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer A. Stanley. Read more here.


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2024 Enrollment Now Open!



Enrollment is Now Open for Georgia Banking School April 28 - May 3

Online enrollment is now available for the 2024 session of the Georgia Banking School, which will be April 28 - May 3 in at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens. For more than 60 years, the school has developed generations of Georgia bank leaders who shape the industry in our state. It offers everything you want and expect from an investment in banker education, specifically preparing the next generation of bank leaders, building the pool of management-level talent in your bank, and connecting students to the most knowledgeable industry experts and a community of fellow bankers. The Georgia Banking School Board, led by Darron Burnette of Synovus, has been hard at work reviewing the curriculum and planning next year’s session.


Georgia Banking School Details and Enrollment Access Here


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2023 BankPAC Campaign Continues

The 2023 BankPAC campaign again enjoyed a successful week which is key to making sure our industry’s voice is heard across federal and state levels of government. Please consider your contributions to the two funds if you have not done so already. You can find the campaign materials on GBA’s website where you can easily download contribution forms for the GBA StatePAC and FedPAC and find a link to make an individual contribution online to the FedPAC. Members of the GBA BankPAC Board very much appreciate your participation.


Many thanks to the banks below who made their contribution to the GBA StatePAC this week:

  • Community Bank & Trust-West Georgia, LaGrange, Bill Stump, Director of Community Banking

  • Morris Bank, Dublin, Spence Mullis, president & CEO

And, to the directors, officers, and eligible employees of the following banks and companies for contributing to the GBA FedPAC this week:

  • Ameris Bank, Atlanta, Palmer Proctor, CEO

  • Morris Bank, Dublin, Spence Mullis, president & CEO

  • Planters First Bank, Cordele, Eli Tinsley, president & CEO

  • South Georgia Banking Company, Tifton, Glenn Willis, president & CEO

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


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Kristen Stogniew

Two Great BSA Programs


BSA Peer Group Winter Session Set for Nov. 28, Virtual

Sign up now for virtual winter session! Grow your BSA network and connect with your peers. 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.


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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Breaking Compliance News

CRCM Credits Approved for Compliance Conference and HMDA Workshop

The American Bankers Association (ABA) Professional Certifications has approved the GBA 2023 Compliance Conference and HMDA Workshop for 14.25 CRCM credits (APPROVED NON-ABA CE) and 3.75 CAFP. Or, earn 11.75 CRCM credits if you attend the conference only. Chalk that up as added incentive to join your fellow compliance professionals Oct. 18-20 for our annual Compliance Conference at The Westin Jekyll Island. Visit the conference website here for more details about all the sessions on the agenda, our hotel and to register.


A big thank you to our confirmed conference sponsors.

  • 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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Patrick Blanchard

Marketing Peer Group – Nov. 1, Macon

Driving Digital Connections in the Age of Authenticity

Bank marketing officers, marketing personnel and anyone with marketing responsibilities within the bank should make plans today to join their peers at Middle Georgia State University in Macon for the 2023 Marketing Peer Group Meeting. In addition to plenty of roundtable discussion time planned, the meeting will kick off with a technical session on digital marketing strategies in banking presented by Patrick Blanchard of Truelio, a new GBA Associate Member. He’ll discuss key trends and challenges, highlighting the importance of authentic brand storytelling. He’ll also cover location-based marketing, leveraging mobile targeting and insights from location data, and more.


Don’t miss this opportunity to gain fresh perspectives on your bank marketing role and build valuable connections within the industry. Registration includes lunch. Click here to register. With questions, contact GBA’s Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035, or Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.


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Newsletter Marketing? Become a Pro in No Time with GBA Partner Bank Marketing Center

At a time when the market is increasingly competitive, community banks need to maintain their local, community-focused approach. One powerful tool you can leverage is newsletter marketing. In this article from GBA partner Bank Marketing Center, you’ll read about the importance of sending out newsletters on a regular basis and get some tips for making it easy on your marketing pros. Visit www.bankmarketingcenter.com, for more marketing insights.


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Place your order by Oct. 27!

Make Plans Now to Use GBA’s Holiday Closing Decals in 2024

For more than 30 years, GBA has been the source for banks to buy top-quality, thoughtfully designed Holiday Closing Decals, that provide a professional appearance and communicate the federal holiday closings recognized by the Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with FDIC rules. Each set includes 11 unique decals. To place a new order, please contact Bo Brannen at bbrannen@gabankers.com, or 404.420.2014. GBA Holiday Closing Decals feature:

  • A unique decal for each holiday

  • Large 6"x 9" size to maximize visibility

  • No messy adhesive for easy removal and reapplication

  • All-weather durability

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Ryan Hayhurst

Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 2-3, Atlanta

Balance Sheet Management in a Volatile and Uncertain Rate Environment

Join Georgia bank CFOs and other finance professionals in Atlanta Nov. 2-3 at The Westin Buckhead for the annual GBA 2023 Financial Risk Management Conference, hosted annually by GBA’s Asset/Liability Management Committee under the leadership of Chair Haynes Standard, First State Bank, Wrens, and Vice Chair Holt Redding, South Coast Bank & Trust, Brunswick. One session led by Ryan Hayhurst, president of The Baker Group, will address balance sheet management in a volatile and uncertain rate environment. Liquidity and interest rate risk are once again top regulatory concerns and asset/liability management has never been more important. This broad-based session will focus on the challenges banks face in managing liquidity, interest rate risk and the investment portfolio in a volatile and uncertain rate environment including specific strategies to meet those challenges successfully. Get all the details and register here.


We’d like to thank these Associate Members who are showing their support:

  • Platinum sponsorship: The Baker Group PC

  • Gold sponsorship: Brean Capital LLC and Raymond James & Associates

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

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Credit Conference - Nov. 30 - Dec. 1, Atlanta

CRE, Ag Update, Liquidity, Economic Update and More

Join Georgia bank lenders in Atlanta Nov. 30 - Dec. 1 at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta for the annual GBA 2023 Credit Conference hosted annually by GBA’s GBA Credit Committee under the leadership of Michael Tesler, Ameris Bank, and Vice Chair Rebecca Abraham, Signature Bank of Georgia. Get all the details and register here.


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 and Wiplfi LLP.

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Save the Date!



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Registration Now Open for 2024 Ops/Tech Conference

It’s time to sign up to attend GBA’s Operations and Technology Conference, Feb. 28 - March 1 at The DeSoto in Savannah. The agenda is almost finalized, but topics will include fraud, the next digital wave, phishing protection and securing azure, AI and machine learning, succession planning and more. Thanks to the GBA Operations and Technology Committee, led by its chair Shan Venable, Altamaha Bank and Trust Company, and Vice Chair Mindy Green, Citizens Community Bank, for their work on the agenda. For more information and to register, click here.


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Free Webinar with GBA Partner ABA Insurance - Cyber Trends and Claims - Oct. 24, 2-3 p.m.

Join the team from GBA partner ABA Insurance for a free webinar on Oct. 24 to learn about the trends in cyber claims over the past year. Cyber insurance experts, Lisa Micciche and Sarah Cleves will cover topics such as cyber insurance pricing, service provider exposure, C-suite liability, and BIPA—and cyber claims, from frequently reported claims to large dollar and unusual claims. Register here. For questions about ABA Insurance’s professional lines, bond, cyber or P&C programs for banks, please contact Catherine Kopera at 216.220.1321 or ckopera@abais.com.


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Save the Date – Registration Opening Soon!

IRA Merry-Go-Round, Feb.6-7, MGSU in Macon

IRA professionals, mark your calendars! GBA’s IRA Merry-Go-Round will be Feb. 6 – Feb. 7, 2024 in Macon at Middle Georgia State University. Facilitated by Loni Porta, Director of Education, Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, anyone even remotely involved in IRAs will benefit from this intensive 2-day seminar. Look for registration details soon. Contact Aimee Corcoran with questions, 404.420.2035.


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Revamp Your New Teller Training Program, Making IT an Asset, HR Basics for Supervisors 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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Save the Date!



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Recruit, Retain and Develop the Best Bankers with GBA Career Solutions


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.


Save Big in Q4 with GBA Partner BankTalentHQ

Navigating the challenges of talent acquisition and retention is a daily task for banks. Beginning Oct. 1, bank employers can take advantage of 20% off a single 30-day job posting package with GBA partner BankTalentHQ. See the promo offer below for more information. Why post with BankTalentHQ?

  • Tailored Audience: The platform caters specifically to banking professionals, ensuring that your job post reaches the right people.

  • High Visibility: Partnering with 40 state banking associations across the country and the American Bankers Association, BankTalentHQ works collaboratively to promote your postings and attract talent to the industry.

  • Easy-to-use: With its user-friendly platform, posting a job and tracking applicants is easy.

To redeem your savings, visit www.banktalenthq.com, create an employer profile, and enter the code SAVE20BTHQ at checkout. Or, if you would like to set up a meeting with a member of the BankTalentHQ team to learn more, please email info@banktalenthq.com.




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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:


Camilla - Planters & Citizens Bank

The bank participated in the Mitchell County High School Homecoming Parade Oct. 6. Bank team members Temeike Frazier and Lorena Vazquez decorated the bank’s parade vehicle, and Michelle Brown, Kayla Davis, Angie Willingham and Lorena Vazquez represented the bank in the parade.


Hawkinsville - Planters First Bank

Senior Vice President and Consumer Lender Bobbie Clemons led a financial education class for students at Hawkinsville High School. Topics included credit scores, check writing and money management.


Johns Creek - Loyal Trust Bank

The bank recently sponsored the North America Volunteers Gala 2023 organized by Sino-USA Next Generation Foundation.


Louisville - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.

Bank employees raised $22,473 for the United Way of the CSRA in their 2022 annual campaign. The contribution was presented during an employee event Sept. 26. Read more here.



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GBA Newsmakers


Augusta - BankSouth Mortgage

Davis Clark has joined the bank as its newest Augusta loan officer.


Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

Jackson Dodd, Maggie Smith and John Buckhaulter have joined the bank’s board of directors.


Dublin - Bank of Dudley

The bank celebrated its 118th birthday recently by giving away $118 to one lucky customer at each branch.


Lavonia - Northeast Georgia Bank

Our sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Margaret Ayers, who recently died. She worked for the bank for more than 75 years. Read more here.


Rome - River City Bank

Will Mink has joined the bank as a junior credit analyst, supporting all bank locations.


Tupelo, MS - Renasant Bank

Renasant rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange recently.



Davis Clark Jackson Dodd Maggie Smith John Buckhaulter



Margaret Ayers Will Mink Renasant Bank



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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