Sept. 22, 2023  

Push Back Needed on Credit Card Act

We encourage bankers to contact Sens. Ossoff and Warnock and urge them to oppose attaching the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA) to unrelated spending bills they may be considering. Proponents of the credit card bill are trying to attach it to legislation funding military housing and veterans’ health benefits. The retailer-backed measure would force card-issuing financial institutions to choose among routing networks set by the Federal Reserve. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) reintroduced the CCCA earlier this year after previously failing to advance the legislation thanks to bankers and other stakeholders who warned lawmakers about its potential harm to consumers. Contact Georgia’s Senators here. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.

 

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Updated Version of SAFE Act Introduced in Senate

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee has scheduled a vote Sept. 27 on a new, bi-partisan supported, version of a bill to allow banks to serve legitimate cannabis businesses in states where it is legal. The Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation, or SAFER, Banking Act would allow all businesses to access deposit accounts, insurance and other financial services, according to a summary of the legislation provided by its sponsors. This is a revised version of the SAFE Act, which we’ve long supported. We’re reviewing the new legislation. Sen. Raphael Warnock serves on the Senate Banking Committee. Read the legislation here. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.

 

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Go Time for Trio of Conferences

We’re looking forward to seeing a big crowd of members beginning Sunday in Savannah for our trio of concurrent executive conferences. Member bank presidents and CEOs, Bank Counsel Section and Bank Accountant Section members are all set to get a heavy dose of strategy tips, industry intelligence, best practices and quality networking. We emailed attendees last-minute event details earlier in the week. Check back next week for an overview of what we learned. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 404.420.2024.

 

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Michelle Britt

GBA Member Profile

Bringing Fun to Compliance with Michelle Britt

Michelle Britt, CRCM, vice president, compliance/CRA officer, and SAFE Act officer for SunMark Community Bank in Perry, has found a creative way to demystify the often-complex world of banking regulations for her teammates. She started a monthly newsletter called "Compliance Corner.” Each edition summarizes a different regulation and includes the "Coffee Break," a game such as a crossword puzzle or word scramble that references the material presented in the newsletter. Participants who complete the game have a chance to win a Chick-Fil-A gift card, which has proven to be a simple yet effective incentive. Britt also injects a dose of humor by including funny cartoons in the newsletter. “I was trying to find something to make compliance more fun and give retail employees a different way to learn about the regulations. The managers have started using it in their monthly branch manager meetings as well,” she said. The member of GBA’s Compliance Committee shares about her bank career journey, from watching her mom serve several bank roles to starting out on the front line and becoming a compliance officer. She also shares about her plethora of crafting skills and much more in the latest GBA Member Profile.

 

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Attention Lenders!

Take a Seat: Senior Lending Officer Roundtable Open for Members

A new program year is about to start for our Senior Lending Officer Roundtables. There are seats available in all four groups, and we’re fired up to have Mike Allen of 3B’s Advisors as our new facilitator. With 45+ years of banking/credit expertise and experience, Allen is among the most respected lending experts in Georgia. A passionate and dynamic instructor, he's president of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU Board of Trustees as well as a faculty member there. He's also a longtime member of the Georgia Banking School Board of Directors and faculty. For those looking to join, get all the details and contact information here. With questions, reach out to Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

 

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GBA Seminars Dive Deep Into Best Banking Procedures

In the last two weeks, we hosted three impactful seminars at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. On Sept. 12, the Opening New Accounts Seminar led by Suzie Jones drew more than 60 bankers, offering insights into best practices in documentation and compliance under Georgia law. On Sept. 19-20, more than three dozen lending professionals attended full-day seminars. On Sept. 19, Peter Faser of Truist, a faculty member of the Georgia Banking School, returned as a GBA seminar presenter to teach business cash flow analysis, delivering fresh perspectives on practical cash flow analysis for loan evaluations. Then on Sept. 20, Shannon Fortson, EVP and Chief Credit Officer of Pinnacle Bank, taught commercial loan professionals how to improve their loan structuring and documentation techniques. Be sure to check GBA’s calendar of events frequently for more enriching educational opportunities.

 

Opening New Accounts Business Cash Flow Analysis Loan Documentation

 

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Georgia Tops 2023 "Top States for Doing Business" Survey

We were pleased to see Georgia clinch the #1 spot in the 2023 "Top States for Doing Business" survey by Area Development magazine. This marks the state's 10th consecutive year at the top, underscoring its appeal to businesses. Georgia stood out in several key categories, including:

  • Affordability

  • Robust incentive programs

  • Competitive labor market

  • Workforce training initiatives

  • Reliable, affordable energy

  • Strong logistics and infrastructure

  • Cooperative government support.

Click here for detailed insights and rankings. Area Development is a site selection and facility planning authority that aims to guide companies to success. Georgia's top position shows its continued commitment to innovation and economic growth.

 

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Leader Updates

Hurricane Recovery Resources, Government Shutdown Info, 1071 Injunction and More

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

  • Idalia Recovery Resources: We outlined federal disaster and regulatory relief available to bankers and residents in areas hit hard by the hurricane.

 

  • Government Shutdown Resource: As budget talks in D.C. appear to be bogged down, we shared with members a resource for planning to help the estimated 80,000 Georgians who are federal employees and may be affected if there’s a government shutdown. The resource guide outlines how a shutdown may affect various federal agencies and financial programs. It also shares ideas about how to assist customers.

 

  • 1071 Injunction: Another Federal District Court has sided with banks and their advocates, enjoining the CFPB from implementing its Section 1071 small business reporting rules until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a case challenging the constitutionality of the agency’s funding. The latest ruling was handed down by the U.S. District Court, Eastern Division, Southern Region of Kentucky, in response to a suit filed by eight banks and the Kentucky Bankers Association.

 

  • ERTC Application Moratorium: Be aware the IRS announced a moratorium on processing new Employee Retention Tax Credit applications until after year-end.

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

 

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2023 BankPAC Campaign Continues Swift Pace

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:

  • Farmers & Merchants, Sylvania, Hoke Reeves, president & CEO

  • First Bank of Pike, Molena, John Barker, president & CEO

  • Oconee State Bank, Watkinsville, Neil Stevens, 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

  • Citizens Bank of Americus, Rick Whaley, president & CEO

  • First Bank of Pike, Molena, John Barker, president & CEO

  • First National Bank, Bainbridge, Brad Barber, president & CEO

  • Great Oaks Bank, Eastman, Mike Odom, president & CEO

  • Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Louisville, Bill Easterlin, president & CEO

  • United Bank, Zebulon, Jim Edwards, CEO

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

 

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Crime and Punishment

Savannah Woman Sentenced to 10+ Years in Violent Robbery Involving ATM

Shannan Barnwell, 25, from Chatham County, was sentenced this week to 170 months in federal prison for a violent armed robbery. On Sept. 27, 2022, Barnwell robbed a vendor restocking a SouthState Bank ATM at gunpoint. No one was harmed, but she fired two shots during her escape, one hitting the ATM. Barnwell was quickly apprehended by Savannah police officers, who also recovered the stolen cash and firearms she had discarded. The FBI and Savannah Police Department jointly investigated the case, leading to this significant sentencing. Read more here.

 

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IntraFi® Assetpoint® Connects Buyers and Sellers of Bank Assets

IntraFi® Assetpoint® is a single point that connects buyers and sellers of bank assets locally, regionally, and nationally. IntraFi Assetpoint can help you build valuable connections by providing personal introductions to banks that have identified themselves as having complementary loan interests. Learn more about loan purchase programs below that can help you meet your balance sheet and profitability goals.

IntraFi Assetpoint is brought to you by IntraFi® Network. Please contact Danny Capitel, 703.292.3476, to learn more.

 

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GBA Partner JMFA

Free Webinar Sept. 28, 3-3:30 p.m. - How to Communicate Overdraft Options Consistently

Effective and consistent communication about your bank’s overdraft service is critical for your customers. However, many community banks face the challenge of ensuring their employees deliver that consistent message. When your staff is confident in providing accurate information, it empowers your customers to make more informed decisions about services they may use. Gain insight into how to empower your frontline staff to provide effective and consistent communication about your overdraft services during this free webinar with GBA Strategic Partner JMFA on Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. Click here to register. Visit www.jmfa.com for more details.

 

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GBA’s Bank Record Retention Guide is Now Online

75 Changes Covered, and Featuring Bank Record Retention Quick Notes©, by Carl Pry

GBA is proud to offer members the GBA’s Guide to Bank Record Retention, featuring Bank Record Retention Quick Notes©, by Carl Pry. It is designed to be a fast and easy-to-use reference for the most common types of customer records questions in a completely online format. Please note we do not have printed copies available for purchase. This guide is intended to help develop a simple, yet complete and understandable record retention program for your bank.

 

The Quick Notes© refer to federal or general industry practices in six broad topic areas: General; Deposits and Operations; Loans; Securities; Human Resources; and Tax. They also contain the available requirements of FinCEN, CFPB, OCC, NACHA, IRS, SEC, FDIC, FRB and other relevant state agencies.

 

Including over 75 recent changes, the current edition is streamlined to assist bankers at every level. Additions include new independent sections on both Trusts & Estates and Audit as well as numerous other updates throughout. We hope that you will find this to be a valuable resource to help your bank. Please contact GBA’s Bo Brannen at bbrannen@gabankers.com, to place an order.

 

Pricing (does not include sales tax):

  • One user - $125

  • Up to five simultaneous users - $495

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Save the Date!

 

 

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Regional Banking Symposium to Focus on South Georgia

Join GBA and Valdosta State University's Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration for the South Georgia Community Bank Symposium Oct. 12 on the VSU campus. Experts will address key banking challenges and opportunities to collaborate with the university and its students. It’s a great event for learning and networking for all bankers. Confirmed sessions include:

  • Economic Outlook with Dr. Elvan Aktas, Professor of Finance, Valdosta State University

  • Credit Conditions/Concerns with Stewart Thigpen, CEO, Steve H. Powell & Co.

  • Regional Economic Development Panel with Moderator Tiffany Holmes, Director of Center For Rural Prosperity, Georgia Chamber; and Panelists Jason Dunn, Executive Director, Fitzgerald Ben Hill Economic Development Authority; Jana Dyke, President & CEO at Albany-Dougherty Economic Development; and Scott Purvis, Community Development Manager, Georgia Power

  • A look at Georgia's Heirs Property Law Center and the impact of heirs property on communities throughout Georgia. 

Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Click here to access the event website with everything you need to know.

 

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Brad Rustin

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

Looking at the Past to Predict the Future: 2023 Enforcement Actions

Join us at this year’s GBA Compliance Conference in Jekyll Island. Planned by GBA’s Compliance Committee, led by Chair Tabitha White, First State Bank of Blakely, and Vice Chair Lindsay Holloway, The Four County Bank, Allentown, attendees can expect a jam-packed agenda. Our closing session will be presented by fan favorite, Brad Rustin, Nelson Mullins. During this session, Rustin will look back at recent enforcement actions and discuss what banks can do to avoid these setbacks along with what they should do in the future to meet and exceed the expectations and requirements set forth by the regulators.

 

Get all the details and register here. Attendees have the option to register for the combined workshop and conference, conference only, or workshop only. 

 

We’d like to thank these 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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Visit with New GBA Partner NContracts at this Year’s Compliance Conference

We appreciate the generous support of our upcoming Compliance Conference from GBA’s newest Strategic Partner Ncontracts. NContracts, a Silver Sponsor and Exhibitor at the event, provides banks with comprehensive risk management and lending compliance solutions. They help community banks achieve compliance and risk management goals with a powerful combination of user-friendly, cloud-based software and expert services. Their GBA-endorsed risk solution encompasses the complete risk lifecycle, including vendor management, enterprise risk management, business continuity, compliance, audit and findings management and cybersecurity. For more information, visit www.ncontracts.com or contact Carrie Parker at carrie.parker@ncontracts.com.

 

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Compliance Alliance Question of The Week

 

Question: For an open-end credit card account, can a due date on the monthly billing statement vary if the normal due date lands on a Sunday? Example: The account due date is the 27th of the month. However,  Aug. 27 is a Sunday, so the billing statement reflects the due date as  Aug. 28 this month. 

 

Answer: The answer to this question depends on how the bank determines the due date and/or whether this change can be adjusted in its policies. The regulation provides the following guidance: 

 

"6. Same day each month. The requirement that the due date be the same day each month means the due date must generally be the same. For example, a consumer's due date could be the 25th of every month. In contrast, a due date with the same relative date but not a numerical date each month, such as the third Tuesday of the month, generally would not comply with this requirement. However, a consumer's due date may be the last day of each month, even though that date will not be the same numerical date. For example, if a consumer's due date is the last day of each month, it will fall on Feb. 28 (or Feb. 29 in a leap year) and on Aug. 31. 

 

7. Change in due date. A creditor may adjust a consumer's due date from time to time, provided that the new due date will be the same numerical date each month on an ongoing basis. For example, a creditor may honor a consumer's request to change from the 20th to the 5th of each month or change a consumer's due date from time to time for operational reasons. See comment 2(a)(4)-3 for guidance on transitional billing cycles." Read more about the cited regulation.

 

"(A) The due date for a payment. The due date disclosed pursuant to this paragraph shall be the same day of the month for each billing cycle." Read more about the cited 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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Bank Finance Pros, Join Us!

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

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, the conference features sessions including an economic update by Ryan Hayhurst of The Baker Group, a banker panel discussion about recent regulatory exams to be moderated by Jonathan Hightower of Fenimore Kay Harrison, a session about loan pricing and hedging by Ed Kofman of SouthState Bank, a session on optimizing opportunities in government guaranteed investment and lending programs by Mark Evans of Brean Capital, a session on combating the true cost of fraud by Terri Luttrell of Abrigo, and a panel discussing funding alternatives moderated by Holt Redding of SouthCoast Bank & Trust. 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, FHLBank Atlanta, ServisFirst Bank and Wiplfi LLP.

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Agenda Set for Credit Conference

The GBA Credit Committee, under the leadership of Michael Tesler, Ameris Bank, and Vice Chair Rebecca Abraham, Signature Bank of Georgia, has finalized the agenda for the conference, Nov. 30 - Dec. 1 at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta. 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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BSA Summit, Jan. 29 - Feb. 1, 2024, in Peachtree City

Registration is open for GBA’s BSA Summit in Peachtree City at the Hilton Conference Center, Jan. 29 - Feb. 1. Facilitated by Kristen Stogniew of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & 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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Webinars

Loan Documentation 101, Strategic Planning for Your Community Bank, Lending 101 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 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:

 

Athens - BankSouth

The bank presented a financial literacy class for children at Encourage HER Academy.

 

Atlanta - Citizens Trust Bank

The bank took part in the 2023 AUCC Career Fair, inviting the students to be part of the bank team.

 

Cairo - First National Bank

The bank has begun offering Maker Bucks, where every touchdown scored by  the local high school football team means $50 in support of local student-athletes. The funds go directly to the local Touchdown Club and helps provide meals and other items needed.

 

Cochran/Eastman - Great Oaks Bank

The bank recently served lunch to first responders in Cochran and Eastman.

 

Cordele - Planters First Bank

The bank’s Cordele team volunteered at the Cordele Crisp Chamber of Commerce First Responders Dinner on Sept. 14.

 

Donalsonville - First Port City Bank

The bank donated to the Seminole County Career Technical Instruction Program, a state program designed to assist students with disabilities who are involved in Career, Technical & Agricultural Education (CTAE) classes.

 

Rome - River City Bank

The bank recently donated to the Mountain Regional Library System for adult programming through expanded library services, materials, and events.

 

Watkinsville - Classic City Bank

The bank sponsored the Mercy Health Center Music on the Lawn event.

 

 

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GBA Newsmakers

 

Athens - Classic City Bank

Sara Dunn was promoted to senior vice president, deposit operations manager. Lee Simmons was promoted to senior vice president, branch manager.

 

Augusta - BankSouth Mortgage

Alan Rabun has joined BankSouth Mortgage as vice president, producing production manager for its Augusta office.

 

Bainbridge - First Port City Bank

Patricia Rodriguez has joined the bank as a customer relations specialist.

 

Braselton - Peach State Bank & Trust

The bank announced it will be moving its Braselton branch to a new freestanding banking center off of Friendship Rd. in the summer of 2024.

 

Calhoun - North Georgia National Bank

Mike Smith, co-senior lender, was promoted to senior vice president. Zab Mendez, Dalton market president and senior vice president, was promoted to co-senior lender. Read more here.

 

Elberton - Oconee State Bank

The bank has officially opened its new branch in Elbert County.

 

Griffin - Georgia Banking Company

Tyler Jones has been appointed Griffin market president. Read more here.

 

Milledgeville - Magnolia State Bank

Catelynn Duncan has been promoted to assistant branch manager for the Milledgeville market.

 

Pooler - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company

The bank was named Pooler Magazine's Best Financial Institution and Mortgage Company for 2023.

 

Richmond Hill

Past GBA Chairman Jimmy Burnsed recently received the inaugural Jimmy Burnsed Community Spirit Award from the United Way, where he has served for more than 50 years.

 

Savannah - BankSouth

Jake Lee has been promoted to relationship manager. Read more here. Additionally, readers of Savannah Magazine voted the bank as the 2023 Best Community Bank/Financial Institution for the fourth consecutive year.

 

Savannah - First Chatham Bank

Laurie Bak has been promoted to treasury management services officer.

 

Houston, TX - John M. Floyd & Associates (JMFA)

Catherine Holden has joined the company as an additional regional director to support its Southeastern market.

 

 

Sara Dunn Lee Simmons Alan Rabun Patricia Rodriguez Peach State Bank & Trust

 

 

Mike Smith Zab Mendez Oconee State Bank Tyler Jones Catelynn Duncan

 

 

Jimmy Burnsed Jake Lee Laurie Bak Catherine Holden

 

 

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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