Sept. 8, 2023  

Georgia Bank Q2 Performance Summary

Steady Results Also Reflect National Trends

The 145 Georgia-based FDIC-insured banks earned slightly more than $1 billion in the first six months of this year, up $102 million (0.11%) from the same period in 2022, according to the FDIC’s release of quarterly performance data. Loans and total assets grew a fraction of a percent, and deposits were down slightly, retreating by only 0.01%. Deposits declined at a slightly slower rate compared to first-quarter 2023 results. Statewide trends for slower loan growth and slower deposit declines compared to first quarter matched nationwide trends. There were five fewer Georgia-based banks reporting at midyear compared to the same period in 2022 due to completed merger and acquisition activity. Seventy eight percent of Georgia’s banks reported earnings gains for the first half of the year, and 96% were profitable. Metrics for net interest margin, noncurrent loans, charge-offs, return on equity, return on assets, and core capital were better than the national ratios. See a chart of these stats here. “Georgia’s banks continue to perform well overall and as compared to banks nationally,” said Joe Brannen, GBA president and CEO. “There aren’t really any surprises from the data, as we expected a little slower loan growth overall because of higher interest rates, for example. Many of the fundamentals of a strong industry remain in good shape, with net interest margins improving slightly, adequate liquidity, strong credit quality and solid capital levels.” Access the full FDIC release here.


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Atlanta Fed’s Bostic Advocates ‘Cautious and Patient’ Monetary Policy

We don’t often cover the goings on at international monetary conferences, but when our local Federal Reserve Bank president gives a talk, we take note. The Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic spoke last week at a central bank conference in South Africa and said he believes the current U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy is dialed in correctly at this time. “I think we should be cautious and patient and let the restrictive policy continue to influence the economy, lest we risk tightening too much and inflicting unnecessary economic pain,” Bostic said. “That does not mean I am for easing policy any time soon. Inflation in the United States is still too high. The battle against inflation has seen significant progress. Inflation is well off the very elevated levels we saw in the last year, but it's essential that it be brought all the way back to our target.” Read the full remarks here.


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Beige Book

Southeast's Economy Grows Modestly; Labor Market Cools

The Southeast's economy saw moderate growth from mid-May to June, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book. The labor market cooled, and non-labor costs stabilized. Despite stricter credit standards, financial institutions reported increased loan volumes. Finding and retaining workers became easier for most Atlanta Fed contacts, with many employers hiring. However, manufacturers faced staffing shortages and relied on overtime. Some firms reduced hiring or used attrition due to weakening demand. Food and construction material costs decreased, with wholesalers facing resistance from clients on price hikes. The Atlanta Fed's survey showed a drop in year-over-year unit cost growth from 3.5% in May to 3.1% in June. Financial institutions saw a slight decline in deposits as customers moved to higher-interest alternatives, prompting institutions to raise deposit rates. Read more here.


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Discounts Available for GBA Members

GBA Endorses NContracts’ Risk Performance Management (RPM) Suite

GBA and GBA Services Inc., are pleased to announce the endorsement of Ncontracts’ Risk Performance Management (RPM) Suite. Ncontracts is the leading provider of integrated compliance, vendor, and risk management solutions for banks, and GBA’s exclusive endorsement will provide GBA members with a 10% discount on initial fees and professional services for new customers and the addition of solutions for existing customers. The RPM Suite combines four of Ncontracts’ industry-leading solutions for banks--Nrisk, Ncomply, Nvendor and Nfindings--into one powerhouse suite that transforms data into timely, actionable and strategic insights. Leveraging knowledge as a service (KaaS), these customizable solutions help ease the burden of risk and compliance management. “In today’s highly complex regulatory environment, banks need affordable access to the best risk management tools,” said Bo Brannen, Senior Vice President of Members Services for the GBA. “We’re pleased to endorse Ncontracts and provide our bank members with a powerful combination of software and services to help them achieve their risk management and compliance goals.” Learn more about the RPM Suite and stay tuned for more about GBA’s newest partner Ncontracts. Contact Bo with questions at 404.420.2014 or


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Leader Updates

Jobs, Women in the Workforce, New Business, Polls

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

  • Jobs: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported employers added 187,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.8%. and we shared some of the workforce reductions announced recently in Georgia.


  • Women in the Workforce: We took a look at statistics showing the labor force participation rate for prime-age women––those between the ages of 25 and 54––had exceeded its all-time high. As of the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report referenced, prime-age women had a labor force participation rate of 77.8%. The largest growth in that segment has been from women whose youngest child is under 5, highlighting the need for affordable childcare.


  • New Business: Georgia is among the top 5 states for new business openings in the past year among all states, according to a report out last week from Yelp.


  • Pol Polls: The latest Wall Street Journal and UGA/Atlanta Journal-Constitution polls about presidential candidates show Donald Trump continues to be the favorite to be the Republican nominee. There hasn’t been much polling comparing President Biden to other Democrat challengers.

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


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Attention Attorneys!

Status of Important Cases - September 2023

The ABA Newsbytes Banking Docket for September 2023 is now available. Click here for the details of the status of important cases. (Each article contains a “Read more” link with access to additional details on the issues, case summaries and links to related documents.)


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Heather Mead

GBA Member Profile

From Loss to Lifelong Customer Loyalty with Heather Mead

Over the course of Georgia First Bank Marketing Officer Heather Mead’s career spanning four different banks, one customer has left an enduring impact on her life. They met at the bank in 2008 during a time when the customer was grappling with the loss of her husband and the responsibility of raising two children on her own. When Mead changed jobs in 2010, this customer managed to locate her at her new bank of employment. However, after another job change, they lost touch. In 2016, Mead faced her own personal tragedy when she lost her husband as well. After this life-altering event, she made the decision to move back to her hometown and work for what is now Georgia First Bank. Unexpectedly, Heather received a phone call from the same customer, a voice from her past that she had not heard in over six years. The customer had heard Mead on a radio advertisement and was determined to reconnect. The customer became a loyal patron of Mead's services at her current bank. “Instances like these are the heart and soul of my vocation. The countless times I've been touched by the people I've encountered solely through my banking career are simply beyond measure. ‘Rewarding’ barely captures the depth of emotion and fulfillment that define these relationships and experiences,” she said. A member of the GBA Marketing Committee, Mead shares about her aversion to the phrase “that’s not my job,” useful advice she received when transitioning into a managerial role, and much more in the latest GBA Member Profile.


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2023 BankPAC Campaign Continues Swift Pace

The 2023 BankPAC campaign enjoyed a successful week which is key to making sure our industry’s voice is heard across federal and state levels of government. 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 will be calling on you very soon to encourage your participation. Many thanks to the banks below who made their contribution to the GBA StatePAC this week:

  • Ameris Bank, Palmer Proctor, CEO

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

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

  • River City Bank, Rome, Jamie Tallent, president & CEO

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

  • AB&T, Albany, Perry Revell, CEO

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

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

  • Georgia Primary Bank, Atlanta, David Coxon, president & CEO

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

  • Planters First Bank, Cordele, Eli Tinsley, 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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Mike Allen

Seats Available in Senior Lending Officer Roundtables, New Facilitator

We’re excited to announce a new facilitator for these popular peer learning and networking groups, and we’ve got seats available for new members in all four groups. Leading the tables this year will be Mike Allen of 3B’s Advisors. 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. These roundtables meet three times a year beginning in October in either Macon or Atlanta depending on your group. Demographics for the roundtables are senior-level officers in the lending area of the bank. If you would like to participate, let us know of your interest in a particular group and your CEO’s approval and we’ll work to place you in a group where there’s available space. We look at competitive overlap when adding new members, so placement is not guaranteed. However, we’ll make every effort to place as many as possible in each group while ensuring each group is small enough for effective dialogue. Upon placement decision, we’ll communicate to you details and official registration information. 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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Last Call!

In-Person Lending Seminars in September

Two GBA lending seminars are coming up soon with new speakers and fresh content. Sign up today for these seminars Sept. 19-20 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon:

  • Business Cash Flow Analysis Seminar - Sept. 19
    Join Peter Faser of Truist, 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.


  • Loan Documentation Seminar - Sept. 20
    Shannon Fortson
    , EVP, Chief Credit Officer of Pinnacle Bank, is the new leader for our Loan Documentation Seminar. He'll cover 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.

Peter Faser Shannon Fortson


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Nathan Stovall

President/CEO, Bank Accountant, and Bank Counsel Conferences

S&P Global’s Nathan Stovall to Discuss Outlook for U.S. Community Banks as Rates Remain Higher for Longer

Nathan Stovall, director of FIG Research at S&P Global Market Intelligence, will be one of the headliners at our upcoming President/CEO Conference. Held concurrently with the Bank Accountant and Bank Counsel Conferences, this conference is Sept. 24-26 at the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District. With 18 years' experience covering the banking sector, Stovall is well-known for his updates on bank fundamentals, market conditions and forecasts for what lies ahead. In his session, Stovall will discuss how higher interest rates will impact community bank profitability and share his proprietary community bank projections. Stovall is the author of the banking blog, Street Talk, and host of the podcast by the same name. His in-depth analysis of the banking industry, including a focus on community banks, can be found on SPGMI's Research & Analysis feature, which includes historical and forward-looking performance figures. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one the banking industry’s most relied-upon experts. This session is sponsored by Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors.


Not signed up yet? We’ve added rooms to the block at the JW, so eligible participants are encouraged to register and reserve a room. Click here to see the rest of the agenda and registration and hotel information.


A huge thank-you to our event sponsors: American Bankers Association; CRI Carr Riggs & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors; EBS; Elliott Davis; FHLBank Atlanta; Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP; FNBB First National Bankers Bank; James Bates Brannan Groover LLP; Mauldin & Jenkins; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co; Nichols Cauley; SentryHealth; Servis1st Bank, Correspondent Bank Division; Symphona; Troutman Pepper; and Warren Averett, CPAs and Advisors. Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions, 678.523.6407.


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2023 Georgia Banking Compensation Survey Reports are Now Available

In conjunction with Associate Member Pearl Meyer, we are pleased to announce that the 2023 Georgia Banking Compensation Survey reports are now available. The reports allow you to make well-informed business decisions by providing reliable benchmarks based on compensation trends in the banking industry, your bank's asset size, and other market competitors.


This year's survey reports represent:

  • 71 Georgia banks; 202 Southeast-based banks

  • Over 5,800 incumbents reporting in Georgia; over 29,000 incumbents in the Southeast

  • 167 positions reported in Georgia

  • 268 positions reported in the Southeast

  • Policies & Practices Report with data on base salary programs and incentive plans.

Pricing for the survey reports:

  • $595 – Participants

  • $1,475 – Non-Participants.

Pearl Meyer emailed all participants with instructions for purchasing the 2023 survey reports last week. If your organization did not participate and would like to buy the report or if you have not received a purchase email, please get in touch with Pearl Meyer's Rhonda Snyder at


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James Moore

Emily Dent

Compliance Conference Oct. 18-20, Jekyll Island

Recent Exam Trends to be Revealed

One of our sessions at the upcoming Compliance Conference will give members a unique peek at lessons learned from recent exams. James Moore of Steve H. Powell & Co. and Emily Dent of Mauldin and Jenkins will share intel on a variety of trends they are seeing as they’ve helped their clients with recent exams. This will be valuable information for those with upcoming exams. Don’t miss this session and the rest of the conference and workshop. Led by led by Chair Tabitha White, First State Bank of Blakley, and Vice Chair Lindsay Holloway, The Four County Bank, Allentown, GBA’s Compliance Committee invites you to attend our annual Compliance Conference. Get all the details and register here.


Thank you to 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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Save the Date!



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Regional Banking Symposium to Zero in on South Georgia Oct. 12

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

  • Valdosta State University Update and Initiatives of Interest to Bankers

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


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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." 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 to learn more.


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Terri Luttrell

Financial Risk Management Conference - Nov. 2-3

A Look at Fraud’s True Impact on the Bottom Line

We’ve set up a unique look at the latest fraud trends and how they affect the bank’s bottom line as one of the highlight sessions for the Financial Risk Management Conference this year. Terri Luttrell of GBA Strategic Partner Abrigo will also include actionable steps to mitigate the impact of fraud. The 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, has lined up an outstanding agenda for Conference, Nov. 2-3 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:

  • Platinum sponsorship: The Baker Group PC

  • Gold sponsorship: Brean Capital LLC

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

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Credit Conference - Nov. 30 - Dec. 1

Strong Lineup of Speakers

The GBA Credit Committee, under the leadership of Michael Tesler, Ameris Bank, and Vice Chair Rebecca Abraham, Signature Bank of Georgia, has been working hard to finalize the agenda for the 2023 Credit Conference at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta.


Sessions include:

  • How to Evaluate a Borrower’s Ability to Survive Inflation and Recession, Dev Strischek, Devon Risk Advisory Group

  • CRE, Cal Evans, Synovus

  • Liquidity, Dave Koch, Abrigo

  • Industry and Regulatory Update: A Chat with Kevin Hagler, Georgia Dept. of Banking and Finance and Joe Brannen, Georgia Bankers Association

  • Ag Update, Will Bentley, Georgia Agribusiness Council

  • Roundtable Discussion, Mike Allen, Three B’s Advisors, LLC

  • Economic Update, Roger Tutterow, Kennesaw State University

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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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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Explore What Choice in Debit Looks Like with GBA Partner Discover Debit

A robust debit card portfolio can help you generate more revenue right now. Has your bank’s debit card program been on autopilot for too long? VISA and MasterCard will likely fight to keep your business, but Discover Debit wants to invest in your bank, your customers and your community. Recently-introduced cardholder benefits like credit monitoring and dark web monitoring backed by Experian® mean customers can feel more secure with their new debit card. By implementing Discover’s debit card program, you will also realize an immediate impact on your interchange income and expense. Discover® Debit is the only program that delivers superior economics, simplified rules, fee transparency and unmatched program flexibility. To find out more, contact Brian Harbin,, 678.325.9910.


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Total TRID Training, The Rapidly Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape, 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:


Bainbridge - First National Bank

The bank recently became a sponsor of Glorify-Bainbridge.


Milledgeville - Century Bank and Trust

The bank participated in the Milledgeville-Baldwin Chamber of Commerce's Employ Baldwin Job Fair.



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GBA Newsmakers


Abbeville - Wilcox County State Bank

Dothan, AL,-based Five Star CU has agreed to acquire the bank. The deal is expected to close in second quarter 2024.


Albany - Georgia Community Bank

The bank celebrated its Crawford County branch’s tenth anniversary on Sept. 1. Read more here.


Camilla - Planters & Citizens Bank

Martha Brown has been promoted to executive vice president and Chief Financial Officer, and Keith Anthony has been promoted to executive vice president and Chief Lending Officer. Read more here.


Lake Oconee - Exchange Bank

Keith Davis has joined the bank as assistant vice president, branch manager and credit analyst in its Lake Oconee office. Read more here.


Milledgeville - Century Bank and Trust

Holly Blenk has joined the bank as assistant vice president/mortgage loan officer.


Atlanta - Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE)

Jesús M. Pizarro Rodríguez has joined the ACE team as Chief Financial Officer. Read more here.


Savannah - Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC)

On Sept. 30, longtime President and Founding CEO Tony O’Reilly will retire from SBAC after 34 years of service. His successor, COO/CFO Victoria Saxton, will assume leadership on Oct. 1. Read more here.


Atlanta - Georgia Department of Banking and Finance

Heather Ensminger was promoted to business analysis director. Following this transition, Dawn McCaskill was promoted to training director. Daniel Sohn was promoted to supervisory manager effective Aug. 1, and his portfolio now includes District 1 (Northwest) and District 2 (Northeast) community banks and bank holding companies. Elizabeth Hitchcock was also promoted to supervisory manager effective Aug. 1, and her portfolio now includes District 4 (Southeast) community banks and bank holding companies. Read more here.


Washington, D.C. - Federal Reserve

The Senate has confirmed the nominations of Philip Jefferson to serve as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve board, Lisa Cook to serve an additional term and economist Adriana Kugler to fill an unexpired board term ending in 2026.



Georgia Community Bank Martha Brown Keith Anthony Keith Davis Holly Blenk Jesús Pizarro


Tony O'Reilly Victoria Saxton Heather Ensminger Dawn McCaskill Daniel Sohn Elizabeth Hitchcock



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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