Feb. 16, 2024  

Bank of Dudley team


Jeff Cooper with Leadership
GBA Chair Kelly Smith,
First National Bank of Griffin

BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament Hits the Target!

Thanks to the 90+ GBA members, associate members, friends and colleagues who joined us last week for our  annual Sporting Clays Tournament at Old Hudson Plantation. Hosted by the Leadership GBA Board of Directors, this event raises money for the GBA StatePAC*. We maxed-out capacity for the shooting competition. Teams and individual shooters coming out on top were:


First Place Team (overall score 378/400)

Bank of Dudley

Sam Beall, Eric Haskins, Lee Whitaker and Paul Stevenson


Best Overall Individual Score (100/100)

Jeff Cooper of the CBC Bank team tied with George Galphin of the Citizens Bank of Georgia team. Cooper took the title by winning a long-bird tiebreaker shoot-off.


Long Bird Contest Winner (score of 5/10)

Derek Wolcott, Safe Systems


Cotton Drop Contest Winner

Stephen Tribble, Citizens Bank of Georgia


A final shout-out to our sponsors: BancCard of America; Bank of Madison; Cash Transactions LLC “CashTrans”; Citizens Bank of Americus; CSRA Business Lending; Durden Banking Company; Farmers and Merchants Bank; Fenimore Harrison Kay; FHLBank Atlanta; First Bank of Pike; First Carolina Bank; First National Bank; First State Bank; Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC; Northeast Georgia Bank; Peach State Bank & Trust; Pinnacle Bank; Point to Point Environmental; Safe Systems; and Steve H. Powell & Company.


*The GBA StatePAC contributes only to candidates running for state-level office such as the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor’s office and the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Contributions can be made by an individual, from bank funds if you are a state chartered bank or from a national bank holding company if the contribution is made from funds other than those resulting from the operations of the national bank.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Sen. Carden

Sen. Nabilah

General Assembly Passes Halfway Mark, Crossover Day Approaching

The Georgia General Assembly has been in session Monday, Tuesday and Thursday this week. Wednesday was a designated committee work day, and they will be in session Friday, completing day 22 of the 40-day session. Committees stayed busy holding hearings, reporting legislation and floor votes were taken on several bills GBA is monitoring. The Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Sen. Carden Summers (R-Cordele) met Thursday to consider two items. SR 82, a carryover from last year, by Sen. Summers, proposes an amendment to the state constitution to authorize the tax commissioner, subject to local governing authority approval, to waive certain delinquent ad valorem property taxes, penalties, and interest for the purpose of placing non-revenue generating and tax delinquent property back to effective utilization status. SB 451 by Sen. Nabilah Islam-Parkes (D-Duluth) creates a voluntary low-interest loan program for Georgia-based banks and credit unions to help veterans. The Georgia Department of Banking & Finance would be required to certify participating financial institutions. SB 451 was heard, but no further action was taken. SR 82 was reported by the committee. We’ll send out the Legislative Update tomorrow afternoon with a complete wrap up of the week’s legislative activity.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Why FDIC’s Proposed Governance Rule is a Bad Idea

This week we filed a comment letter outlining major concerns GBA and our members have with the FDIC’s recent governance rule that would upend the relationships between bankers and their board members. If enacted, the rule would change the role of the board from broad oversight responsibilities and supplant management’s role in the day-to-day running of the bank. While the rule is written to exempt banks below $10 billion in assets, we note how there’s always regulatory trickle down to banks below such thresholds, and we also point out that the proposal could inhibit the growth of the 29 banks operating in Georgia with assets between $1 and $10 billion to avoid the tentacles of the proposal should it move forward. Read the GBA letter here. GBA was also part of a national working group that drafted and submitted an industrywide comment letter. Thanks to Ameris Bank’s Senior Counsel, Lisa Scheid, for volunteering and being part of that working group on behalf of all our members. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Read our Pushback Against Fed’s Debit Interchange Cap Proposal

GBA this week joined other state bankers associations and the ABA in sending a letter to the Federal Reserve strongly opposing its proposal to reduce the debit card interchange cap. The proposal would harm community banks and customers, potentially leading to higher fees and fewer services. And while the rule technically applies only to institutions over $10 billion in assets, we show data about how the original Durbin Amendment mandated price caps led to a 35% drop in revenue for community banks supposedly “exempt” from the caps. We urge the Federal Reserve to withdraw the proposal pending further study and consideration of its impacts. Read the full letter here. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, or Bo Brannen, 404.420.2014.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Get Engaged … In GBA Committees

Pardon the corny Valentine’s week reference, but if you or someone at your bank wants to be more involved in GBA, now’s the time to speak up. Join more than 300 members who serve on one of our 24 committees or boards to help shape industry policy priorities, educational programs and other resources provided by GBA.

  • Why volunteer? Gain valuable experience, network with peers and give back to your professional community. Volunteer opportunities offer much more than they ask.


  • When? We're seeking volunteers for the 2024-25 program year that starts in July.



Questions? Contact David Oliver or request a connection with a current committee/board member. Don't miss this chance to contribute, learn, and connect!


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Lending Basics

Breaking into Banking 101 – Fundamentals of Commercial Banking, Feb. 22

Commercial banking can be intimidating because of its complexity and the risk-oriented nature of the work. This course is a clear and thorough introduction to the key concepts, terminology, and processes involved in credit and lending. It doesn’t assume much prior knowledge of the topic, so it’s ideal for those in their first year in the industry. Learners will walk away with a clear understanding of their job and how their specific role fits into the bank’s overall profitability goals. Click here to register. Presented by Andy Keusal, Keusal Learning, the online course will be held on Zoom from 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT. The recording will be available to registered participants for one month after the live training.


Back to top of E-Bulletin



Back to top of E-Bulletin

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Ops/Tech Conference, Feb. 28 - March 1, Savannah

Hotel rooms are still available at the DeSoto in Savannah, where the GBA Operations & Technology Conference will take place Feb. 28 - March 1. Click here to take a look at the full agenda. This conference is hosted annually by GBA’s Operations & Technology Committee under the leadership of Chair Shan Venable, Altamaha Bank and Trust Company, and Vice Chair Mindy Green, Citizens Community BankClick here to access the event website with everything you need to know.


Thank you to our generous Associate Members who are supporting this conference through sponsorship.

  • Platinum Sponsor: Liberty Technology

  • Gold Sponsor: Wolf & Company, P.C.

  • Silver Sponsors: Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, Creatio, Ncontracts, and SQN Banking Systems.

Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Partner NContracts - Free Webinar Feb. 29 @ 2 p.m.

What Are Bank Examiners Prioritizing In 2024?

Join a team of regulatory compliance experts with GBA partner Ncontracts on Feb. 29 for answers to this question and more. They’ll review recent enforcement actions and regulatory commentary to highlight the most significant compliance risks banks are facing and discuss how to manage them. Key topics to be covered include:

  • Insights from recent enforcement actions

  • Areas of increased examiner scrutiny

  • Implementing regulatory change (1071, CRA, 1033)

  • Exam preparation

  • Best practices for compliance management.

Register for the webinar and visit www.ncontracts.com for more helpful risk and compliance management resources.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Compliance Peer Group Meeting, MGSU, Macon, March 5

GBA’s compliance peer group will meet at Middle Georgia State University in Macon on March 5, 10 am – 2 pm, to discuss the latest industry hot topics. Network with your peers and walk away with best practices that you can implement to strengthen your bank’s compliance management program. Get all the details and register here.

Back to top of E-Bulletin

Robb Rempel

Marketing Conference / Video Workshop March 20-22

New Session Added about Secret Customer Insights

Direct feedback is great, but sometimes interpreting what isn’t said may be more insightful. In a new session to this year’s Marketing Conference titled “The Elephant in the Lobby: What Your Customers Aren’t Telling You,” Haberfeld's Robb Rempel will uncover these secrets to help you delight customers, create extraordinary experiences that drive customer loyalty and referrals, and deepen customer relationships. Planned by GBA’s Marketing Committee, Haley Barnes, BankSouth Mortgage, chair, the Marketing Conference agenda also includes digital-focused sessions on social media video production, digital marketing analytics/ROI, LinkedIn best practices and more. See the full agenda and register here


Thank you to our Silver Sponsor, CashTrans!


Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA-Endorsed Agency PointeNorth Insurance Works with Your Local Agent for the Best Coverage

GBA is proud to endorse PointeNorth Insurance Group as its preferred full-service, independent insurance agency, providing one of the broadest collections of personal and business-related insurance solutions in the Southeast. Additionally, PointeNorth serves as the primary broker for the GBA-endorsed ABA Insurance Program. To learn more, please contact PointeNorth’s Paul Halloran, paul.halloran@pninsurance.com, 404.423.4970.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Eric Rooks

Fan-favorite Returns as Closing Speaker

HR Professionals Institute, Jekyll Island, March 20-22

GBA’s Human Resources CommitteeLance Whitley, Colony Bank, chair, is excited to welcome back Sergeant Eric Rooks, Gwinnett County Police Department, to close our institute with a much needed, yet delicate topic. Studies show that nearly 20% of Americans suffer from mental health disorders. It is important to know what we are dealing with when it comes to helping people who are upset. Sergeant Rooks will discuss the most prevalent mental health disorders, what we know about each person we encounter, and will provide attendees with tools we can use to help effectively de-escalate people. Click here for a full agenda and register today.


Thank you to our sponsors! Platinum: Engaged Banker Experience. Silver: Yarmouth & Choate.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Director Training for Community Banks

OCC Director and Sr. Management Workshops Coming Up

There are two upcoming Community Bank Director and Senior Management Workshops in Atlanta the 26 OCC-regulated banks based in Georgia may want to consider attending. The Atlanta sessions will cover Risk Governance March 26 and Capital Markets March 27. Risk Governance covers the broad range of risk management for boards and management, and the Capital Markets session touches on interest rate risk, liquidity risk and a variety of asset-liability management concepts. Get more details and register here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Pete Stuart

Bank Security Conference April 10-12

Bank Robbery Lessons Learned Session Set

Hindsight’s 20/20, right? With a bank robbery, there is no room for what if – we must always be prepared.  Pete Stuart, security officer at Morris Bank, will share lessons learned after a bank robbery to help other members be better prepared when/if they have a robbery. With his background as a GBI agent, Stuart brings expertise to our program and shares experience and tools with conference attendees. You don’t want to miss it – secure your spot today! GBA’s Security Committee, Melissa Dasher, SouthState Bank, chair, would like to thank our confirmed exhibitors: CashTrans, Southern Bank Equipment & ATMs, and STS Group Inc.


Get all the details and register here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Excitement is Growing!

Georgia Banking School – 2024

There is still time to register for the 2024 session of Georgia Banking School. Save $130 on tuition through Feb. 28!




Georgia Banking School Details and Enrollment Access Here


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Secure Your Spot in Year 1 of GBA Compliance School

Looking to strengthen your compliance skills and advance your banking career? Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to enroll in Year 1 of the GBA Compliance School, offered for the first time alongside Year 2 in 2024. GBA’s Compliance School Board has been hard at work bringing this additional opportunity for bankers looking to grow in their career. Year 1 - Building the Base - lays the foundation for a robust compliance management program. Whether you're new to banking or seeking to deepen your understanding of regulatory requirements, this course is designed for compliance officers and anyone with compliance responsibilities. Join us from April 28 to May 3 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens. Enroll today to enhance your career prospects, develop essential skills and add value to your institution. Secure your spot here. For a detailed schedule for Year 1, click here. Don't miss this opportunity to invest in your professional growth and become a compliance expert in the banking industry. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

Pam Knox

Weather Expert Added to Rural Development and Lending Conference

We’ve added a new session to the program this year to focus on the weather outlook for the coming growing season and other climate issues. Pam Knox, director of the UGA Weather Network and agricultural climatologist, will speak. Register today for the GBA 2024 Rural Development and Lending Conference May 16-17 at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, St Simons Island. Planned by GBA’s Agriculture CommitteeMatt Rushton, AB&T, chair, and Jake Cleghorn, Atlamaha Bank & Trust Company, vice chair, the conference agenda will help bankers sharpen their skills, share the latest intel and make essential connections helpful in serving their communities. Content includes:

  • New: Weather Outlook

  • Deferred Tax Liability

  • Crop Insurance Update

  • Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Industry Update

  • Economic Update

  • and more!

Secure your spot today! Get all the details and register here.


Back to top of E-Bulletin



Back to top of E-Bulletin

Webinars – Great for Fundamentals Training

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, Compliance for the Universal Banker, Basics of ChatGPT and More

Here’s a sampling of upcoming webinars.

Want to see the full webinar schedule? Check out our webinar calendar for a full list of upcoming webinars.


Back to top of E-Bulletin

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


GBA Job Bank

GBA will post open positions, free of charge, for GBA members. See the open positions in Georgia here. We will also post professional summaries for bank-job seekers on our Bankers Available page. To make the process easy and answer any questions, we've developed this Q&A. Please contact Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.


Why Do People Choose Careers in Banking?

Whatever their talents, interests and educational background, there is a career in banking for them. Here are few good reasons to share with folks you know.



Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Community Connections

We want to share all the good work GBA member banks, bankers, Associate Members and Bank Counsel Section members do to support their communities. Read all about the Community Connections our banks and members have below. Share your Community Connections by sending a brief paragraph and any photos of activities you have to us and we'll publish them at our earliest opportunity. Send information to Katina Prokos, kprokos@gabankers.com, and David Oliver, doliver@gabankers.com, or if your company would like to s6onsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment:


Atlanta - Georgia Banking Company

The bank was a sponsor of the Battle for the Brain event supporting Daughters Against Alzheimer's.


Jasper - Community Bank of Pickens County

The bank sponsored the February Pickens Chamber Breakfast.


Milledgeville - Century Bank and Trust

The bank delivered Valentine cards for veterans at the Georgia War Veterans Home. Lisa Parker at the bank spearheaded this project. 


Milledgeville - Exchange Bank

The bank recently hosted another session of its Money Cents Financial Literacy Program at Georgia Military College Prep School.


Moultrie - First National Bank

The bank sponsored the Night to Shine prom experience at Heritage Church.


Perry - SunMark Community Bank

The bank presented its January Casual for a Cause funds to the Happy Hour Service Center’s Special Olympics.


Savannah - Great Oaks Bank

Bank team members recently volunteered at the Old Savannah City Mission.


Tifton - South Georgia Banking Company

The bank was a sponsor of the coffee station at the 'Choc-It-Up for Literacy' fundraiser event.


Valdosta - Commercial Banking Company

Bank team members recently volunteered with LAMP, a community of faith providing for the basic needs of homeless and hurting people in the community.



Back to top of E-Bulletin

GBA Newsmakers


Alma - Pineland Bank

Chip Keene has rejoined the bank’s Camden County banking team as market executive. Read more here.


Alpharetta - Synovus Bank

Lisa Sonada has joined the bank’s Northeast Atlanta team as a commercial banker.


Atlanta - Ameris Bank

Ameris Bancorp announced that Claire McLean has been appointed as a director of the company, effective Feb. 7. McLean is Chief Operating Officer and executive vice president of Preferred Capital Securities, LLC is president of its affiliate, Preferred Shareholder Services. Read more here.


Augusta - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.

Jerry Kelleher has joined the bank as vice president and life insurance consultant. He will be based in the bank’s wealth management office in Augusta and provide service across the bank’s footprint.  Read more here.


Calhoun - North Georgia National Bank

Congratulations to President and CEO Lesa Downey, the board of directors and the team at the bank on the 25th anniversary of their founding last week.


Douglas - Douglas National Bank

Our sympathies to his wife, Diane; children Jeffrey, Kirby, Mary Jane and Allyson; other family; and former colleagues on the death of founding member Francis Lott this week. More here.


Eastman - Great Oaks Bank

Sheena Maddox has been promoted to Cochran office manager. In Eastman, Carla Alligood has been promoted to vice president. Read more here.


Gainesville - Peach State Bank & Trust

Tony Millwood has joined the bank as a mortgage lender.


Pine Mountain - First Peoples Bank

Melissa Brown has joined the bank vice president / compliance officer.


Rome - River City Bank

Matthew Goldin has been promoted to assistant vice president, senior credit analyst. Read more here.


Swainsboro - The Citizens Bank of Swainsboro

Zac Frye has been promoted to executive vice president.


Thomasville - The First Bank

Jamie Lawrence has joined bank as a vice president/market leader in Thomasville. Read more here.


Atlanta - Monarch Private Capital

GBA Strategic Partner Monarch Private Capital announced the appointment of Walter McLeod as managing director of Monarch Strategic Ventures. Read more here.


Duluth - Southern Bank Equipment & ATMs

Our sympathies to his wife, Beth; son, Peter; other family; and colleagues at the company on the death of its founder, Jack Hausmann, this week. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, March 9, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Country Club of the South, Johns Creek.


Pensacola, FL - PCBB

Mike Noblett has joined the bank as senior vice president and regional manager for the Southeast region.


Tampa and Pensacola, FL - Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund

The accounting firm announced it has won ClearlyRated's Best of Accounting® Award for providing superior service to their clients for the second year in a row. Read more here.



Chip Keene Lisa Sonada Jerry Kelleher North Georgia National Bank Sheena Maddox


Carla Alligood Tony Millwood Melissa Brown Matthew Goldin Zac Frye Jamie Lawrence



Read All About It: Send Us Your News

Please remember to include the Georgia Bankers Association on the list of recipients for announcements about promotions, new employees and special recognition your bank has received. We want to share your news with your colleagues across the state. Please forward your announcements and photos to GBA's Katina Prokos.

Back to top of E-Bulletin