Jan. 26, 2024  

Legislative Kickoff Program and Reception Highlights

The 2024 GBA Advocacy program is off and running, with a capacity crowd attending our Legislative and Economic Forum and Legislative Reception Wednesday.


Georgia Banking Commissioner Kevin Hagler led off the program with an overview of national and statewide community banking trends. In reviewing the most recent CSBS Community Bank Sentiment Index, he was encouraged that community bankers’ views on the industry environment are trending upward. He also acknowledged that regulatory burden, particularly by federal agencies, is a challenge for bank management. Overall, performance by Georgia’s banks regulated by the Department of Banking and Finance remains solid, he said. Recommended areas of focus in preparing for exams are BSA compliance, especially related to new products and services, as well as interest rate risk management. Hagler also thanked members for providing input to the statewide survey on fraud the department put into the field just before year end. It has already led to helpful discussions with law enforcement to help lessen the impact of check fraud.


Turning to politics, John Ashford of the Hawthorn Group gave an insightful look into how the 2024 elections may turn out. Voter turnout and whichever eventual presidential candidate can best capture independent voters will make the difference in a handful of swing states. He also gave an interesting look at how artificial intelligence is becoming a major factor in generating “sophisticated fakery” of images and candidate commentary that could sway voters. He predicted a high likelihood that Republicans would win a majority in the U.S. Senate and a slightly better than even chance the House remains in Republican control.


Georgia Commissioner of Economic Development Pat Wilson walked us through the background and stats on the state’s amazing 10-year run as the best state in which to do business. He made a point to recognize the importance of the state’s banking industry in that ranking. In highlighting the success of adding jobs and investment, he emphasized that 70% of new business announcements have been from existing Georgia businesses, and a majority of projects are in non-metro communities. His department and the state are working to beef up help for much needed affordable housing and infrastructure investment to support the state’s ongoing strength in attracting new jobs.


On the Georgia legislative front, we were honored to hear from House Majority Leader Rep. Chuck Eftsration (R-Auburn) and Senate President Pro Tem Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon). Rep. Efstration outlined Georgia's success in reducing taxes and noted a legislative focus this session on issues such public safety and early childhood literacy. Sen. Kennedy highlighted the effectiveness of GBA and member banker advocacy opposing the idea of removing interchange payments on the sales tax portion of retail transactions.


The reception afterward provided members the opportunity to talk about these and other local issues with the many elected officials that attended. Thanks to our sponsors: BDS Yarmouth & Choate; BHG Financial; EBS Strategies; FHLBank Atlanta; Olsen Palmer, LLC; Point to Point Environmental; and ServisFirst Bank, Correspondent Division.



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Bruce Williamson

GBA Advocacy Update

House Banks & Banking Committee Passes GBA Priority Bill

Our thanks to Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) for presenting HB 876 to the House Banks & Banking Committee this week. That committee is chaired again this year by Rep. Noel Williams (R-Cordele). The committee also heard a Payments 101 presentation from members of American Transaction Processors Coalition, including Nathan Ottinger, president of Georgia Banking Company’s Payments and Technology Banking team. Rep. Williamson was joined during his presentation by Bo Fears, Deputy Commissioner of Consumer and Legal Affairs at the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Known by many as the Banking Department’s Annual Housekeeping Bill, the GBA priority legislation updates language within Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia related to all the entities regulated by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Of interest to bankers are provisions in this year’s bill related to bank formation, filings with the Secretary of State, the definition of subsidiaries, and updates to the Merchant Acquirer Limited Purpose Bank charter (MALPB). The bill was passed unanimously out of the committee and now heads to the House Rules Committee. Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon) will again sponsor the legislation this year in the Senate. We’ll publish our full Legislative Update tomorrow after the General Assembly adjourns for the week.


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Leadership GBA Board Gathers, Plans

Our member-led group of emerging bank leaders gathered this week to talk about GBA’s programs for leadership development and begin planning the 2024 Leadership Conference. Leadership GBA Board Chair Kelly Smith, First National Bank of Griffin, led the meeting. Members also reviewed information they learned during the GBA advocacy events Wednesday, ideas for supporting leadership programs helpful to banks and ways to promote participation in several key programs and events coming up, which include:

Look for details about the Leadership Conference agenda soon. This year’s conference is July 8-10 at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. Registration will open soon. With questions, contact Kathy Friestad, 678.523.6407.


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Jaye Eubanks

GBA Member Profile

Jaye Eubanks’ Journey from Mail Clerk to EVP, Operations & Technology Director

United Bank’s Jaye Eubanks had an unconventional start to his banking career. Fresh out of high school, he found himself working as a mail clerk, janitor and vault clerk at a local bank. It was during his second year of college that he sought guidance from the chairman of the board on the future of banking. His response? Information technology and corporate law. Embracing the challenge, Jaye ventured into IT, eventually becoming the IT Manager at the same bank right after college. “I am proud of the fact that I had the opportunity to do just about every job in the bank in my journey to my first position as an IT manager in that bank, right out of college,” he said. The member of GBA’s Operations & Technology Committee shares about his younger years participating in local theater, a heartwarming story of meeting new friends while helping a lady with a flat tire on his way to work one day, the importance of work/life balance and more in the latest GBA Member Profile.


Related: GBA's Operations & Technology Conference is coming up quickly! Make plans now to join us Feb. 28 - March 1 at the DeSoto in Savannah.


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Leader Updates

Effects of Fed Rate-Raising in Georgia Economy, UGA /AJC Poll, Deficits

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

  • Feeling the Effects? Last week, Georgia Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson’s report came out showing that, for the first time in December, Georgia saw more job losses than gains. The state’s fiscal economist also told legislators at a budget meeting that the state could experience a mild recession this year. However, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said that the Georgia economy is expected to grow this year, just not at breakneck speeds.


  • UGA /AJC Poll. We shared more analysis of a recent political poll UGA conducted for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The poll showed President Biden trailing former President Trump 45% to 37% in a head-to-head rematch here in Georgia of the 2020 election, but nearly 20% of those polled don’t support either candidate. That’s got both campaigns worried about turnout or casting throw-away votes for third-party or write-in candidates.


  • Deficits. With Congress passing another continuing resolution avoiding a government shutdown last week, we shared a recent post distributed by economist Brian Wesbury about how we got where we are in terms of deficit spending and how tough it’s going to be to reverse course.

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


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Welcome GBA's Newest Associate Members

GBA Associate Membership is offered to individuals and organizations that want to do more business with banks as clients. These members also provide invaluable support to GBA's activities and programs throughout the year through attendance, sponsorships, exhibits and shared expertise. Be sure to get to know them and thank them for supporting the GBA. You can get information about any of GBA's Associate Members by using the Associate Member search function on our website. For more information, contact Bo Brannen at bbrannen@gabankers.com or 404.420.2014.



Armagh Capital

Mr. John Carson, John@armaghcapital.com

Atlanta, GA


Armagh Capital's extensive network simplifies the time-consuming process of connecting tax credit sellers with reputable buyers, ensuring a more efficient and valuable outcome.


Dover Miller Karras Langdale & Brantley, P.C.

Mr. W. Cavan Perry, cavanperry@dovermiller.com

Valdosta, GA


Law firm providing legal services to financial institutions including residential and commercial loan closings, USDA and SBA loans, collections, contract negotiations and bankruptcy.


Firstech Payments

Mr. Ronald Jones, ron.jones@busey.com

Decatur, IL


Electronic Payments, Mobile Solutions, Telephone Payments, In-Person Payments, Remittance Processing, FI Services & Reporting, Merchant Services, Fintech, Payment Processing, Lockbox, Automated File Transfer, Customer Experience Solutions, BaaS, and SaaS


Five By Five Funding

Mr. Skip Willcox, skip.willcox@fivebyfivefunding.com

Atlanta, GA


Five By Five Funding provides wholesale mortgage services to community banks.


HUB | Taylor Advisors

Mr. Brett Walburn, brett.walburn@hubinternational.com

Louisville, KY


HUB | Taylor Advisors is a balance sheet management-consulting firm and an SEC-registered investment advisor servicing banks. Not a brokerage firm but a team of investment analysts and balance sheet consultants. They provide advice, strategies, and education in the areas of investment, liquidity, asset/liability, and risk management.


IC3 Consulting

Ms. Kimberly Askwith, kaskwith@outlook.com

Carrollton, TX

At iC3, the mission is clear — to provide innovative solutions tailored explicitly for mid-sized community banks and their clients with two key methods. 1) Innovation Lab – a strategic avenue for associations & banks to develop and deliver white-labeled products & solutions. 2) iHub - Management Consulting & Fractional C-Suite Services.


The NBS Group

Mr. Steve Nickolson, snickolson@thenbsgroup.com

Birmingham, AL


Full-service consulting firm of highly experienced and professional bankers who provides services in Technology, Operations, Finance and Strategy in all areas of banking and financial services.



New Frontier Analytics

Mr. Ashok Mishra, Ashok.Mishra@nfAnalytics.com

Atlanta, GA


New Frontier Analytics brings expertise in Analytics, Risk Management, Model Development and Validation, Data Governance, Capital Stress Testing, Capital Planning, Asset Liability Management, and AML at an affordable cost.



Seven Hills Auctions, LLC

Ms. Kimberly Gibbens, kimber1y@7hauctions.com

Tallahassee, FL


Seven Hills Auctions is a full-service real estate auction firm. Their team of professionals is dedicated to providing you with creative solutions, strategic marketing and impeccable service for all of your real estate needs.



SQN Banking Systems

Mr. Stan Jaslar, sjaslar@sqnbankingsystems.com

Rancocas, NJ


SQN Banking Systems is a leading worldwide provider of fraud detection solutions for the financial industry.



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Last chance to register – earn your CAFP, CRCM, and CERP credits!

BSA Summit, Jan. 29 - Feb. 1, Peachtree City

This year’s summit has been approved for 24.75 CAFP, 24.75 CRCM, and 11 CERP credits. Organized and facilitated by Kristen Stogniew, Esq., CFE, Saltmarsh, Cleaveland and Gund, attendees can expect a deep dive into the world of BSA compliance through a variety of sessions led by industry experts. See the full agenda here.


Join us in beautiful Peachtree City at the Hilton Conference Center, Jan. 29 - Feb. 1. Get all the details and register here.


Thank you to our silver sponsor, Mauldin & Jenkins CPAs and Advisors.


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New Resource!

Unlock Insights with Georgia Bank Performance Report

GBA is excited to offer members a new resource offering a wealth of benchmarking data that can help banks identify areas for improvement and ultimately improve their overall performance: a subscription to the Quarterly Georgia Bank Performance Report (BPR) publication. Click here to view a PDF copy of the Georgia 2023 Q3 BPR as an example of the data available in the report. The Q4 2023 BPR will be finalized the first week of February. The report is prepared from data in quarterly FFIEC Call Reports. Data and rankings from the BPR have been used by banks nationwide for the past 20 years for multiple purposes, including: 

  • Strategic Profit Planning

  • Board Reporting

  • Measurement for Performance Incentives

  • Competition Analysis

  • Trends in the Market

The annual subscription price includes reports for four quarters, with your first report being the next quarter published upon subscribing. The Georgia BPR is produced for GBA and its members in partnership with BPR Services, a unit of the Kentucky Bankers Association, which provides similar reports for banks and bankers associations nationwide. If you are not already a subscriber and would like to sign up, please complete and return this Purchase Order form to info@bankperformancereport.com, or contact GBA’s David Oliver, 404.520.6311.


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Patrice Konarik

A Word from Patrice

IRA Merry-Go-Round In-Person Training, Feb. 6-7, MGSU, Macon

Facilitated by Loni Porta, director of education, Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, anyone even remotely involved in IRAs will benefit from this intensive in-person training. Porta comes highly recommended as an in-person instructor by Patrice Konarik, who is no longer doing in-person IRA training. Here is what Patrice has to say about Loni Porta.

Hello, my fellow IRA banker friends in Georgia. My name is Patrice Konarik of Sunwest Training Corp. You may remember me from my 28 years of providing live IRA training seminars in Georgia through the Georgia Bankers Association. As many of you may know, I sold the live training part of my business to my friends and associates at Convergent RPS last year. I had several companies who were interested in purchasing my company, but I wanted to hand it off to an organization who would maintain the high quality of IRA training I have provided over the years.


I have had a wonderful partnership with Convergent RPS for the last 8 years marketing their IRAstuff.com web portal and consulting services. They were always my support system when I had an IRA question. Loni Porta, who is scheduled to provide the training in Georgia this year is very much an IRA expert. We became fast friends when we met last year because of our similar philosophies on presenting complicated IRA material in a way that can be understood. I am very excited you will get to meet her this year. I’m looking forward to hearing how much you enjoy her training style like bankers in the other states have mentioned to me. Have a great class and Happy New Year.

Get details and register here.


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Two Weeks Left to Sign Up for Georgia BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament

Our annual fundraising event for the Georgia BankPAC* is just two weeks away. There’s still room to sign up to shoot at this fun event, Feb. 8, at Old Hudson Plantation in Sparta. Event registration includes 100 targets, cart, one mulligan, an entry into the cotton ball drop contest and a delicious barbecue lunch. There are registration options for four-person teams, individual shooters and sponsorships. If you don’t have a team put together, that’s OK. You may go ahead and sign up and let us know your teammates closer to the shoot. Click here for more details and to register.


A big shout-out to our event sponsors: Banc Card of America; Bank of Madison; Cash Transactions LLC “CashTrans”; CSRA Business Lending; Farmers and Merchants Bank; FHLBank Atlanta; First Carolina 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.


Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions. If you’re a golfer and enjoy supporting the Georgia BankPAC, block your calendar for the Georgia BankPAC Golf Classic, Oct. 16 in Forsyth!


* 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 from 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.

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Last Week to Sign Up! Free Webinar with GBA Partner Abrigo Jan. 30

The Check Fraud Ecosystem: Fraudulent Checks and Their Complexities

Fraudulent checks pose multifaceted threats to your bank, including fraud loss, operational complexities, and heightened vulnerability to additional scams. As check fraud evolves, detecting and preventing it in financial institutions becomes more challenging. Join Abrigo, a GBA Strategic Partner, for a session focusing on the impact of check fraud and the risks of financial loss, reputational damage, and compromised customer trust.


Key Takeaways:

  • Check fraud trends and the rise in total fraud dollars

  • The connection between check fraud and other fraudulent activities

  • Strategies to combat check fraud.

This live webinar is eligible for 1 CFCS credit, and 1.25 CRCM, CERP, and CAFP credits. Click here to register.


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Stephanie Stuckey

Innovation for Classic Brands: the Stuckey’s Comeback Story

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

Stephanie Stuckey is chair of Stuckey’s, known as a highway oasis to generations of Americans. Founded in 1937 by her grandfather, W.S. Stuckey, Sr. in Eastman, Stuckey’s grew into over 350 stores nationwide. However, the company was sold and declined for decades under outside ownership. Fortunately, it’s back in family hands thanks to Stephanie buying Stuckey’s in 2019. She and her partners are reviving the company as a pecan snack & candy brand. Join us to hear Stephanie share her story at GBA's Operations & Technology Conference coming up in Savannah.


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 Bank. Click 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: Ncontracts, SQN Banking Systems.


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Discounts Available for GBA Members

Learn More about GBA Partner NContracts’ Risk Performance Management (RPM) Suite Today

GBA is proud to exclusively endorse 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 new solutions from NContracts. The RPM Suite combines four of Ncontracts’ industry-leading solutions for banks--Nrisk, Ncomply, Nvendor and Nfindings--into one powerhouse suite that raw data into timely, actionable and strategic insights. Learn more about the RPM Suite by visiting www.ncontracts.com, or contacting Carrie Parker at carrie.parker@ncontracts.com.


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Convenient Training for New Lenders

Commercial Lending Training – Webinars


Breaking into Banking 101 – Fundamentals of Commercial Banking, Thursday, 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.


Breaking into Banking 201 – Analyzing Repayment Sources, Wednesday, March 27

This 9-module online course is a “sequel” to the 101 course and is best taken after completion of that course, though it is not a prerequisite. The 201 course includes a case study and dives deeper into topics covered in modules 4, 6, and 8 of the 101 course: analyzing a borrower’s balance sheet, income statement, collateral, and risk ratings. Click here to register.


Both are presented by Andy Keusal, Keusal Learning. These online courses will be held by 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. Here's an intro to the courses from the instructor:



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Marketing Conference and The Power of Video Workshop, Jekyll Island, March 20-22

Get the scoop on the latest bright ideas for marketing your bank and its products and services. Planned by GBA’s Marketing Committee, Haley Barnes, BankSouth Mortgage, chair, the GBA Marketing Conference has two components. Our pre-conference workshop, presented by Ken Fehner, owner of The Social Gloo, will equip attendees with the knowledge and tools needed to create compelling videos for social media posts. The traditional conference follows, with programming covering the full spectrum of skills, best practices, latest trends and good ideas for practitioners. Attendees have the option to register for both workshop and conference, conference only or workshop only. See the full agenda and register here.


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Article by GBA Associate Member Safe Systems

Using Conditional Access Policies and MFA to Enhance Azure AD Security

In 2023, we saw a large influx of successful phishing campaigns, primarily due to attackers being able to circumvent multifactor authentication (MFA). Their schemes worked because they were able to trick users into clicking on a link and giving away their security token—essentially bypassing MFA. The human-error factor highlights the need for phishing simulation training to ensure users are more aware of security threats. Institutions can also minimize account compromises by implementing a variety of conditional access policies (CAPs). Read more here.


Related: Safe Systems Technology DevOps Engineer Eric Delgado will lead a presentation about this topic at the GBA Operations & Technology Conference, Feb. 28 - March 1 in Savannah.


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New Year, New Goals!

HR Professionals Institute, Jekyll Island, March 20-22

Planned by GBA’s Human Resources Committee, Lance Whitley, Colony Bank, chair, this is the premier in-person learning experience for Georgia bank human resources professionals. Make it a goal to attend, and register today! Highlights include:

  • Communication, Tonya Parker, Georgia Tech

  • Embracing Change, Lon Langston, Engaged Banker Experience

  • Recruitment and Retention, Shonda Sammons, Advocate Builders

  • Legal Update, Jason Willcox, Moore Clarke DuVall & Rodgers, P.C.

  • Mental Health De-Escalation, Sergeant Eric Rooks, Gwinnet PD

Get all the details and register here. Thank you to our sponsors! Platinum: Engaged Banker Experience. Silver: Yarmouth & Choate.


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Shannon Fortson

Peter Faser

Registration now open!

Spring Programming at Middle Georgia State University in Macon

Registration for our spring programming is now open. Connect with your peers and gain the tools and expertise needed to excel in your role.

  • GBA’s Compliance Peer Group will meet on March 5. Attendees will discuss the industry’s latest hot topics and learn best practices to strengthen their bank’s compliance management program. Get all the details and register here.


  • Personal Cash Flow Analysis Seminar, March 5: Shannon Fortson of Pinnacle Bank will present a combination of lecture and casework, and participants will learn how to calculate sources and uses of personal cash flow. Secure your spot and register today.


  • Loan Documentation Seminar March 6: Fortson will be back to present the fan-favorite Loan Documentation seminar. Learn what’s needed to prevent loan losses through the implementation of proper loan structuring and documentation techniques. Register here.


  • Business Cash Flow Seminar, March 7: Get hands-on analysis training you need to determine a borrower’s capacity to repay a loan from Peter Faser, a faculty member of the Georgia Banking School. Don’t miss out! Register today.

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Bank Security Conference, April 10-12, The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, St. Simons

Planned by GBA’s Security Committee, Melissa Dasher, SouthState, chair, the conference agenda is shaping up to deliver the latest insights, trends, and tools needed for bank security professionals to excel in their careers. Registration includes a policies and procedures workshop, sessions on bank security technology and equipment, artificial intelligence, fraud, mental health and more. Secure your spot today!


Get all the details and register here.


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An Opportunity of a Lifetime!

Georgia Banking School – 2024

There is still time to register for the 2024 session of Georgia Banking School. Save $130 on tuition through March 1!



Georgia Banking School Details and Enrollment Access Here


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Additional Enrollment Opportunity!

GBA Compliance School – Now Offering Year 1 and Year 2 Simultaneously

GBA’s Compliance School Board has been hard at work bringing an additional opportunity for bankers looking to grow in their career. Whether you are new to banking or need to brush up on recent regulatory changes, this school will equip you for what’s next. For the first time ever, Year 1 and Year 2 of Compliance School will both be offered in 2024! Compliance officers as well as anyone who has compliance responsibilities, including department managers, will benefit from the school. Enroll today for career growth, personal growth, and an added value to your institution. Get the details and register here.


GBA’s Compliance School will be April 28 – May 3, 2024, at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens.  With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.


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Mark your calendar!

GBA 2024 Rural Development and Lending Conference

Make a big note on your calendar for the GBA 2024 Rural Development and Lending Conference May 16-17 at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, St Simons Island. Look for program and registration details in upcoming GBA E-Bulletins and email outreach.


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Compliance Alliance Question of The Week


Question: Are UDAAP audits required annually? 


Answer: While it does not require an annual audit, regulators will look at whether or not banks do a periodic review of policies and processes to comply with UDAAP. 


“1. Identify potential UDAAP concerns by reviewing all relevant written policies and procedures, customer complaints received by the entity or by the CFPB, internal and external audit reports, statistical and management reports, and examination reports. Determine whether the entity’s compliance program includes an established process for periodic analysis and monitoring of all decision-making processes used in connection with consumer financial products or services, and a process to take corrective action to address any potential UDAAP concerns related to their use, including discrimination.” 


Read more here from the CFPB procedures.


Subscribe to Compliance Alliance's email newsletters for timely compliance updates and resources.



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Webinars – Great for Fundamentals Training

Flood Insurance, Teller Skills, Teambuilding Skills, Letters of Credit 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 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 s6onsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment:


Hawkinsville - Planters First Bank

The bank donated 15 care bags to Northside Hospital Cancer Institute on the Taylor Regional Hospital campus for chemotherapy and radiation patients in Hawkinsville.


Perry - SunMark Community Bank

The bank recently hosted a free shred day event to help protect individuals’ identity and the environment.


Rome - River City Bank

Chief Banking Officer and Extra Special People (ESP) Board Member Matt Robbins recently presented a corporate sponsorship check to the ESP Rome team.


Watkinsville - BankSouth

Bank team members Madison Chambers and Lorie Petersen recently volunteered for and participated in the 2nd-Annual Ashton Hope Keegan Foundation 5K.



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Save the Date!



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GBA Newsmakers


Athens - Synovus Bank

Retail Market Manager Michelle Roberts Kelterborn was recently named a “Gamechanger,” one of 10 community leaders under the age of 40, by the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce.


Atlanta - (former) SunTrust

Our sympathies to the family, friends and former colleagues of Jimmy Williams, who died Tuesday at age 90. Williams rose through the ranks of what became SunTrust Banks before becoming president, CEO and chairman of SunTrust in 1991. Read more here.


Atlanta - Synovus Bank

Julissa Santoyo has been promoted to commercial banker in the bank’s central Atlanta team.


Buford - Peoples Bank & Trust

Misty Arrow has been promoted to banking officer.


Cochran/Dublin - The Citizens Bank of Cochran & Community Bank of Dublin-Laurens County

Matt Fordham has been appointed to the bank’s board of directors.


Fitzgerald - Colony Bank

Derek Shelnutt has been promoted to executive vice president and Chief Financial Officer. Read more here.


Hinesville - Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, Inc.        

The bank, along with the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 11 to celebrate the grand opening of the new branch located at 110 General Screven Way in Hinesville. Read more here.


Rome - River City Bank

The bank received Best of Rome 2023 awards for Best Bank, Best Banker - Angie Beard, Best Mortgage Services and Best Mortgage Lender - Kathi Watson. Rhonda Wallace was a runner-up and David Mullinax received third place for the Best Banker awards, and Terri Ainsworth was a runner-up for Best Mortgage Lender.


Savannah - Coastal States Bank

Chad Jacobs has joined the bank as commercial real estate banker.


Savannah - First Chatham Bank

Dora Acosta has joined the bank as a banking officer and manager of its Hodgson Branch.


Warner Robins - Planters First Bank

Kent Jordan has joined the bank as a commercial lender in its Warner Robins Banking Center.


Michelle Kelterborn Julissa Santoyo Misty Arrow Matt Fordham



Derek Shelnutt Chad Jacobs Dora Acosta Kent Jordan



Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co. River City 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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