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June 7, 2024

GBA Annual Meeting Starts Sunday

More than 430 members, family and guests will be in Naples, FL, for the GBA Annual Meeting events starting Sunday. In addition to the GBA meeting to elect officers and install board members, GBA Insurance Trust members will meet and elect directors, and GBA Retirement Services members will get an update, as well. There’s plenty of business and learning on the agenda for sure, but members and families will also enjoy ample networking and peer connection time. Look for coverage and photos in next week’s edition. With questions about the meeting, contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad at 404.420.2024.

Congrats to GSBLSU Graduates

A solid group of 22 bankers from Georgia graduated May 31 from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. They were members of a class of 152 bankers from 19 states, the District of Columbia, and Mexico who earned their diplomas. GBA is among the 15 state bankers associations sponsoring the school, and with this year’s class, 1,734 Georgia bankers have completed the intensive 3-year program conducted during two weeks in successive years. The Georgia Trustee on the Board overseeing the school is Perry Revell, CEO of AB&T, Albany, and GBA Senior Lending Officer Roundtable facilitator Mike Allen serves on the school’s executive committee as immediate past president. Congratulations to the following graduates:
  • Greg Allen, South State Bank, Atlanta
  • William Billings, Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, Thomasville
  • Robyn Chesnut, Citizens Bank, Americus
  • Chelsea Colclough, First American Bank & Trust, Athens
  • Sassa Cole, Synovus Bank, Cumming
  • Bridget Cook, Pinnacle Bank, Covington
  • John Douglas, Federal Reserve Bank, Atlanta
  • Zachary Frye, Bulloch First, Statesboro
  • Michael Fulton, Capital City Bank, Cumming
  • Benjamin Griffith, TC Federal Bank, Savannah
  • Kavien Hillmon, SouthState Bank, Atlanta
  • Bert Hines, First National Bank, Bainbridge
  • Sakina Lawson, AgSouth Farm Credit, Statesboro
  • Matthew McElveen, Merchants & Marine Bank, Roswell
  • William Mitchell, TC Federal Bank, Thomasville
  • Robert Mize, Queensborough National Bank, Martinez
  • Daniel Morris, First Southern Bank, Waycross
  • Tamera Ray, Century Bank of Georgia, Cartersville
  • Mathew Robinson, Georgia Dept. of Banking & Finance, Covington
  • Jon Seagraves, Great Oaks Bank, Richmond Hill
  • Rachel Thompson, Bank of Newington, Newington
  • Gayle Woolard, AB&T, Albany

Successful Information Security Officer Seminar Held at MGSU

On June 5, GBA hosted the Information Security Officer 101 Seminar at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. Sponsored by Safe Systems, the seminar provided vital training for information security officers across the state. IT security experts Emily Strickland and Paige Hembree led the in-depth exploration of exam expectations, equipping attendees with the essential tools and skills required for their critical roles. The interactive sessions and real-world examples provided a robust learning experience, ensuring that information security officers left with actionable knowledge to enhance their organizations' security measures.

BSA Insights Shared at Virtual Peer Group Meeting

GBA hosted its BSA Peer Group Meeting on June 6 virtually on Zoom. The session, facilitated by GBA's BSA Summit lead facilitator Kristen Stogniew, provided a platform for banking professionals to connect, share insights, and address pressing issues within the industry. Participants were encouraged to submit industry hot topics during the registration process, leading to a relevant and engaging discussion tailored to the current needs and interests of attendees in the field of BSA compliance.
The next BSA Peer Group Meeting will be held in person at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon on Sept. 24. Registration is open and available here. With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.

Attention Attorneys!

Status of Important Cases - June 2024

The latest ABA Newsbytes Banking Docket 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.)

Participate in Two Key Community Banking Surveys

2024 National Survey of Community Banks
  • Purpose: Inform policymakers and the Community Banking Research Conference on the opportunities and challenges facing community banks. The conference is hosted by the Conference of State Banking Supervisors, Federal Reserve Bank, and FDIC
  • Time: 25-35 minutes, can be done in sessions.
  • Deadline: June 30.
  • Access the survey here.
Community Bank Sentiment Index (CBSI) Survey
  • Purpose: Capture community bankers' economic outlook, providing a quarterly snapshot of sentiments to gauge overall economic expectations. Also sponsored by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.
  • Time: 5 minutes.
  • Results: Released in July 2024.
  • Take the survey here.

Only TWO spots left!

Inaugural Internal Audit Peer Group Meeting, Macon, June 18

Our peer groups are growing! Audit pros are invited to join us at our Internal Audit Peer Group meeting June 18 at Idle Hour Golf & Country Club in Macon. Darren Shuster with Crowe LLP and Mike Thomas will facilitate the meeting covering industry hot topics.
With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.
Darren Shuster
Mike Thomas

Registration Now Open for Fall South Georgia Community Banking Symposium

GBA is pleased to announce its continued partnership with Valdosta State University's Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration for the South Georgia Community Banking Symposium. The 2024 event will be Thursday, Oct. 10, at Valdosta State University. This regional symposium features experts who focus on the important issues facing the banking industry, opportunities for partnership with the University in developing students interested in banking careers and a specific focus on south Georgia.
Who Should Attend:
  • CEOs and Presidents
  • Board Members
  • Management Teams
  • Lenders and Retail Business Development Officers
  • HR and Marketing Teams
  • Others with Customer-Facing and Community Responsibilities
It’s a great event for learning and networking for all bankers. Click here to reserve your spot today! Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with questions.

GBA Partner Advantage, powered by JMFA

Five Overdraft Best Practices for Stronger Customer Relationships

By Cheryl Lawson, EVP of Compliance Review
People have more options than ever before when it comes to their banking needs — and there are likely a variety of offers tempting them to switch. One negative experience with your overdraft service could be why someone walks away. In order to offer the most consumer-friendly program, you should build the service around and for your consumers. That means it should be:
  • Easy to understand when it’s explained by your team or in written form
  • Fully disclosed, clearly communicated and transparent
  • Compliant with all state and federal regulations
  • Reasonably priced for your market
  • Valuable to consumers to make it worth using.
Invariably, your account holders will have unintentional overdrafts and when that occurs, they may need some support. Overdraft programs continue to be a valuable service for consumers, and there’s an opportunity to fulfill an important need. Read more form Lawson’s blog post. Visit for more details.

Join National Peers Virtually or In-Person for Fraud Fighting Program

We’re excited to share a new opportunity to fight fraud presented in conjunction with the Kentucky Bankers Association and 23 other state bankers associations. The Fraud Academy is being offered virtually or in-person for the first time this Aug. 6-8.
Why Attend?
  • Covering 18+ areas of specialized training including check fraud, cybercrime, elder fraud and more
  • Created and taught by police, Secret Service, FBI and fraud prevention specialists
  • Customized for bankers
  • Collaborate, share best practices and network with peers from 24 other states
  • In-person or virtual options available -- whichever is most convenient or preferred for you.
Who should attend: BSA and security officers, operations teams, compliance officers, front-line team members and anyone with fraud-prevention duties.
With questions, contact GBA's Aimee Corcoran at

Register Today!

Compliance Conference, Oct. 23-25, The Westin, Jekyll Island

Registration is now open for our annual Compliance Conference. Planned by GBA’s Compliance Committee, the conference is for any compliance professional needing to sharpen their skills. Conference topics will include:
  • Community Reinvestment Act: Where are we now?
  • 1071 Update | Small Business Data Collection
  • Washington Update
  • BSA Fireside Chat
  • Fraud Panel
  • Peer Sharing / Roundtable Discussion.
Get all the details and register here. We’d like to thank these GBA Associate Members who are showing their support through sponsorship:
  • Platinum: Steve H. Powell & Company and Centrant Community Capital
  • Silver: Mauldin & Jenkins, Compliance Alliance, Ncontracts, and Troutman Pepper.
With questions, contact Aimee Corcoran, 404.420.2035.

GBA Associate Member Quantalytix

How Making Marginal Improvements Can Yield Tremendous Results in Your Data Strategy

By: Will Bryant, Co-founder and COO
You’ve likely heard that leveraging your bank’s data can provide a competitive edge and reduce risk. While this is true, discussions about it have become tedious. If the benefits are real, why don't management teams explore these possibilities more? The challenge is that the sheer volume of data is overwhelming. Where do you start, and what exactly are you looking for to harness these benefits? A data strategy not only establishes your position but also ensures continuous updates, acting as a GPS if you get lost. In a world where many still rely on paper maps, even small improvements can have a significant impact. Read more from Bryant here. Visit to learn more.

Upcoming Seminars in Macon – Registration now open!

Personal Cash Flow Seminar - Aug. 20

Join Shannon Fortson, EVP, Chief Credit Officer of Pinnacle Bank, for an in-depth, comprehensive understanding on how to analyze personal cash flow and personal tax returns. Learn how to calculate sources and uses of personal cash flow to support a borrower’s loan request to ensure a strong and healthy loan portfolio. Get all the details and register here.

Loan Documentation Seminar - Aug. 21

Shannon Fortson returns as the leader for our Loan Documentation Seminar. Prevention of loan losses is crucial and begins with 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. Get all the details and register here.

Business Cash Flow Analysis Seminar - Sept. 10

Peter Faser, business strategy adviser for The Profitability Coach and a faculty member of the Georgia Banking School, will lead an introduction and practical approach to business cash flow analysis for those needing a hands-on learning experience to determine a borrower’s capacity to repay a loan. Get all the details and register here.

Opening New Accounts Seminar - Oct. 1

Customized to Georgia Law, Matthew Dickinson of JM Consultants will focus on documentation and compliance during this full-day seminar. Attendees can expect to learn essential new account opening procedures, best practices, and compliance requirements. Matthew will answer complex questions asked by customers and staff while focusing on vital information for every new account type. Get all the details and register here.
Shannon Fortson
Peter Faser
Matthew Dickinson

Spotlight on Preventative Care from GBAIT Wellness Partner

Don't wait for symptoms to appear. Regular preventive care can catch potential health issues in their early stages, when they're often more treatable. By staying proactive with screenings and check-ups, you take a vital step towards a longer, healthier life. Regular check-ups, screenings, and vaccinations can detect potential issues early, paving the way for effective intervention. Your health is an investment—schedule those appointments...and be sure to keep them. Get more tips on living well from GBA Insurance Trust wellness partner SentryHealth. All services are available at no charge to member bankers covered by the GBA Insurance Trust. Contact Lee Monroe and Jayn Lawson for information. If you are an employee of a participating member company and are ready to do something good for your health today, schedule an appointment at or on the MySentryHealth app, available on the App Store or Google Play.

Compliance Alliance - Question of The Week

Question: If an application for a second home started with an individual applicant but mid-way through, the applicant wants to add a spouse to the application to facilitate the approval, do we need to initiate a new application with a new application number, or can we just use the initial application and keep the same loan number, then resend the early disclosures?
Answer: Ultimately, the bank's course of action in this situation will likely depend upon whether it is a co-signer or a co-borrower who is added, as well as any applicable internal/investor guidelines. Generally, this tends to be more of a procedural question based on your internal/investor policies. The regulations provide the bank discretion regarding when the bank may either add a co-borrower or co-signer from the application or when the bank should close out an application and start the process over. Speaking to many banks about this process, it seems practices vary with how they accomplish this because it's really about what fits the bank's processes best. Some banks have indicated that they always close out files and make the applicant re-apply (with or without the co-borrower/co-signer, whatever the case may be) because it's better for their systems, makes things easy to follow and allows for a better workflow. Further, other banks have indicated that they tend to keep the files open and make changes and add or remove co-applicants because that system is better for their workflow, software, processes, etc., so, ultimately, the bank is free to do it however you'd like, as always keeping in mind Fair Lending and UDAAP considerations.
Live Demo Signups for Compliance Alliance:

Save the Date for Two Highly Anticipated GBA Conferences

Registration will open later this summer for the following conferences:
  • Financial Risk Management Conference: Nov. 7-8, 2024, at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta

  • Credit Conference: Dec. 5-6, 2024, at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta
With questions, contact GBA's Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034.

Webinars - Great for Fundamentals Training

Motivating and Managing Your Team, Branch Manager Best Practices, The Rise of Generative AI in Banking and Financial Services 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.

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.

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. Here's our latest installment:
Atlanta - Citizens Trust Bank
The bank is accepting donations through June 14 for its Stuffed with Trust Donation drive.
Greensboro - BankSouth
Gabriella Blythe received the Citizenship Award and Scholarship on behalf of The BankSouth Foundation. She’ll be attending the University of Georgia to study pharmaceutical science.
Milledgeville - Century Bank and Trust
The bank recently presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to Putnam General Hospital through the Georgia HEART Hospital Program.
Thomasville - TC Federal Bank
The bank’s Thomasville team celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week by treating the educators in Thomasville to lunch and bank giveaways.

GBA Newsmakers

Check out these Georgia bankers making news this week:

Atlanta - Coastal States Bank
Gavin Shook has joined the bank as a senior vice president, commercial banker in its Atlanta region.
Bainbridge - First Port City Bank
Kyla Simpson has joined the bank as a loan documentation specialist. The bank also announced the upcoming opening of its Eastside Express Branch at 1705 E. Shotwell Street later this summer.
Chattanooga, TN - Builtwell Bank
The bank is commemorating its 120-year anniversary on June 12. All branch locations will hold a celebration on that date and the community is invited to attend. Read more here.
Covington - Affinity Bank
The bank has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Atlanta Postal Credit Union (APCU), along with its community-based subsidiary, Center Parc Credit Union. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2024 or first quarter of 2025, pursuant to regulatory approvals. Read more here.
Elberton/Atlanta - Pinnacle Bank/CorServ
Pinnacle Bank has partnered with GBA Associate Member CorServ to launch a comprehensive credit card program for its commercial, business and consumer customers. Read more here.
Rome - River City Bank
Jerri Knowles has joined the bank as a personal banker in its Rome office.
Savannah - First Chatham Bank
Mistie Daniels has joined the bank as branch manager and banking officer of the Brunswick location of First Glynn Bank. Imelda Tamulski was promoted to branch manager and banking officer of the bank’s Richmond Hill branch. Brandi Williams-Haynes was promoted to branch manager and banking officer of the bank’s Hodgson Memorial branch.
Atlanta - Forvis Mazars
Two leading professional services firms, Mazars, an international partnership operating in over 100 countries and territories, and FORVIS, a top ranked firm in the United States, on June 1 marked the official launch of their new global network, Forvis Mazars, a top 10 global network. Read more here.
Gavin Shook
Kyla Simpson
First Port City Bank
Jerri Knowles
Mistie Daniels
Imelda Tamulski
Brandi Williams-Haynes

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 David Oliver and Katina Prokos.
Webinars by topic: