Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel graphic
December 9, 2008 Edition p
p p p p p p p p p

Was your turkey as good as mine? And I am not referring to any relatives, friends or house guests!

My Christmas tree is up, but no shopping has been done. If you do not have your tree, please check the announcements and buy locally!

Your reporters for December are John B. Kline and Don Hooten.

In this Issue
  • Joe Brannen Speaks About Georgia Banks
  • Happy Birthday Wishes
  • Around the Room
  • Upcoming Programs

  • Joe Brannen Speaks About Georgia Banks

    Joe Brannen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Georgia Bankers Association

    President Mark Hastings and Suzanne Sykes, the Assistant District 6900 Governor, at the head table

    Past President Judy Turner gave an introduction of our guest speaker, Joe Brannen who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Georgia Bankers Association, a position he has held since 1980. The Georgia Bankers Association is the trade and professional association representing virtually all of Georgia's 380 commercial banks and thrift institutions.

    Joe came to the Georgia Bankers Association after having worked eight years for U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. Thanks in part to Joe's work, James magazine recently recognized the association among the top 10 most politically influential business associations in the State of Georgia.

    Mr. Brannen explained that the GBA was now 116 years old and the primary representative for the banking industry in Georgia for executive education, for legislative representation, media/ public advocacy, and for products and services for banks. He stated that banks in Georgia employ over 73,000 Georgians at 2,873 locations and hold approximately $184 Billion in deposits. Mr. Brannen shared some statistics on the relative health of the majority of Georgia banks and that in three of four key comparative ratios, for earnings on assets, return on equity, and capital/ assets, the banks of Georgia were stronger that the averages for all banks in the United States. Mr. Brannen tried to put the current situation in perspective with the troubles the nation was experiencing in other challenging times in history to illustrate that we are not yet near the level of troubled financial institutions that we had during the last troubled period in the late 1980's and early 1990's.

    Mr. Brannen recited the numerous major changes in the financial landscape that have occurred since September 2008. The changes are taking place as the Federal Government tries to get credit moving again through various initiatives such as the TARP, the Liquidity Guaranty Program, and the Federal Reserve interventions in the capital markets. The prospect for our state still appear strong over the long term and Georgia is one of five states expected to show growth due to a favorable business climate and expected population growth.

    In closing Mr. Brannen emphasized that those who are most adaptable will survive, and that the diversity of banking choices between small community banks, regional banks, and large national/global banks is essential. He closed with the message that the survivors are going to be those Georgia banks and businesses that adapt to these unprecedented changes which were mentioned, and that the vast majority of our bankers are in that group.

    Following our speaker's talk, President Mark presented the DeKalb Library System with Career Opportunities: Banking, Finance, and Insurance, by Thomas Fitch in our speaker's honor.

    Reported By John B. Kline

    Photographs By Mark Burnette

    Happy Birthday Wishes

    Happy December Birthday

      • December 4: Jeremy Warner
      • December 12: Tim Martin
      • December 13: Hugh Goodwin
      • December 15: Robert Stroud
      • December 17: Julia Carter
      • December 18: Houston Smith
      • December 21: Art Vinson
      • December 26: Bill Funk
      • December 28: Dennis Byerly
      • December 28: Ruth McCann

    Around the Room

    Joe Brannen reviews the book presented by President Mark

    Rotarians greet Joe and thank him for his remarks

    Dave Jollay and Eric Lucas ponder the Georgia banking industry

    Upcoming Programs

  • December 12: Tim Downes, Director of Athletics and Recreation for Emory University
  • December 19: Bishop Bevel Jones

  • Rotary logo

    Welcoming Guests

    Doug Torbush introduced 4 visiting Rotarians: Suzanne Sykes, Assistant District Governor, Stone Mountain Club; Becky Sawyer, East Cobb Club; and Leonard and Susan Skleroy, New York City, New York.

    Guests of Rotarians:

    Jeremy Warner introduced his guest, Jim Cotton of Decatur, in the Financial Services Business.


  • Terrific Thursdays continue through December. Visit downtown Decatur and Oakhurst every Thursday evening for refreshments, special sales and unique events. Business stay open later on Thursdays and the Cliff Shuttle bus makes it easy to move throughout the shopping district. Visit the city's website at www.decaturga.com for a complete listing of special activities.
  • Christmas Trees and Wreaths are for sale NOW on the lawn of First Christian Church of Decatur located at 601 West Ponce de Leon Avenue. Cash, checks, and credit cards are welcome. The proceeds benefit church and community ministries serving greater Decatur. Free home delivery is available within a 5 mile radius. Contact 404-378-3621 or www.decaturdisciples.org.

    Buy your trees and wreaths Monday and Wednesday from 3-9 PM; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 12-9PM and Saturday and Sunday from 9AM - 9PM

    Officers for Decatur Rotary:

    President - Mark Hastings

    President-Elect - Bryan Downs

    Past President - David Ewing

    Secretary - Vee Nelson

    Treasurer - Jason Conn

    Sergeant-at-Arms - Doug Torbush

    District Governor - Ted Propes


    President Mark recognized Peggy Merriss, Decatur City Manager and club member, who was recently honored with the "Pillars of Professional Excellence Award" given by the Georgia City-County Management Association. Congratulations Peggy!

    President Mark also announced that the elections for the board had been reset for December 19, 2008.

    Mark Burnette announced that the annual M.L King Day service project was scheduled for the weekend of January 17-19, 2009, and that Bill Mealer and Scott Thompson would be captains for one of the homes to be renovated.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Join us! Decatur Rotary Club meets each Friday at noon at the Old Courthouse on the Square in downtown Decatur.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    The four-way test of the things we think, say or do:

    Is it the TRUTH?

    Is it FAIR to all concerned?


    Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Directions: Old Courthouse on the Square

  • Join our mailing list!
    phone: 404-373-1088