Skip Navigation Documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view. Download it from Adobe.com.

Tift County News & Events

With three locations in Tift County, including our main branch, we are heavily ingrained in the community through our efforts with the Chamber of Commerce, Abraham Agricultural College, the Agrirama, Tift County school systems and a multitude of not-for-profit organizations.
Beverly Smith from our Tift Avenue location in Tifton begins retirement.

Melinda, a native of Tift County, began working at South Georgia Banking Company as a freshman at ABAC. She started out as a part-time employee in bookkeeping and has risen to the top of management as the Senior Vice President of Operations. As a top executive of a bank with assets totaling $450 million dollars, Melinda is responsible for maintaining the operations of all 9 locations, including 112 employees, covering 5 counties in South Central Georgia. Although her responsibilities have evolved and increased over the years, it has not changed the core of who she is as a person. Melinda is also responsible for overseeing the continual changes in bookkeeping, information technology and online security which is especially extensive for a financial institution. 

A role model is defined as someone who is worthy of imitation. Melinda is considered by those who know her as a role model in all aspects of her life. She is confident in herself as well as in her ability to make decisions. She is very sincere and compassionate. She is a great example of a woman who can do it all. She is a working wife, mother of two, Christian women who loves to give back to her Church and community.

She has been successful in her career as a banker through hard work and a passion for what she does. She is respected by employees that work with her as well as the customers she diligently serves. Her family always jokes with her that she will never retire because she loves going to work every day. She makes an impact daily on everyone she comes in contact with – at work and in the community.

Melinda is always the first to sign up for community contributions, whether it’s a food drive, Suitcases for Kids, clean-up community day or to sponsor a needy family. She is immediate in her call to action of these things -- never dragging her feet in philanthropic efforts. Her yes is yes --- Melinda is always one you can count on. In her personal life Melinda continues the trend of service to the community by dedicating her time to organizations she is passionate about such as serving many different roles at First Baptist church Tifton where her Girls in Action (G.A.) students look to her as a teacher and role model. Even as Melinda comes home her family cannot wait for their time they spend with her. 

Melinda dedicates herself wholly to being an Outstanding Business Woman as well as devoting much of her time to making a difference in the community yet she does all these things without seeking recognition which is one of many of the reasons she is so deserving to be acknowledged as an outstanding Female Business Woman in Tifton’s community. 

This year’s hurricane season offered more chaos and concern than we are used to experiencing in South Georgia. At South Georgia Banking Company, we were aware of how this unexpected chaos could affect the financial matters of our customers. One employee, in particular, went above and beyond in the midst of the storm. Diana Owen has been with SGBC, in our Operations Department, for 22 years. When Hurricane Irma arrived in South Georgia this September, Diana made it her mission to ensure our customers had what they needed and put their needs ahead of her own.

In preparing for the possibility of issues, Diana worked the Saturday and Sunday before the storm hit. Monday afternoon, once the storm had passed and power was confirmed, but before the roads were cleared, Diana went to the office again in order to process the automated transactions that had taken place over the weekend.

This is just the kind of person and employee that Diana is --- and it’s a big part of why we value her at SGBC. More than that, Diana is one of the many reasons customers know they can count on our team.

“Someone asked me why I was adamant about going into the office,” Diana recalls, “I didn’t hesitate to remind them of the importance of our reputation! If my customer is expecting a deposit to hit their account, I was going to make sure it was there! We are the only bank in town with operations in Tifton --- a hurricane was no excuse for any delay in our customers’ transactions.” She continues, “We really care about our customers. Our customers are not just a number to us --- they are a person with feelings and we want to help out the best way we can.” 

Diana’s own words sum up her commitment to SGBC’s customers and embody our bank’s mantra as a whole: It’s all about service and connection, as well as accountability.

In addition to her commitment to SGBC, Diana and her husband, Marcus, have been married for 28 years, are parents to Savannah (a student at VSU) and Alex who is in 8th grade where they attend Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Employees like Diana are what make SGBC unique --- we are committed to keeping our customers top of mind, whatever it takes.

At the annual shareholders’ meeting, held May 25, 2017, South Georgia Bank Holding Company announced the addition of two new members to the company’s board of directors. Glenn Willis and Brian Ponder were recently appointed to the board which expands the number to 13 members. “We are pleased to welcome Glenn and Brian to the South Georgia Bank Holding Company board,” said Pait Willis, Chairman and CEO. “They both bring a unique perspective, knowledge, and wisdom that will further enhance the strength of our existing Board of Directors.” Glenn Willis is the president of South Georgia Banking Company, a position he has held since 2007. He began his banking career in 1985. A native of Tift County, Willis graduated from Tift County High School, furthered his education at UGA and returned home with a passion for local business, community development and agriculture. Willis is active in legislative and leadership roles with the Georgia Bankers Association, currently serving on the GBA Insurance Trust Board or Directors, GBA Board of Directors, the Community Banks Committee and the Public Affairs Committee. Locally, Willis volunteers in a variety of capacities, including board positions with the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and the Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage and is a member of the ABAC Alumni Association, ABAC President’s Club, Tifton Rotary and the American Cancer Society. He is a member and deacon of First Baptist Church of Tifton where he teaches a 6th Grade Sunday School Class and participates in the adult Sanctuary Choir. Along with his wife Karen, Willis is most proud of his son, Austin, a United States Navy Sailor and his daughter Amanda Lowe. Amanda and her husband Johnny Lowe are expecting their first child in August. Brian Ponder is the co-owner and operator of the family farm, Pond-O-Gold, in Omega Georgia where he and his brother, Ken, manage 3,000 acres of timber and farmland. Their farming operation consists of 1,200 acres of cotton, 650 acres of peanuts, 300 acres of corn and 120 acres of watermelon. He regards, “It is truly an honor to be invited to serve on the South Georgia Bank board of directors. I look forward to serving an organization that has grown from assets of forty thousand dollars in the beginning to over four hundred sixty million dollars today and as a steward for shareholders and employees interest. I am thankful to be a part of a local institution whose ownership remains in and around the Tift area and the decision making process is still made right here at home by local people.” Ponder is a past winner of the Tift County Farmer of the Year Award, 2007 ABAC Alumnus Master Farmer of the Year and a recipient of the Georgia Soil and Water Conservationist of the Year Award. Ponder currently serves as a District Supervisor for the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Committee, Tift County Farm Bureau Director and is on the Board of Trustees with Road Less Traveled Ministries in Tifton. He is a very proud member of Union Grove Church where he attends with his wife Missy and their children, Victoria and Cy. South Georgia Banking Company ranks 27th in asset size of State Charted banks in Georgia with assets totaling more than $460 million. SGBC has eight full-service locations in Colquitt, Tift, Turner, Crisp and Dooley Counties. Its operations center is located in Tifton and the company’s employees number more than 115 individuals throughout the region. Pait Willis concludes “In the last 47 years, it’s been exciting to see the bank evolve and expand while intentionally keeping our roots deep in the communities we serve. The addition of Glenn and Brian will certainly add to the depth of our leadership and I am eager to watch where we grow from here.”

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), an annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity. South Georgia Banking Company, along with The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), would like to arm you with some general tips (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) to read more about protecting your assets online and not falling victim to cyber scams. Topics on StaySafeOnline.org include detailed information and resources on the topics listed below, just click to learn more about any of these issues:(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)

 to help increase your cybersecurity awareness, protect your online activities, and whom to contact if you are the victim of cyber crime.


The Internet touches almost all aspects of our daily lives, whether we realize it or not. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through education and initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity by providing the tools and resources needed to stay safe online.


Please visit the NCSAM's StaySafeOnline website
(Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)


Online Safety Basics (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)

Responding to Identity Theft, Fraud and Cybercrime (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)

Securing Key Accounts and Devices (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)

Managing Your Privacy (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window)


South Georgia Banking Company realizes the importance of protecting your online identity and financial security; we hope this information helps you understand more about how to keep your information safe. Call us with any concerns or questions.

Pictured are Carolyn Massey and Bettye Turner with the Fulwood Garden Center along with Glenn Willis and Pait Willis of South Georgia Banking Company. The Fulwood Garden Center has a long standing history in Tifton. South Georgia Banking Company is proud to support their efforts to conserve and beautify the community as well as provide horticultural education to younger generations.

South Georgia Banking Company organized a Peanut Butter Food Drive throughout the region this October. All eight branches participated in Tift, Colquitt, Turner, Crisp and Dooly Counties. This endeavor originated in order to give back to those in need within the communities. The drive was also a way to celebrate Georgia Peanut Bank Week and acknowledge Georgia peanut farmers and industry professionals for their outstanding peanut production and contribution to our economy.

The employees, customers and communities really came through in this food drive. When all was said and done, the collection total topped 5,964 jars of peanut butter. This number includes significant contributions from Golden Boy Peanuts, Peanut Proud and the Dooly County School System.

In fact, as the collection drive was winding down, SGBC’s efforts nearly doubled when Jeff Hollis of Golden Boy Peanuts walked into the 2nd Street branch. Hollis noticed the peanut butter collection and wanted to be a part.

"We had originally planned to support two or three Tift County food pantries, but with the additional contributions from Golden Boy, we had to expand our reach! We were able to spread hope to most every agency in Tifton. It was such a blessing to be a part of this endeavor and we are thankful to all who helped make it happen!" said Maghan Campbell, Marketing Director at South Georgia Banking Company.

SGBC was able to donate large quantities to the Tift County food pantries and other agencies in the county including Brother Charlie’s, Backpack Buddies, Tifton’s Soup Kitchen, Ruth’s Cottage, Leroy Rogers Center, Society of St. Andrews, Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, Backpack Blessings and the Mell Baptist Association.

"Thank you to all of our customers and those who donated. You are making a difference." said Glenn Willis, president of South Georgia Banking Company.

We had a “hot time” at the Omega Pepper Festival this September! South Georgia Banking Company is proud to be ingrained in the activities and culture of ALL the communities we serve. Omega has an extra-special place in our hearts since it's where we got our start. Keep it HOT Omega!

T.A.L:K Class-Tomorrow’s Aspiring Leaders: Kids—Youth Leadership Class

The T.A.L:K class is 50 Eighth graders from Eighth Street Middle school and Tiftarea Academy. On February 16, 2016; the students went to the State Capitol for a photo opportunity with Governor Deal; Representative Clay Prickle; Representative Sam Watson; Representative Penny Houston; Senator Greg Kirk. They also met with our state representatives for a very outstanding question and answer session. Gary Black, Commissioner of Department of Agriculture also stopped by and talked about the importance of Agriculture. After that, they were privileged to tour the Capitol and go into the House and Senate Chambers. After a trip to the “Varsity Drive-In” they returned to Tifton. Sponsors are Tift Regional Health System; Heatcraft; Georgia Power; Colquitt EMC; First Community Bank; South Georgia Banking Company. 
Omega Elementary teachers celebrate their last day of the year by recognizing some of their finest. Long time Partners in Education (PIE) participant, South Georgia Banking Company, joined in the celebration by donating local gift cards to the top three achievers this year. Picture are Maghan Campbell with South Georgia Banking Company; Tanesha Dotson, Teacher of the Year; Tammy Hornbuckle, Excellence in Education winner; and Holly Kendrick, True Blue Award for 2016; and Dr. Melton, Principal of Omega Elementary School.
When South Georgia Banking Company, Omega branch, opened up it's doors for a school tour, they were a full house .... and FULL of questions! "We love having the opportunity to encourage students to think about money and finances and see how things work on the other side of the teller line." said Jane Justice.

Community Resources