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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.

Introducing HELOC at SGBC! 

(Home Equity Line of Credit)

A HELOC, or Home Equity Line of Credit, is a type of loan that allows you to borrow money using your home as collateral. South Georgia Banking Company is pleased to now offer this valuable option to our customers, and having an SGBC account entitles you to a lower HELOC rate. What are some of the highlights of the SGBC HELOC?

Use HELOC funds for: Home Improvement, Investments, Student Loans, Debt Consolidation, Unexpected Personal Expenses, Financing a Business (and more…)

Easily access your HELOC funds through SGBC Online Banking.

With your HELOC, SGBC can cover your loans, appraisals, and title fees.

HELOC credit lines can go up to $300,000.

There are some requirements for qualifying for a HELOC loan. A minimum credit store of 680 is needed, and the HELOC must be between $10,000 and $300,000. In order to apply for a HELOC loan, simply contact one of our lenders at SGBC to get the process started. Our SGBC team can walk you through the details of the HELOC including minimum advances, interest rates, fees and repayment terms.

South Georgia Banking Company is excited to bring this loan option to our customers, and we look forward to walking you through the possibilities and making your dreams a reality. Contact us today for details on the SGBC Home Equity Line of Credit.

Kerri Eckstrand: SGBC Customer Connection at its Best

As we continue our Customer Service Representative spotlight series, we are now please to highlight Kerri Eckstrand. Kerry has been with our South Georgia Banking Company Tift Avenue branch for two years, and she truly embodies the community connection that has defined SGBC since the beginning.

“My favorite aspect of being a CSR is the daily interaction with my customers,” says Kerri. “Each experience with a customer provides a unique opportunity to help them meet their goals both personally and professionally. Knowing I play a small role in their success is rewarding.”

Kerri goes on to describe the “family atmosphere” at SGBC as being another great aspect of her job. “Across the board, SGBC employees work as a team. Each employee has a specific job to do, yet ALL are willing to go beyond their ‘job description’ to help a customer as well as a coworker,” she says.

As a mom of two small children (Amelia and Aiden), Kerri certainly has her hands full outside of work as well. She is so proud of the way that SGBC gives back to the community – including schools like the one her children attend – and knowing that the partnership between SGBC and its communities help make the bank such a great place for employees and customers. It’s the giving back that makes South Georgia Banking Company so special for Kerri.

“I was especially proud of my SGBC family last fall. During October 2016, Hurricane Matthew evacuees were flowing into and through Tifton,” remembers Kerri. “So many of them had no where to go, no family to stay with, and the shelters were quickly filling up. We began to hear of people staying in parking lots – many of them with children and pets. The minute we heard this, SGBC sprang into action – making phone calls to determine the most urgent needs and purchasing items that needed to be delivered to shelters. It’s an honor to be part of an organization that, without hesitation, responds to help those in need.”

Kerri has the work ethic, community spirit and compassion that South Georgia Banking Company tries itself to embody everyday. We are proud of our Customer Service Representatives, and Kerri Eckstrand is the perfect example of why we feel that way.

New Board Members Announced - Brian Ponder & Glenn Willis

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.”

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.

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