LEAD Division

CBA Engagement as a Leadership Division Representative

CBA's Leadership Division (LD) aims to promote the advancement of tomorrow's financial industry leaders while encouraging meaningful relationships between the CBA and its member banks.

Engagement in the Leadership Division allows representatives to expand personally and professionally through networking, educational opportunities, political activism, and community service. Each CBA member bank's CEO is asked to designate at least one Leadership Division Representative (LDR) - larger banks may want to name an LDR at each branch. A recommendation as an LDR is an impressive commendation reserved for the most valued employees. Membership in the LD is complimentary to all CBA member banks.

The LD strives to ensure a prosperous future for Georgia's community banking industry. Through its ongoing initiatives, the LDRs encourage lifelong learning, professional education development, communicating the industry brand to the next generation, raising funds to support industry advocacy, and participating in community service. Whether you are a seasoned banker or just starting your career, the CBA welcomes your participation.
LDRs that exhibit a passion for community banking by participating in the CBA and its initiatives may be nominated or invited to join the LEAD Board.

CBA’s LEAD Board (Leadership, Education, Advocacy, Development Board)

​The LEAD is administered by its own board, board structure, and committees. Each year designated LEAD Board Members are assigned to specific committees designed to promote and assist CBA Board initiatives. LEAD committees are as follows:

​Membership & ​Talent Management

The purpose of the LEAD Membership and Talent Management sub-committee is to increase the engagement of community bankers. We want to ensure individuals are given opportunities to learn, grow and develop skills necessary to serve as leaders in their financial institutions and communities. Board and committee members are asked to invite banks to participate and serve in the ongoing success of community banking. 


Talent Acquisition & Financial Literacy

The purpose of the LEAD Talent Acquisition and Financial Literacy sub-committee is to ensure the LD is promoting the mission, communicating the community bank brand, increasing awareness of community banking careers while supporting education of sound personal and professional financial management. The annual scholarship offerings currently fall into this area of responsibility.


Below is a list of annual scholarship offerings administered through the CBA.

  1. Julian and Jan Hester Scholarship
  2. J. Steven Walraven Memorial Scholarship
  3. McNair Family Scholarship Honoring Nicholas R. Cimino

Convention Planning

The purpose of the LEAD Convention Planning sub-committee is to assist the CBA in providing recommendations for topics, speakers, themes, locations, and other logistics to continue offering timely, compelling, and successful programming. The Convention sub-committee recently rebranded the convention and is now appropriately named CONNECT.



The purpose of the LEAD Advocacy Committee is to raise funds for CBA’s political action and public relations funding while increasing awareness of the association’s goals and efforts to support community banking at the Georgia State Capitol.

Events held by the CBA that promote Advocacy are as follows:

  1. TopGolf (two events per year)
  2. Clay Shoots (two events per year)
  3. Cork Pulls (all major education events)
  4. T-Shirt Initiative
  5. Town Hall Talks

CLICK HERE to learn more and register for upcoming Advocacy fundraising events. Remember, CBA maintains the only state Advocate working exclusively for Georgia's community banks.

How to Join the Leadership Division

For more information regarding any information above, please contact Chris Cochran or Kristi Greer.

​We appreciate your interest and continued efforts to advance awareness of community banking in Georgia.

LEAD Board

Chris Cochran
Affinity Bank (678)460-2802
Jessica Hudson
Jessica Hudson
AVP/Loan Operations Officer First National Bank of Coffee County (912)384-4979
Jonathan Pope
Jonathan Pope
VP/ Commerical Lender Exchange Bank (478)414-1307
2nd Vice Chairman
Subramanian Swarnam
Subramanian Swarnam
Sr. Vice President / Team Lending Leader Georgia Primary Bank (404)504-8334
Executive At Large
Brian Bazemore
President & CEO The Citizens Bank of Cochran (478)272-9650
Past Chair
Kristy Brown
VP Retail Banking Greater Community Bank (706)236-3056
Division 1 Chair
Michael Underwood
Executive Vice President Peach State Bank & Trust (770)536-1100
Division 2 Chair
Josh Osborne
Josh Osborne
Commercial Banker III Colony Bank (678)813-2947
Division 3 Chair
Michael McGahee
VP/Commercial and Ag Lender Bank of Camilla (229)351-3048
Division 5 Chair
Jonathon Guthrie
Vice President The Peoples Bank (912)534-5101
Division 6 Chair
Mark Thompson
Senior VP - Credit Administration Glennville Bank (912)654-3471
Division 7 Chair
Kyle Ray
SVP Retail Area Leader Builtwell Bank (706)226-5377
Member At Large
Kasey Blackburn
Family Bank (229)294-2821
Member At Large
Trudy Eller
1st SVP, Human Resources & Corporate Secretary American Commerce Bank, N.A. (678)821-1514
Member At Large
Thomas Bennett
Chief Credit Officer Pineland Bank (912)632-8631
Member At Large
Jason Rooks
Chief Lending Officer Flint Community Bank (229)903-3346
Member At Large
B. Lee Vaughn
Senior Lending Officer Northeast Georgia Bank - Elberton (706)213-9999
Member At Large
Becky Soto
Becky Soto
Assistant Vice President Community Bankers Association of Georgia (770)541-4490
Staff Liason
Kristi Greer
Kristi Greer
Senior Vice President Community Bankers Association of Georgia (770)541-4490
Staff Liason