Remembering Julian Hester

Julian Hester
Former CEO (1986 - 2001)
Community Bankers Association of Georgia
October 17, 1933 - September 4, 2001


Upon graduation from Washington High School in his native Washington, Georgia, Julian attended the University of Georgia in Athens where he received a full scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration. In 1955, Julian returned to Washington to begin his banking career with the Farmers and Merchants Bank. While at the bank and focusing on starting a family with his wife Lalia, he graduated from the University of Georgia's School of Banking and during 1979 - 1980, served a term as president of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia. After 15 years with the Farmers and Merchants Bank, Julian accepted the position of president with Habersham Bank in Clarkesville, Georgia. Julian spent almost 12 years at the Habersham Bank where he was extremely involved in the community.

In the early 1980's, Julian spent three years with a large Southeastern correspondent bank. Prompted by the need for a correspondent bank in Georgia for the community bankers of the state, Julian was instrumental in organizing the Georgia Bankers Bank in 1984. The following year, he began lobbying for the Community Bankers Association of Georgia and then joined the Association in 1986 as CEO. A well-respected lobbyist for over two decades, Julian expanded the Community Bankers Association of Georgia from its political inception to include other important services for member community banks such as educational programs, group services and a strong network of inter-bank networking. The Community Bankers Association of Georgia has membership of approximately 200 associate member companies and 200 community banks statewide.

Julian is a past president of the Independent Bankers Association of America's National Association of State Independent Banking Association Executives. He has also served as president of the Northeast Georgia Chapter of the Bankers Administration Institute (BAI). Julian Hester, 67, of Clarkesville, Georgia, died September 4, 2001 after a prolonged illness with cancer at Midwestern Medical Center in Zion, Illinois.

In addition to his commitment to the community banking industry, Julian always dedicated much of his time to various civic clubs and organizations. He served as state vice president and state treasurer as well as local president for the Georgia Jaycees. He has also served as president of the Rotary Club of Habersham County. He was a member of and deacon of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Clarkesville. One of his greatest loves in addition to his close family, grandchildren and promoting community banking was playing golf.

"The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on."

- Walter Lippmann