Peach Buzz Summer 2021

Summer 2021


Our new loan office is expanding into a full-service bank branch

Our Braselton bank offers our complete line of banking services.

Back in February, we brought our loan services to the Braselton area at a new location next to the Houndstooth Grill off Ga. Hwy. 211. Based on the community’s warm reception – and overwhelmingly popular demand for more of our banking services – we are expanding into a full-service bank branch.

“Our bank is known for friendly, can-do service, and  having a full-time CSR at our Braselton branch extends our red carpet even farther across Northeast Georgia,” said Ron Quinn, president of Peach State Bank.

Our new Braselton bank includes veteran lenders David Dyer, Rhonda Dellinger and Stephen Starke. We are extremely proud of this highly experienced and knowledgeable banking team, who are already well-known and involved in the Braselton community.

Brought to you by Peach State!

Local band favorite Riverstreet performs Aug. 7 at downtown Smithgall Arts Center

Riverstreet once toured with Gregg Allman
and other big acts of the ‘70’s.

Get ready to kick off your shoes, forget about the pandemic, and dance to the nostalgic classic rock tunes of our community’s beloved, legendary Riverstreet band.

Along with the Arts Council, we are excited to help make it happen. Peach State Bank is sponsoring this long-awaited outdoor concert on Aug. 7th at the beautiful new Gladys Wyant Performing Arts Pavilion at the Smithgall Arts Center. It’s all part of the return this year of the Arts Council’s Summer MusicFest Concert Series under the stars in downtown Gainesville.

Founded in Gainesville in 1969, Riverstreet includes Mike Terrell (drums), Dwayne Young (bass guitar), Dwayne’s brother Dean Young (rhythm guitar), David Murray (lead guitar), Larry Vandiver (lead guitar), and Michael Bennett (keyboards).

Over the years, Riverstreet has shared the stage with many notable big-name acts that include Gregg Allman, Rare Earth, Steppenwolf, Guess Who, Head East, The Tams and Badfinger.

Tickets are $26 for adults, $24 for seniors (65+), and $20 for students. Tables of eight also are available for $288.  Make your reservations online at or stop by our bank for tickets.

Of course, the concert is casual and outdoors, so bring your lawn chairs, picnics and beverages of choice.
Most of all, bring your dancing shoes (or plan to kick them off) and get ready to dance to the beat of Riverstreet.


The Boom Heard ‘Round NE Georgia

Ron Quinn
President & CEO

If Captain Obvious (the quirky character from the humorous TV commercials for were to visit Gainesville-Hall County today, he surely would point out something that hardly anyone living here could plausibly deny.

Plain and simple, we are in a real estate boom.

The next obvious conclusion might be that what goes up must come down. Therefore, the boom will bust – just like it did in the 2007-08 housing crisis leading to the Great Recession. Right?

Well, that’s not so obvious.  But before we jump to any more conclusions, let’s look at the facts and trends behind this surging market that Peach State’s mortgage office has been witnessing firsthand.

  • There is less than a two-month supply of new and existing homes for sale in Hall County. A strong housing market normally would be represented by a nine to 10-month supply.
  • Following the principle of supply and demand, our shortage of homes – as well as building materials like wood – has driven up real estate prices.
  • Nationally, the median sale price of an existing home this past spring was $341,600 – and we’re in about the same neighborhood here in our community. That’s nearly a 20 percent increase over last year.
  • The expansion of locally based industries like Kubota as well as newcomers like SK Battery in Jackson County is attracting more workers looking for places to live here.
  • Likewise, our growing hospital and physician practices are recruiting young medical residents, doctors and nurses who are renting and buying new homes.
  • Many homes here are being sold well above their asking prices with buyers lining up like bidders at an auction.
  • Several home buyers, particularly those moving here from areas with much higher costs of living, are paying all cash – simply rolling over the equity from their former homes.
  • The shortage of housing is pushing up rental rates here as well. Monthly lease rates for some apartments are nearly double what they were before the pandemic.
  • The rising rental market is leading to construction of new apartments and condos – from the innovative Treesort community on our north end to The Crest at Flowery Branch to our south. In between is a diverse range of rental options coming up from the ground in Downtown and Midtown Gainesville at The National, the Renaissance and the Terwilliger Pappas multi-use project on the other side of the Downtown bridge.
  • In Braselton, where our new bank branch has opened, the trend continues for retirees and age-restricted communities drawn to the town’s top-notch hospital, restaurants and uniquely centralized array of community services.

All this activity is enough to make your head spin – and many have wondered whether our market can support it.

While we may eventually experience an economic slowdown, I don’t see it happening any time soon. And I certainly don’t envision a collapse anywhere on the scale of the Great Recession.

We’ve learned a lot from our lessons of 2007, when mortgage rules were much looser and far less regulated. The days of shady pop-up mortgage firms offering 110 percent financing with little to no underwriting appear to be long gone.

Back then, we also had a huge oversupply of lots and homes for sale – unlike today. When the market started slowing, there was a five-year glut of homes on the market with no buyers, a perfect recipe for the disaster that unfolded.

My primary concern right now is the hint of inflation, which could lead to higher interest rates that tap the brakes on the business world and housing markets across the United States.

Still, a total economic fallout is highly unlikely, especially in Hall County (and the rest of Georgia), due to our region’s strong, diverse and expanding manufacturing base as well as the inland port coming soon to our Hwy. 365 corridor. Consumer optimism in the wake of the dwindling pandemic further underpins our growth potential. 

To state the obvious one more time, our boom is here and it’s very loud. So loud that its sound should carry far and wide for quite some time to come.

Two Longtime Local Bankers Join Our Growing Team

We are pleased to welcome Stephen Starke and Greg Barrett to our team of commercial lenders. Both are well-known in the community and respected for their decades of experience.

Stephen, who serves as senior vice president at our new Braselton location, comes to Peach State with nearly 30 years in commercial banking. He most recently served as commercial credit manager/senior vice president for Entegra Bank in Gainesville.

With more than 20 years in community banking, Greg will work at our bank’s Gainesville headquarters. Since 1998, he has focused his entire career as a commercial banker. Greg also comes from Entegra Bank, where he was market executive/senior vice president.

We believe a strong local bank is central to a strong community. As involved civic leaders, Stephen and Greg will certainly contribute to our investment in the local businesses and residents of this region. 

Stephen Starke
Greg Barrett

Digital Security Tips | Advice to protect your online assets

Debit Card Safety

  • Don’t carry a copy of your PIN number or write it on your debit card. Commit it to memory.
  • Never write your PIN or debit card number on the outside of a deposit slip, an envelope, or other papers that could be discarded and later found.
  • Create a PIN that is not easily guessed. Never use the year of your birth or the last four digits of your Social Security number or phone number.
  • Never share your debit card number and PIN with anyone else to use.
  • Periodically check your account activity (online and mobile banking makes this easy to do). If you notice anything unusual, report it immediately to our Peach State Call Center.
  • Only use ATMs at a bank or credit union. ATMs at convenience stores, subway stations, and other public places are at greater risk of having a skimming device that can steal your card information.
  • Be aware that some merchants, such as hotels and car rental companies, may place a temporary hold on a portion of your funds if you use a debit card for payment.
  • Contact Peach State Bank in advance if you plan on traveling and using your debit card outside of your normal spending area.
  • Be careful when using your card to purchase an online subscription service. You may think you are getting a free, one-time trial when you are actually committing to a long-term subscription.

Employee Spotlight

Will Peeples

Will Peeples

Will Peeples, a Gainesville native, is a member of the Peach State Bank lending team.

What is your job here at Peach State Bank?
I primarily help businesses and individuals in securing loans, but I provide support with all our services to better serve customers.

How long have you worked at Peach State?
I started here in January of 2020, right at the start of the pandemic. So it’s been a very interesting time to jump on board and work through so many challenges.  

Tell us about your family.
This September, my wife Kingsley and I will celebrate our 15-year anniversary. We have a 10-year-old daughter (Addison) and a 7-year-old son (Liam). They are both active in school and sports, keeping us on our toes, for sure. Kingsley is a finance director for the Northeast Georgia Health System.

What is your favorite thing about the bank?
Our community-first focus and the working atmosphere.

What is your favorite local non-profit?
I recently completed my term as board chairman for the Georgia Mountains YMCA. It was a challenging year, to say the least, due to COVID, but also very satisfying as we survived and came out better for it. I enjoy serving the Y because it offers something for everyone, from 8 to 80, and enriches lives.

What is your favorite memory of growing up here? 
I have a ton of good memories, but one of my favorites is going to dinner at the Collegiate Grill on Friday nights with my parents, then heading over to City Park to watch Big Red football games. I eventually played football for GHS on the same field, and now take my own kids to games there. It shows you how “full circle” this town can be for families. 

What are your favorite hobbies?
I enjoy golf, coaching our kids and other children in sports, and working out.

What’s something on your bucket list?
To someday play at Augusta National Golf Club.

How Well Do You Know Your Community?

Take our local trivia quiz and see how much you know about your hometown.

  1. In the 1950s, downtown Gainesville was a great place to see a movie. Can you name the four movie theaters operating during that time?
  2. Everyone knows about the deadly tornado that hit Gainesville in 1936 but the city was also once destroyed by a big fire. What year did that happen?
  3. The first private mint in the United States was built in Gainesville. Where was it and who established it?
  4. Everyone knows the town of Braselton was named for the Braselton family. What kind of business did the Braselton family start?
  5. What is William Henry Braselton’s original home in Braselton used for now?


What locally owned bank recently opened a bank branch for the Braselton community?

To Find the Answers...Read On!

Jack McKibbon BLT Luncheon Returns This Summer at Peach State Bank

Who doesn’t love a juicy BLT sandwich and a frozen scoop of peach ice cream mixed together with a few classic cars and longtime friends (especially after the pandemic)? We can’t think of anyone.

McKibbon BLT Luncheon

That’s why we are pleased to continue the hometown tradition of the annual BLT Luncheon started by Gainesville businessman Jack McKibbon and a group of his friends more than 25 years ago.

BLT Luncheon namesake Jack McKibbon and his son, Steve, enjoy the 2019 luncheon.

This year’s McKibbon BLT luncheon will be hosted on site at Peach State Bank’s downtown Gainesville location.

“Like tomato vines, this gathering has really grown and spread over the years,” said McKibbon, now 97 years old and still going strong. “At times, we’ve had more than 200 people come from all over, not just Gainesville.”

New this year is a Peach Bake-Off. Anyone interested in entering can bring their peach pies, cobblers and cakes that day. Five very lucky judges will determine the winner.

Unfortunately, the pandemic stopped last year’s luncheon, which is why we are extra excited to get it back on track. Even before the pandemic, the luncheon nearly ended its long run after 2016, when McKibbon proclaimed it to be the last. But with a little nudging and help from Peach State Bank, we were honored to take over hosting duties on our corner of Washington and West Academy streets.

There is always quite a spread of delicious tomatoes and fixings.
Some of the organizers and their friends at 2016 event.

All the credit and inspiration, however, go to McKibbon and his friends Howard Whelchel, Lee Martin, Brent Danneman, Howard Page, Joe Wyant and George Seelke, who have shared hosting duties for the event through the years.

The luncheon used to take place at a McKibbon warehouse on Murphy Boulevard. Each summer for more than two decades, McKibbon’s good friend Howard Whelchel grew the tasty tomatoes on the McKibbon property.

Another big draw at the annual event was a gathering of snappy, classic cars. Lucy Lester’s late husband Tolbert Lester was one of many people who showed off their prized antique vehicles at the lunch.

Classic cars have always been a big part of the festivities.

“My husband always loved showing his cars,” Lucy Lester said. “And he loved Jack, too. They always looked forward to getting together.”

This year, you can expect to see the old cars return as we rev up for the next McKibbon BLT. We hope all our customers and friends will come out later this summer to join us at this special event. So, prepare your taste buds and get ready to celebrate the next generation of the tomato sandwich legacy of Jack McKibbon and friends.

CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT | Juan Luna of Luna’s Restaurant

Juan Luna, owner of Luna’s Restaurant

Seeing the need for quality housing in downtown Gainesville, local restaurateur Juan Luna is branching out from his culinary skills to develop 20 in-town apartments.

Financed by Peach State Bank, Washington Manor is under construction at the corner of Washington Street and John Morrow Parkway – just down the street from Juan’s popular restaurant, Luna’s.

Juan’s 20-unit townhome-style complex, scheduled for completion around October 15th, will feature approximately 1,200-square-foot apartments with two bedrooms and two baths.

“Peach State is my partner, and I could not do this without them,” Juan said. “They have been very helpful to me.”

Well-known for his charm and hospitality, Juan has been operating one of Gainesville’s favorite restaurants, Luna’s, in the downtown Hunt Tower since 1997. His patience and penchant for perfection in every meal seem to have served him well as a developer.  

Washington Manor will have twenty 2-bed/2-bath apartments.

“God blessed me with patience and persistence,” he said, “and my Washington Manor development definitely required those virtues. It has been 22 years in the making while I assembled seven pieces of property over that time period to make it work.”

The apartments will be a big asset for downtown living due to their walking distance to nearby businesses, shopping, restaurants and public parks. Juan says he hopes the project will help enhance the area and lead to additional revitalization projects.

We applaud Juan for his vision and look forward to seeing the finished product. As your hometown bank, we are always looking to partner with customers like Juan to make our community an even better place to live, work, and in Juan’s case – eat well!

The Royal Theater

TRIVIA ... Answers!

  1. The Ritz, the Royal, the State, and the Roxy.
  2. In 1851, a fire broke out in a log building on the east side of Gainesville’s Square on what is now South Bradford Street. It spread quickly and destroyed the entire downtown area.
  3. Templeton Reid, a jeweler and gunsmith, started the Templeton Reid Mint in 1830 on West Washington Street near the site of our main Peach State Bank offices today. Reid minted Quarter Eagle, Half Eagle and Full Eagle $10 coins from gold mined in North Georgia.
  4. John Oliver Braselton created a country store for his hometown in 1887 when he was just 10 years old. Eventually his two brothers, Henry and Green, joined him and expanded Braselton Brothers into a full-service department store. 
  5. William Henry Braselton, one of the three Braselton brothers, built his home around 1909. It was so big that it featured 12 fireplaces. Today, the restored building serves as Braselton’s Town Hall.


Peach State Bank & Trust, Braselton’s “One & Only Community Bank,” of course! We’re located next to the Houndstooth Grill off Hwy. 211.

325 Washington St SW | Gainesville, GA 30501 | Phone: (770) 536-1100 | Fax: (770) 536-2525