Peach Buzz Winter 2021

Vol. 5 | Winter 2021



UGA defensive back Dan Jackson is a Gainesville native

Play Elite. Bank Strong. 

That’s the theme of our new billboard campaign featuring UGA football defensive star Dan Jackson, a hometown product of North Hall High School whose hard work ethic landed him a position on the nation’s No. 1 defense in college football.

Before 47 became a familiar number at Sanford Stadium, Dan was a two-time MVP running back and leading tackler on the North Hall football team. Unfortunately, his size turned few heads at Division 1 football schools. However, hidden within his 190-pound frame was the heart of a lion – as Georgia Head Football Coach Kirby Smart now knows and touts regularly in his postgame press conferences.

Ron Quinn, our bank’s president and a huge UGA football fan (an understatement!), couldn’t agree more. And that’s what inspired him and our bank’s marketing team to come up with a way to visibly show our community’s pride and support for Dan.

A football star in the making

“We are so proud of what Dan has accomplished and how he represents our community,” Ron says. “He is a wonderful example of how hard work can make dreams come true.”

Like many kids, Dan dreamed of playing football at Georgia as early as age 4. He never gave up, passing up opportunities at smaller schools to walk on at a UGA program well-stocked with four and five-star recruits.

Despite his newfound success, Jackson remains humble and spiritually grounded. “For anyone who has a dream of playing, I’d just say keep your faith in the Lord and always be consistent,” Dan says.

Dan is known for being laid back with a friendly, easy-going personality. But when it’s football practice or game time, he turns on a switch to become fiercely competitive. It’s that balance and Dan’s inner drive that have served him well at the next level – while pleasantly surprising a lot of fans along the way (except, of course, his family).

“I can’t say I’m surprised,” says Gainesville dentist Dr. Joe Jackson, Dan’s proud father. “He is such a hard worker that he puts himself in a place to be an overachiever and to succeed.”

Dan certainly could have followed an easier path to smaller football programs like Shorter University in Rome, Mercer University in Macon, or Lenoir-Rhyne in North Carolina – schools that all expressed interest in Dan after high school. He also had a full scholarship offer from Air Force Academy.

At UGA and other big football schools, non-scholarship players face an uphill battle attracting attention from coaches. But perhaps UGA’s head coach, a former UGA defensive back and walk-on in the 90’s, saw something of Dan in himself. Coach Smart works directly with the defensive backs at practices, Dan says, which helped him get to know the coach personally. Earlier this season, Coach Smart called Dan one of the best untold stories of his team’s 2021 season.

“All he does is give everything he’s got every single day,” Smart said. “I love the kid. He’s done a great job, and he deserves a dang scholarship, ... and we’re going to try and do that.”

Opposing teams now notice Dan, too. After significant playing time in UGA’s season-opener with Clemson, Dan made his mark with a perfectly timed blocked punt that was recovered for a touchdown against Arkansas.

Dan’s success at UGA is not just on the field. As a business major, he has excelled in the classroom, earning a spot on the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

The community support and response to his son’s success has been rewarding and very much appreciated, Dr. Jackson says. “A lot of people who don’t watch much football tell me they now are watching Georgia games just to see Dan. It’s a little surreal, and we thank God every day and pray for his health.”

We are proud of Dan and excited that he’s part of our Peach State team, too. Go Dogs!


Ron Quinn
President & CEO

Local small business still under weather from COVID

Supply chain kinks should improve by next spring

I know we’re all sick of the sneaky COVID grinch and ready to see it slither away for good, especially this holiday season. Despite vaccines and lower hospitalization rates, the pesky virus continues to hover over our lives, very much like the green grump sneering down on Whoville.

No thanks to COVID and a shipping gridlock worldwide, we’re all stressed as we hurry up our gift purchases to avoid coming up short on Christmas morning. The impacts are so pervasive that I wouldn’t be surprised if even Santa is dealing with an elf shortage and working overtime.

However, I believe it’s local small businesses, including retailers in our hometown, who feel the sickest from the lingering clutches of COVID. They are squeezed in the middle of a giant bottleneck – stuck between heavy consumer demand and inventories that are locked away in containers at backed-up ports and warehouses across the country.

Just look at retail goods in stores here. Locally, numerous small businesses, lacking the leverage and purchase power of Amazon and Walmart, simply can’t access short supplies of appliances, clothing, and other sales items to fill their shelves. Drive out Brown’s Bridge Road and surely you’ve noticed slimmer numbers of new cars and trucks on the lots of dealerships hit by electronic chip shortages.

We all know the woes of our local restaurants. But not only have they dealt with hiring challenges, now they are beginning to feel the pinch of inflation, too. At my favorite eating places around Gainesville, I’ve noticed very few increases in menu prices because the owners seem fearful of losing business just as diners are returning. As a result, some say it’s getting cheaper to eat out than to cook at home. Blame it on the higher prices at grocery store chains.

One sector of our local economy that is thriving is our trucking and logistics firms like Syfan Logistics, Connect Logistics, and Peach State Truck Brokers as well as warehouse operations like the Adams Companies’ new Corporate Storage facility. The rising trend of online shopping that came of age in the pandemic has been a big boon for them. But even these companies must deal with employee and driver shortages as well as high land and construction costs for expansion.

Our area poultry companies, strapped by worker shortages at processing plants, have cut back on orders for live birds grown on farms across Northeast Georgia. These lower production levels pinch the pocketbooks of our farm communities as well as local consumers paying more for chicken and other meats.

You might think that our Northeast Georgia Medical Center and physician practices here are starting to feel better along with their patients. But COVID surges still threaten, while doctors and nurses continue to face burn-out from staff shortages, longer hours, and case overloads from delayed elective surgeries.

On the bright side, our local medical professionals finally have ample supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that were few and far between at the start of the pandemic. This fact sheds a promising light on the current supply crisis for consumer goods that has been so amplified this holiday season. It took about a year for hospitals to catch up with shortfalls in PPE. Similarly, we are about six months into the recent wave of inventory shortages for retail products that I believe will be straightened out by this spring, just like PPE supplies.

I am also optimistic there will be a turnaround soon in regional hiring shortages reflected in our incredibly low unemployment numbers. Statewide, unemployment is at a record low of about 3.1 percent, while Hall County is even stronger at 2.2 percent. As the fastest growing market in Georgia, Gainesville-Hall County and our employers stand to benefit from more people eventually moving here from other parts of the state and country to fill our abundance of quality jobs and higher wages. We’ll also have plenty of housing options coming on line to greet them due to all our ongoing construction of numerous apartments, townhomes, and community developments.

Yes, better days are certainly ahead. But until we get there, let’s be mindful of our hard-working local retailers and restaurants. They especially need our support to shake their COVID hangovers before the sun sets on this most unusual of holiday shopping seasons.

Our Fab Four are Joan Stokes, left, Kristi Perry, Christy Ziemer & Kim Whitworth.

Employee Spotlight

Our ‘Fab Four’ Teller Team

To many visiting our offices on Washington Street, our Fabulous Four represent the face of Peach State Bank.

We’re talking about our tellers Joan Stokes, Kristi Perry, Christy Ziemer, and Kim Whitworth – four of our smiling faces on the front lines of greeting customers from inside our bank to the windows of our drive-through.

They are so well-recognized that our customers often notice if one is not there and will ask about them by name.

Joan is the longest tenured of the Fab Four, having started here back in 2010, while Kristi, Christy, and Kim all joined the team in 2018.

Joan, who primarily works our drive-through, and her husband, Mike, have two grown children and two grandchildren. If you ask her a trivia question, she likely will know the answer. She and Mike love playing trivia games.

Kim and her husband, Scott, have been married almost 27 years and have a family of two cats, Charlie and Stella. Both Kim and Joan are mild-mannered on the job, so it may surprise you that they are big fans of the scary “Halloween” movie series!

Kristi enjoys shopping in Athens with her daughter, Natalie, a junior agri-business major at UGA. She also likes baking and playing board games with her family. Kristi and her husband, Skye, have been married 28 years. 

Christy, who loves to shop and decorate, has been married to Danny for 24 years. They have a son, Luke, who recently became engaged to his girlfriend, Nicole. Christy’s daughter, Logan, works at a downtown Gainesville boutique and loves art and photography. Danny referees high school football.

All the members of Peach State’s teller team share a common interest in family – at work as well as home. “They are my second family,” Christy says of her colleagues. “They are like my sisters, and I love working with each of them.”

As much as they love interacting with each other, our teller team really enjoys working with customers and getting to know them by name.

If you don’t know our teller team yet, be sure to introduce yourself the next time you stop by. They are four of the best in the business!


Our Mortgage Office was once a Sinclair gas station

Mortgage Office Receives Chamber Beautification Award

Peach State Bank’s Mortgage Department was recently honored with one of the 2021 Business Beautification Awards of Excellence from the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

Our mortgage office is on the corner of West Academy Street and Spring Street near the Downtown Gainesville Square. It is the original site of a Sinclair gas station and most recently housed North Georgia Auto Glass.

In 2020, our bank worked with the City of Gainesville and its Tax Allocation District Committee to improve the building with a major renovation while maintaining its architectural and historical character. We opened the office earlier this year.

The Chamber’s Business Beautification Awards program was started 27 years ago. It promotes well-maintained areas throughout the city and Hall County by publicly recognizing those who have made significant beautification efforts.


Our Community Development Board is a dedicated group with deep roots in Gainesville-Hall County and a passion for community banking.

Independent from Peach State’s Board of Directors, the Community Development Board members are active participants in the bank’s business development. They identify prospective business customers and support the bank whenever and wherever possible.

“We work with the board and the staff to promote Peach State Bank and look for new opportunities to grow,” says Abit Massey, Community Development Board chair. “We are the only locally owned and operated community bank in Gainesville. That allows deposits to stay here to support local businesses. That’s important to all of us.”

Board members also offer guidance on the bank’s marketing program and assist with our special events such as the Customer Appreciation cookouts, Christmas Breakfast and the annual Jack McKibbon BLT Luncheon.

“It’s a strong group,” Massey says. “We have regular meetings where everyone comes together to offer ideas and direction. We all want to increase the bank’s market share to grow a strong bank and support our strong community.”

How Well Do You
Know Your Community?

  1. Across the country, communities participate in special Christmas tree lightings to kick off the holiday season. Gainesville does something different. Do you know what it is?
  2. How big is the structure that Gainesville lights up on the Square every holiday season?
  3. What is Gainesville’s other holiday tradition on Green Street – and how long has it been celebrated?
  4. What is the story behind the downtown Christmas tree at the corner of Green Street and Academy Street in downtown Gainesville?

Digital Security Tips | Advice to protect your online assets

This Holiday, Be Cautious Shopping Online

Peach State Bank and DefenseStorm, a cybersecurity company that partners with our bank, presented a timely seminar on Nov. 19 that touched on many aspects of cybersecurity, including tips for online purchases.

With the increase in online shopping this holiday season, it’s important to be extra vigilant.

DefenseStorm’s Vice President of Customer Solutions Paige Barry, who led our recent annual cybersecurity luncheon, offers a few ways you can protect yourself.

  • Use secure websites of known companies like Amazon and Walmart.
  • Be cautious of phishing emails asking for personal information.
  • Avoid clicking on pop-up ads. Click on the “X” to close them out.
  • Use credit cards for your purchases.
  • Make sure your security software is updated.
  • Never use unsecure websites. Check the address to make sure the address shown has “https” at the beginning of the address.
  • Do not shop online within public and unsecure Wi-Fi networks.
  • Use unique passwords for each of your shopping accounts.
  • Always monitor your credit card accounts for purchases.
DefenseStorm’s Paige Barry speaks at Cybersecurity Luncheon.

Be Safe and Have a
Great Holiday Season!


Everyone loves their pets, and we’re no exception at Peach State Bank.

In fact, we’re so proud of our furry animals that we are showing them off in the first-ever Pets of Peach State Bank calendar – our personal fund-raiser for the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia.

You can purchase the pet calendars at our Gainesville and Braselton banks for $12 – with all proceeds going directly to the Humane Society.

The Nanney family: Cameron, left, Scott, Katie, Bennett and Candice.

Wishing a speedy recovery to Candice Nanney and her children from October vehicle accident

Many of you have asked for an update on our Vice President/Controller Candice Nanney and her two children, who were involved in an accident north of Gainesville on Cleveland Highway back in early October. Candice, her daughter, Katie, and son, Cameron, were seriously injured when a truck crossed the centerline and struck their sports utility vehicle head-on.

“All surgeries have been completed,” Candice reports. “Katie and I have begun physical therapy three times a week and are getting better. We are grateful for all the prayers.”

Please keep Candice’s family in your prayers as they continue to heal.

CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT | North Georgia Works

Through grace and hard work, troubled men get second chance

A local nonprofit, North Georgia Works is a transitional workforce development center for men who are homeless or recently incarcerated. The program was founded in 2018 through the efforts of Doug Hanson, a hard-working “retiree” who served as the organization’s president until a year ago.

The men referred to North Georgia Works typically come from a shelter, jail or the local court system. Upon acceptance, they receive a hand up with 12 months of housing, training in life skills and financial management, drug abuse recovery support, vocational training, employment opportunities, and transportation.

“The end result is a self-sufficient man who has conquered his past, who is active in his present, and is building toward their desired future,” says Michael Giddens, North Georgia Works executive director.

North Georgia Works partners with local businesses – including Peach State Bank – to help the men find employment that matches their personal skill set and experience with industry needs.

Each graduate must also complete a 12-month life skills and vocational development curriculum.

“By the time they graduate, these men will have worked with a company for a year with the opportunity for future full-time employment,” Giddens says.

Another graduation requirement is a personal savings account with at least $2,000 – and this is where Peach State Bank helps. We assist with establishing checking and saving accounts for the participants, and to date we’ve opened more than 50 accounts.

“With Peach State opening accounts for our men, it allows them to maintain the healthy spending habits and budgeting skills that we teach in our program,” Giddens says.

Jana Lovell

Giddens especially lauds the work of Peach State Bank customer service representative Jana Lovell.

“Without Jana’s support and dedication, this special arrangement with Peach State Bank would not have worked,” he says. “Working with our men is not easy and requires an abundance of patience and grace. She has consistently shown our men both of these qualities in abundance. She has truly gone above and beyond the call of duty.”

We appreciate our partnership with North Georgia Works in helping build a stronger community in Gainesville-Hall County, and we encourage you to consider lending your support to this impactful organization.

For more information about North Georgia Works, visit

And now for ... the Answers!

  1. Gainesville lights up a giant chicken structure perched atop the Main Street Market building on the downtown Square. The quirky idea originated about 15 years ago from business owner and civic leader Deb Harkrider, who felt our community needed something memorable and special – like the Macy’s Pink Pig used to be in Atlanta. And because we are “The Poultry Capital of The World”, Deb thought, why not a giant chicken? The rest, as they say, is history.
  2. Downtown Gainesville’s giant chicken is appx. 20-feet high by 16-feet wide. It is covered with thousands of Christmas lights.
  3. Gainesville’s Christmas on Green Street, a parade and tour of historical homes, has been going on for 20 years. Prior to that a parade downtown was held off and on starting in the early 1900s.
  4. The big holly tree at one end of Green Street near the Greater Hall Chamber office is part of another annual tree lighting tradition started back in December 1982. It sits in the middle of a busy intersection on a small triangle of land that is maintained by the Rotary Club of Gainesville.

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