GSBLSU Class of 2019

Posted by GSBLSU on Sep 25, 2018 9:00:00 AM

The Graduate School of Banking at LSU has begun accepting applications from bank officers who wish to attend the 2019 session as members of the Class of 2021.  The session is scheduled for May 19 – 31, 2019 and applications are arriving daily.  Students of GSBLSU attend classes regarding all areas of banking, experience teaching from some of the industry's foremost experts, and make invaluable, long-lasting connections with fellow students and faculty, but the benefits hardly stop there.  To learn more about the program, click below to download our 2019 brochure or our guide of "9 Important Reasons to Attend GSBLSU."  We hope to see you soon!

2019 brochure image

2019 GSB Brochure (PDF)

9 reasons to attend GSBLSU


Faculty Tribute to Dr. Don Woodland

Posted by GSBLSU on Sep 6, 2018 2:44:48 PM

tribute to Dr. Woodland header

The Graduate School of Banking at LSU has been in existence since 1950 and is the largest venue for banker education.  Dr. Don Woodland has been at the helm of this prestigious program for over half a century.  Similar to the majestic clock tower and the live oak trees on the LSU campus, Dr. Woodland has become an institution and a legend that will stand the test of time.

Dr. Woodland's leadership guided the school through seven economic cycles and recessions, three wars, the 9/11 tragedy, and major hurricanes.  Both deregulation and regulation of banking have occurred on his watch.  Out of the starting blocks in 1967, there were approximately 13,000 banks in the U.S.A., and this number is now down to just under 6,000.  The Dow was approximately 800 points at the beginning of his tenure and is now above 25,000 points.  His principle-based leadership and direction guided over 12,000 students and 500 faculty on a rich education journey.

The evolution from pencil and paper and blackboards with chalk to the mainframe computer, then on to personal computers and email, and finally to iPads and everything mobile has resulted in change as the mode of operation for this stellar educational experience.  During Dr. Woodland's tenure, chartered flights by Delta Air Lines transported students housed in those infamous dorms on campus.  Students attended classes in suits and formal dress.  A pleasant day at Pleasant Hall and the faculty lounge was a commonplace occurrence.  The woman who worked early security at the front desk reported seeing Dr. Woodland regularly at 4:30 AM to prepare for another day.  Fast-forward to student apartments and the faculty housing at Lod Cook, which seems like heaven in comparison to the early days.

During Dr. Woodland's tenure were occasional challenges, such as the incident with expelled students and flying ice, Mike Woody's barking dog, the signing of diplomas, and the famous memo to the faculty indulging in souvenir collection during the last days in Pleasant Hall.  In each of these situations, Dr. Woodland handled their every detail with grace and presence.

GSBLSU Faculty

Dr. Woodland lives the attributes of a great leader.  His vision of engaging the Mexican bankers and working with other graduate schools to improve Bank Sim and the overall curriculum are examples of his steadfast leadership.  With an exceptional eye for talent, he selected student workers, staff, and faculty to develop a team and culture capable of delivering and outstanding learning opportunity.  His famous line, "We are going in another direction," was a signal that he meant to raise the standards for everyone, regardless of rank or status.

Of special note is Dr. Woodland's personal engagement and sincerity in relations with people from all stations of life.  He provided direction and encouragement often simultaneously.  His down-to-earth humility; the sparkle in his eyes; and the energy in his face when he discusses his family, farm, longhorn steer named Freckles, or John Deere tractor are all characteristics of a man who remembers his beginnings and realizes his priorities.

Dr. Woodland, you are an inspiration to the student workers, staff, students, faculty, and members of the banking community.  We thank you for your leadership in our educational journey of life.

Dr. Dave Kohl signature


2018 Winners: GSBLSU Bank Management Simulation

Posted by GSBLSU on Sep 5, 2018 4:12:00 PM

bank management simulation courseEvery year, the seniors of GSBLSU take part in the Bank Management Simulation course, a computer-based program that is specifically designed to provide students with a look into management and the decision-making process in specific banking areas, such as investments, funds management, risk management, loans, and asset/liability management.

During this simulation, the class is divided into teams. Each team is responsible for effective management and profitability of an 800-million-dollar bank. The computer model (BMSim) allows students to make future decisions for the bank and quickly receive feedback on the effectiveness of these decisions. Students must consider the economy, bank competition, and regulatory constraints when planning and implementing their decisions. During the two-week program, the teams will experience an equivalent of two years in bank management and operations, and the results are examined quarterly by state and federal regulators.

Once the course is completed, winners are selected based on factors such as organization, consistency, earnings, ability to report to shareholders, and how they positioned the bank for the future.

The following students were the 2018 Bank Simulation winners. Each received a letter of recognition, as did their home bank’s president and CEO, along with a certificate of recognition for their outstanding work on the Bank Management Simulation. Please join us in congratulating the 2018 Bank Sim winners!









Baird, Myke

Loan Officer

United Cumberland Bank

Whitely City



Bass, Jimmy

Assistant Vice President

First Commerce Bank

Chapel Hill



Chamblee, Tommy A. 

First Vice President

First American National Bank




Conner, Patterson

Vice President & Team Leader

Whitney Bank




Furrer, Annie

City President

Citizens Bank & Trust










Beasley, Gioldasis, Megan

Branch Manager

Carolina Bank & Trust




Garner, Ronald

Consumer Affairs Examiner

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta




Keeton, Daniel

Mortgage Loan Officer

Gibsland Bank and Trust

Bossier City



Savage, LaRoy

AVP/Relationship Manager

Trustmark National Bank




Young, Jeffrey

Area Executive

Tennessee Bank & Trust










Brashear, Joel

Community Outreach Officer

Hyden Citizens Bank




Browning, Trayce

Chief Financial Officer

Feliciana Bank & Trust Co.




Goad, Brian

Assistant Branch Manager

American Ag Credit

Garden City



Jones, Samuel C.

Vice President/Portfolio Manager

Legends Bank




Minear, James

Senior Vice President

First National Bank










Braswell, Justin

Vice President

Bank of Commerce




Clark, Wendy

First Vice President

CB&S Bank




Culver, Darren

Vice President/Senior Lender

First National Bank of Oneida




Gondran, Christopher

VP/Information Tech Manager

Home Bank




Scherrey, John

Commercial Loan Officer

Centennial Bank










Henry, Shannon

Vice President/CFO

Bank of Dade




Major, Jay

Banking Officer

Southern Bank of Tennessee

Mt. Juliet



Ryan, Stefanie

Vice President

Ameris Bank

Ormond Beach



Taylor, Kenny

Business Services Officer





Wright, Charles

Assistant Vice President

Franklin State Bank










Glas, Jason

AVP/Commercial Banker

Ameris Bank




Hyman, Jeremy

Assistant Vice President

The Conway National Bank




Morell, Maria

Account Executive





Shearer, Paul G.

Head of Real Estate Management

Wilson Bank & Trust




Welch, Mark

AVP/Commercial Ag Lender

Delta Bank



9 Important Reasons To  Attend GSBLSU

5 Leadership Qualities to Develop for the Future [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by GSBLSU on Aug 21, 2018 1:51:47 PM

Regardless of title or position, leadership qualities are something everyone should strive to attain.  From running an entire organization to managing a team to being a parent, possessing the skills to inspire and guide others can set you up for success and simplify many aspects of life.  At GSBLSUleadership qualities and techniques are an important area of focus for our future graduates, because we understand just how applicable these skills are in banking and beyond.  Below, we expand on just five aspects of leadership that we encourage students to develop for a successful future.

leadership qualities infographic

  1. Have a Vision & Share it Openly - Over the last several years, studies have indicated that 40 percent of management do not trust their senior leadership, do not believe leadership has a credible plan and do not have the confidence in leadership’s ability to carry out a plan. A leader of tomorrow will find a way to articulate their vision and gain support for this vision among the team.  A vision can only come alive if people are voluntarily willing to commit to it, a result that is normally achieved when there is a compelling opportunity for them to fulfill a personal concern. 
  2. Seek Honest Feedback – True leaders work hard to understand and evaluate themselves. They seek honest feedback from their team and are mindful of their weaknesses.  This fosters trust, develops relationships and drives results.
  3. Be Willing to Adapt to Change – The banking industry is changing at an extremely fast pace.  Having the strategic flexibility to adapt and change mid-course is an extremely attractive trait today.  Leaders in the banking industry constantly need to be monitoring and reviewing products and programs, new technologies, and their market positioning to make sure their particular bank is not stuck in a rut.
  4. Prioritize Networking & Communication - Effective use of informal networks to understand people’s true perceptions can help leaders of tomorrow.  A good understanding of how innovation occurs can help boost performance and reduce inefficiencies. By developing informal social circles, customer relationships and networking groups, a core understanding of the industry will be developed.
  5. Focus on Preparation & Risk Management – All too often, employees fail to communicate the potential of risk due to fear of “rocking the boat.”  It is imperative that risk management is implemented by the leaders of tomorrow so that everyone on the team is prepared for any unforeseen crisis.  An open and progressive culture and attitude towards any risk or potential crisis will help prepare the organization for any change in the industry.


Tags: Leadership

GSBLSU Donates 38 Computers to Local Non-Profits

Posted by GSBLSU on Aug 17, 2018 11:39:51 AM

The Graduate School of Banking has donated thirty-eight computers to two non-profits in Baton Rouge. The school asked for proposals from non-profit organizations and evaluated their needs and use.

The Futures Fund is about developing the future creative and technological workforce. Students from age 12-18 participate in this program which includes web design, photography and work study.

The Bridges Learning Solutions, and its affiliate company, Greater Baton Rouge Hope Academy is an ABA therapy provider that services children and teens who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Their clients will use the laptops for computer activities and as additional support in communication skills.

These computers were used in the Bank Simulation program. Because BMSim now uses cloud- based technology, these computers were no longer needed. GSB is very happy to have the opportunity to help those less fortunate in our hometown.

Casey Philips, Taylor Hunter, John Jordan, Corinne Long
Casey Phillips, Taylor Hunter, John Jordan, Corinne Long

Bridges Learning Solutions Staff with Computers
Bridges Learning Solutions Staff Top: Sarah Saik, Holly Boudreaux

Bottom: Kalyn Graphia, Ambriel Spain

6 Steps to Take When Transaction Risk is Too High [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Don Woodland on Jul 31, 2018 4:27:00 PM

Any banker, regardless of their position within the institution, can tell you that the industry is fraught with challenges and potential risks.  At GSBLSU, a core area of focus is preparing every student to understand these risks and how they impact not only their own position, but their bank as a whole.  Furthermore, students should understand the most appropriate steps to take when encountered with such situations.  This is precisely the goal of our “Credit Risk Management” class, instructed by Professor Gary Higgins.  Professor Higgins covers many topics throughout the course, including emerging trends, core functions of a risk rating system, and precise steps that can be taken when transaction risk is just too high.

Transaction Risk Too High

9 reasons to attend GSBLSU

6 Factors to Motivate Employees (Besides Money) [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Don Woodland on Jun 22, 2018 2:05:56 PM

If you think money is the best way to motivate your employees, you may be wrong!  According to GSBLSU professor, Steve Robichaux, money only comes into play as a motivator when there isn’t enough of it.  When you do have "enough" money, more may be nice, but it won’t necessarily serve as motivation.  Here are six other rewards to consider that are proven to truly motivate, not just satisfy:


9 reasons to attend GSBLSU

5 Reasons Bankers Should Attend GSBLSU [INFOGRAPHIC] 

Posted by Don Woodland on Apr 5, 2018 11:02:24 AM

If you are looking for a way to advance your career within your current financial institution, there are several reasons that attending the Graduate School of Banking at LSU should be at the top of your list.  From a proven track for professional development to invaluable networking opportunities, there are plenty of benefits associated with the program.  Below are just five of the top advantages awaiting future students, but there are still many more (crawfish boil, anyone?)!  Take a look, and when you’re done, click the button below to complete your application for the upcoming 2018 session and join us from May 20th to June 1st

GSBLSU infographic

Apply to GSBLSU

Current Banking Issues: Recognizing the Red Flags of Elder Financial Exploitation

Posted by Don Woodland on Oct 18, 2017 6:40:33 PM

Portrait of a very happy senior woman - indoors.jpegElder financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an elderly person’s funds for someone else’s profit.  This type of financial fraud, while morally reprehensible, is unfortunately becoming a bigger problem for banks and their older clientele.  There are currently over 5 million cases of elder financial exploitation each year.  75% of these crimes are committed by family members.  The second most notorious group is caregivers; making seniors and the disabled prime targets for financial abuse.

During the 2017 session of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU, Pete Stuart, the Senior Vice President and Director of Security at State Bank and Trust, Atlanta, GA explained some of the common red flags that typically indicate elder financial exploitation.

Understanding how these customers like to do business, and knowing them on a personal level inside of your branch or office can make it easier to recognize and mitigate these risks.  Most seniors prefer to conduct business in person.  If you notice a long absence from a particular customer, or that their affairs are being handled remotely or by someone else, this could be a warning sign that something isn’t right.  Here are 10 indicators of elder financial exploitation.

  • Frequent, large withdrawals and/or daily maximum ATM withdrawals.
  • Sudden NSF activity.
  • Banking practices that are uncharacteristic for a particular client.
  • Large credit card cash advances or check withdrawals.
  • Being escorted by a 2nd party (family member, neighbor, caregiver, etc.)
  • Unauthorized withdrawals, or withdrawals that incur a penalty (i.e. early CD closure)
  • New names on signature cards.
  • Forged signatures.
  • A client that is unaware or does not seem to understand a financial agreement or transaction.
  • Recent acquaintances that have an interest in an elder client’s finances.

While these are only a handful of red flags that can indicate the misuse and abuse of an elder person’s finances, being mindful of them, as well as recognizing what is out of the ordinary for a client can save a lot of time, money, and heartache. 

Apply to GSBLSU

Current Banking Issues: Synthetic Identity Fraud & How it Happens

Posted by Don Woodland on Oct 9, 2017 7:18:00 PM

synthetic identity fraud.jpegMany things have changed rapidly with the growth of technology.  Many of these changes have been positive, making life more convenient and connecting people more than ever before.  Unfortunately, these same developments have also increased the number and types of threats that can put our personal and sensitive information in jeopardy.  The financial world is no stranger to these threats, but due to technology’s fast nature, new threats evolve just as current ones are mitigated.  The latest is synthetic identity fraud

While identity fraud has been public knowledge for several years now, and there are safeguards and measures to prevent and resolve it, synthetic identity fraud puts a new twist on an old crime.  Traditional identity theft is when a legitimate identity is stolen; synthetic identity theft is when an illegitimate identity is created and used. 

How do you create an identity that can be used?  Synthetic identities use a combination of real and fake information, and leverage CPNs, or credit privacy (or profile) numbers.  Many times these numbers are created with stolen information from: the elderly, the homeless, the incarcerated, and from children.  However most of these numbers are generated from data breaches.  The data breaches at Anthem, the IRS, and USOPM combined for over 106 million compromised records.

Synthetic identity fraud, also known as “ghosting”, poses several challenges for banks and law enforcement alike.  Who is the real victim?  It’s technically a fake ID.  The real victims in many cases are children that have their information used as part of a synthetic identity, resulting in compromised credit.  Financial institutions also fall victim in this scenario as there is no recourse against an illegitimate person.

How can synthetic identity fraud be stopped?  Awareness is first and foremost.  As this is becoming a more pressing risk, bank employees as well as law enforcement can be trained to understand and recognize synthetic identity fraud.  More major businesses are taking advanced steps to safeguard their data after recent breaches, many of the resources used should be harder to acquire.  Also, putting a freeze on children’s credit files until they turn 18 is a smart way to protect minors.

As technology continues to change, the number of threats on information, and to financial institutions will continue to grow.  Being aware and diligent when it comes to these new dangers can protect both your clients and your bank. 

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