Mortgage and Commercial Business Drive Performance at Ameris Bank in Albany

Barbara Kieker

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, borrowing by commercial and multifamily real estate owners through the end of July is running at the same pace as last year.  Low interest rates and improving property fundamentals are cited as the primary drivers of the steady demand for mortgage loans.  Albany and the surrounding region are experiencing the same borrowing demand, according to Ameris Bank Albany Market President Cal McMillan.

"The mortgage business has been strong year to date and is helping to drive our local earnings.  It's a combination of both new loans and refinancing," McMillan said. 

"We have a major mortgage lending department and we've put a lot of resources behind it.  As with all our lines of business, we focus on building long-lasting relationships with our customers by delivering value and earning their trust."

Ameris Bank was founded more than 40 years ago.  It is headquartered in Moultrie, Ga. and at the end of second quarter, had 74 branches located in four states – Georgia, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina. Ameris Bank is focused on creating a distinctly different way of helping customers manage and make the most of their money. 

"We're honored that our customers have made the decision to bank with us.  We want to provide them with innovative financial solutions for years to come," McMillan said. 

Positive signs in the marketplace

The Albany market’s loan growth in 2014, according to McMillan, has not been as strong as the bank would like due to the slow economy in southwestern Georgia.  The area lags both the state and the nation in terms of economic growth.

"I do see signs that things are picking up in the area.  We have a new superintendent for the Dougherty County School System who is doing a phenomenal job. Two of the three higher education institutions in the area have interim presidents, who are setting high expectations," McMillan said. 

"We've had a tremendous year in Albany so far and I'm excited to be a part of it." 

According to McMillan, the outlook for 2015 is very positive.  If the economy continues to improve, Ameris Bank in Albany is on track to have an historic earnings year.

Boots on the ground

The secret to achieving historic earnings, according to McMillan, is really nothing new.  It's just boots on the ground and bankers doing their job.

On August 1, Debbie Dominey returned to Ameris Bank in Albany as a senior vice president and business banker.  She is a long-time Albany banker, having served as branch manager for the retail sector for 15 years before working for two years in the corporate office.

"I've enjoyed reintroducing Debbie to the community and watching her reconnect with her old customers," McMillan said. 

According to McMillan, the qualities that Ameris Bank has focused on for many years – character, service and delivering value to customers – have proven to be the qualities that customers want.  With a continued focus on these qualities, McMillan believes Ameris will be a high-performing community bank for years to come. 

"We don't take the banking relationships we have with our customers lightly," McMillan said.

More information on Ameris Bank is available at

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.