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Welcome to the GRBblog! Get to know GRB, Rochester's only locally owned and managed commercial bank. A commercial bank, but also a community bank, with an entrepreneurial spirit about everything we do. We're committed to Growing Rochester Business and making our community a better place to live and work.

The GRBblog is where we post bank news and information, stories about the great organizations we support, and share relevant local and national business news.

Blog entries categorized under Community

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On May 29, more than 20 employees from Genesee Regional Bank joined ten thousand others at RIT for the 24th annual Chase Corporate Challenge. This year's race beneficiary was Hillside Work Scholarship Connection. We're proud to play a part in one of the largest fundraisers in Rochester.

 

Team GRB

 

 

GRB President & CEO, Phil Pecora (L); VP & Residential Mortgage Manager, Armando Capuano (R)

 

 

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GRB was the proud recipient of the Corporate Volunteer of the Year award at Mary Cariola Children's Center annual dinner this week. Dave Cushman and Kevin Flanagan received the award on GRB's behalf, and a number of other employees were on hand as well. 

 

Mary Cariola is one of the organizations GRB has chosen to support not only financially, but with our employees' volunteer time. We've enjoyed helping out with their annual Beach Party for the kids, with a school supply drive, by grilling hotdogs and hamburgers at school picnics, and raising a team for the annual Walking on Sunshine event.

 

Dave Cushman and Kevin Flanagan

 

 

Kevin Flanagan, Audrey Fletcher, Rich Owens, and Dave Cushman

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GRB is proud to be a sponsor of the Pittsford Chamber of Commerce's Business Person of the Year event, honoring restaurateur Charlie Fitzsimmons. Charlie's successful local restaurants include Black & Blue, Jo Jo, Village Bakery, and TRATA. 

 

The award dinner will be held at Monroe Golf Club on March 13, 2014 from 5:30 - 8pm. It's open to the public and tickets are $35/$25 PCC members. More information on the Pittsford Chamber's website

 

Congrats to Charlie for this well deserved award!

 

 
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The Greece Chamber of Commerce sent word today that their 2014 Small Business of the Year, American Custom Exteriors, and their 2014 Microenterprise of the Year, Christie Carpets, were selected as U. S. Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Award winners. 

 

The U. S. Chamber notes that the Blue Ribbon Award is a program that recognizes companies for their dedication to the principles of free enterprise and contributions to restoring jobs and supporting economic growth. This year's winners were selected from a record number of applicants across the nation, and each demonstrates exceptional business practices in areas including strategic planning, employee development, community involvement, and customer service. 

 

There are just 100 Blue Ribbon Award winners annually.  You can read the U. S. Chamber's full press release here, and see the full list of winners here.

 

GRB is proud to be the headline sponsor of the Greece Chamber's Small Business and Microenterprise of the Year Awards, and we congratulate American Custom Exteriors and Christie Carpets for their well-deserved national recognition! 

 

 

 

 

 

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Personal Finance site NerdWallet recently released a study that named Rochester as #10 in consumer banking options out of the 100 largest U.S. cities.  Original post: "Ten Best Cities for Consumer Banking 2014."

 

Selecting cities based on the diversity of banking options, average savings account interest earnings, fees charged, and branch accessibility, among other criteria. Cincinnati tops the list. 

 

GRB gets a mention in the ranking list

 

Rochester makes its first appearance on this annual list in part by being home to a high number of bank and credit union branches. There are more than 70 branches per 100,000 residents operating within the city, meaning that residents have more ready access to in-person financial services. Even local institutions like Genesee Regional Bank offer a number of physical branches to help reach consumers. Rochester's ranking is also helped by a lower than average monthly checking fee, at approximately $8.24. 

 

 

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For the 18th year, the Rochester Small Business Council sponsored SBC Cares, a food drive to bring more than 2000 local families with a Thanksgiving meal. This is one of our favorite volunteer efforts during the year, and GRB, along with our partner, Calkins Road Middle School, was proud to supply 81 baskets of food. 

 

 

GRB food baskets collected before delivery.

 

 

 

Loaded up for delivery!

 

Several GRB employees volunteered their time on Saturday, November 23, to deliver the baskets to organizations including YWCA, Catholic Charities, Veterans Outreach Center, ALternative for Battered Women, Sojourner House, and the Open Door Mission. 

 

Check out this great video about the 2013 food drive! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GRB's Community Involvement Committee has chosen the Mary Cariola Children's Center as a beneficiary of bank-supported volunteer time. Giving back to the community, not only financially, is important to the bank.

 

GRB volunteers have helped Mary Cariola staff put on their annual Beach Party, grilled hot dogs and burgers for a summer picnic, collected back to school supplies for the kids, and sponsored a team for Walking on Sunshine, the Center's largest fundraiser.

 

Thanks to Mary Cariola for some press about our volunteering in their Autumn 2013 newsletter!

 

Some members of Team GRB at the Walking on Sunshine event on 9/28/13.

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GRB fielded two teams for the Rochester Marathon relay on September 22. Nancy Maynard, a GRB Commercial Relationship Manager, serves on the board of the local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, the organization that puts on the marathon. 

 

Along with our running teams, we were proud to support the Arthritis Foundation by being a sponsor of the Friends & Family tent at the finish line.

 

Congrats to all who participated!

 

 

GRB runners Nancy Maynard, Tim Levine, Harrison Taylor, & Stephanie Marks

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GRB is proud to support several events for Camp Good Days and Special Times. Stephanie Marks and Jessica Halladay, daughter of Dave Halladay, volunteered at the Just Clowning Around 5K on July 13. 

 

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Rochester's small business community is highlighted in a recent Democrat & Chronicle article. Three technology startups are spotlighted, exemplifying the shift in our local economy from a few large-scale manufacturers to smaller, high tech-firms. These firms, and others, have been supported by business development centers, incubators, and professional development groups that make up a regional infrastructure conducive to small business.

 

Read the full article here.

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GRB has been the headline sponsor for the Greece Chamber's annual Small Business of the Year Award since its inception four years ago. The award has been a great way to highlight the real success stories of Greece's business community.

 

The winners of both the Small Business and Microenterprise categories are entered into a national small business competiton sponsored by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. Two Greece businesses have been recognized in this competition.

 

PetSaver Healthy Pet Superstore and The Victors Gymnastics, Inc. have been named 2013 Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winners. Additionally, PetSaver has been named the Eastern Region Finalist for the 2013 Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award.

 

From the Democrat & Chronicle article (read full article here):

 

Jodie Perry, president of the Greece Chamber of Commerce, said it is thrilling to have two businesses from the town recognized by the national Chamber.

 

“I think it shows that our businesses are really doing some innovative things, and really delivering high levels of customer service,” she said. “It’s exciting to hear that even though our economy is still flat, some businesses are doing really well and doing really great things. It’s a great thing for our community.”

 

Congratulations to both PetSaver and The Victors Gymnastics!

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Joe Cassara and his new business, YouNeedMyGuy.com, is highlighted in this Democrat & Chronicle article. The Webster native combines business and social media so that a search on You Need My Guy will turn up providers recommended by friends.

 

 

Joe Cassara, 30, of Webster is the founder and CEO of You Need My Guy,

a company provides reviews about a community's best service providers.

/ MARIE DE JESUS/Democrat & Chronicle staff photographer

 

Read the full article here.

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Mark Gentile, a senior technical director at Symantec Corp., is highlighted in a Democrat & Chronicle article about entrepreneurship. Gentile sold his company, Odyssey Software, to Symantec last year.

 

From the article:

 

Back in the mid-1990s, when Mark Gentile was starting his software business, potential investors reminded him that many startups fail. They asked about his backup plan.

 

“Naively, I said, ‘Failure is not an option.’ And everyone kind of chuckled,” said Gentile [...].

 

His attitude epitomized the confidence and spirit that permeates the world of entrepreneurship, where men and women risk everything to pursue their dream. They have a drive and a decisive ability that separates them from the rest of us nine to fivers, according to experts.

 

Gentile goes on to talk about the persistence and passion that drove his success.

 

Read the full article here.

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In early January, GRB fielded a team at the Second Annual Rochester-area CPA Firms Sand Volleyball tournament. We got the added benefit of supporting our client, Hot Shots Volleyball Club. Proceeds benefitted Flower City Habitat for Humanity.

 

Our team lost a close match in the first round of playoffs, but nonetheless had a fun day. Thanks to Ami Panipinto for organizing GRB's team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GRB was deeply saddened by the shooting of four West Webster firefighters and the displacement of a number of Webster residents whose homes were destroyed by fire on Christmas Eve. A number of our employees and clients live and work in Webster, so we wanted to do something to show our support for that community.

 

The weekend of the funerals for Firefighters Chiapperini and Kaczowka, GRB donated eight hotel rooms at the Webster Holiday Inn Express for firefighters attending the funerals. Clients of GRB, including Zeller Corporation and Progressive Machine also donated rooms.

 

Our thoughts continue to go out to the families of the firefighters and everyone affected by this tragedy.

 

#WWFD is the hashtag that has permeated social media sites to mark information about the West Webster Fire Department. Our donation was mentioned on a Facebook page that serves as a clearinghouse for those wanting to help.

 

 

 

 

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Congratulations to the 2012 winners of the Greece Chamber's Small Business of the Year Awards!

 

Small Business of the Year: Caring for Cats Veterinary Hospital

 

Microenterprise of the Year: The Victors Gymnastics, Inc.

 

Winners were announced at the annual award luncheon, held today at the Greece Marriott. GRB is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this event since its inception four years ago.

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The Empire State Lyric Theatre announced expansion plans last week, becoming Rochester Lyric Opera.

 

GRB is a proud supporter of Rochester Lyric Opera, and we look forward to this newly formed organization putting on an even more exciting Chamber Opera Festival in April, 2013.

 

Tickets for all Rochester Lyric Opera events can be purchased at the three GRB locations.

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Congratulations to Leann Hicks, CFO at Pharos Systems. She was honored today with the award for Financial Executive of the Year - Small Business Category at today's annual luncheon.

 

Co-presented by the Rochester chapter of Financial Executives International and the Rochester Business Journal, the award recognizes financial executives who have made outstanding contributions to their organizations and to the community during the past year.

 

Read the RBJ's article here.

 

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April is Community Banking Month, and GRB is getting the word out about the benefits of banking locally. This article, from the Institute of Local Self-Reliance, lists the top five reasons to choose a community bank (or credit union).

 

GRB lives up to all of these reasons, and proves that banking locally supports the Rochester community in many ways.

 

Top 5 Reasons to Choose a Community Bank or Credit Union

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Continuing his contributions to the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester, GRB Chairman Phil Saunders was on hand to judge a pizza creation contest. Held at UNO Chicago Grill's Henrietta location on February 23, twenty kids from the Boys & Girls Club devised pizza recipes that were cooked by UNO chefs.

 

Photo courtesy of Henrietta Post.

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Congratulations to Pactech Packaging, Monroe County's Business of the Month for November. Read the county's press release here.

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We congratulate Mark Gentile, President & CEO of Odyssey Software, on his recent award from the Rochester Small Business Council. At their annual luncheon, Gentile was named Business Person of the Year in the category of businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

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CJ Rapp, inventor of Jolt cola, recently launched a new beverage. Karma water debuted locally in September.

 

From coverage in the Democrat & Chronicle:

 

Rapp said he made it a point with the new company to involve other Rochester-area businesses in various aspects of the enterprise.

 

"There are 10 to 12 locally based companies that have a business role with the new company," Rapp said. "There is tremendous talent in this community."

 

Among the local businesses involved are ValTech, Hammer Packaging, Martino Flynn, The Bonadio Group and Wright Wisner Distributing Corp. These local firms and others are doing parts of the overall process, such as manufacturing and distributing the caps and labels, designing the bottle and marketing the product using traditional and online approaches.

Tagged in: entrepreneur
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