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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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Gaining yet more recognition on a national list, Rochester has earned a spot on Techie.com's list of the Ten Most Unexpected Cities for High-Tech Innovation. The listing highlights our student populations at the University of Rochester and RIT, university research dollars, and a tech-savvy workforce with lots of patents. 

 

Other cities on the list were Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Des Moines, Detroit, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Portland (ME), and South Bend. 

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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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Last Saturday, twelve GRB employees, some family members, and a past intern volunteered their time at the Mary Cariola Children's Center. Their parents' organization sponsors an annual beach party for the kids and their families.  GRB staffed a fishing hole (magnetic fish and poles in buckets of water) and a craft table where kids made picture frames.  Families also enjoyed live music, volleyball, swimming, temporary tattoos, more crafts, and mini golf.

 

GRB is a proud to support Mary Cariola because of the great services they provide to so many families in our region, but especially because one of our colleagues' son is a student there.

 

It was great to see so many Mary Cariola kids enjoying their school-turned-beach party!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Pam Sherman, author of the popular "Suburban Outlaw" column and blog for the Democrat & Chronicle, recently profiled local restauranteur Charlie Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons owns several restaurants, including Black & Blue Steak & Crab, Jo Jo Bistro & Wine Bar (both with outposts in Buffalo as well), the Village Bakery in Pittsford village. His most recent venture is TRATA, the Restaurant at the Armory, in the newly developed Culver Road Armory.

 

Read Sherman's article here.

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With the help of employees, clients, and friends, GRB donated 44 baskets of food for Thanksgiving meals to the Small Business Council's annual SBC Cares food drive.

 

 

The SBC exceeded their 2012 goal of collecting 1000 baskets, delivering 1061 baskets, worth over $50,000, to local organizations.

 

Carolyn Thaney, daughter of GRB Executive Assistant Julie Thaney, raised $675 at Calkins Road Middle School to help GRB collect an additional 13 baskets.

 

GRB employees and their families were among the volunteers on Saturday, Novmebr 17, who delivered the baskets to Sojourner House, Mercy Residential Services, Wilson Commencement Park, Veterans Outreach Center, The Community Place, Catholic Charities, YWCA, Alternatives for Battered Women, Baden Street Settlement, and the Open Door Mission.

 

Thanks to all who helped us and the SBC surpass donation goals, providing over one thousand local families with the supplies for a holiday dinner.

 

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Marissa Kaiser, daughter of GRB SVP Paul Kaiser, delivering baskets.

 

L to R: Carolyn Thaney, Marissa Kaiser, Julie Thaney, Trevor Kaiser, Paul Kaiser delivering baskets for SBC Cares.

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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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Local entrepreneur Ann Germanow believes no woman should have to choose between food for her family or feminine hygiene products. Every year, thousands of families across the United States apply for public assistance, yet these programs do not cover many personal care items.

 

With that in mind, Germanow, founder and CEO of Scensible Source, is organizing a "Pad Party" on Tuesday, May 15 from 6 - 8pm at Shear Ego Salon and Spa. With the aim of collecting feminine hygiene products to distribute to women in need, the Pad Party will also feature food, drinks, networking, and spa pampering.

 

Read the full article from herRochester.com. Click here for more information about the Pad Party.

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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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Duncan Moore, a University of Rochester professor, has written a great op-ed piece about Rochester in the New York Times. He notes that since we've nurtured a "fertile entrepreneurial class" through our universities and private/public partnerships, Rochester is thriving. Moore challenges local businesses to continue to invest in the community.

 

GRB is proud to embrace this enterpreneurial spirit and be a resource for companies who are doing just that.  

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According to an article on TheStreet.com, a financial news website, Rochester is one of 10 cities poised for greatness in 2012.

 

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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.

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