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GRBblog

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.

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As of Monday, November 24, the entire GRB Mortgage department will be located at GRB's headquarters at 190 Linden Oaks. 

 

Our team of originators, underwriters, processors, and closers are now under one roof. This in-house, local decision making means a quick turnaround time for mortgages. Learn more here.  

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GRB was honored as an Outstanding Corporate Volunteer Group at the 2014 Greater Rochester Awards, sponsored by the Rochester Business Journal and the United Way. We were nominated for this award by the Mary Cariola Childrens' Center.

 

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 school supply drives, by grilling hotdogs and hamburgers at school picnics, and raising a team for the annual Walking on Sunshine event. Dave Cushman, a Community Relationship Manager, has served on the Walking on Sunshine committee. 

 

The Rochester Business Journal and the United Way of Greater Rochester present the Greater Rochester Awards, which celebrate the exceptional work done by our community’s human services sector. The awards, given in several categories, honor non-profit staff members, executives, volunteers and programs that make our community a better place to live.

 

 

 

L to R: Dave Cushman, GRB; Karen Zandi, Mary Cariola President & CEO;  Linda Henning, Mary Cariola; Joanne Fisher, Mary Cariola.

 

 

GRB attendees included, L to R, Alex Broccuto II, Paul Keenan, Dave Cushman, Ami Panipinto, and Gary Schwingel.

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Home Depot has confirmed that their payment data systems were breached, affecting customers who used a credit or debit card at their US or Canada stores from April to September 2014. 

 

GRB is proactively working with our fraud detection system to ensure the safety of our customers' account information. We advise our clients to be cautious and aware of the security of their personal information online. Some best practices for enhancing your online security can be found on our website.

 

Visit Home Depot’s website for more information on the security breach, and the free identity protection services Home Depot is offering to affected customers. 

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You might be aware of recent news headlines regarding the Heartbleed bug, which may compromise encryption used by some websites and allow for personal identification information to be stolen.

 

Please be assured that GRBonline and Virtual Check Deposit are not affected by the current OpenSSL vulnerability.

 

As a best practice, we advise our clients to be cautious and aware of the security of their personal information online. Some steps you can take to enhance your online security are:

 

  • Change the passwords you use for your GRBonline account.
  • Make sure you use unique user names and passwords for each of your online accounts.
  • Protect your user name and password information. Don’t store this information next to your computer.
  • Keep a close eye on your accounts. Enroll in GRBonline and check your accounts frequently.
  • Protect your account information, as well as all other personal identification information, such as your Social Security number, birthdate, or any other personal information. Never provide this information to someone who contacts you by telephone or email requesting this information.

 

Review Online Transaction Safety for more helpful information.

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For the second time, GRB has won a Best of the Web award in the banking/finance category at the RBJ's annual event. We previously won in 2011. Many thanks to our marketing agency, Mason Marketing, for designing the website.

 

The judges commented that the photos and quotes from our clients and employees "humanized" the bank, and that information was easy to find. Marketing Manager Kate Jacus was on hand to receive the award at the annual event. 

 

 

 
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GRB is excited to announce that we are a finalist in the Rochester Business Journal's annual Best of the Web awards. 

 

 

We have some tough competition. The award breakfast is March 13. Stay tuned to see if we win!

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As you may know, there was a data breach on some credit and debit cards used at Target stores between November 27, 2013 and December 15, 2013. GRB customers who made a card transaction at Target during those dates may be affected. 

 

We encourage you to monitor your credit card and bank account activity on a regular basis for suspicious transactions. If you discover any unusual activity, be sure to report it immediately to your financial institution.  

 

To monitor your GRB account(s), you can use your monthly statements, or review them more frequently using GRBonline. If you suspect that there has been unauthorized activity on your GRB account, please contact us immediately. Call 585-249-1540 between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, or visit a GRB branch location. To report fraud during non-business hours, please call 585-662-9133. 

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Genesee Regional Bank is pleased to announce the addition of 40 new employees to our Residential Mortgage team. These industry veterans are former employees of First Rochester Mortgage and divisions, Eastcap Mortgage and CenterPointe Mortgage.  The company’s founder, Armando Capuano, will become Vice President and Manager of Residential Mortgage Lending at GRB.

 

“Adding such depth to our team is testament to GRB’s continued growth and the strong opportunity in the local residential marketplace,” says Phil Pecora, GRB President & CEO.  “We have served hundreds of clients since we started our residential mortgage department six years ago, and look forward to our substantially increased capacity.”  In 2012, First Rochester and its divisions originated $200 million in local mortgage volume.

 

GRB’s mortgage team offers a high level of personal service, with quick lending decisions made locally. 

 

“My team and I are excited about joining another growing organization focused on serving the local community, says Capuano. “Both First Rochester Mortgage and GRB have been Rochester Top 100 companies, and we anticipate continued growth now that our employees are working together.”

 

The new GRB MortgageTM offices are located at 919 Winton Rd. S. and 2024 W. Henrietta Rd., Suite 2A.  More information here.  and read the RBJ article here

 

 

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We are excited to announce that GRB has been ranked #73 on the 2013 Rochester Top 100 list. Our consistent growth has helped us place on the list five out of the last seven years. Thanks to our clients and partners for helping us achieve this honor.

 

The annual program of the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP spotlights the region's fastest-growing private companies, based on dollar and percentage revenue increases over the past three fiscal years, with a minimum of $1 million in annual sales required. 

 

Read the RBJ's coverage here and the RBA's online database of Top 100 companies here

 

 

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Recently, GRB took to the golf course - not for a round with clients, but for a photo shoot for an upcoming ad. GRB President Phil Pecora played the part of caddy to Colm Murphy, who runs Webster Golf Club. Our new ad highlights GRB's special level of personal service. 

 

The photography was done by John Smillie and the ad designed and produced by Mason Selkowitz Marketing. 

 

Here are some behind-the-scene shots!

 

 

 

 

And here is the final ad, to be run in the Rochester Business Journal, Rochester Magazine, and Midtown's Spirit Magazine.

 

 

 

 
 
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GRB is pleased to announce that it has been named one of the 50 Best Companies to Work for in New York State for 2013. The bank earned the #7 spot on the list of 30 small/medium companies.

 

Phil Pecora, President & CEO, says, "Inclusion on this list is a testament to the strong culture we've built, with our employees focused on delivering an unparalleled level of service to our clients, and to each other. This has truly been the main driver of our success."

 

Created in 2007, these annual awards are a program that evaluates and ranks the best places of employment based on employee satisfacton and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies.

 

To be considered for participation, companies had to enter into a two-part survey process and fulfill the following eligibility requirements:  

  • Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business or government entity.
  • Be a publicly or privately held business.
  • Have at least one facility in the state of New York.
  • Have a minimum of 15 employees working in the state of New York.
  • Be in business a minimum of 1 year.

 

GRB was honored at a public awards dinner at the Albany Marriott on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.  Four employees represented GRB at the dinner, and shared a table with another Rochester winner, Pharos Systems. 

 

 

GRB and Pharos Systems employees head to Albany.

 

Jean Gardner, HR Manager, receives our award.

 

 

 

 

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GRB's Pittsford branch this week unveiled extensive renovations, updating the interior finishes and creating better usable space. Many thanks to NH Architecture for the design work, and West Construction for the renovation work.

 

We are pleased with our updated branch, which will offer clients more privacy during transactions, a more comfortable waiting area, and increased conference room space.What hasn't changed is the free coffee and our welcoming, helpful branch staff!  Stop by for a visit soon.

 

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GRB Manager of Human Resources, Jean Gardner, was quoted in an August 2012 Rochester Business Journal Article on the state of hiring in the local financial services sector.

 

Despite some challenging economic times over the past few years, local financial institutions continue to grow and add employees, including GRB.

 

Gardner notes, "Community banking is a people business, so our growth requires us to continuously recruit talented individuals to service our clients and ensure quality in our operations." She also discusses the bank's hiring strategy and what we look for in candidates.

 

Read the full article here, and connect with Jean here.

 

 

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In his regular column, On Performance, for the Rochester Business Journal, Brand Integrity's Gregg Lederman writes about the importance of branding and company culture to drive performance and profits.

 

The October 26, 2012 column suggested using a 60-second reminder to keep company values top of mind, with employees "living" them on a daily basis. As Lederman mentions in the article, in 2011, GRB worked with Brand Integrity to refresh our values, add actionable behaviors, and created the GRB Experience:

 

  • Lead by Example (how we do our best work)
  • Unified Team (how we depend on each other)
  • Remarkable Client Experience (how we delight our clients)

 

These values are what GRB employees strive to deliver to both each other and our clients every day. The 60-second reminder that we use here is regularly scheduled meeting agenda items. At weekly meetings, managers from all departments discuss with their teams the tenets of our values, or examples of the values in action.

 

In no small part because of this weekly attention to our values, GRB's scores on an employee survey of how consistently the behaviors were delivered increased almost 10%. Sixty seconds a week, worked into already existing meetings, is strengthening our brand because our employees are actively engaged with it.

 

Read Gregg's full column here.

 

 

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GRB is pleased to announce that we have received a Silver Award from the Small Business Administration (SBA), for the fiscal year ending Septemebr 30, 2012. This places us third among local banks who participate in SBA programs. 

 

The Silver Award recognizes instutitions who have produced over $5 million in SBA-guaranteed loans.

 

Partnering with lenders and providing loan guarantees, SBA programs provide much needed capital to small businesses. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information on how GRB can utilize the SBA to grow your business.  

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The Rochester Top 100 recognizes the fast-growing privately held companies in the Rochester region. GRB is proud to have been included in the Top 100 for the past 3 years, ranking 41st in 2011. CEO Phil Pecora discusses GRB's strategy and the current banking environment in a recent interview with the Democrat & Chronicle.

 

Read the Democrat & Chronicle interview here.

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Loans to Rochester small businesses are alive and well, reports the Democrat & Chronicle. Small Buiness Administation (SBA) lending in Rochester has been climbing, with 406 made in fiscal 2011, surpassing the 360 made in fiscal 2010.

 

For the current fiscal year, GRB was one of the banks that has doubled SBA loans made in the same time period last year.

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April is Community Banking Month, and Genesee Regional Bank (GRB) is celebrating the vital role that community banks serve in the economic, civil, and cultural life of their communities. This commemorative month is a program of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). 

 

“It is GRB’s mission as a community bank to help grow Rochester business,” said Phil Pecora, GRB President & CEO. “With our stable assets and local decision making, we have the flexibility to find creative solutions to small businesses’ financing needs. Building deep-rooted relationships with clients by offering highly personalized service and local economic expertise is part of the unique banking experience we provide.”

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Thanks to a stable regional economy and a local customer base well-known to lenders, regional commercial lending standards have stayed the course since the 2008 financial crisis, reports the Rochester Business Journal.

 

Dave Halladay, senior vice president and GRB's chief lending officer, is quoted extensively in the article. "Customers who put expansions on hold are now looking to grow." He adds that GRB is making loans in sectors from manufacturing to sevices.

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GRB is proud to announce we are ranked #41 on the 2011 Rochester Top 100 list. This is our fourth year on the Rochester Business Alliance's list, which ranks the region's fastest growing, privately held companies.

 

Preident & CEO Phil Pecora notes that the bank's success is a tribute to the hard work of our employees, and is also linked to the success and loyalty of our clients, many of whom share in the Top 100 rankings.

 

(Read about one of those clients, Fibertech Networks, in this D&C profile for their 4th place ranking.)

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Celebrating 15 years of banking service to Rochester, GRB hosted an anniversary celebration September 14 at our Linden Oaks headquarters. Thanking our employees, board members, and clients, GRB Chairman Phil Saunders and GRB President & CEO Phil Pecora also spoke about the bank’s growth.

 

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GRB has been awarded five stars in Bankrate.com's Safe and Sound Ratings Service for the quarter ended September 30, 2011. A 5-star rating is the highest award rating and is defined as a "Superior" ranking of financial strength and stability.

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As we work to help small business in Rochester grow even in these challenging economic times, it made sense for us to take advantage of federal funds available for just that purpose. GRB is one of 20 community banks nationwide to receive part of $253 million in capital through the Treasury Department's Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF).

 

Part of the Small Business Jobs Act, the SBLF was established to encourage community bank lending to small businesses. Read the Daily Record article here.

 
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Clients enjoyed free Ben & Jerry's ice cream one afternoon in July as part of our 15th anniversary celebration.

 

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We've broken out the pedometers...the Eat Well Live Well Challenge has begun!

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It's a little strange to blog about myself, but I'm posting this RBJ article because my story exemplifies the culture at GRB.  Three years ago, I joined GRB after a 13-year career in museums. 

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Every year the RBJ recognizes Rochester’s best business websites. Winning websites are selected by a panel of judges, with awards presented in 11 categories.  At this morning's awards ceremony, GRB won "Best of the Web" in the banking/finance category!  Read the RBJ article here.  Photos after the jump.

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Best of WebAfter months of hard work, GRB re-launched our new website in November 2010, looking to highlight our unique culture and the Rochester small businesses we are proud to have as clients. The work paid off as we recently were selected as a Finalist for the Rochester Business Journal’s 2011 Best of the Web awards.

 

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GRB joins twelve clients on the list of Rochester’s fastest growing, privately held companies.  The Democrat & Chronicle interviewed Phil Pecora as part of their Top 100 coverage. 

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