GRB was founded by entrepreneurs. That spirit guides how we do business to this day. Our team truly understands the local business climate, thanks to our own personal experience. We maintain a board of experienced local board members who are focused on the local economy, and provide sound guidance for the bank.
E. Philip Saunders
President and CEO
Saunders Management Co.
Mr. Saunders is the founder of a number of notable companies including Genesee Regional Bank, Truck Stops of America, Griffith Energy, Travel Centers of America and Sugar Creek Corporation. In addition, Mr. Saunders is an owner of Essex Property Management, a company responsible for commercial properties. Other significant ownership interests include Valley Fuels, Bristol Harbour Resort, Sugar Creek Farms, Western New York Energy and American Rock Salt.
Mr. Saunders serves as Chairman of Genesee Regional Bank and Valley Fuels as well as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Paul Smith’s College. Mr. Saunders also serves on the Board of Directors of American Rock Salt, Buckingham Properties, Lewis Tree, Passero Associates, NYS Trooper Foundation, Torvec Inc., Rochester Institute of Technology, Western New York Energy, and Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Mr. Saunders was formerly the Executive Vice President and Director of Ryder Systems, Owner/CEO of Econo-car International, and Owner/CEO of Richardson Foods Corporation.
In addition to his current board service, Mr. Saunders has formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Fleet Bank, Genesee Valley Trust Company, Hahn Automotive, Excellus of New York, Ryder Systems, National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO), Rochester General Hospital and Roswell Park.
Mr. Saunders is a past inductee of the Rochester Business Hall of Fame and is a recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science from Paul Smith’s College. He is also a member of the Livonia Central School Athletic Hall of Fame and the National Association of Travel Centers Hall of Fame.
Ron Billitier owns Billitier Electric Inc. which employs approximately 100 electricians throughout the year. Established in 1970 out of his father’s home, it has grown from a mid-sized company to one of the largest commercial/industrial union electrical contractors in New York State. He is also a member of the St. John Fisher College Board of Trustees, University of Rochester’s James P. Wilmot Cancer Center Board, and University of Rochester Eye Institute Board.
Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP
Anthony Cotroneo is a partner in the Business Finance Department; the Private Equity Practice Group; the Franchising; Distribution and Dealership Practice Group; and the Construction Law Practice Group. His business law practice includes mergers, acquisitions, sales, and spin offs. Mr. Cotroneo is the chair of the firm’s Private Equity Practice Group, where he represents Private Equity Firms, Angel Investors, and Issuers in Private Equity transactions, including assisting in defining the rights and preferences of securities, developing capital structures and deal structures for start-up and growth stage companies. As the chair of the firm’s Franchising Distribution and Dealership Practice Group, Mr. Cotroneo has assisted Franchisors and Franchisees in the preparation and review of Uniform Franchise Offering Circulars (UFOC) and Franchise Agreements. He also provides counsel to regional and national Distributors and Dealers in all activities, including preparing agreements and implementing dealer and distributor systems. Mr. Cotroneo’s construction law practice includes representing owners, construction managers, general contractors and sub-contractors in all aspects of construction matters. Mr. Cotroneo is a member of the Board of the Rochester Italian Heritage Foundation, Empire State Lyric Theatre, the Rochester Business Alliance and is a Board member and Past President of the Small Business Council, an affiliate of the Rochester Business Alliance.
Hahn Automotive Warehouse, Inc.
Eli Futerman is Co-president of Hahn Automotive, a leading regional distributor of auto parts to more than 1,400 independent and company-owned jobbers along the Eastern Seaboard and in the Midwest. He is the Chairman of Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc., and also serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Rochester’s James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and Odyssey Software, Inc. Mr. Futerman is the Chairman of the Financial Resource Development Committee of the Rochester United Jewish Communities Campaign, and a Vice President and sits on the Board of Directors of the Rochester Jewish Community Federation. Along with his co-president, Daniel Chessin, Mr. Futerman was named 2010 Business Person of the Year by the Rochester Small Business Council.
Fulton, Friedman & Gullace, LLP
A founding partner in Genesee Regional Bank, Dan Gullace has enjoyed a successful legal career. Before his partnership at Fulton, Friedman & Gullace, he retired as a partner at Gullace & Weld LLP.
Crane-Hogan Structural Systems
Co-founded by Dan Hogan, Crane-Hogan specializes in new construction and rehabilitation of highways, bridges, parking garages, dams, buildings and both sewer and water treatment plants. Recent projects include Frontier Field Stadium, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, the Irondequoit Bay Swing Bridge, the rebuilding of the Bay Bridge over Irondequoit Bay, and work on the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge and the O’Rorke Bridge over the Genesee River. Mr. Hogan is on the Board of Directors of UNICON, Genesee Transportation Council, Monroe County Empire Zone, American Rock Salt Corporation, and The Hughes Corporation. Additionally, he serves as a member of the SUNY Brockport College Council and is a trustee for the Rochester Laborers Welfare & Pension Fund.
Travel Ports of America
Vice President of Operations
Michelle Paroda joined Ramsey Constructors in 2002. She previously was Vice President of Customer Service at Frontier Communications and Senior Vice President at Choice One Communications. Together with her brother, Ms. Paroda also invests in commercial real estate in Dansville, NY. Ms. Paroda serves on the Board of Directors of UNICON.
President, North Central Region
Toshiba Business Systems
Steven Sauer joined Toshiba Business Solutions New York in 1995. Under his leadership, the former struggling $10 million business has grown to a profitable $45 million company. Mr. Sauer previously served as second vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank and assistant vice president at Fleet Bank. He is Vice Chairman of the Unity Health System board and serves on the boards of the Geneseo Foundation, Seneca Park Zoo Society, Canfield and Tack, and FM Resources. Mr. Sauer has been Chairman of the Unity Health Foundation board of directors, a Past President of the Mental Health Association, board member of the Small Business Council of Greater Rochester, member of SUNY Geneseo John Wiley Jones School of Business Advisory Board, and a board member of Entrepreneurial Partnership for Nazareth College. In 2007, Mr. Sauer was named Business Person of the Year from the Henrietta Chamber of Commerce, and he received the Jack Palvino award from the Heart of Gold Foundation for his contribution to youth sports. In 2006, his company was awarded the Rochester Business Ethics Award, and it earned Certified Dealer Status for Client Satisfaction by J. D. Power and Associates. Steven Sauer was awarded Small Business Person of the Year in 2002 by Rochester’s Chamber of Commerce, and was also awarded Upstate NY Finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2003. He is also a recipient of the Rochester Business Journal’s Forty under 40 award, and was awarded Volunteer of the Year by the Mental Health Association.
Retired, Chief Financial Officer
Genesee Regional Bank
Gary Schwingel joined Genesee Regional Bank in 2004 after building a successful career in banking and finance. He served as GRB’s Chief Financial Officer overseeing portfolio management, budgeting, financial management, risk management and human resources until retiring and joining the Board of Directors in 2020. During his tenure at GRB, Gary’s strategic thinking helped grow GRB’s asset size from $50 million to $715 million. His efforts contributed to the bank being named to the “Rochester Top 100” and “Best Companies to Work for in New York” lists year after year. In 2009, Gary was recognized for his financial acumen and involvement in the Rochester community when he was named “Financial Executive of the Year” in the small private company category by the Rochester Business Journal. Gary is a graduate of RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business, where he also serves as an Adjunct Professor. Gary also is a member of the business school’s Finance Advisory Board. He remains active in the local community as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mary Cariola Children’s Center.
Rochester Institute of Technology
Dan Tessoni is an assistant professor of Accounting in the Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology and a CPA. He received his Ph.D. in Accounting from Syracuse University, a MS from Clarkson and a bachelor’s degree from St. John Fisher College. He has presented seminars and executive programs on accounting and finance related issues to numerous companies including Constellation Brands, ITT Industries Eastman Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb, Chase Manhattan Bank, First Empire Bank and Apple Computer. Dr. Tessoni has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of ACC Corp., a publicly- held long distance and cellular telephone company from 1987 until 1998 when the company was purchased by AT&T, and as chairman of the Audit Committee, and as a member of the Compensation Committee and the Executive Committee and several special committees. Serving on the boards of several privately held corporations, his research interests are in the areas of agency theory and positive accounting theory.