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.


Advice for a Competitive Homebuying Market

With the Rochester real estate market grabbing national headlines as incredibly competitive, buyers need to be more vigilant than ever about making sure they have their financing in place when an opportunity to buy arises.

Illustration of people standing in line outside of house

Keep Your Documentation Current

With record low inventory levels, it is taking potential homebuyers much longer than usual to find a home.  The documentation (pay stubs, credit reports, etc.) used to create your mortgage preapproval is usually only valid for 90-120 days.  If your home search extends longer than that, you’ll need to work closely with your mortgage provider to keep your documentation up to date.  This includes notifying your mortgage originator immediately of any major changes that can impact your financial position, including:

  • New job with a new employer
  • Promotion/salary change with existing employer (a promotion is usually good news — but if you are qualifying using a grant program, that promotion could make you ineligible)
  • Additional cash flow that suddenly appears in your accounts (inheritance, income from a side business, etc. may require additional documentation)

Watch Out for Hidden Risks

With an extended search, sometimes you can be caught off-guard by seemingly unrelated decisions that may impact your ability to maintain your mortgage preapproval.  It is important to talk to your mortgage originator prior to doing any of the following:

  • Making a significant purchase like a car or furniture (particularly if it results in a loan or deferred payment)
  • Co-signing a loan for someone else
  • Spending your cash reserves
  • Making a dramatic job change (salary to commission, entering a new industry)

Keeping your financing preapproval up to date and in good standing is crucial if you want to purchase a home in a competitive environment.  Put your mortgage originator on speed dial and talk to them before making any significant changes.  They can help you determine the impact of any potential changes to your financial position and ensure you are still able to purchase the home of your dreams when the time comes.

This is where GRB’s Mortgage Team with its focus on the local market and highly personal service can really make a difference for homebuyers.


Sunscreen, Shades and Your Health Savings Account (HSA)

Sunscreen image lower res

You may wonder what sunscreen and shades have to do with your HSA.  Well, those are just two of the many items that are HSA-eligible expenses.  With summer around the corner, you may want to prepare for fun in the sun by tapping into your HSA to cover sun-protection costs.  Your HSA is the only tax-advantaged account that allows you to save using pre-tax dollars and allows you to spend tax-free for qualified medical expenses.  So, avoid sunburn and use your HSA for sunscreen, prescription sunglasses and SPF 15+ lip balm. 

In order to use your HSA, you must contribute to the HSA.  We are almost halfway through the year and the IRS allows you to save up to $3500 if you are covered as an individual on your health plan or $7,000 if you have family coverage.  You can contribute another $1,000 if you are lucky enough to be over 55 years old. 

Remember, any money deposited into your HSA by you or your employer is yours to keep…forever.  The funds roll over every year and as long as you use the funds to pay for qualified medical expenses, you won’t pay tax on that money. 

You can change your contribution to your HSA at any time.  Situations that often trigger the need to modify a contribution level include marital/family status change, beginning/ending a treatment or medication, need for catch-up contributions, etc. Talk with your payroll department to make a change.

The list of qualified medical expenses is quite extensive and can be found here.  Remember, if you have any questions; please speak with your tax advisor as this information is not tax advice.  Enjoy your summer and remember that GRB is Here. For You.


Celebrating Women of Excellence – Including GRB’s Allana Lazeroff

Allana Lazeroff receives Women of Excellence Award

We are proud to be celebrating alongside one of the Rochester Business Journal’s 2019 Women of Excellence, GRB’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Allana Lazeroff.  Allana received her award, along with other deserving #ROC women at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center on May 9.

Women excellence 2019 award logo

Allana is a 25-year veteran of the banking industry and joined GRB in 2007.  She is responsible for the bank’s operations, marketing, project management, and cash management teams.  Allana graduated from the John Wiley School of Business at SUNY Geneseo, and earned the Certified Treasury Professional designation in 1999.

The Women of Excellence awards identify high-achieving women for their tremendous career accomplishments. The women are selected based on their professional experience, community involvement, leadership and sustained commitment to mentoring.

This year’s class, selected by a panel of past Circle of Excellence honorees, features 40 women from a variety of industries. They have achieved impressive career accomplishments and have made the Rochester community better through their civic engagement and mentoring.


Happy National Small Business Week

Happy National Small Business Week graphic

At GRB, we celebrate small business every day.  We’re a small business and we are deeply engaged with the small business community here in Rochester.

We know this community and understand its unique needs and opportunities.  We are proud of the hundreds of commercial clients whose innovative ideas and hard work have fueled our local economy and supported its many charitable efforts.

Small business is the foundation of this community and we are proud to share the story of some of the many successful entrepreneurs with whom we have had the pleasure to work on our Community page.

Congratulations to our business owner clients and to all those who have had made the bold move to turn their vision into reality.  To recognize your efforts, we are offering a number of activities this week:

  • Drop in to our branch locations (schedule below) and treat yourself to some “me time” with a cup of coffee, delicious treats, and a FREE GIFT from GRB.
Wednesday, May 8
Greece Branch
4180 W. Ridge Rd.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thursday, May 9
Winton Branch
1850 S. Winton Rd.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday, May 10
Pittsford Branch
3380 Monroe Ave.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Check out our social media channels for infographics and information on the contributions small businesses make economically and in the community — feel free to share!
  • Talk to your relationship manager about the latest GRB tools, products and services to help you reduce costs, guard against fraud, and enhance your operations.

Happy National Small Business Week!


Vote GRB for 2019 Reader Rankings

Vote Now Reader Rankings graphic

It’s time to vote!

We are pleased to announce that GRB has also made it to the final round of voting in the RBJ’s 2019 Reader Rankings program, this year in three different categories:

  • Best Overall Company to Work For (76-250 employees)
  • Best Business Banking
  • Best Mortgage Lender

We are proud to be considered for this program and hope you’ll take a few minutes to cast your vote for GRB.  The voting deadline is May 24.  Don’t forget to vote in all three categories!

VOTE NOW


GRB Moves Up in 2019 “Best Companies” List

bcg ny 2019 print

We are pleased to announce that GRB has ranked no. 13 out of 23 in the “Best Companies to Work For in New York” program in the mid-size employer category (100-250 employees) for 2019. This is GRB’s fifth consecutive year on the list and we are up four spots from last year’s finish at no. 17. See the full 2019 rankings here.

Our ranking was determined based on feedback from GRB employees who participated in an engagement survey focused on:

  • Leadership & planning
  • Corporate culture & communications
  • Role satisfaction
  • Work environment
  • Relationship with supervisor
  • Training, development & resources
  • Pay & benefits

Thank you to all our employees, customers and colleagues for making GRB a great place to bank — and a great place to work!


You Could be West Coast-bound with GRB and Mastercard

MasterCard Surprises promotional graphic

GRB is pleased to announce that it is participating in the Priceless Surprises® campaign with Mastercard®, allowing eligible cardholders to be entered for prizes just for using their GRB debit card.  Surprises range from $500 statement credits to once-in-a-lifetime trips – and a GRB customer is guaranteed to win one of the $500 prizes!

The grand prize winner can select one of the following amazing destinations:

  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • Hawaii
  • Miami
  • Chicago

Beginning April 1, 2019, cardholders will automatically receive one (1) entry into the promotion each time they use their Mastercard to make a purchase during the promotion period through June 30, 2019. PIN-based purchases made with a Debit card, international transactions and transactions with an HSA Mastercard or small business Mastercard are not eligible for an entry. The promotion is open to our Mastercard debit cardholders age 18+ who are U.S. residents, and cardholders in good standing.


New First-time Homebuyer Mortgage Program Offers Up To $15,000 in Grants

Homebuyer Dream Program logo

As a bank, GRB is able to work with the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) to provide grant assistance to qualified first-time homebuyers. The Homebuyer Dream ProgramTM provides grants of up to $15,000 towards the purchase of a home in New York.  This is a program that is only available to banks, mortgage brokers are not able to access grant funds for this program.

Homebuyer Dream Program* (HDP) eligibility requirements

  • Must be first-time homebuyers (have not owned a home individually or with a spouse in the last three years)
  • Reside and purchase a home in New York
  • Have a household income at or below 80% of area median income (i.e., in Monroe County up to $62,240 for 1- and 2-person households, up to $71,576 for 3+ person household as of August 2018)
  • Complete an accredited homeownership course
  • Meet the income and credit requirements for the program
  • Have the minimum equity contribution of $1,000 toward purchase of the home
  • Remain in the home for five years or repay a portion of the grant funds back to FHLBNY

Important information

  • Up to $14,500 in grant funding is available to be applied to down payment and closing costs
  • Up to $500 in grant funding is available to offset the cost of the homeownership course

Find out if you qualify

For more information, contact our mortgage professionals.

* Homebuyer Dream Program is a trademark of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.


GRB COO Allana Lazeroff Featured in “Women in Finance” Article in RBJ

Allana Lazeroff Path to Excellence RBJ front page image

After being named to the 2019 class of the Women of Excellence, GRB’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Allana Lazeroff also appeared on the front page of the Rochester Business Journal’s March 29 issue.  The article focused on Women in Finance and offered a look at Allana’s career and experiences as she honed her leadership skills.

Allana’s 30-year career in finance has included experiences in human resources, retail and commercial banking and operations.  With the last 11 years at Genesee Regional Bank, she has played an integral role in the bank’s growth from $100 million in assets to more than $560 million.  Allana also served as a founding member and executive sponsor of GRB’s Women @ GRB group, dedicated to to helping “educate, celebrate, and inspire GRB Women to achieve their personal definition of success.”

In the article, Allana acknowledges sometimes “being the only women in the room,” but notes that diverse perspectives are necessary and that maintaining authenticity is crucial for women to be successful as leaders.

“…Diversity, regardless of the type of diversity, whether that’s gender, religion or race, allows a lot of different perspectives. The organization benefits when you have different perspectives represented.”

To read the entire article go to the RBJ online at:   http://bit.ly/AllanaPathtoExcellence


Cardon Joins GRB as Chief Credit Officer

Randy Cardon SVP and Chief Credit Officer photo

Genesee Regional Bank (GRB) is pleased to announce that Randy Cardon has joined the bank’s leadership team as Senior Vice President, Chief Credit Officer.

Randy, who has more than 30 years of commercial banking experience in the local Rochester market, will oversee the commercial loan administration and commercial credit teams at GRB.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from St. John Fisher and spent his career with the former Central Trust Company and M&T, most recently as Vice President, Credit Officer.  Randy is an experienced small business and middle market lender and credit officer, working with customers from Rochester to the North Hudson Valley.  He is active in the community, doing volunteer work for Foodlink and serving as a past board member on the Rochester chapters of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Diabetes Association.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Randy to the GRB team.  He is an exceptional banker who brings solid credit analysis, loan review, and special asset management experience to GRB,” said Philip L. Pecora, GRB’s President and CEO.  “In the last decade, GRB has grown five-fold in total assets, adding hundreds of new commercial client relationships and more than 80 employees.  It is time to bring additional leadership resources to the bank to support the growth we are experiencing throughout our commercial loan portfolio.”