Genesee Regional Bank Announces New Board Leadership

Steven Sauer has been selected as new Chairman of the Board for Genesee Regional Bank (GRB). E. Philip Saunders is becoming Chairman of Greater Rochester Bancorp., GRB’s holding company.

Steven Sauer photo

Genesee Regional Bank Chairman of the Board Steven Sauer

E. Philip Saunders photo

E. Philip Saunders, Chairman of the Board for Greater Rochester Bancorp

Genesee Regional Bank (GRB), a locally owned and operated bank specializing in commercial banking, personal banking, and residential mortgage lending, announces that after 23 years in the role, E. Philip Saunders has decided to step down as Chairman of the Board. Saunders will remain a Director of the GRB Board and continue to serve as Chairman of the bank’s holding company, Greater Rochester Bancorp. Longtime GRB board member Steven Sauer has been selected as the bank’s new Chairman. The new roles are effective immediately.

“GRB has enjoyed significant growth since its inception, and we see tremendous opportunity for continued growth in the future. Mr. Saunders’ leadership has shaped GRB from top to bottom. His ability to engage and guide GRB team members and directors has been essential to the bank’s success to date,” said GRB President and CEO Philip L. Pecora. “With Saunders as Chair since 2001, assets have grown from $48 million to $1.1 billion, and the bank has been recognized as one of the best performing community banks in the country—and in 2023, the only bank recognized in New York State—by both S&P Global Market Intelligence and the Independent Community Bankers Association. Bringing Sauer in as the new Chair ensures the continuity and steadfast commitment of our Board of Directors as they support GRB’s focus on delivering exceptional service to our valued clients. Mr. Saunders, who has driven the entrepreneurial spirit of GRB from its beginning, will remain integral in setting the bank’s overall strategic vision.”

E. Philip Saunders

E. Philip Saunders is a business icon in the Greater Rochester region, founding and investing in a wide range of businesses throughout his more than 65-year business career. The CEO of Saunders Management, Saunders’ is known for both his business acumen and philanthropic work. He founded Griffith Energy, Sugar Creek Stores, T/A, and Travel Centers of America, and has made impactful donations to colleges, hospitals, museums, and many other charitable organizations. Saunders has spent a tremendous amount of time mentoring both students and colleagues to help the Greater Rochester community thrive.

When selecting the new Chairperson to lead GRB, Saunders saw in Sauer the qualities needed to guide the bank’s growth while staying true to its mission of serving our local communities.

“Steve has been a valued member of the GRB Board of Directors for almost 20 years. Working with him so closely over the years made it clear that he was the right choice to keep moving the bank – and the Greater Rochester community – in the right direction,” said Saunders. “With Steve’s previous commercial banking experience, you have the perfect blend of business insight and community focus. He represents the dynamic progression that we want for GRB. I look forward to continuing working with him to further GRB’s community banking mission.”

Steven Sauer

Steven Sauer, a member of GRB’s Board of Directors since 2005, brings a broad range of experience to the position of Chairman of the Board at GRB. Sauer began his career in banking as a commercial lender before joining a small business. As COO and then CEO of Business Methods, Inc., Sauer turned the struggling company around and grew it to more than $30 million in revenue before selling it to Toshiba in 2004. Sauer stayed on with Toshiba Business Systems (TBS), holding a variety of regional and sales positions before being named president of TBS in 2020. Last year, Sauer was promoted to the role of Chief Revenue Officer for Toshiba America Business Solutions and is responsible for increasing the company’s revenue and profitability via its U.S. direct and indirect sales channels.

Like Saunders, Sauer has given back to the Rochester community in numerous ways, previously holding Chairman of the Board roles for both Young Entrepreneurs Academy and Unity Health Foundation, and President of the Mental Health Association of Rochester/Monroe County. He’s been recognized as a leader in the Rochester business community throughout his career as Chamber of Commerce “Small Businessperson of the Year,” Rochester Business Journal Forty Under 40 recipient, and Mental Health Association of Rochester/Monroe County “Volunteer of the Year.”

Sauer holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York College at Geneseo. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Education Owner/President Management Program.

“Carrying on the mission of GRB is an extraordinary opportunity. I am grateful to be in a position where I can lead GRB’s Board and continue to help support the local business community,” said Sauer. “Mr. Saunders has always set an example for the GRB Board and its executive leadership. He is an unwavering champion for small business owners. As Chairman of the Board, I plan to follow that path and stay true to GRB’s founding principles.”