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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.

Sunscreen, Shades and Your Health Savings Account (HSA)

Sunscreen image lower resYou 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.  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.

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating Women of Excellence - Including GRB's Allana Lazeroff

Allana Lazeroff receives Women of Excellence AwardWe 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 logoAllana 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.

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Happy National Small Business Week

Happy National Small Business Week graphicAt 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!

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Vote GRB for 2019 Reader Rankings

Vote Now Reader Rankings graphicIt'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

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GRB Moves Up in 2019 "Best Companies" List

bcg ny 2019 printWe 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!

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You Could be West Coast-bound with GRB and Mastercard

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!

MasterCard Surprises promotional graphicThe 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. 

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

Homebuyer Dream Program logoAs 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.

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GRB COO Allana Lazeroff Featured in "Women in Finance" Article in RBJ

Allana Lazeroff Path to Excellence RBJ front page imageAfter 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

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Cardon Joins GRB as Chief Credit Officer

Randy Cardon SVP and Chief Credit Officer photoGenesee 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.” 

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GRB's Allana Lazeroff Named to 2019 Class of "Women of Excellence"

COO Allana Lazeroff photoPlease join us in congratulating GRB's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Allana Lazeroff on her selection to the 2019 class of Women of Excellence sponsored by the Rochester Business Journal.  

Women excellence 2019 award logoAllana 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. 

According to the RBJ, "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."

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No Phishing Here! ABA and FTC Resource Aims to Help Raise Awareness of Email Fraud

ABA FTC infographicAs phishing becomes a top cyber threat—with losses growing to nearly $30 million in 2017 from $8 million in 2015, according to the FBI—the American Bankers Association and the Federal Trade Commission today released a new infographic highlighting this growing problem.

Accoding to the ABA, phishing scams typically involves emails, texts or calls that come from seemingly trusted sources that attempt to trick victims into clicking a link or handing over personal information. Once a scammer has the information, they can use it to steal the victim’s money, identity or gain access to their computer.

The infographic provides tips for consumers on how to spot potential scams, how to protect themselves against phishing attempts and how to notify the proper authorities. “One of the best ways to combat phishing is to implement multi-factor authentication, which is a second step to verify you are you, like sending a text to your phone with a confirmation code,” said ABA SVP Paul Benda. “We encourage consumers to use MFA for any of their accounts that support it, especially email and financial accounts.”

From the ABA Foundation web site:  https://bankingjournal.aba.com/2019/03/aba-foundation-ftc-release-infographic-on-phishing-threat/ 

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GRB Leaders Featured on Podcast Discussing Small Business, Community Commitment

Blood Sweat and Tim podcast landing page logoIf you have not had a chance to catch the recent podcast featuring GRB Founder and Chairman E. Philip Saunders and GRB President and CEO Philip Pecora, you need to grab 45 minutes and do so!  Such great stories about the roots of their personal and professional commitment to the local small business community, and what we can all do to help the Rochester community grow and prosper. 

Listen to the podcast.

"I've had many people that we've done business with (at the bank) that come to me and have actually thanked me.  You did more than just become my banker...you've really helped me see my business in a different light.  They've looked at us...like we've really helped them evolve into something else.  That makes you feel good."  

- E Philip Saunders

"As a bank, we believe in entrepreneurs."

- Philip Pecora

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Give Your Employees More Benefits with GRB

Employee benefits from GRB graphicGRB is pleased to offer our commercial business owners the opportunity to offer their employees a number of discounts on retail and mortgage banking services. 

Our resident affinity banking specialist Laura Smith come to your place of business and help your employees learn about the additional products, services and discounts available to them through your business banking relationship with GRB. 

GRB can provide your employees with:

  • Free financial education workshops
  • Discounts on residential mortgage closing costs
  • No-fee Health Savings Accounts
  • Interest-bearing checking accounts
  • And much more...

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see how you can work together to offer your employees additional benefits. 

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Ribbon-cutting Marks Official Opening of Re-located Greece Branch

Photo of guests cutting the ribbon in Greece BranchGenesee Regional Bank held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the re-located Greece Branch on Friday, Feb. 15.  With more space and additional features for our customers, we are pleased to be adding to our footprint in the Town of Greece.  We were pleased to have a number of customers, associates and special guiests available to help us celebrate.  Thank you to the following for sharing in this wonderfuil event:

  • Sarah Lentini, our co-host and President and CEO of the Greece Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Joseph Robach, New York State Senator for the 56th District
  • Jeff Adair, Chief Economic Development Officer for Monroe County
  • Andy Conlon, Receiver of Taxes for the Town of Greece, representing Supervisor Bill Reilich
  • Kevin Donohue, Director of Membership for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Stop by and visit us the next time you are in the area.  

Greece Branch

4180 West Ridge Road

Rochester, NY  14626

See our social media channels for additional photos!

 

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GRB Named to "Best Companies" List for 2019

Best Companies Award Logo - 2019GRB is proud to announce that it has been recognized as one of the "Best Companies to Work for in New York 2019" by the NYS chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in the small/medium size category. The 2019 award marks GRB's sixth year on the "Best Companies" list.

Rankings in the annual program are chosen based on employee responses to the engagement and satisfaction survey, as well as the employer-provided benefits and policies questionnaire. The results are analyzed based on eight core focus areas:

  1. Leadership and Planning
  2. Corporate Culture and Communications
  3. Role Satisfaction
  4. Work Environment
  5. Relationship with Supervisor
  6. Training, Development and Resources
  7. Pay and Benefits
  8. Overall Engagement

It is no small feat to appear on this list year after year. So, to the members of the GRB team, a sincere thank you!

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New Greece Branch Up and Running!

GRB is excited to share the news that its new Greece branch location is ready to serve you better!  As of Monday, Jan. 28, the Greece Branch is located at:

Inside picture of the new Greece Branch4180 West Ridge Road

Just west of Kohl's in The Shops at Hampton Ridge Plaza

We are pleased the new location will offer a number of significant benefits for our customers, including:

  • Two Drive-up Teller Lanes
  • 24/7 Drive-up Night Depository
  • 24/7 ATM in Vestibule
  • Offices for Added Privacy
  • Easier In and Out, Ample Parking

"GRB has experienced substantial growth in its retail, mortgage and commercial lines of business," said Paul Keenan, Senior Vice President and Retail Banking Manager.  "Our new location provides added convenience for our current customers and offers additional space so we can continue to grow all three lines of business."

We will be conducting an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15. 

 

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January Fundraising for Veterans

Veterans Outreach Center logoGRB Mortgage is pleased to announce it is sponsoring a fundraiser to benefit our local service men and women. GRB's Mortgage Team is offering free appraisals on VA loans and will donate $25 for every residential mortgage application taken throughout the monh of January 2019 to the Veterans Outreach Center (VOC).

For those of you who may not be familiar with VOC, the organization was established in 1973 and provides comprehensive resources to current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families through direct service, community collaboration and advocacy. This includes providing a wide range of services such as benefits counseling, job training and placement, mentoring, legal resources, therapy services, housing assistance and much more.

You can learn more about VOC and follow their efforts at www.vocroc.org.

 If you are interested in a VA loan or any other residential mortgage option, talk to our mortgage team.

Spread the word and we thank you in advance for your support of our local service men and women.

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Greece Branch Moving to Serve You Better

GRB is excited to share the news that it will be relocating its Greece branch, currently located at 2300 West Ridge Road, just a little further west to a larger location at:

Photo of new Greece location4180 West Ridge Road

Just west of Kohl's in The Shops at Hampton Ridge Plaza

The new branch will officially open for business on Monday, January 28 at 8:55 a.m.  We are pleased the new location will offer a number of significant benefits for our customers, including:

  • Two Drive-up Teller Lanes
  • 24/7 Drive-up Night Depository
  • 24/7 ATM in Vestibule
  • Offices for Added Privacy
  • Easier In and Out, Ample Parking

"GRB has experienced substantial growth in its retail, mortgage and commercial lines of business," said Paul Keenan, Senior Vice President and Retail Banking Manager.  "Our new location provides added convenience for our current customers and offers additional space so we can continue to grow all three lines of business."

PLEASE NOTE:  In preparation for the move, the current Greece Branch will close at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25.  

 

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Your GRB Mastercard Could Take You to Hawaii

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!

MasterCard Surprises promotional graphicThe grand prize winner can select one of the following amazing destinations:

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

Beginning Jan. 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 March 31, 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. 

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E. Philip Saunders Selected as ICON Honors Recipient

E. Philip Saunders Receives ICON HonorCelebrating the selection of GRB's Co-founder and Chairman of the Board E. Philip Saunders to the ICON Honors class of 2018! The ICON Honors awards recognize Greater Rochester Area business leaders over the age of 60 for their notable success and demonstration of strong leadership both within and outside of their chosen field.

Mr. Saunders is the founder of a number of notable companies including 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.

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