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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.

Staying Safe when Shopping Online

For more details on GRB's text-based fraud prevention serviceWith the holiday season in full swing, many consumers will find themselves shopping online.  Stay safe with these suggestions from the Federal Trade Commission:

Get the Details

Know who you're dealing with.

Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name. Confirm the online seller's physical address and phone number in case you have questions or problems. And if you get an email or pop-up message that asks for your financial information while you’re browsing, don't reply or follow the link. Legitimate companies don't ask for information that way.

Know what you're buying.

Read the seller's description of the product closely, especially the fine print. Words like "refurbished," "vintage," or "close-out" may indicate that the product is in less-than-mint condition, while name-brand items with bargain basement prices could be counterfeits.

Know what it will cost.

Check out websites that offer price comparisons and then compare "apples to apples." Factor shipping and handling into the total cost of your purchase. Do not send cash or money transfers under any circumstances.

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GRB CFO Gary Schwingel Joins Mary Cariola Board of Directors

GRB CFO Gary Schwingel Joins Mary Cariola Board of Directors

photo of GRB CFO Gary SchwingelMary Cariola Children’s Center serves children with multiple, complex disabilities; public and private schools aren’t able to accommodate these children. It was founded in 1949 by Mrs. Mary A. Cariola, along with parents and friends of children with significant disabilities. Over the years, the Center has evolved from a day care to a nationally renowned agency that strategically maps out a customized plan—clinically and educationally—for every child who walks through its doors. For more information on the agency, go to the Mary Cariola Web site.

Congratulations, Gary!

Mary Cariola Children's Center logo

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Same Day ACH Phase 1 Begins September 23

Same Day ACH Phase 1 Begins September 23

NACHA Describes Advantages of Same Day ACH On Sept. 23, 2016, the banking industry will introduce a new faster electronic payment option for eligible transactions known as Same Day ACH or “SDA”. Introduced by the National Automated Clearinghouse Association (NACHA), this change will enable ACH Originators to send eligible transactions to settle on the same day as initiation.

In order to make the adoption of this new option as smooth as possible financial institutions, including GRB, will be rolling out this new capability in three phases:

  • Phase 1 will be effective on Sept. 23, 2016. It requires all institutions to receive eligible Same Day ACH payments. Offering origination of Same Day ACH transactions will be optional for all institutions.
  • Phase 2 will become effective on Sept. 15, 2017. It will add the availability of processing eligible Same Day ACH debit transactions.
  • Phase 3 will be effective on March 16, 2018 and will require institutions to post Same Day ACH transactions by 5p.m. local time.

There will be no additional charge to receive a Same Day ACH transaction and no impact to traditional ACH transactions, as they will continue to settle within the normal 1-2 day timeframes.

Unfortunately, international transactions and transactions above $25,000 will not be eligible for same day processing. Initially, only credit files will be eligible until the implementation of phase 2. Phase 2 will include debit transaction processing.

To find out more, please view our FAQ.

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GRB on Point with Online & Mobile Banking Trends, Announces Enhancements to Mobile App

GRB on Point with Online & Mobile Banking Trends, Announces Enhancements to Mobile App

New GRBmobile app features available

Online and mobile banking are now the most preferred forms of banking, with more than half of all Americans managing their accounts online, according to recent survey results released by the American Bankers Association (ABA). GRB is pleased to note that it is following this trend closely and has introduced additional enhancements to its GRBmobile App for Android and iOS.

In the ABA's annual survey, online banking with a computer or tablet came in at 55% and mobile devices registered 18% when respondents were asked, "Which method do you use most often to manage your bank account(s)?" The boost in mobile use was a full 6 points over the previous year's survey. Account Management Preferences from the ABA's 2016 survey

“More people are walking around today with their mobile device in hand, and banks have made it easier than ever for them to access their accounts anytime and anywhere,” said ABA SVP Nessa Feddis. “It’s no surprise that millennials and other digital natives are embracing the convenience of technology to conduct quick transactions. Mobile banking is also a helpful real-time option for those who have a smartphone but not a computer.”

The chart at the right provides an overview of the ABA's survey results.

“The old adage of ‘be where they are’ rings true with banking,” said Feddis. “People like options, and today’s banks offer a diverse menu of banking methods to meet the needs and preferences of their customers."

GRB is actively adding new features and capabilities to its online and mobile banking solutions. The most recent enhancements to the GRBmobile App include a number of usability and security features such as:

  • Touch ID for iOS
  • Viewing Check and Deposit images
  • Viewing statements in GRBmobile Deposit
  • Customer-initiated password change
  • And more...

To find out more about the latest updates to GRBmobile, view the GRBmobile Enhancement Guide. For more information on the survey, go to the ABA Web site.

To view a PDF file, download Acrobat Reader.

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GRB Mortgage Raises Awareness and Funds for Veterans Outreach Center

GRB Mortgage Raises Awareness and Funds for Veterans Outreach Center

GRB's Executive team presents $3,100 to the VOC's Todd Baxter

Capping off a month-long fundraising effort, the GRB Mortgage team was pleased to present a check for $3,100 to Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) Executive Director Todd Baxter. GRB Mortgage donated $25 to the VOC for each mortgage application submitted during the month of July.

"Real money doing real things for our veterans," said Baxter as he accepted the check. "Thank you for your efforts and for just helping us raise awareness."

Raising awareness of the struggles our local veterans face is an ongoing mission for the VOC. Veterans who reach out to the VOC often need a wide range of critical services including benefits counseling, therapy, housing, job training and more.

Baxter noted that last year the VOC helped more than 1,000 veterans and worked with local employers to place more than 400 in good-paying jobs.

"We also run a shelter with 28 beds for homeless veterans," said Baxter. "It's always full."

Each year, the GRB Mortgage team helps dozens of veterans purchase homes through Veterans Administration loans. But for those struggling with the transition when they come home, more assistance is often necessary. The VOC's programs and services are all available to veterans free of cost.

Photo of GRB employees participating in the ceremony presenting the check to the Veterans Outreach Center.

"This is an amazing thing we've done," said Jacqueline Sloan, a GRB Mortgage Sales Assistant and the wife of an active duty soldier.

Thank you to the GRB Mortgage team for their efforts in making the VOC fundraiser a success. Congratulations, team!

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GRB President and CEO Phil Pecora Appointed Chairman of McQuaid Jesuit's Board of Trustees

GRB President and CEO Phil Pecora Appointed Chairman of McQuaid Jesuit's Board of Trustees

Photo of Mr. Pecora GRB is proud to announce the appointment of President and CEO Phil Pecora to the position of Chairman of the McQuaid Jesuit Board of Trustees.

Pecora, a 1988 graduate ofMcQuaid Jesuit,joined the school's Board of Trustees in 2008 and has served in a variety of roles including as a member of the Executive Committee, a position he will continue to hold.

“[Phil Pecora's] personal experience and commitment will infuse a leadership that will guide McQuaid Jesuit into the next phase of its history,” says McQuaid Jesuit President, Rev. Robert E. Reiser, S.J.

McQuaid Jesuit’s Board of Trustees has 26 members along with four honorary members.

More on the announcement from McQuaid Jesuit.

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GRB Sponsoring Fundraiser for Veterans Outreach Center in July

GRB Sponsoring Fundraiser for Veterans Outreach Center in July

Organization logo for the VOC GRB Mortgage is pleased to announce it is sponsoring a fundraiser to benefit our local service men and women. The celebration of our country's freedom on July 4 is a great time to remember how many people have made sacrifices so that we can all continue to enjoy that freedom. To honor them, GRB Mortgage will donate $25 for every residential mortgage application taken in the month of July 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.

There are a number of great success stories featured on the organization's Web site. You can learn more about VOC and follow their efforts on their Web site at, on Twitter @VOCROC and on Facebook @vocroc1973. Also, look for VOC at the July 4 Red Wings games!

Check back on the GRB home page at throughout the month of July to see our fundraising progress! If you are interested in a purchase or refinance, 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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June is National Homeownership Month -- Dare to Own the Dream

June is National Homeownership Month -- Dare to Own the Dream

Logo released to acknowledge National Homeownership MonthOwning a home is a source of pride for an individual and creates stability and a sense of community. As we observe National Homeownership Month this June, it is crucial that the dream of home ownership remain an area of focus.

According to a White House proclamation issued in support of National Home Ownership Month, "During National Homeownership Month, we recommit to ensuring more of our people can reach for this fundamental piece of the American dream...This month’s theme, 'Dare to Own the Dream,' emphasizes the importance of ensuring borrowers have the ability to purchase a home that serves them and their families well."

At GRB, we believe in the dream. We participate in a number of residential lending programs designed to assist buyers in finding financing options that meet their needs:

  • Our First Home Club program provides a savings program for qualified borrowers that helps accumulate the funds for a downpayment with matching grants and provides education sessions so buyers learn more about the basics of home ownership.
  • We also work with the University of Rochester to provide matching funds as part of its University Home Ownership Incentive Program for U of R employees purchasing homes in the vicinity of the River Campus and Medical Center.
  • GRB also provides government-backed loan options including FHA (low downpayment), VA (active-duty military and veterans) and USDA (rural home purchases). These options put home ownership in reach for more people.

At GRB we are pleased to assist those who "Dare to Own the Dream." Visit GRB Mortgage for more information or call us at 585.427.9200.

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New GRB Headquarters Reflects Growth, Focus on Personal Touch

RBJ article pageWe are pleased to be featured in today's edition of the Rochester Business Journal in an article discussing the move to our new headquarters. The article traces GRB's growth from just 17 employees 13 years ago to more than 100 today. That growth could not have occurred without the dedication of our employees, partners and clients.

Even though banking transactions are increasingly conducted online, it is the relationship that remains critical for GRB and its clients.

"This is a relationship business, and as we hold loans we grow relationships and that has a snowball effect," said GRB President and CEO Phil Pecora in the RBJ article.

Andrew Carpentier, president and owner of Rochester Magnet and a GRB client for six years, also reinforced the importance of the relationship in banking.

"It's the personal touch," Carpentier added. "They know our business inside and we're not some foreign entity to them or lost like you would be in a big bank."

We are thrilled to be in our new location and we look forward to continued growth as we help local businesses leverage new opportunities, help homebuyers establish roots in our community, and help individuals and families secure their financial future.

Thank you, Rochester!

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Thank You to Our Employees: GRB Named to "Best Companies" List for 2016

Click on this link to see the GRB feature in the Best Companies programGRB is proud to announce that it has been recognized as one of the "Best Companies to Work for in New York 2016" by the NYS chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). This year, we ranked 15 out of 45 in the small/medium size category, up one place from last year. The 2016 award marks our fourth year on the "Best Companies" list.

See the GRB feature in the Best Companies program:

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. This award is a testament to your ability to work together, provide our clients with stellar service, and help each other meet and exceed goals. You are The Best!

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GRB is on the Move, Just in Time to Celebrate National Small Business Week

Logo recognizing National Small Business Week May 1-7 2016 featuring the hashtag DreamSmallBizIn a carefully executed plan involving no fewer than a million moving parts, GRB completed the move to its new corporate headquarters last weekend. We are up and running from our new location at 1850 South Winton Road in Brighton, just off I-590, and just in time to celebrate National Small Business Week (NSBW).

Sponsored by the Small Business Administration, NSBW celebrates the small businesses that create "nearly two-thirds of net new jobs in the U.S. and employ more than half of all Americans." As a small business ourselves, this is what makes the move to our new headquarters so exciting. Our move means that our clients and partners here in the Rochester region are growing, too.

So, happy National Small Business Week to our clients, partners and all Rochester small businesses! You took a leap of faith and made your business dreams come true. You have grown, expanded your services and helped make the Rochester community a dynamic place to live, raise a family and do business. Your innovative spirit and hard work inspire us every day at GRB. Congratulations!

For more information on the SBA's NSBW celebration, go to

And if you're in our new Winton Road neighborhood, stop by and visit us!

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RIT Features GRB's Robert Everhart in Article about Executive MBA Candidates Helping Local Business

Click here to go to the Rochester Institute of Technology Web site featuring the full article on graduate and GRB Mortgage Originator Robert Everhart Our local colleges serve as a remarkable resource for area businesses.

If you have any doubt about that, just ask Vance Metal Fabricators of Geneva, N.Y. Vance began working with Rochester Institute of Technology Executive MBA program candidate and GRB Mortgage Originator Robb Everhart to assess the company's plans for expanding their product line in the brewing industry.

In a recent RIT feature article, the Executive MBA Capstone project submitted by Robb and "Team 3" advised Vance to forego becoming a "turn-key brew-house system" supplier and remain focused on the stainless steel fermenting and storage tanks for which the company was already well known. The key to the team's recommendation was research that pointed to the craft brewing industry already nearing its growth peak and comprehensive analysis of the added effort needed for Vance to expand its capabilities and produce a turn-key brewing solution.

"The RIT team was great to work with and saved us lots of missteps and pitfalls," noted Vance Marketing Manager Pat Farrington in the article.

Enterprises throughout the Rochester community regularly tap into the creative and strategic drive that students can bring to the table in the form of research projects and internships as they complete their coursework. As a community bank we see the future success of each and every local business as vital to the ongoing success of our community, so we remain committed to supporting our local education institutions -- and matriculating employees.

We congratulate Robb on the completion of his Executive MBA and for being one of the reasons we continue to see dynamic growth in the Rochester business community.

Get the complete RIT article:

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Survey Finds Small Banks are Lender of Choice for Small Businesses

Survey Finds Small Banks are Lender of Choice for Small Businesses

Click here to see the rest of the Federal Reserve survey data and a great video from the Federal Reserve's survey director, Claire Kramer Mills. This month, the Federal Reserve Banks released the 2015 "Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms," an annual survey of small businesses designed to provide insight into lending trends and track the needs of the small-business credit market. Key findings in this year's survey include:

  • Small banks are the lender of choice - Banks and lenders are the dominant advisory and credit channel. Firms that applied to small banks were the most successful and most satisfied with their borrowing experience. Small banks extended at least some of the financing requested to 76 percent of applicants. Large banks approved just 58 percent of applicants.
  • Half of applicants received all the credit sought - 47 percent of respondents reported they had applied for financing in the past 12 months prior to the survey. Of these, 50 percent were approved for the full amount requested.
  • Cash flow was the top business challenge for small firms - Almost 22 percent of small businesses reported cash flow as their top challenge (beating out even government regs and taxes).
  • Online lenders are a common source of financing, but satisfaction levels are lowest - Overall, 20 percent of employer firms applied with an online lender. Among credit sources, online lenders had the second highest rate of approval at 71 percent, though approved firms were generally not very satisfied with their experience. In particular, these firms cited concerns with interest rates and unfavorable repayment terms.

As a small business itself, GRB understands these challenges and provides deposit and credit solutions to help the next generation of businesses in the Rochester community grow and succeed. Call us and find out how GRB can help!

Hats off to the Federal Reserve for understanding the importance of the small business community. This survey is an important benchmark for lenders and business owners alike. See the rest of the Federal Reserve survey data. There's even a great video from the Federal Reserve's survey director, Claire Kramer Mills.

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GRB is Moving: Hours and Location Update

We are pleased to announce that as of May 2 Genesee Regional Bank will have completed the move to its new headquarters location at:

1850 South Winton Road

Rochester, NY 14618

We are planning the move over a weekend to minimize impact to our customers, but we are going to have shortened hours on Friday, April 29, with all locations closing at 3 p.m. This is the final day of business at 190 Linden Oaks. The shortened hours on April 29 will also mean we will be unable to process transactions that require manual review or approvals (i.e. wire transfers) during this time period. Please work with your GRB representatives to make arrangements for any needs you may have. You will still be able to access your online accounts.

Branch operations will resume regular hours on Monday, May 2 and the new headquarters location will be ready to serve you on Monday morning as well. We look forward to providing additional services at South Winton Road and will have a state-of-the-art ATM at that location that accepts multiple checks/bills.

Thank you for your understanding as we make these changes to serve you better. If you have any questions, please contact us at 585-249-1540.

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GRB Named one of Rochester's Top Workplaces for Second Year in a Row

GRB Named one of Rochester's Top Workplaces for Second Year in a Row

Photo of the GRB team attending the Top Workplaces awards ceremony GRB is pleased to once again be named one of Rochester’s “Top Workplaces.” So, first order of the day, a big “thank you” to the employees, partners and customers who helped make this happen for us. As a community bank, you are all an integral part of our success. Thank you.

We also want to say “congratulations” to the many GRB customers and partners who are also on this year's Top Workplaces list. We are proud to work with you.

Finally, we take a significant amount of interest in this annual survey not only because it highlights local companies, but also because it provides valuable insight into what means the most to employees. A quick summary of points from this year’s survey:

Feeling genuinely appreciated was the single most important factor when evaluating their workplaces (70 percent)

Believing that the company is going in the right direction (68 percent)

Feeling like they are a part of something meaningful (66 percent)

Having confidence in the leader of the company (64 percent)

Feeling that the company enables its workers to operate at their full potential (64 percent)

It is our goal to make sure we create a culture at GRB that continues to build on these critical traits. There are so many opportunities for us to keep growing and helping the Rochester community with business banking, personal banking and residential mortgage needs. We are just getting started!

Thank you again to our employees, customers and partners for their support. You are all “Tops!”

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Home Mortgage Interest Rates are Dropping: Take Advantage of the Trend by Refinancing

Home Mortgage Interest Rates are Dropping: Take Advantage of the Trend by Refinancing

Image with text:  Refinance Your Mortgage

Since the beginning of 2016, rates have been trending down across the board for all major loan types: 30-year conventional fixed, 15-year fixed and even 5-year adjustable rate mortgage options.

Global economic weakness may be negatively impacting your stocks and other investments, but it’s also fueling lower home mortgage rates. Now is the time to invest in your home!

For new buyers, this could mean an exceptionally hot spring housing market. But for anyone with an existing home mortgage, the news is particularly good. When rates drop significantly, it’s a prime opportunity to consider refinancing your current home mortgage.

So why refinance? Lots of reasons.

Refinancing can lower your monthly mortgage payment, lower the interest you pay over the life of the loan, allow you to convert an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate or even take some cash out to make home improvements.

The best part, it’s easy to find out whether refinancing makes sense for you. See the Refinance calculator on our Web site for a quick review. If it looks like a refinance may make sense for you, contact one of our qualified mortgage originators at GRB Mortgage at (585) 427-9200.

Refinance and you can start 2016 off in a stronger financial position! But don’t delay…interest rates can be volatile. Call today!

Why Refinance Your Mortgage

  • Lower your monthly payment
  • Lower the amount of interest owed over the life of your loan
  • Convert an adjustable rate mortgage to one with a fixed rate
  • Take cash out of the equity on your home for improvements or other investments
  • Eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
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GRB Announces Officer Promotion

We are pleased to introduce our newest GRB officer: David Cushman, who has been promoted to Assistant Vice President.  Congratulations, Dave!

Dave Cushman headshot 

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Consumer Alert: Scam Using the NYS Department of Financial Services' Name

NYS Department of Financial Services logoThe Department of Financial Services (DFS) has been notified of a scam in which a fraudster calls a consumer regarding a bank or credit union “case” being “prosecuted” by DFS against the consumer. The fraudster identifies himself as either being from DFS or the Inspector General’s Office, and requests personal information from the consumer.

These calls are fraudulent. DFS is not making these calls to consumers. DFS is also not asking other agencies to make these calls to consumers. DFS does not prosecute court cases against consumers and does not represent banks or credit unions. If you receive a call of the type described in this Alert, do not provide any personal information to the caller. This is a scam. The fraudster is attempting to obtain your personal information to gain access to your money or for other fraudulent purposes.

DFS accepts complaints about scams involving a financial product or service. To file a complaint, visit their website at, or contact their Consumer Hotline at (800) 342-3736.

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GRB Participating in University of Rochester Benefits Program Encouraging City Home Ownership

University of Rochester logoWe are pleased to announce that GRB will begin offering funding to University of Rochester employees who are eligible for the University Home Ownership Incentive Program, a benefits program aimed at encouraging regular full-time and part-time faculty and staff members to purchase a primary residence in the city neighborhoods closest to the university’s River Campus and Medical Center.

The University Home Ownership Incentive Program offers eligible buyers $3,000 each from the University of Rochester, the City of Rochester and a participating bank or credit union, for a total of $9,000 in incentives for purchasing a home in sectors 4 and 6, encompassing primarily the 19th Ward and Plymouth-Exchange on the west side and Highland Park and the South Wedge on the east side. GRB funds may be used toward closing costs or interest rate buy-down. More than 350 homes have been purchased through the University Home Ownership Incentive Program since it was launched in 2008.

“Our mission has always been to help grow Rochester, and this program offers an opportunity to help fulfill that with our partners at the University of Rochester and the City of Rochester,” said Phil Pecora, president and CEO of GRB. “Home ownership provides an important foundation for our community and we are pleased to be involved in a program that helps develop stronger roots in these historic city neighborhoods.

“I’m extremely pleased that the University Home Ownership Incentive Program is growing with the addition of Genesee Regional Bank,” said Holly Crawford, University senior vice president for administration and finance and CFO. “Since the program’s founding in 2008, more than $1 million in financial incentives have helped University of Rochester regular full-time and part-time faculty and staff achieve the dream of homeownership in our nearby historic 19th Ward and South Wedge city neighborhoods, with more than 350 mortgages supported.”

University of Rochester employees interested in participating in this benefits program must contact the Benefits Office at 585-275-0476 before they apply for a loan. Click for more information on the University Home Ownership Incentive Program.

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GRB Featured in Rochester Business Journal

picture of Phil PecoraGRB President and CEO Phil Pecora and CFO Gary Schwingel were featured in the Rochester Business Journal's Jan. 15 issue. As part of the Rochester Top 100 profile, the article notes GRB's steady growth and focus on building Rochester business, as well as discussing our success with the recent move into residential mortgage lending. Thank you to all our clients and employees!

See a PDF of the article.

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