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Bret Garwood

CEO, Home Leasing

Years in current role: 5

What was your biggest success in 2021?

At Home Leasing, despite the many challenges during these difficult times, we completed more housing projects than in any prior year, including communities in Batavia, Schenectady, Penfield, Syracuse, and Rochester. Home Leasing and Home Leasing Construction also successfully renewed as Certified Benefit Corporations (B Corp). B Corps are for-profit companies that meet high standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

What are your expectations for 2022?

2022 will bring a combination of excitement and difficulty. When we entered the pandemic two years ago there was a lot of stress and hardship, but there was also a great sense of comradery where everyone was supportive and helpful. Exiting the pandemic will be more difficult than adjusting to its onset given widespread exhaustion and frustration. But I am hopeful that reopening will bring relief and a renewed sense of community.

What is your biggest takeaway from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?

I have learned to slow down a little and listen a lot more. I have recognized how varied the impact of the pandemic has been on households and try to appreciate the employees who stood with us the whole way through the pandemic.

What is your favorite thing about the Rochester community?

I moved to Rochester after finishing college to start my first job here at The Housing Council. Rochester can provide fantastic opportunities for young people who did not grow up here and I am very grateful to the community.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2022. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at


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