President and CEO, Genesee Regional Bank
Years in current role: 18
What was your biggest success in 2021?
The accomplishment I am most drawn to is our organization’s ability to respond to the needs of our community and our customers. Last year was a roller coaster ride with continued uncertainties from the prolonged pandemic, however our team at GRB really stayed focused on the task at hand. We continued to outsize ourselves in processing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans which led to a record number of new client conversions. On the consumer side, we originated a record number of purchase mortgages and home equity lines of credit, enabling thousands of families in our community to purchase a new home or improve their existing ones. We accelerated GRB’s growth in the most challenging of times by staying focused on doing the right thing for our clients – their success breeds our success.
What are your expectations for 2022?
My expectation is more of the same positive momentum for GRB as we remain focused on serving the banking needs of the community – with a twist. The twist comes with the need to confront a different set of challenges than we faced through the pandemic, namely rising inflation and higher interest rates. But those challenges will not change who we are or what we do as a community bank. While housing demand will likely recede with rising rates, people will still buy homes and improve them. GRB will simply need to capture a higher percentage of less volume to maintain momentum. In commercial banking, we are moving beyond emergency mode and getting back to business as usual. With prudent management, local businesses navigated the pandemic very well and are poised to grow. GRB is here to assist!
What is your biggest takeaway from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?
My biggest takeaway from dealing with the pandemic over the past two years (and counting!) is how resilient and nimble our society is. Technology is certainly a huge enabler, however it’s people who make things happen. During the pandemic, people and organizations did a remarkable job adapting quickly while making transformative changes on how we go about our lives. Despite the parade of challenges that keep coming at us, we have held it together very well.