Henry Grinbaum is a senior loan officer in Farm Credit East’s Flemington, NJ office. Most (if not all) of my colleagues have heard of or personally know Henry. He is famous for his high energy, his love of working with customers and the success he has built over 35 years working with Farm Credit. I recently spent some time chatting with Henry to learn more about his Farm Credit East career and what drives his passion. Here’s what he had to say.
Jean Gallagher: How did you first discover Farm Credit?
Henry Grinbaum: I knew about Farm Credit because my mother and father were Farm Credit customers since before I was born. They owned a poultry farm in Hunterdon County, NJ. I used to sit at the table when my parents met with George Conard, their loan officer.
JG: Tell me a bit about your career.
HG: I studied ag finance at the Cook College at Rutgers University. My first two years out of college I was an FSA emergency loan officer working in Central Jersey. During my last six months with FSA, I was based in Bridgeton, NJ. Then, I got a call from Farm Credit and was offered a position in Newton, NJ. So at that point, I had worked in 21 counties in New Jersey. In 1989, I began managing both the Newton and Flemington offices. Moving into Flemington meant I had now worked in every New Jersey county. I managed the Newton and Flemington branches for four years until Dave Boone moved to Flemington to manage that office. That gave me the opportunity to move back into lending in 1993 and get more involved in marketing and making large loans – I like that side of the business more than managing a branch.
JG: What are your most memorable experiences with Farm Credit East?
HG: I have a lot of memorable experiences. All of them relate to helping people. For example, I had a customer that sold a farm in New Jersey and bought a farm in another state. I went to their new farm to visit them and they had a plaque that said “this was made possible by Henry Grinbaum” – it felt great to help them like that.
JG: What are you most proud of accomplishing with Farm Credit East?
HG: I’m proud of the respect I’ve earned over the years within New Jersey agriculture. I know a lot of people – I spent almost every night of the week at agricultural events around New Jersey during the early part of my career and you’ll still find me at a lot of events, ag sales and outings. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge. People are always calling to ask for my opinion and advice, this is something you earn by building relationships with people over time. I’m thankful for their relationships and respect.
JG: What is the hardest part of your job?
HG: When I see family issues, like divorce or family members not talking to each other, and I’m trying to work alongside them through that challenge. I see it more today than I did 35 years ago.
JG: Why have you spent 35 years with Farm Credit?
HG: I love it! Do you think if I didn’t love it I would be here so long? You are productive if you love your job. It’s fun and I like seeing results – helping people build their businesses. My portfolio of customers and the entire Farm Credit East team is one big family to me.
JG: What are some words you live by?
HG: Always find ways to help people. Recognize people who have done a good job. We’re all in this together.
JG: What do you like to do when you are not at work?
HG: I spend as much time as I can with my wife and two kids – going to the beach and watching them grow. I really enjoy watching my kids do things – they are involved in everything. I coach all of their sports. I’m involved in all of their activities. I really like our time together. Spending time with family is a top priority. I also like to play basketball, golf and keep active. I have season tickets to Rutgers basketball. I love college basketball.
JG: What is one fun fact people may not know about you?
HG: I have a twin brother, Joe, who has red curly hair and freckles. He owns a liquor store.
JG: Is Joe as talkative as you?
HG: No! He is very quiet, but he is well known and respected in the liquor store business world.
Henry is unique in a lot of ways, but his passion for serving customers and truly helping people rings true across our organization. How has Henry or another Farm Credit East representative helped you and your business? We’d love to hear!