Message from the President: Employee Retention Credit (ERC) Scams are on the rise.

Recently, the number of scams has increased involving the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), a refundable tax credit for some businesses and tax-exempt organizations that were affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scammers are using the publicly available information of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applicants to contact by them by phone, letter, email, and texts offering  to obtain the ERC on their behalf. However, the only way to file for the ERC is on a federal employment tax return. Any solicitation by a third party to file for ERC on someone’s behalf results in potentially stealing someone’s identity, charging exorbitant fees by “helping” the business when they may not qualify, and the business could incur possible tax penalties for improperly claimed tax credit.

We want to assure our customers that Sawyer Savings Bank:

  • does not sell your personal information to third parties
  • will not contact you to ask to file ERC applications on your behalf

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at (888) 772-1871 or contact your tax preparer/accountant for more details. For additional information about the Employee Retention Credit and possible scams, visit the website page provided by the IRS:

For more helpful tips on staying safe from scams and protecting your personal information, please visit the Safety and Security section on our website by clicking here.

Thank you for your continued support.

James Whitaker, President
James Whitaker, President

Sawyer Savings Bank Announces promotion of Jennifer Alnwick to Vice President, Commercial Lending

Jennifer Alnwick, VP Commercial Lending
Jennifer Alnwick, VP Commercial Lending

Sawyer Savings Bank is pleased to announce that Jennifer Alnwick has recently been promoted to the position of Vice President, Commercial Lending.

“Jennifer has been an important asset for our team since she joined Sawyer Savings Bank,” said James Whitaker, President. “Working with her over the last year, I’ve developed tremendous respect and trust for her judgment, professionalism, and ability to build and grow the Bank’s commercial lending capabilities. She has proven to be a dynamic leader and in this new role, she will expand upon the excellent work she’s already done shaping the future of lending at our bank.”

Jennifer joined Sawyer Savings as Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer in 2022.  She has over 25 years of experience in business banking and commercial lending. In her new role, Jennifer will be responsible for overseeing commercial lending opportunities as well as developing business banking relationships with local businesses in the Hudson Valley.

“I look forward to continuing the legacy we’ve created and our mission of making a difference in the communities we serve through strategic growth and innovation of our lending programs,” said Ms Alnwick. “ I am excited about the opportunity to build on the already strong foundation that Sawyer Savings Bank has with the businesses in the Hudson Valley and help both the bank and the clients we serve continue to grow and succeed.”

Ms Alnwick, who earned a Master’s Degree from Marist College, is an active member of the community. She serves on the board of directors for the Ulster County Chamber Foundation, a graduate of Ulster Leadership Institute, and a 2023 Honoree of the Ulster United Way’s Annual Celebration of HOPE award. Jennifer lives in Hyde Park with her husband and four children.

Her office is located at 85 Market Street, Saugerties, NY and she can be reached at 845-217-6051 or

Sawyer Savings Bank Promotes Jennifer Gutheil-Denier, CFMP to Senior Vice President

Jennifer Gutheil-Denier, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, and Customer Experience Officer
Jennifer Gutheil-Denier, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chief Experience Officer

Sawyer Savings Bank is pleased to announce that Jennifer Gutheil-Denier has been promoted to the Senior Management team as Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chief Experience Officer. With over two decades of experience in the banking and financial services industry, Jenn has been employed with Sawyer Savings Bank since 2009 where she has previously held the positions of AVP Branch Manager and VP Customer Experience Officer.

“Jenn has played an instrumental role in leading our strategic direction, brand evolution and product management,” said James Whitaker, President. “Her wealth of banking knowledge, extensive marketing experience, paired with her tireless efforts to drive customer experience, innovation, and collaboration made her promotion a natural fit for this critical senior management position.”

In this new role, Ms. Gutheil-Denier will develop a holistic growth strategy for the bank through leveraging customer insights, data analytics, and industry metrics and evaluate banking products and services to create a positive customer experience. She will also oversee market expansion strategies, product and digital initiatives, monitoring and communicating consistent brand deployment, and loan service activities. Jenn will continue to coordinate top-level branch operations and manage the Marketing Division.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead Sawyer Savings Bank’s strategic marketing initiatives,” said Gutheil-Denier. “I know our team will work diligently to support growth efforts by understanding our customers’ needs, creating transformational experiences, and identifying where we are poised for growth now and into the future.”

Jenn Gutheil-Denier is a graduate of Saugerties High School, SUNY Ulster, Ulster Leadership Development Institute (ULDI), and the American Bankers Association (ABA) School of Bank Marketing and Management with the CFMP designation. Jenn is an active member of the community and has previously been involved with local not for profits organizations such as Junior League of Kingston, the Saugerties Chamber of Commerce, Grant D Morse PTA, Saugerties Jr/Sr High School PTSA as well as other Saugerties Central School District community committees. She currently serves as Secretary for Sawyer Savings Charitable Foundation, a current member of Saugerties American Legion Ladies Auxiliary and the committee for the Dutchess/Ulster County Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Ms. Gutheil-Denier resides in Saugerties with her husband and can be seen supporting and cheering on her two children at their various sporting events.

Sawyer Savings Bank Welcomes New Branch Manager to Highland

Clifford Johnson
Clifton Johnson, Highland Branch Manager

Sawyer Savings Bank is pleased to announce new leadership at its Highland branch. Clifton Johnson has joined the bank as the new branch manager. In his new role, Johnson will be responsible for maintaining the performance of the branch, providing leadership and supervision to staff, and enhancing the customer experience by building relationships and offering personalized financial solutions for individuals, businesses, and families.

“We’re thrilled to have Clif bring his valuable customer service experience and leadership skills to our Highland branch and the community,” said Jenn Guthiel-Denier, Sawyer Savings Bank’s CXO & CMO. “Clif brings years of experience to Sawyer Savings Bank, and has demonstrated the ability to make a positive impact, a passion for relating to the needs of each customer, and inspiring his team to approach their roles in the same way.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Sawyer Savings Bank team and serve the Highland community,” said Johnson. “Sawyer Savings emphasizes the customer-first experience and the human component of banking. As someone passionate about being involved in community organizations and helping people through all stages of life, this is a perfect fit for my professional background and personal interests.”

Clif attended New York University with a concentration in Finance, and won an “Outstanding Service & Dedication” award in his last role at Citigroup.  Active in the community, Johnson currently serves as a Coach, Board Member and Treasurer for Highland Youth Football & Cheer; a member of the Highland Business Association; St. Augustine CYO; and Marlboro Youth basketball. In his free time, Johnson loves spending time cooking with his wife Yakima and their son Jaxson, and entertaining his family and friends.

A message from the president

Dear Valued Sawyer Savings Bank Customers,

Sawyer Savings Bank has been monitoring very closely the situation unfolding with Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank. Our operations are distinctly different than SVB and Signature Bank, making our financial health more resistant to volatility. We are a community bank with a capital position double the amount required by financial regulators.  Sawyer Savings manages its finances and risk in a more traditional and conservative manner keeping your deposits safe.

As a community bank:

  • Sawyer Savings Bank remains well-capitalized and well-positioned to continue to serve our customers and community.  We were chartered over 150 years ago and expect to serve this community for generations to come.
  • You have access to our experienced team, and we stand ready to assist you with any of your questions or concerns.
  • We take pride in our relationship-based business model that focuses on building long-term trust with our customers. After all, we live in your community and your success is our success.
  • Your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 (depending on your account titling structure, you may be covered above this limit). For customers who have questions about their FDIC Insurance coverage, we are ready and prepared to assist you to ensure your deposit insurance needs are met.

If you have questions about your coverage, or would like to learn more about FDIC insurance and how it works, we encourage you to call us directly or access the following resources:

Sawyer Savings Bank customers and the public should also be aware that scammers have already begun trying to alarm consumers. The scammers are claiming that a bank is under Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) review and the person needs to take out their cash from their bank or risk losing it. If you receive this call, please hang up and call us at 888-772-1871.

Through pandemics, recessions, and World Wars, we have applied diligence and responsibility in everything we do. Our doors are open, as they have been for over 150 years. If you or someone you know has been negatively affected by the recent crisis or are simply looking for safety and security, we welcome you to contact a member of the Sawyer Savings team at 888-772-1871.­

Thank you for your continued support.

James Whitaker, President
James Whitaker, President

Steps to Home Ownership- #1: Plan & Educate!

Your First Step to Home Ownership, PLAN and EDUCATE!

Once you’ve decided that you’d like to become a homeowner, arm yourself with knowledge! In Ulster County, we recommend visiting Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO). They offer programs and classes to help you determine what you may need to do to prepare for homeownership. They’ll go over everything from how to repair credit to budgeting and saving.

Call 845-331-2140 or visit their website for more information at

If you live outside of Ulster County, please contact Sawyer Savings for information on counseling agencies in your area.

End of Year Loan Specials!

Sawyer Savings Bank offers Simplified Lending Solutions to Help You Grow Your Business.

At Sawyer Savings Bank, we understand the challenges that bringing your business through to year-end can bring, and we are here to help with those last-minute financing needs.

Our end-of-the year special rates on low-dollar installment loans can help ease some of that stress. Whether you need to purchase a piece of equipment for your drilling company, or install new solar panels to become more eco-friendly, with rates as low as *6.75%, we can help set your business up for 2023.

  • Maximum loan term of 120 months
  • Maximum loan amount up to $150,000
  • Promotional offer applies to short term capital investments
  • Up to 100% financing
  • Lending decisions made locally

With an experienced lender and decisions made right here in the Hudson Valley, we’re committed to helping your business finance opportunities and respond to challenges. The right loan can be an essential tool. Special fixed rates are now available for up to 10 years on select loans and together we can create the right solution for your unique needs.

If you or have any clients that may benefit from this offering or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. The process itself is simple.

Remember to act soon, as you may be able to take advantage of end of year tax filings!

Ready to get started?

I can help you learn about our wide range of merchant and lending options that can help you achieve your goals, and how partnering with Sawyer Savings Bank can benefit you and your business.

**This is a promotional rate and may be changed or discontinued at any time at the discretion of Sawyer Savings Bank. Promotion effective as of November 16, 2022 and ends on December 31, 2022. All loans subject to credit approval. For applications between $2,500 and $150,000. All products and services are subject to eligibility, credit approval and other conditions. Restrictions may apply

Nicole Lowrey Promoted to Lending Supervisor at Sawyer Savings Bank

Nicole Lowrey
Nicole Lowrey

Sawyer Savings Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Nicole Lowrey to Lending Supervisor. Lowrey will be responsible for supervising staff and overseeing daily operations for residential loan origination and loan servicing through all Sawyer’s delivery channels.

Beginning her banking career with Sawyer Savings in 2013 as a teller in the Saugerties branch, Nicole held multiple positions, most recently as Loan Servicing Specialist with our lending department.

“As our lending department continues to grow, Nicole will provide the knowledge-based leadership our staff needs to meet demands,” said James Whitaker, President. “She has taken on nearly every role in lending and her experience will provide a deep understanding of staff and customer needs.”

“I am very excited to take on this new role within Sawyer Savings Bank. I find joy in knowing that our work makes an impact right here in our community where I raise my family. I enjoy being part of the journey that helps a family put down roots with a new home.”, says Lowrey.

Mrs. Lowrey is a very involved member of the community while raising her two children Cierra (10) and Bradley (7). She currently sits on the board of the Saugerties Outlaw Youth Football league and is an active volunteer in her daughter’s Girl Scout troop and her local volunteer fire department.

Jennifer Alnwick Joins Sawyer Savings Bank as Vice President, Commercial Loan officer

Sawyer Savings Bank is pleased to announce the addition of Jennifer Alnwick as Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer, at Sawyer Savings Bank, serving the Northern Ulster, Greene and Columbia Counties of New York.Jennifer Alnwick

Jennifer joins Sawyer Savings with over 25 years of experience in business banking and commercial lending. In her new role, Jennifer will be responsible for generating commercial lending opportunities as well as developing business banking relationships with local businesses in Northern Ulster, Greene and Columbia counties.

“I’m excited to build new relationships through local lending and apply my industry knowledge to meet my clients’ changing needs,” Jennifer said. “I enjoy getting to know business owners and learning more about their companies so I can be the best trusted advisor possible for them and their businesses. Being a part of the Sawyer Savings Bank team will enable me to add greater value to these partnerships due to the Bank’s core values and capabilities.”

“I’m pleased to welcome Jennifer to our team,” said James Whitaker, President, of Sawyer Savings Bank. “With Jennifer’s deep expertise in business banking and management, combined with her insight into the needs of the Hudson Valley business community, we are confident that she will be a critical part of our expanding commercial lending team.

Ms Alnwick, who earned a Masters Degree from Marist College, is an active member of the community. She most recently served as board chair of the American Heart Association, and has served on the Ulster County Chamber Foundation, and is a graduate of Ulster Leadership Institute. Jennifer lives in Hyde Park with her husband and four children.

Her office is located at 85 Market Street, Saugerties NY and she can be reached at 845-217-6051 or To learn more about Jennifer, visit SawyerSavings.Bank/Jennifer

Effective January 6th, 2022 – Temporary Lobby Closures

Due to the upsurge in COVID cases in the communities we serve, we have decided to temporarily close our bank lobbies out of an abundance of caution.

In an effort to keep our customers and employees safe during this time of rising COVID cases, effective Thursday, January 6th, 2022 our Saugerties, Marlboro and Highland branch lobbies will be CLOSED temporarily. Our Drive-Up windows ARE AVAILABLE. We are sorry for this inconvenience and greatly appreciate your patience during this time.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause for our customers who prefer to do their banking in our lobbies. You may still arrange for in-lobby appointments for business that can’t be conducted at our drive-ups or ATMs. Just call your branch manager to schedule an in-person appointment.

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As always, remember that we have various electronic means of banking available to you. These means include: Online Banking, Mobile Banking with Remote Deposit with our Apps for personal or business, Zelle, Debit Cards and ATMs.

Please check back as we continue to update our customers regularly, via this news post and on our social media accounts.