Bank News

Grand Opening of new High School Branch

We announced the official opening of a limited access Bank branch at The Academy of Information, Technology and Engineering “AITE” High School with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held September 19, 2016. AITE is a college preparatory, inter-district, magnet high school in Stamford, CT.
 
“First County Bank is proud to provide students with financial literacy education which is a critical life skill,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, Jr. chairman and CEO of First County Bank. “We want to help students develop financial knowledge and transferable abilities that they can apply to future endeavors.” 
 
Sheila Content of First County Bank is the branch manager for the AITE High School Branch where she trains AITE student-employees through an internship-like experience while they work in an actual bank branch. In addition, financial literacy curriculum is provided by First County Bank and taught in the classroom to AITE students.
 
The new branch aligns AITE’s motto of “Empowering students to shape the future” with First County Bank’s 165th anniversary of serving the community. First County Bank manages the AITE high school branch which is staffed by AITE students and provides banking services during the school year which are limited to current AITE students and faculty members. The purpose of this branch and classroom instruction is to educate the leaders of tomorrow, by teaching financial literacy skills and providing real-world experience, not only for those students working in the branch but those who access its services.

 

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Pictured (left to right): Earl Kim, Superintendent, Stamford Public Schools; Geoff Alswanger, President, Stamford Board of Education; Sheila Content, Branch Manager, First County Bank; David Martin, Mayor, City of Stamford; Reyno Giallongo, Chairman, CEO of First County Bank; Robert Granata, President, COO of First County Bank; Tina Rivera, Principal, Academy of Information Technology and Engineering; Michael Fernandes, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools, Stamford Public Schools; Jeanne Lauer, Teacher, Academy of Information Technology and Engineering.

 

Bank News

Jagjiwan Singh joins First County Bank as Assistant Vice President, Business Development Officer

Jagjiwan SinghWe are pleased to announce the recent hiring of Jagjiwan “Singh” Singh, who joins the Bank’s Business Banking Division as assistant vice president, business development officer. First County Bank’s addition of Singh demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to further meet the needs of its commercial customers and the business community.

“Singh will be originating and growing commercial relationships for the Bank. He will contribute to the Bank’s business banking and sales team with his strong community and business relationships.” said Reyno Giallongo, First County Bank’s chairman and CEO.

Prior to joining First County Bank, Singh was branch manager at Wells Fargo Bank. Earlier, Jagjiwan was branch manager for RBS Citizens, N.A. in Stamford. He has spent most of his banking career responsible for sales and service of business and commercial customers. Before moving to Connecticut, Singh worked for Starwood Corporation where he worked with international and diplomatic clientele in New Delhi, India. Singh has over 8 years of banking and management experience.

Singh is fluent in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. He is an active member of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Foundation in Norwalk. He has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Connecticut, Stamford. In addition, he has extensive professional financial education. Singh is a resident of East Norwalk, CT where he lives with his wife and their two children. He enjoys spending time with his family and volunteering in the community.

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Thursday Throwback – A Billion Dollar Bank

housechartAs our branch network continued to expand to serve customers, businesses and families throughout Fairfield County, we crossed a major threshold and became a billion-dollar bank in 2007.

And while First County Bank remained committed to stability and prudent growth, the industry was going through major changes including the introduction of “sub-prime” lending. Understanding the coming year would be financially challenging, the First County Bank team spent much of 2007 ensuring we were positioned to continue as a safe financial harbor for our customers.

As 2007 drew to a close and the mortgage industry went into freefall with the announcement that 20% of major lenders’ sub-prime mortgages had gone into default, at First County Bank we remained as we started – solid and stable, and well positioned for the financial storms to come.

2016 is a big year for First County Bank as we celebrate not only our 165th anniversary, but also the 15th anniversary of the First County Bank Foundation. To mark these major milestones we will be digging into the archives, sharing some notable moments from our history on our blog and social media channels every other Thursday. You can follow along, or share your own moments of First County Bank history, by leaving a comment or posting a memory using #FirstCounty165.

In Our Community

First County Bank Employees Donate School Supplies

This summer, our employees participated in the Human Services Council’s “Donate a Backpack for Family Day” program to provide students with backpacks and school supplies for the 2016-2017 school year. First Count Bank employees donated pens, pencils, crayons, rulers, calculators, highlighters, erasers, notebooks, folders and 88 backpacks with a total of $2,760.00 in school supplies which were distributed by the Human Services Council as part of their Family Day celebration.

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Pictured with donated backpacks filled with school supplies for the Human Services Council’s Family Day are (second from left) Giovanna Pisani, Director of Mid-Fairfield Substance Abuse Coalition at Human Services Council; with First County Bank employees (pictured left-to-right): Rachel Valenzon; Robert Granata, president and COO; Parthena Kotzageridis; Jim Darling, Kira Delia; Jennifer DaSilva; Christiano Basile; Eric Pace and Reyno A. Giallongo, Jr., chairman and CEO.

First County Bank Foundation, In Our Community

First County Bank Foundation announces FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers Applications due October 31, 2016

We are FCB_FirstClassGrantpleased to announce the FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers, a new grant program developed exclusively for public school teachers. Eligible grant recipients are Kindergarten through sixth grade teachers in Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan and Westport public school districts. Grant applications are due by October 31, 2016. 
 
FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers was designed by First County Bank Foundation to help teachers fund programs fostering creative education in and beyond the classroom. Special consideration will be given to requests that are creative, innovative and have lasting impact. Examples may include providing materials to create an aquaponics garden, to build a solar oven to roast s’mores, or to create a tsunami or volcano. Requested grant amounts may not exceed $1,000 and principal authorization is required. Starting in November, grants will be awarded with funds available for the current 2016-17 school year.
 
“We developed the FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers to commemorate the 15thanniversary of First County Bank Foundation,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, president of First County Bank Foundation and chairman, CEO of First County Bank. “We believe students will benefit by inspiring teachers to conduct exciting and creative learning experiences. This is one way First County Bank Foundation demonstrates its commitment to supporting lower Fairfield County families, children and education.” Since 2001, First County Bank Foundation has awarded over 1,000 individual grants worth over $7.5 million.
 
Applications can be completed online at www.firstcountybank.com/firstclass-grant. Questions can be answered by contacting 203-462-4858. Deadline for applications is October 31, 2016.
Lifestyle Trends & Tips

September is College Savings Month

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Reprinted from American Bankers Association Online Tips

The month of September is College Savings Month and in anticipation, the American Bankers Association (ABA) published ABA’s Top 10 Tips for College Students. Many of the tips revolve around budgeting and spending and while this article is geared for college students, it can serve as a refresher for those of us who are struggling to find a proper balance.

The top three takeaway tips for college students are:

  • Use Credit Wisely – Understand not only how credit works but it’s potential benefits or consequences
  • Utilize Your Bank Account – Banks are more than money in a vault, banks provide a variety of services as well as invaluable financial literacy and education
  • Lookout for Money – There is a lot of opportunity for students to save money. Examples are scholarships, awards and students discounts

When it comes down to it, a simple evaluation of the money you have and the money you owe, can set the stage for being successful when it comes to budgeting and spending while in college. To read the full article, visit: http://www.aba.com

First County Bank Foundation

First County Bank Foundation Donates to Nonprofits in Danbury, Stamford & Darien

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Pictured (left to right): Justyna Nurczyk, Branch Manager, First County Bank; Terri McCartney, Associate Director, Americares Free Clinics; Cornelia Brefka, Associate Director, Institutional Relations, Americares Free Clinics; David Van Buskirk, Assistant Vice President, Business Development Officer, First County Bank.

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Pictured (left to right): Carole Kelleher, Board Member, Circle of Care; Wendy Macedo, Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager, First County Bank; Steve Ferguson, Assistant Vice President, Business Development Officer, First County Bank; Kacky Theoharides, Circle of Care; Elizabeth Vega, Board Member, Circle of Care; Jeff Kimball, Executive Director, Circle of Care; Maria DiPierro, Secretary, Circle of Care.

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Pictured (left to right): Lisa Haas, Director of Development, Community Fund of Darien – United Way; Mark Rosenbloom, Assistant Vice President, Director of Cash Management Services, First County Bank; Carrie Bernier, Executive Director, Community Fund of Darien – United Way.

In Our Community

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony opens the Norwalk Seaport Association’s Oyster Festival

As the presenting sponsor, we are announcing the 39th annual Norwalk Seaport Association’s Oyster Festival Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the event opening Saturday, Sept. 10th through Sunday, Sept. 11th, at Veteran’s Park, adjacent to Norwalk Harbor on Seaview Avenue in Norwalk. The Bank has been an ongoing supporter of the festival since 2007, and is once again the event’s presenting sponsor.

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The Ribbon Ceremony included State Senator Bob Duff, Norwalk Seaport President Vincent Scicchitano, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, First County Bank Chairman and CEO Reyno A. Giallongo Jr., Norwalk Seaport Association Chairman Mike Reilly, First County Bank President and COO Robert Granata, and several 2016 Oyster Festival volunteers.

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Thursday Throwback – Atlantic Street Headquarters

With the Great Depression coming to an end, one sign of the area’s recovery was the opening of Stamford Savings Bank’s new headquarters at 160 Atlantic Street in Stamford.

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Newspaper clipping from Stamford Advocate, Tercentenary Edition, 1941

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Opened in 1940, the building was designed by the firm of Niles & French, and built by the Edward Corning Company, which had been awarded the bid after agreeing to the Bank’s stipulations that all subcontractors used, should be local companies. Upon completion the building housed all
nineteen employees, including six officers and four women.

The Georgian Revival Style building served as our headquarters and operations center until the mid-80s when we moved the administrative and executive offices to 117 Prospect Street. Today, the former headquarters continues to serve customers and community as one of our network of 15 offices throughout Fairfield County.

Stop by our Atlantic Street office for a glimpse back to the past.

2016 is a big year for First County Bank as we celebrate not only our 165th anniversary, but also the 15th anniversary of the First County Bank Foundation. To mark these major milestones we will be digging into the archives, sharing some notable moments from our history on our blog and social media channels every other Thursday. You can follow along, or share your own moments of First County Bank history, by leaving a comment or posting a memory using #FirstCounty165

Bank News

Juanita James Named as one of Savoy Magazine’s 2016 Most Influential Black Corporate Directors

juanita_jamesCongratulations to one of our Corporators, Juanita James on being named one of Savoy Magazine’s 2016 Most Influential Black Corporate Directors for the month of August. Juanita’s impressive career consists of being Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Pitney Bowes, Inc. as well as a progressive 20-year career with Warner Bros, Inc. and Bertelsmann, Inc. Today, Juanita is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. Congratulations Juanita, we are proud to have you as a Corporator! Read the full article here.