Does anyone care about our opinions, really? If you’re anything like me, you’ll read customer polls and reviews posted online prior to making a purchase. These reviews are like taking the product for a pre-purchase test drive and getting the benefit of someone else’s experience. It came as a shock to read that some of these reviews evidently are fake– possibly as many as one out of three. It seems you can get paid for writing glowing reviews on everything from books and video, games to local restaurants and hotels, to name a few. Reputable sites are now cracking down on these bogus reviews through the use of sophisticated computer searches.
Every business that serves customers – we all do – wants to or should listen to them. The Ed Koch model still works, when we ask, “How am I doing”, really we want to know. Here at First County Bank, we ask that question constantly and listen carefully. We are currently engaged in a mystery shopper program, “Voice of the Customer,” where we test our customer-facing employees to be sure they are exceeding the expectations of both our customers and ourselves. We want to know if product knowledge is appropriate; if the speed of our service is up to par and we want to know if your experience was good, great or neither.
The First County Bank 2013 Summer Concert Series at Calf Pasture Beach kicks off Wednesday, June 26, commencing with a Classic Car Show organized by The Coachmen, and continues through September 4. This will be the fifth consecutive year First County Bank sponsors the concert series, which typically attracts 1,000 to 1,500 people. The sponsorship ensures all 11 concerts are free and open to the public.
“Travel Down Memory Lane” is the theme of this year’s concert series featuring performances by tribute bands including Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkle), Diamond – One Hot Night (Neil Diamond), Fleetwood Macked, Beginnings (Chicago) and Minute by Minute (The Doobie Brothers). For the complete summer concert series schedule visit Norwalk’s Recreation and Parks Department.
From l to r: David Van Buskirk, Assistant VP & Business Development Officer, First County Bank; Mary Franco, President, Norwalk Hospital Foundation, VP, Public Affairs, Norwalk Hospital; Karen Kelly, Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer Marketing/Sales/Product Development, First County Bank; Joyce Bretherton, Administration, Foundation, Norwalk Health Services
In support of Norwalk Hospital’s Project LEAN, First County Bank Foundation awards a $10,000 grant to Norwalk Hospital Foundation. Project LEAN is a program that helps reduce childhood obesity at Jefferson Elementary School in Norwalk. Due to the success of the program, First County Bank Foundation increased the grant from $7,500 in 2012 to $10,000 this year.
Established in 2001, the First County Bank Foundation was created to distribute funds annually to nonprofit organizations that support community and economic development for children and families. As a mutual bank with no shareholders, First County Bank considers contributions made by the foundation a means of paying dividends back to the local communities it serves.
First County Bank announced its sponsorship of the 36th annual Norwalk Seaport Association’s Oyster Festival to be held Sept. 6-8, at Veterans Park, adjacent to Norwalk Harbor on Seaview Avenue in Norwalk.
The bank has been an ongoing supporter of the festival since 2007, increasing its financial commitment each year culminating as the event’s presenting sponsor for the 3rd consecutive year.
“We are proud to participate as the presenting sponsor of the 2013 Oyster Festival and building on the success and enthusiasm surrounding Norwalk Seaport Association’s mission of celebrating and raising public awareness of Norwalk’s maritime heritage,” said Rey Giallongo, chairman and CEO of First County Bank. “As a community bank, our commitment to supporting local nonprofit organizations has always been to give people in our communities a voice and a chance to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.”
Here at First County Bank, we have been fortunate enough in the last several years to be able to enjoy the talents of several young interns looking to broaden their skill sets with “real life” work experiences. Some are high-school students and others are recent college graduates looking for an opportunity to help bridge the gap between school and a career. One of the most asked questions from ambitious students during the interview process are “how can I distinguish myself in the company”? That’s always been an easy one to answer and I think the answer is the same if you’ve been out of school for one year or twenty years.
To move from meeting instructors’ requirements for a passing grade to excelling in your career, you have to figure out two things. First, find a way to raise the expectations your employer has of you and secondly, exceed the expectations of your boss. Simply said, figure out a way for your supervisor to look good and your team to be more effective. (more…)
May 30th, 2013 / Author: First County Bank. / Posted in Trends & Tips.
The hottest Zip Code in Greenwich is 06830 with home sales that range in price from as high as $3 million to as low as $465,000. The area is Delavan Avenue, a neighborhood close to Byram-Shubert Library with base ball fields a plenty. It’s the first stop off Metro-North’s New Haven Line from the Big Apple, which makes it a desirable suburb, plus it’s maintained a New England charm. Greenwich is listed as one of 9 areas in southwestern Connecticut defined as “hot” in a housing market that appears to be moving in the upwards direction. Joining Greenwich is lower Fairfield county’s Westport and Stamford.
Downtown Stamford is the home of artist Scott Glaser’s 31 by 41 foot vibrant mural depicting lush gardens of foliage and flowers. Bursting with color, the mural can be seen on the side of First County Bank on Atlantic Street and is the largest outdoor mural ever created for Stamford. The Stamford Downtown Special Services District selected Glaser out of more than a dozen artists to paint the mural. Meet the artist and learn more about this stunning mural in this It’s Relevant segment:
Few people talk about them and fewer people think about them but First County Bank has some. No, not free money but close, part-time employment opportunities. We are always talking about jobs or the lack thereof in a recessive economy but the topic of part-time employment rarely comes up and there are some great benefits to working part-time.
Anyone who has ever had a part-time job knows these positions are not just for teenagers who need to get out of the house and earn some spare cash. The greatest benefit of being a part-time worker is your flexibility. Here at the Bank, we try to fit our part-timers into a schedule and location that works for both them and the company. If you’re a parent, they fit well into your children’s schedule. If you are an entrepreneur who is just starting out, a part-time job can help you get your business off the ground and provide a little extra income.
We also understand many of our friends and neighbors have been unemployed or underemployed for some time in this recession. Part-time work offers you time to seek a full-time engagement and it fills a gap in your resume that would otherwise be blank space being in transition. I’ve always heard that it’s easier to find a job when you have one.
Additionally, part-time jobs offer several benefits few people consider. I mentioned flexible work schedules but it’s also a chance to learn more about an industry before pursuing a full-time career in it and sometimes, part-time work is just more available than full-time positions.
We have exciting branch-based teller opportunities for you, a friend or a family member. Check them out on our website or Facebook page and get yours while they last!
In 2010, Americans threw away about 250 million tons of garbage and recycled about 65 million tons. Recycling is vital to our planet as it helps make our environment clean, conserves materials, saves energy and reduces garbage in landfills. It is a valuable process, however it does require energy and labor to turn recyclable materials into usable materials again, and in some cases produces pollutants to do so.
Now, there is a process that is just as useful to the environment, that doesn’t require the melting down of materials, but rather requires imagination and a desire to turn something old into something new again. That process is called “Upcycling” – finding another purpose for an item that’s disposable and old.
Some of you might recall I have written about the tarnished image of “bankers” coming out of this recession. This broad brush usually emanates from Wall Street or rogue traders in London rather than my colleagues on Main Street or, in our case, Prospect Street. My message to staff was pretty clear. We’re not the bankers you read about in the press but we have to keep on point to improve our own image and do it the old-fashioned way:
- Speak clearly
- Treat customers fairly
- Maintain open communication with regulators
- Tell our own story
- Do things right the first time
The Connecticut Banker’s Association just released its 2012 Community Involvement Survey of its 32 community banks, including of course, First County Bank. The results are impressive. Our small group of banks made $19.5Million in Charitable Donations providing financial support to 7,500 non-profits in Connecticut. Not only did community banks write the check but also 4,100 of employees of these community banks contributed 267,000 hours of volunteer time to a number of organizations, some of which are during the workday, but are mainly after hours.