The President's Posts

The Importance of Traditions

Robert Granata, First County Bank president and chief operating officerThis time of year families celebrate the holidays with traditions that have been around for many years, and in many cases, generations. These family traditions evolve as new generations “take the reins” and put a few twists in them.

This upcoming holiday begins a period of excitement for the Granata Family. Every year for the past 15 plus years, my family has been watching many of the classic holiday movies that are shown during this time of year. Normally on Thanksgiving evening, our immediate family comes together and watches “The Wizard of Oz” and various other classic holiday movies, including one of my very favorites, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” starring Jimmy Stewart and directed by Frank Capra.

I always get a bit choked up over this movie. It’s a great lesson about the importance of each individual and how one idealist–George Bailey– who devoted his life to the well-being of others, made a significant contribution to his community without even realizing it. The most moving example of George’s worth is how the community repays him and his family for protecting the town against a heartless, greedy competitor who wished to shutter George’s family run savings and loan. It is George’s savings and loan that supported many of the townspeople, allowing them to own their own home and start their family businesses. Can you remember the cab driver who George helped with his business?

This is what my family’s holiday family traditions are made of: watching a classic movie, enjoying an annual dinner down on Arthur Avenue to celebrate many of our birthdays that coincide with the holidays, visiting New York City to see the holiday displays at Macy’s and many of the major retailers in Midtown, or one of my favorite activities – a visit to the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. I am sure many can relate to the joy of enjoying your family’s company and celebrating another great year with the people closest to your heart.

Here, at First County Bank, we have traditions too. One of the holiday traditions that we celebrate is participating in the annual Thanksgiving Balloon Parade in Stamford. Whether it’s handing out spin signs to the crowd of spectators or being a volunteer balloon handler, this is a fun event for many of our employees. Another Bank tradition is when Rey Giallongo, our Chairman and CEO, and I visit our branches and administrative offices to deliver chocolates to our staff. And let’s not forget the annual Bank holiday party to thank our employees for their work and dedication throughout the year. These activities are important to Rey and me as they give us a chance to establish a culture of traditions with the people we care about and consider part of our work family.

Traditions such as these are what make us close to each other and our community. I encourage all of you to continue your traditions as well as to foster new ones both here, at First County Bank, as well as with your family as they are the bonds that keep us united.

Here’s to keeping those traditions alive and expanding new ones as our family (First County Bank) and your family grows and prospers!

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