Bank News, First County Bank Foundation

First County Bank Employees Donate Books and First County Bank Foundation Awards $5,000 Grant to Greenwich Alliance for Education

First County Bank employees donated boxes of new children’s books to the Greenwich Alliance for Education. Employees rallied to support reading and book ownership for children. In addition, First County Bank Foundation awarded the Alliance with a 2015 grant of $5,000 to support their Going Places With Books program.

Greenwich Alliance for Education donation

Above photo caption: First County Bank employees AnnaMarie Bocuzzi, VP, First County Advisors, Jack Dowling, AVP, Business Banking, and Jeff Robinson, AVP, Greenwich branch manager recently visited a class with Julie Faryniarz, executive director of Greenwich Alliance for Education, to distribute books and read with the students. First County Bank employees donated the books to provide each child with a book of their own to take home and start their own library. Additional books donated help stock the Greenwich Alliance for Education’s Going Places With Books Story Mobile.


Bank News

Richard M. Evanko, Jr. joins First County Bank as Vice President, Business Banking Manager

Richard Evanko, Vice President

Richard Evanko, Vice President, Business Banking Manager

First County Bank is pleased to announce the recent addition of Richard “Rich” Evanko, Jr. who joins the Bank’s Business Banking Division as Vice President, Business Banking Manager. First County Bank’s addition of Rich demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to grow its business banking division and to further meet the needs of its small business customers and the business community.

“We continually look to enhance our team by recruiting business banking and sales talent. Rich will be managing the goals and initiatives for the Business Development Team which originates business relationships for the Bank.” said Reyno Giallongo, First County Bank’s chairman and CEO.

As Vice President, Business Banking Manager, Rich is responsible for directing the small business group, originating business, and building relationships with current business customers. “Being a life-long Stamford resident I take pride in helping local businesses grow and succeed. I appreciate the fact that I am able to give back to a community that has given me so much. I look forward to continuing to work in this community and being part of First County Bank’s growth strategy in Fairfield County.”

Prior to joining First County Bank, Rich was first vice president and senior relationship manager at Webster Bank in Stamford, where he was responsible for business acquisition and retention. Rich spent time with HSBC where he was vice president and relationship manager responsible for sales and service of business customers. Earlier, he spent five years with JP Morgan Chase Bank as an assistant vice president and business banker. Rich has over ten years in the banking industry serving the local market.

In the local business community, Rich is active with the Stamford Chamber of Commerce where he is Chairman of the Young Professionals Council and on the Board of Directors. He is also involved as a member of Childcare Learning Center’s Finance Committee and the United Way. Rich attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. He also has Moody’s Commercial Lending Certification. Rich is a lifelong resident of Stamford, CT, where he lives with his wife and two children. He is an avid golfer and enjoys making homemade wine and spending time with his family.

Trends & Tips

Financial Literacy: Budgeting for The Game of Life.

Financial literacy: budgetingWhether you’re living “paycheck to paycheck” or making millions a year, it is important that you budget your money. Because, no matter how much you make, unexpected expenses or circumstances can cost your financial future and security.

Even though you can’t predict what obstacles life will bring you, you can stay ahead by preparing a personal or family budget.

Budgeting, which involves calculating your expenses and income over a set period of time, can help you take control of your financial future by allowing you to –

  • Set a course for your goals. For example, if you want to buy a home, having a budget will allow you to determine how much money you can save toward your goal and when you may reach it.
  • Determine where your money is spent. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not knowing how they spend their money. If you track your expenses with your budget each month, you’ll have greater control of your money and easily identify areas of waste or opportunity.
  • Build savings. If you know how much you earn and how much you spend, you will be able to determine the amount you can set aside for savings.
  • Prepare for emergencies. If you manage to carve out savings in your budget, you will be better equipped to handle any unexpected expenses that may arise.


But perhaps one of the biggest advantages of having a budget is that it can help you sleep better at night. You’ll know how much you have to spend, ensuring you don’t spend more than you have.

Bank News

Richard Zaremski, Senior Vice President, Receives Family Champion Award

First County Bank Senior Vice President, Richard Zaremski received the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies’ prestigious Family Champion Award.

The recognition, awarded annually to exemplary volunteers and human service professionals, honored Richard for his volunteer work over the last four years with the Family & Children’s Agency. As a member of the board of directors, he has built awareness for the organization and its mission within the community and played a vital role in expanding corporate giving and support in that time.

Read more about the CCFSA’s award in this piece from the Daily Voice. 

FCB - Award

Photo Credit: The Daily Voice

Bank News, In Our Community

Rey Giallongo, Chairman and CEO of First County Bank, is Appointed Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District

Rey Giallongo

Photo caption: Reyno A. Giallongo, Jr., chairman and CEO of First County Bank, and chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District.

First County Bank is pleased to announce that Reyno A. Giallongo, Jr., chairman and CEO of First County Bank, was appointed as chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District (DSSD) at the annual meeting held on June 15. In his role as Chairman of the DSSD, Giallongo will preside over a 38 member Board of Stamford Downtown stakeholders and community leaders.

The vision of the Downtown Special Services District is to provide a 24/7 center for living, working, shopping, dining, education, culture and entertainment in Downtown Stamford. The goals of the DSSD include: fostering Downtown’s economic growth through a strong retail recruitment and retention program, ensuring economic development through urban planning and advocacy, attracting people to the Downtown through signature events and programs, and planning and managing improvements to the outdoor environment.

The Board meets monthly to consider important issues facing the Downtown and the City of Stamford. “Rey has been a valuable asset to the DSSD and his leadership will help take our efforts to the next level,” said Sandy Goldstein, president, Stamford Downtown Special Services District.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work with Sandy Goldstein and her team to preserve the vitality of the Stamford Downtown area,” stated Rey Giallongo, as the newly appointed chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District (DSSD).

Bank News, Lifestyle Trends & Tips

First County Bank Working on Wellness Team Challenge Winners Announced

First County Bank “Team Retail” won the Step Ahead Challenge where employees formed teams for a competition based on the number of steps they took within the month of June. The Step Ahead Challenge was sponsored by the First County Bank Working on Wellness “WOW” Committee, which encourages employee health through fitness, nutrition and stress reduction.

Photo caption: The First County Bank Step Ahead Challenge winner was “Team Retail” featured (L to R): Tammy Lindsay, Bertha Calhoun, Alexis Dipreta, Terry Coreau, Selma Conte.

Trends & Tips

Financial Literacy: When Borrowing, Know the Score.

Credit scoreWhat’s the score?

It’s one of the most common questions asked by lenders today. And it’s got nothing to do with baseball, golf, or really any sport at all. It’s your credit score – the guide lenders use to determine your creditworthiness.

Your credit score may appear as three simple digits, but it can save you thousands of dollars in your lifetime, and determine whether you can qualify for a loan at all. Given the importance of your credit score, it’s important to do your best to maximize it. Here are some keys to maintaining a good score:

Pay your bills on time. Late or missed payments can have a huge impact on your score, so pay on time, every time.

Don’t use all your available credit. One of the most important factors that affect your score is your credit utilization rate, which is the ratio of your current debt to your credit limit. A high utilization rate may result in a lower score while a lower one can raise your credit score.

Be proactive. If you have difficultly meeting your payments, contact your creditors immediately to notify them about your situation and work out payment plans. The worst thing you can do is ignore your bills.

Pay off debt. It’s important to keep the amount you owe to a minimum.

Protect yourself. Keep your credit cards and personal information secure to guard against identity theft.

Open new credit only when it is needed. While it may be tempting to have multiple department store credit cards, having too much credit can hurt you.

Request your credit report and look for any errors. If you suspect an error, contact the creditor immediately to dispute it.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to a good score, which is a big win — for you.

Bank News

First County Bank Profile: Jim Darling

Jim Darling, Vice President, Commercial Lending Officer

Jim Darling, Vice President, Commercial Lending Officer

Jim has been with First County Bank for over 27 years, and in his role of Vice President, Commercial Lending Officer, he is responsible for originating and servicing commercial loans. One of our most experienced commercial lenders, Jim’s extensive lending and commercial real estate expertise allows him to serve the unique needs of our diverse commercial customer base.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I currently reside in Stamford with my wife. She is a public school principal and 40-year member of the Stamford Public School system and we have two adult children, both of whom are educators as well.

Outside of work I am involved with several community organizations including: Challenged People in Motion, The Salvation Army Stamford, Service Corps. of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the Housatonic Industrial Development Corporation. In addition to my work in the community, I also confess to being a golf addict.

What is the favorite part of your role with First County Bank?
My position with the Bank allows me to meet and interact with a diverse set of individuals. And it is the people I have come to know over the course of my 27 years with the Bank that I look back on with great reverence.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
Customers are most interested in finding out what interest rate we pay/charge.

Do you have a favorite First County Bank moment?
There is one moment that stands out – getting a personal congratulations from former Chairman, Dick Taber, concerning a community service award I received.

Jim Darling
Vice President
Commercial Lending
Phone: 203.462.4202

Bank News

Four New Corporators Join First County Bank

First County Bank is pleased to announce the election of four new corporators at the June 17, 2015 annual meeting. A corporator is a unique role offered to community representatives and thought-leaders as part of the bank’s mutual charter. A First County Bank corporator promotes the mission and vision of the bank, and supports the business community and nonprofit development.

“These new corporators bring a wealth of experience in diverse industries which will enrich the bank’s operations and provide direct insights into the local business community,” said Rey Giallongo, First County Bank chairman and CEO. “First County Bank has worked together with these people and knows they have the best interests of the bank in mind. We look forward to their contribution and advice.”

The First County Bank board of directors recruits corporators who are successful in their business or profession, and have strong knowledge of the communities First County Bank serves. Corporators play a critical role in a mutual community bank. The role of a corporator includes: assisting the bank in increasing its visibility and credibility in the community, advising the bank on community and customer needs, supporting the bank’s business development, and providing customer service feedback.

First County Bank welcomes the following to their board of corporators:

Genovese - NEWDavid Genovese is the CEO of Baywater Properties, headquartered in Darien, which he founded in 2001. He currently serves on the board of The Human Services Council of Norwalk, Darien Athletic Foundation and the Real Estate Finance Association of Connecticut. David is a graduate of Colby College, The London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School). In 2007, David was named as one of the “40 under 40” business leaders in Fairfield County. He lives in Darien and is married with 4 children. David’s interests include skiing, fishing and golf.



Foster - NEWLisa Foster is VP of Global Marketing, Business Acquisition & Recruiting at MMA (Marketing Management Analytics) located in Norwalk. She is involved with several community activities which include volunteering at the Open Door Shelter soup kitchen, the Weston Warm-up Fund, Weston Young Women’s Club and the PTO as Recording Secretary and Fundraising Chairman. Lisa graduated from Michigan State University. She lives in Weston and is married with two adult children. Lisa’s interests include golf, travel and reading.




Dominic Franchella - NEWDominic Franchella is the owner of Stamford Ford Lincoln, which he has owned since March 2009. He has been in the retail vehicle industry for 33 years. He is currently involved with charitable organizations which include St. Matthew Parish and the Boys & Girls Club of Stamford. He graduated from SUNY and Pace University. Dominic resides in Norwalk and is married with 2 daughters. Dominic’s interests include tennis, golf and travel.




John - NEWJohn Polera is President of the Law office of John C. Polera which has offices in Stamford, CT and Garden City, NY. His areas of practice include: commercial and residential real estate, real estate development, condominium formation, commercial and residential finance work, trust and estate planning and administration, tax planning and compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and business planning. John is a member of American Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association and the Fairfield County Bar Association. He has been practicing as a tax and legal professional since 1986. Polera graduated from Tulane University, University of Miami School of Law and Boston University School of Law. John resides in Armonk, NY, and is married with 2 daughters. His interests include golf, traveling and socializing with friends.