Bank News, Employee Profile, First County Bank Profile, In Our Community

First County Bank Profile: Meet Maria Bivona

Maria Bivona was recently promoted to the position of Branch Manager at First County Bank’s Academy of Information, Technology and Engineering high school branch in Stamford.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Sicily, Italy, and I moved to the United States in 2000. I live in Trumbull with my husband and our 9-year-old son. I love to spend time with my family traveling, watching movies, riding bikes and listening to music.

Currently, I’m attending my last year of the Connecticut School of Finance and Management and I am looking forward to graduation. I have worked at First County Bank for 11 years. I started as a teller in the New Canaan branch.

During my career with First County Bank, I had the pleasure of volunteering for many amazing community events, but my ultimate favorite event was the benefit walk for Bennett Cancer Center’s patients called “Hope in Motion.” It’s great to see the entire community come together to support those whose lives have been impacted by such a terrible disease.

What is your favorite part of your role with First County Bank?

My favorite part of my role with First County Bank is being able to establish a strong relationship with my coworkers and customers. I love being able to assist people and help address any of their concerns. I really enjoy interacting with customers and feel a sense of accomplishment when they leave with a big smile on their face!

Do you have a favorite First County Bank moment?

I have many special moments with First County Bank and picking one is almost impossible. I find it extremely rewarding helping and encouraging others to achieve both their financial and personal goals. I find it very satisfying when a customer leaves my office thanking me for my assistance and support.

Bank News, Customer Profile, Smart Savings Tips

Pint-Sized Savers

Last month, our branches gave kids the opportunity to win a prize (and bragging rights) for correctly guessing the amount of coins in the money jar. Our 15 winners not only won the jar of coins as their prize, but also a small investment in their future and valuable saving tips beginning at a young age.

According to Forbes magazine, children as young as three years old can grasp financial concepts like saving and spending. A study done by the University of Cambridge showed that children’s money habits are formed by the age of seven. The sooner kids start saving, the faster their money can grow!

Congratulations to our 15 lucky prize winners and happy saving!

Darien: Brandon A.; Fairfield: Nicole C.; Greenwich: Patrick B.; New Canaan: Teagen H.; Norwalk: Nondine D., Motasem S., Corinne F.; Stamford: Arison B., Brooke R., Amber B., Dylan R., Jacob J., Chase N., Christian H. and Westport: Liliana B.

 

 

Bank News, In Our Community

First County Bank and Bobby Valentine Sports Academy Collaboration

First County Bank along with Bobby Valentine and his team are excited to announce a new collaboration between First County Bank and the Bobby Valentine Sports Academy (BVSA). First County Bank is now the official field sponsor of BVSA’s new 40,000 square foot indoor sports facility.

BVSA has been in Stamford for over 12 years and recently moved into its new facility located at 4 Largo Drive in Stamford, CT.  The new BVSA building boasts 40 foot ceilings, a 15,000 square foot turf field, two multi-surface areas and six batting cages. On any given day, you can observe one-on-one baseball and softball instruction, team practice on the full field, lacrosse skill training and IQ development, soccer team/small group training, football practice for local high schools and even large scale community events that can host over 800 guests.

“First County Bank’s relationship with Bobby Valentine and BVSA is exciting to the Bank and exemplifies its mission to support local communities in Fairfield County. The BVSA facility is quickly becoming a sporting home for young athletes and families in Fairfield County, and hosts corporate events, fundraisers and sporting tournaments,” said Rey Giallongo, Jr., chairman and CEO of First County Bank. “The functionality of the facility and its multi-sport activities provide opportunities for the community to train, network and create lasting relationships which supports our strategic community-minded mission.”

“First County Bank has been servicing our community since 1851. They have a personalized approach to customer service as does BVSA. We believe when you find a partner that treats others the same way you do, it makes for a great like-minded relationship,” said Bobby Valentine. “I am thrilled with our partnership with First County Bank. Teaming up with such a great local banking institution is an honor.” Mr. Valentine is a Stamford native and has been a First County Bank customer for most of his life.

Bank News, Customer Profile, Smart Savings Tips

First County Bank Announces Winner of FirstPrize $avings Account Drawing

First County Bank is excited to announce the recent winners of the FirstPrize $avings account $1,000 drawing is Manav Des Puri of Stamford, CT. This innovative account called FirstPrize $avings is a basic savings account with a cash prize drawing component to promote personal savings. With each eligible deposit of $25 or more, the account holder earns an entry into a drawing for a $1,000 prize. The drawing occurs four times per calendar year.

Bob Granata, president and COO, Mirella Martina, AVP, branch manager and Reyno Giallongo, chairman and CEO of First County Bank, present Manav Des Puri with $1,000, as winner of the recent FirstPrize $avings account drawing. To encourage personal savings, the $1,000 prize is directly deposited into the winners’ FirstPrize $avings account. Account details, rules and regulations are posted on the First County Bank savings account website: https://firstcountybank.com/firstprize-savings.

Bank News, Trends & Tips

Homebuyer Seminar: Wednesday, April 25th

Buying or refinancing a home? Learn where to start, what to consider and the do’s & don’ts.

Join First County Bank Mortgage Loan Originator, Justyna Nurczyk and Fairfield County mortgage experts to learn the ins and outs of the home-buying process. Wednesday, April 25 5:30-7:00 PM 469 Westport Ave. Norwalk, CT 06850 Seating is limited, please RSVP.

MEET THE EXPERTS:

  • Arlene Bubbico Realtor, Coldwell Banker
  • Annie Bonanno Consultant, Credit Repair Solutions
  • Richard Sandor, Esq. Attorney-At-Law

DETAILS:

  • Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm
  • Location: Norwalk Branch, 469 Westport Avenue, Norwalk CT
  • Contact: Norwalk Branch, 203.462.4415

For more info and to RSVP call (203)462-4415 or email norwalk1@firstcountybank.com. Refreshments will be served.

Bank News

First County Bank celebrates newly opened Fairfield Branch with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Earlier this month, we celebrated our newly opened Fairfield Branch located at 1312 Post Road with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

Photo: L to R – Mark Barnhart, economic development director, Town of Fairfield; Robert Granata, president and COO, First County Bank; Michael Tetreau, first selectman, Town of Fairfield; Reyno Giallongo, chairman and CEO, First County Bank; Beverly Balaz, president, Fairfield Chamber of Commerce; and Benedict Peter, branch manager of the First County Bank Fairfield Branch, attended the First County Bank Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on April 4 to celebrate the newly opened Fairfield Branch, located at 1312 Post Road, Fairfield, CT. A reception for local dignitaries and members of the business, commercial lending, mortgage departments and the wealth management division of First County Bank was held immediately after the ceremony.

Bank News

First County Bank Welcomes New Commercial Lender

 First County Bank is pleased to announce the recent hiring of William Catanzaro, who joins the Bank’s Commercial Banking Division as vice president, commercial banking officer. First County Bank’s addition of Catanzaro demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to its commercial customers and the business community.

“Bill is a Stamford native with over 20 years’ experience in commercial real estate lending. In that time, he has developed an extensive business network in the community. He will be originating and building commercial relationships for the Bank. We know Bill will be a strong contributor to the Bank’s commercial lending team.” said Reyno Giallongo, First County Bank’s chairman and CEO.

Prior to joining First County Bank, Bill held commercial real estate lending and portfolio management positions which focused on the Fairfield County market. Catanzaro has extensive expertise with Commercial and Industrial (C&I) and Commercial Real Estate (C.R.E.) lending.

Catanzaro holds a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Richmond American International University, London, England and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Bill and his family reside in Stamford, CT.

Bank News

First County Bank receives the Women’s Choice Award® as a highly recommended Financial Firm

WCA_FF_2016-2018-colorAs the leading advocate for female consumers, WomenCertified Inc. is pleased to announce that First County Bank has received the Women’s Choice Award for offering a distinguished portfolio of services and tools to its advisors and consumers.

To earn the Women’s Choice Award Financial Firm seal, an organization must uphold a variety of criteria within 4 pillars: Marketing Tools; Educational Support; Seminars/Workshop; Community Outreach. Focusing on consumer education and providing support for advisors in the financial sector aligns financial organizations with the Women’s Choice Award mission to support female consumers throughout their financial journey. And, by providing the necessary tools, resources and ongoing communication to consumers and advisors within the organization, they help women make more informed financial choices, while giving her the high level of service she expects – and deserves.

“First County Bank is proud to be among a select group of only 139 financial advisors and firms across the US which have been honored with the prestigious Women’s Choice Award,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, Jr. chairman and CEO of First County Bank. “The Women’s Choice Award is the collective recommendation of women and honors brands that women would highly recommend to friends and family. Since 2016, we have been distinguished as a Women’s Choice Award financial firm.”

The Women’s Choice Award was created by Delia Passi, the leading advocate for female consumers and former group publisher of Working Woman and Working Mother magazines. Delia created the Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors and Firms in an effort to help women identify those advisors and organizations who are committed to providing quality service to female investors. The award allows this elite group of advisors and firms to showcase their commitment to the women’s market, while giving potential clients a starting point for entrusting their finances to an advisor or organization.

Women influence an enormous amount of wealth around the globe. Recent studies indicate the following in regards to women and their finances:

  • $20 Trillion (27%) of the world’s total wealth is controlled by women. **
  • In the US alone, women exercise decision making control over $11.2 trillion; that is 39% of the nation’s estimated $28.6 trillion of investable assets. **
  • 75% of female wealth creators describe themselves as primary decision makers. **
  • Women consumers make the final decision for buying 91% of home purchases, 65% of the new cars, 80% of health care choices, and 66% of computers. ***

As the financial industry wakes up to the fact that a great majority of the female population is seeking advisors and organizations they can trust for their financial security, the Women’s Choice Award offers a solution by assisting women in their search. This powerful, national initiative distinguishes advisors and firms who support female consumers in their quest for financial education.

Bank News

Fairfield Branch: Open for Business

IMG_5845We are proud to announce that our newest branch located at 1312 Post Road in Fairfield, CT is officially open for business. The new branch is located in downtown Fairfield, diagonally across from the Fairfield Library, steps away from the train station, and it provides plenty of on-site parking.

The new Fairfield branch offers a full-service team of bankers. The branch is led by the newest member of First County Bank, Benedict “Ben” Peter. Also on site are bankers specializing in business banking and residential lending.  Investment and trust services are also available, provided by First County Advisors, the Wealth Management Division of First County Bank.

Next time you’re in the area be sure to stop by, say hello and check out our new Branch and specials being offered in the town of Fairfield.