The Westport Library and First County Bank are pleased to announce mutual support of the Library’s long-awaited Transformation Project. The Transformation Project is a $19.5 million-dollar sweeping renovation of the existing 1986 facility that kicked off earlier this month. First County Bank is providing bridge financing for the project’s capital campaign through a competitively priced customized financial solution.
Rey Giallongo, Chairman and CEO, First County Bank speaking at the Westport Library’s Transformation Project ground-breaking.
“A project of this nature is simply not possible without the strong support of many community partners,” said Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer. “We are proud and grateful to have First County Bank as one of those key partners. Their belief in the mission and vision for the new Library and what it will mean for the community we serve has been critical in finally getting the shovel in the ground on this exciting transformation.”
“Having been in Westport for 21 years and an independent community bank for 167 years, we, like the Library, have learned about staying relevant in our communities. We understand the changing landscape in library science, education and the plan put forward by the Library team is nothing short of visionary,” said First County Bank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rey Giallongo. “We are proud to support this transformation and invest in such a community treasure.” First County Bank is also providing full banking services to the Library, as a result of the Request for Proposal (RFP) process initiated by The Library.
In addition to the bridge financing from First County Bank, funding for the Transformation Project is being provided by a variety of sources. Public dollars from the Town of Westport were approved in January of 2017 when the Town’s RTM unanimously approved the allocation of $5 million for the initiative. The town’s funding will cover the cost to replace the dated and inefficient mechanical systems – the HVAC, plumbing and elevator – which are original to the 1986 facility. The Library also applied for and received a $1 million dollar grant from the Connecticut State Library. The bulk of the funding is being raised by private donors. To date, the Library has raised $17 million for the project.
We are excited to announce that we have recently updated our Online Bill Pay system! With our new Online Bill Pay system you’ll be able to manage all of your bill payments with ease. Our new Bill Pay system will be more intuitive and designed to make it easier for you to pay bills. You will enjoy quicker payment speeds, the industry’s leading eBill service, and enhanced mobile functionality.
The new Online Bill Pay system offers new and improved features and functionalities such as:
- Enhanced eBills
- The ability to group “like” biller/payees together
- Later cut-off times – Certain bill payments can be set up as late as 10:00 p.m.
- Make recurring payments
- Payment scheduling options interact with eBills
- Schedule payment reminders and alerts
- Search pre-catalogued payees
- Rush payment options
- Extended payment history available
- Alerts and enhanced fraud monitoring to protect you from unauthorized payments
To learn more about our newly enhanced Online Bill Pay System, click here or visit: www.firstcountybank.com/bill-pay-upgrade.
We’re proud to announce that First County Bank is officially on Instagram! With some great grant check deliveries, community involvement and event photos – we couldn’t think of a better way to share who we are as a Bank.
If you have an Instagram account we encourage you to follow us – and if you don’t, what a great reason for you to create one!
Find us on Instagram @firstcountybank
First County Bank is pleased to announce that Pacific House was selected to receive a grant as a result of the Bank’s involvement in a special program of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. First County Bank accessed the Jobs For New England program of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston which promotes economic development in the community by providing special financing to its member banks to fund small business loans specifically to create or preserve jobs, expand woman, minority, or veteran-owned businesses, or to otherwise stimulate the economy in the New England communities.
First County Bank utilized the Jobs for New England program to fund the purchase of an office building and to renovate the building for a local dental practice. This resulted in increasing the building’s value, improving the surrounding neighborhood and increasing local employment by adding jobs to its growing dental practice. Because of the Bank’s first-time participation in this program, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston made a grant available to a non-profit of the Bank’s choice through its Grants for New England Partnerships. First County Bank chose Pacific House, Inc., due to its innovative approach to developing housing for the homeless.
Left to Right: First County Bank Business Banking employees Sara Tucker, senior vice president and director Business Banking Division, Jim Darling, vice president and team leader, Patty Sweeney, vice president, present a First County Bank Foundation $10,000 grant to Jerome Roberts, Associate Executive Director, and John Silango, Chief Financial Officer of Pacific House, Inc.
“It is exciting for First County Bank to participate in the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Jobs For New England program along with the honor to select Pacific House as a special grant recipient. This program improves our local economy in so many ways, “ said Sara Tucker, senior vice president and director of Business Banking at First County Bank. “It is amazing how one loan can grow a local business, increase the value of a neighborhood, expand employment and benefit a local nonprofit’s mission, making a strong economic impact in such a positive manner.”
Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston awarded $2,500 to Pacific House, Inc. on behalf of First County Bank. This grant augments the $10,000 grant given by First County Bank Foundation, Inc. to Pacific House, Inc. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston grant to Pacific House demonstrates the collaboration taking place in New England between financial service partners to benefit the community and focus on economic development.
First County Bank is pleased to announce that Jagjiwan Singh, assistant vice president, Business Development Officer, was recognized by Fairfield County Business Journal as one of Fairfield County’s 40 Under 40 at the June 20 awards celebration held at Silicon Harbor, Stamford. Singh is responsible for business development and the origination of small business and commercial loans.
This is the 13th annual celebration of the Fairfield County Business Journal honoring top forty professionals under the age of forty. Candidates are judged based on their position in their careers and contributions to their business field or community. Over 100 young professionals are nominated each year for this honor and represent many business fields including: financial services, insurance, banking, real estate, medical, technology, law, marketing, and others.
“We are delighted Singh was recognized for his accomplishments in the banking industry and service to our community,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, Jr., Chairman and CEO of First County Bank. “It is an honor for him to be awarded the 40 Under 40 award by the Fairfield County Business Journal. Singh is a valued member of our Business Banking team.”
Singh is involved in the community as a member of the Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Foundation. Jagjiwan has been with First County Bank for approximately a year and has made an impact through his ability to partner with other First County Bank team members and to identify opportunities in the marketplace. Singh is a responsive trusted advisor to customers and prospects, as well as to his partners within the Bank. His career in business banking started in 2009. He has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Connecticut and has completed extensive professional financial course work. Jagjiwan is multilingual with fluency in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.
First County Bank is pleased to announce that Juanita T. James, president and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, has been named to First County Bank’s board of directors. James was officially appointed to the board at the June 21, 2017 meeting.
“Juanita’s community involvement through volunteerism and business leadership are renowned. She brings substantial business expertise to our board. Juanita has served First County Bank as a Corporator for the past ten years,” said Rey Giallongo, First County Bank chairman and CEO. “We know she will be an exceptional addition to our board of directors.”
James has an extensive background dedicated to community and volunteer service and has received a multitude of accolades which include:
- NAACP “100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut”
- Stamford Public Education Foundation “Excellence in Education”
- Moffly Media “Light a Fire”
- Stamford “Citizen of the Year”.
In addition to her appointment to the First County Bank board of directors, Juanita also serves as Asbury Automotive Group, director; Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, director; CT Council of Philanthropy, director; Lesley University, trustee; Princeton University, trustee emerita.
James has been a corporator at First County Bank since June 2007. In addition to her time at Pitney Bowes, Inc., as chief marketing and communications officer, she previously held key business positions at Time Warner, Inc. and Bertelsmann, Inc. James earned a master’s degree in business policy from Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s degree in Romance languages from Princeton University. In addition, she has been awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Fairfield University and from Mitchell College. Juanita and her husband, Dudley Williams Jr., live in Stamford and have an adult son, Dudley, III.
In September 2016, First County Bank opened a limited-access bank branch at The Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE) high school in Stamford, CT. With the first school year coming to a close, we took some time to talk to one of our AITE Branch student-employees to hear about his experience working at the AITE Branch.
Justin Blum is a graduating senior at AITE and in the fall will continue his education at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS), Amherst. Here are some highlights from the interview:
What were your initial thoughts about being a student-employee of First County Bank at AITE?
Well, at first I thought it was an interesting concept – opening a branch in a high school. I then realized it would be a great opportunity for me as a student. I want to study business in college, so I knew this would be a great opportunity for me to get real experience in the “business world”.
What surprised you the most about your experience in the financial industry?
The amount of different regulations was surprising. I had never really considered the amount of regulations in place to protect not only the Bank but the customers as well. One thing I did learn was that banking is much more personable than I previously thought. I expected to crunch numbers most of the day in a stricter, more formal environment. This was not the case, much of my job centered on the customer experience and building relationships!
What’s a key educational takeaway from your experience?
I accomplished my main goal of learning about the business world – it’s a complex place. It was interesting to understand how transactions are handled between deposits and withdrawals, especially how things done today can affect something further down the road.
How will you use the skills you’ve learned in college?
I’ve learned how to think more critically. I believe I can use the complexity of the behind-the-scenes work that I’ve learned and apply it when learning new materials in college courses and better connect the dots. It’ll give me an advantage in class and the ability to help my future classmates.
What financial tip or lesson would you share with a friend or family member based on your experience?
The most important tip I would share is to save. Building a savings is something my family has always instilled in me, it was only further reinforced by working in the branch. Today many of my friends are getting their license and starting to drive – it is now much easier for us to go a spend money on things we don’t necessarily need. I’d encourage everyone to carefully track their spending and begin to set money aside in case of an emergency.
At UMASS, Amherst Justin will pursue a double major in Business and Psychology. He hopes to one day become a Human Resources Psychologist or Business Consultant. We wish Justin and all graduating seniors of AITE the best of luck in all their future endeavors!
In a recent article 2016 Top Lenders, published by the Commercial Record, First County Bank is noted as a Top Lender of 2016. The Top Lender results “compiled with data gathered by The Warren Group, highlights the top residential and commercial mortgage lenders in the state by both volume and number of loans.”
We are pleased to announce that we were noted as a top lender in Fairfield County for both residential and commercial mortgages. We were also recognized as a top multifamily mortgage lender in the state of Connecticut!
“They were good transactions for us, and I think they were great transactions for the communities where these apartment buildings were located,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, Chairman and CEO, First County Bank. “It kept good quality stock in those towns with good quality sponsors.”
We are pleased to announce the recent addition of Duncan T. Lee. He joins the Bank’s Retail Banking Division as branch manager of the 1135 Post Road East, Westport, CT branch.
“We continually look to enhance our team by recruiting talented bankers and we welcome Duncan, with his 20 years of banking experience and recognition for sales and customer satisfaction,” said Reyno Giallongo, First County Bank’s chairman and CEO. “Duncan will be responsible for managing customer relationships and new business development for our Westport branch.”
As a branch manager, Duncan is responsible for managing branch customer service performance and cultivating relationships with community, industry and professional contacts. He is committed to helping customers and businesses select the best banking solution to achieve their goals.
Prior to joining First County Bank, Lee worked at several large banks in New York and Connecticut where he was a branch and district manager. In 1994, Duncan started his banking career in Westport. He has a B.S. in Marketing from Quinnipiac University.
Duncan is a resident of Stamford, CT and when not working, he enjoys time spent with his son and family. He is an active member in the community with the Chamber of Commerce in Stamford, CT, Scarsdale and Bedford, NY.
We’re pleased to announce the recent hiring of Michael “Mike” Yao, who joins the Bank’s Commercial Banking Division as vice president, senior commercial banking officer. The addition of Yao demonstrates our commitment to further meet the needs of its commercial customers and the business community.
“Mike will be originating and building commercial business for the Bank. With over 30 years of expertise in commercial banking, he will be a strong contributor the Bank’s relationship management and lending team.” said Reyno Giallongo, First County Bank’s chairman and CEO.
Prior to joining First County Bank, Mike held commercial lending and portfolio management officer positions with several banks in Connecticut. Most of his banking career was spent in Fairfield County building commercial banking relationships. Yao has extensive banking and portfolio management experience with Commercial and Industrial Small Business Administration and Commercial Real Estate lending.
Yao is a member of the Housatonic Industrial Development Corporation Board of Directors since 2012, and vice president since 2012, along with being active with the Make A Wish Foundation of CT. He has an M.B.A. in Corporate Finance from University of New Haven and a B.S. in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University. Yao and his family reside in Trumbull, CT.