First County Bank Profile, In Our Community

Roosevelt Simmons: One of the World’s Ten Nicest People

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Pictured (left to right): Hank Herman & Roosevelt Simmons

In November, Hank Herman of the Westport News wrote an article, The Home Team / The world’s 10 nicest people (Part 2). In the article, Herman lists ten of the world’s nicest people living in Westport, from “Joe the Italian Mailman” to “Sam at Mobil”; and in the mix our very own, “Roosevelt at First County Bank”.

“Roosevelt at First County Bank: Our youngest son Robby thinks Roosevelt, Assistant Branch Manager at our local First County on the Post Road, is the coolest person on the planet. He’s also one of the nicest. You know those commercials where they try to make banking seem fun and friendly? Roosevelt actually does that. Except that I have to figure on a 20-minute visit, so we can dissect and solve the problems of the Jets, Mets, and Knicks.”

We couldn’t agree more – next time you’re in Westport be sure to stop by the branch and meet one of the ten nicest people in the world – you won’t be disappointed.

For the full article, click here or visit: http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/The-Home-Team-The-world-s-10-nicest-people-12329097.php

First County Bank Profile

#FrontlineFridays: Meet Iliana Nikolova

iliana1Meet Iliana Nikolova, Teller Supervisor at the First County Bank Darien Branch located at 1006 Post Road in this edition of #FrontlineFridays.

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Iliana Nikolova. I was born in Bulgaria, a small European country with old history and rich culture and traditions. I never thought that one day I would end up in a place called, “the land of opportunity”, but here I am!

Since then I’ve been tackling the challenges to adjust, learning and growing to become a successful person. You can find me in the dictionary under positive, funny and outgoing. I’ve been with First County Bank for 4 years, the last two years as a Teller Supervisor at the Darien Branch. I live in Stamford with my husband and two daughters.

What is your favorite part of your role at First County Bank?
My favorite part of my role at First County Bank is mostly the interaction with customers, being able to help them with whatever issue they are having, being able to find the answer to their questions, having them leave the branch with a smile and a comment: “Thank you very much. You are the best”.

Also, my new role as Teller Trainer Specialist gives me an opportunity to implement my knowledge and help new hires grow into their career here in First County Bank.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
The most frequent question, “What’s my balance?”.

What is your favorite part of the holidays?
My favorite part of the holidays is Christmas Eve. The celebration of Christmas Eve in Bulgaria is ruled by traditions that are distinctly different from those Americans know. We follow Bulgarian customs closely. We invite an odd number of guests for a vegetarian meal that’s made up of an odd number of dishes.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County Bank moment was when I got promoted to a full time Teller and later on as a Teller Supervisor. I was accepted as part of the First County Bank family and given the opportunity to learn more and grow professionally. Also, I’m grateful to know and work with such wonderful people around me who are helping me every day to achieve my career goals, without whom I would not be where I am today.

First County Bank Profile

#FrontlineFridays: Meet Perry Mihaleas

perry-ffMeet Perry Mihaleas, Customer Service Representative at the First County Bank New Canaan Branch located at 95 Park Street in this edition of #FrontlineFridays.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up and live in Stamford.  I have been with First County Bank for about 7 years, and work at the New Canaan Branch.  I am a UCONN Alumnus and a UCONN Athletics fan.  I have 3 kids, and have enjoyed coaching youth teams:  Stamford Girls Softball, Volleyball and Basketball.  Probably one of the most rewarding experiences I have had was coaching a Challenger Baseball Team.

What is your favorite part of your role at First County Bank?
My favorite part of my role at First County Bank is my interaction with our customers, helping them with their banking needs and financial questions, but also having a personal interaction with them.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
The most frequent question I receive from customers is usually about a transaction they may have forgotten or a question about online banking.

What is your favorite part of the holidays?
My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  We get together with family and friends, and I am very happy to enjoy each other’s company.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
I am not sure I have one favorite moment.  I find it rewarding when I can answer a customer’s question about a loan or some various financial options that we have that may benefit them; or when a customer calls and asks for you and you are able to assist them, and they tell you at the end of the call, “Thank You for your help. That’s why I do business here, because I am able to speak to a person on the phone.”

AITE Branch, First County Bank Profile

Alexander Graf, AITE Branch Student-Employee, Commended Student in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program

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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. During the first year of the program, we have had the pleasure of working with many motivated AITE students.

In October, student-employee Alexander Graf was named a Commended Student in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. Alex is a graduating senior at AITE and took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about his experience working for First County Bank’s AITE Branch.

What were your initial thoughts about being a First County Bank, AITE Branch student-employee?
I initially heard about the opportunity from a couple different teachers of mine who suggested that it would be a good experience. I ended up applying and we began the training in August of last year. I was unsure, but once I met Sheila (AITE Branch Manager) and the training got underway, it was a great experience.

The experience I’ve had overall working at the Branch has been second-to-none. Unlike learning in the classroom it was great to have first-hand experience on how things actually work behind the scenes at a bank. Additionally, I learned about the different types of accounts that are offered and how they are beneficial. I learned a lot of things that they don’t teach in school – how credit cards work, 401(k)’s, IRAs and just the different types of accounts in general.

What surprised you the most about your experience in the financial industry?
As someone who is interested in finance, I thought I had a good handle on what I might experience. However what surprised me the most was how friendly everyone was. There’s a stigma of how the business world is tough and no one is really there to help you – at the Bank you’re not just thrown into a situation, the peer-to-peer customer service was not what I had expected.

I also enjoyed the opportunity to work at the drive-through window at Summer St. It was that experience that really surprised me, and showed the willingness of everyone to help and mentor you.

What’s a key educational takeaway from your experience?
That’s an easy question, “how to know what to do.” The most important thing I learned really comes down to how to manage money. I think that that’s really something important for us to learn, especially before going to college. Many of us will be taking out loans whether it’s through the government or privately-funded and if we don’t know how to manage money and save, we’re going to have a really tough time coming out of it.

How will you use the skills you’ve learned in college?
My next goal is to get an internship at a financial services firm in college. First County Bank is the primary experience I will use when applying for an internship. Furthermore, what I’ve learned about money management and the industry overall is irreplaceable. I look forward to also using this experience to help future classmates and friends when it comes to classwork or personal finances/money management.

What financial tip or lesson would you share with a friend or family member based on your experience?
“Know how to make your money work for you.” Make sure you save in a reliable way, don’t just put your money in a savings account and let it sit there. It takes self-control to be smart about your money but it’s important that you make your money work for you. Most people just aren’t aware or start too late when it comes to saving for retirement; it’s important that we start now and educate ourselves on things like compounding interest.

Alex is in the process of applying to college. He’d like to major in Economics with certifications in Finance and Business. Alex also has a passion for music, which he’d like to minor in wherever he attends school.

First County Bank Profile

#FrontlineFridays: Meet Giselle Herrera

IMG_7881Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been working at First County Bank since April 2017. I am Peruvian, and came to this country 11 years ago. I currently study Finance at UCONN and I love cooking and reading.

What is your favorite part of your role at First County Bank?
I love the ability to help customers with their transactions and questions. Every day I try my best to make customers happy. I believe that we should always treat people the way we want to be treated.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
Customers frequently ask for their balance history

What is your favorite fall/autumn activity?
I really enjoy long walks during autumn, this is my favorite season of the year; I love the color of the trees.

What is your favorite part of the holidays?
During the holidays I really enjoy spending time with my family. I usually cook for the holidays. Having my loved ones at my dinner table is priceless. My favorite holiday is Christmas, I feel like a kid again!

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County Bank moment was when I opened an account for a customer for the first time. I was a little nervous but everything went very well.

First County Bank Profile

#FrontlineFridays: Meet Ricky Arriaga

IMG_7761Meet Ricky Arriaga, Teller at the First County Bank West Main Street, Stamford Branch located at 1980 West Main Street in this edition of #FrontlineFridays.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I have been working for First County Bank for 2 years now. I grew up and currently live in Stamford. I enjoy watching sports mostly football and basketball, I also love listening to music and traveling to new places when I go on vacation.

What is your favorite part of your role at First County Bank?
My favorite part about my role with the Bank is meeting new customers and helping people with their banking needs and learning and growing every day.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
The most frequent question I receive from the customers is if I can help them get set up with our online banking.

What is your favorite fall/autumn activity?
My favorite fall activity would have to be playing pickup football with friends and catching up with people I haven’t seen in a long time. My favorite holiday is Halloween, going out and dressing up in crazy costumes is a lot of fun.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County Bank moment was when I made my very first credit card sale; the customer was approved for $3,000.00 line of credit. It was my favorite moment because it was exciting and motivating, and it encouraged me to keep working harder.

 

First County Bank Profile

#FrontlineFridays: Meet Lily Alvarez Angeles

IMG_7740Meet Lily Alvarez Angeles, Teller at the First County Bank Prospect Street Branch located at 117 Prospect Street in this edition of #FrontlineFridays.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a simple person, who believes in God. I am fully convinced that God is good and that He acts every day in my family’s life. I am a wife and a mom who takes care of her family as best as possible. I have two children, Gerardo, 20, who is a junior at UCONN Stamford and Analily, 9, who just started 3rd grade at a school in Stamford.

What is your favorite part of your role at First County Bank?
What I like most about my job at First County Bank is helping customers, treating them with joy and a smile, and listening and motivating them to have a beautiful day. I love to meet customers from different places around the world. The Bank is perfect to meet a lot of people who think and act differently; as we have a diverse community.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
The most frequent question I get from customers is “what is the balance in my checking account?”

What is your favorite thing to do during the fall?
My favorite activity in autumn is to go to the park with my children.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County Bank moment was when I was preparing a speech about my experience as a woman, new to this wonderful country, for the Women’s Mentoring Network.  The speech was read last year at a celebration for First County Bank Foundation’s 15th Anniversary. The best part was having the Prospect Street Branch help me perfect my speech. Our branch manager, Edens, was so over joyed with the collaboration of the speech that he bought us all lunch.

First County Bank Profile

#FrontlineFridays: Meet Wayne Eber

wayneeberMeet Wayne Eber, Customer Service Representative at the First County Bank North Stamford Branch located at 1042 High Ridge Road in this edition of #FrontlineFridays.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Chicago, Illinois and spent my early life in the suburb of Northbrook – which was known at the time for Olympic skaters. My father was a research chemist and we relocated several times in my adolescence. Consequently, I attended three different high schools and graduated from Catholic High for Boys in Memphis, Tennessee.

I went on to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle for a year. I then attended Norwalk Community College, and finally got my college degree with a concentration in Business from Charter Oak College in Connecticut in 1988.

I’ve worked for several banks but my best experience has been with First County Bank. This January will be my 24th year here.

I also enjoy singing and have been working for many years with a group, “Marie’s Circle of Singers”. On occasion we perform in nursing homes.

What is your favorite part of your role at First County Bank?
My favorite part of my role at First County Bank is the customer contact and ability to offer first class service to our customers. They have certainly become family through all these years.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
The most frequent question I receive is, “How many years have you been with the Bank?”

What is your favorite thing to do during the fall?
My favorite activity is traveling through the Northeast to experience the beauty of the fall foliage. My travels have largely taken me through New York State, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
I remember cruising on the Long Island Sound around the Norwalk Islands with my co-workers in the early days of when I began working for the Bank. I really enjoy my co-workers and getting to know their families, attending their weddings, etc.

First County Bank Profile

#FrontlineFridays: Meet Anna Zaremba

web-azMeet Anna Zaremba, Teller at the First County Bank North Stamford Branch located at 1042 High Ridge Road in this edition of #FrontlineFridays.

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Anna Zaremba and I am a Teller at First County Bank. I have been working at the Bank since October 2016. When I was 26, I earned my Master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning in the Bialystok Technical University in Poland. Presently, I live in Norwalk with my family. When I’m not working I enjoy field trips with my dog Rosie and my Nikon camera.

What is your favorite part of your role at First County Bank?
That’s a difficult question, because there is a lot I like about my current job. I’d say that I enjoy the responsibility and precise approach which is necessary for me to deliver extraordinary customer service for our customers. I like to carry positive emotions into the workplace and in interactions with the customers. I enjoy giving direct support to my colleagues and management in a way that really makes a difference for our customers. I enjoy the challenge that every day brings.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
“How can I open an account?” And “how can I get help if something goes wrong?”

What is your favorite fall/autumn activity?
Hiking on colorful leaf-strewn trails, apple picking and making my home filled with a smell of freshly baked apple pie.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
The best parts of my job are meeting new people and developing great relationships with them. I love helping people with their banking needs in a knowledgeable, professional manner and guiding customers through tough everyday financial choices. It is extremely rewarding to see them leave happy.

First County Bank Profile

#FrontlineFridays: Meet Shaun Intriago

webIn this first edition of #FrontlineFridays meet Shaun Intriago. He is a Customer Service Representative at the First County Bank Summer St. Branch located at 2950 Summer Street.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I have been with First County Bank for 4 years.  Along with being a member of the First County Bank Financial Literacy Program, I am also a First County Bank Wellness Ambassador and I coach the First County Bank Softball Team.

In my spare time, I enjoy participating in run/walk events to help raise money for different charities and I have contributed to many organizations such as CancerCare, The Stamford Public Education Foundation, and P.A.W.S (pet animal welfare society) just to name a few.​  I also enjoy eating and I am a die-hard football fan.

What is your favorite part of your role at First County Bank?
My favorite part of my role at First County Bank is the interaction with customers.  Customers frequently tell us that they switched to First County Bank because, unlike other banks, we treat our customers like people and not just a number.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
The most frequent question I get from customers is, “Donde esta Camilo?”

What is your favorite thing to do during the fall?
My favorite things to do during the fall are playing golf (mini-golf to be exact) and tailgating.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County Bank moment is when I can make a customer leave the bank happier than they were when they came in.