First County Bank Profile

#FridaysinFairfield: Meet Mariam Njie

Meet Mariam Njie, Teller at our Fairfield Branch located at 1312 Post Road in this edition of #FridaysinFairfield.

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Mariam Njie. I was hired in the summer of 2017 and began at the Norwalk, Main Avenue Branch. I have an Associate’s Degree in Finance. I am a wife and a mother of two boys. I enjoy cooking and reading.

What separates First County Bank from other Banks?
I believe what separates First County Bank from other Banks is the excellent customer service that we provide. This I can personally attest to because I have helped out at different branches and this has been a consistent theme in all of them. We always go the extra mile to meet the needs of our customers.

What excites you the most about the new Fairfield Branch?
The staff and also the location.  My colleagues and I have developed a great rapport and I am excited about the future of this branch. We are located in the heart of Downtown Fairfield, which means the branch is accessible to a very diverse group of customers. The centralized location also provides a lot of interesting places to visit on my breaks.

What’s something someone may not know about First County Bank?
First County Bank offers the convenience of online banking. This convenience offers things such as monitoring transactions/balances, transferring money between accounts, scheduling bill pay, and using the money management tool to manage finances, all from the comfort of their home or on the go with mobile.

A recent add-on is that customers can open accounts via online banking from the comfort of their home.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite moment is every opportunity I have to attend to a customer and providing a needed service so that they walk away with a smile on their face.

First County Bank Profile

First County Bank Profile: Karen Chavez

Meet Karen Chavez, Branch Manager of our Springdale Branch, located at 1110 Hope Street, Stamford.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Ecuador and have been working at First County Bank for over 12 years. I currently reside in Stamford with my husband and my two children. I love listening to music and enjoy spending time with my family. I am an active member of the Stamford Exchange Club and JM Wright PFO.

What is your favorite part of your role at First County Bank?
My favorite part of my role at First County Bank is being able to interact with people, help customers accomplish their financial needs, and establish lasting relationships. It makes me feel good when customers ask me, “What do you think I should do Karen – Give me your advice.”

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
 What are the current CD rates?

What is something people may not know about First County Bank?
What it makes First County Bank different from other banks is the level of customer service we provide, we treat our customers with respect and we care about them.

What is your favorite thing to do during the spring or summer?
During the summer I love being outdoors and preparing barbecues with my friends and family.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County Bank moment when I was promoted as a Branch Manager.

First County Bank Profile

#FridaysinFairfield: Meet Iliana Nikolova

Meet Iliana Nikolova, Assistant Branch Manager at our Fairfield Branch located at 1312 Post Road in this edition of #FridaysinFairfield.

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Iliana Nikolova. I was born and raised in Bulgaria and I came to the States 14 years ago. Since then I’ve been tackling the challenges to adjust, learn and grow to become a successful person.  You can find me in the dictionary under positive, funny and outgoing.  My career in First County Bank started 4 years ago as a part time teller. My consistency and hard work helped me quickly move up the ladder, and for the past two years I’ve been Teller Supervisor in the Darien Branch. Now in my new role as an Assistant Branch Manager, it gives an opportunity to assist in managing a branch while mentoring and helping new hires grow into their career here in First County Bank.

What separates First County Bank from other Banks?
We offer similar products as other financial institutions, but what makes us stand out is the superior customer service that we provide to our customers. We know our customer’s name, we know their life stories, we know when they are happy or sad; we take banking up close and personal.

What excites you the most about the new Fairfield Branch?
The most exciting part of the new Fairfield Branch is the opportunity to meet new people and establish new relationships. On a personal side, my new role as an Assistant Branch Manager is exciting for me.

What’s something someone may not know about First County Bank?
Our business customers might not know that they can make a deposit through our mobile application. This feature is a convenient way to save a trip to the Bank. Also, we have fingerprint authentication for online banking which provides fast access to your account balance or transfers between accounts.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County Bank moment is 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.”

I’m also grateful to be part of the First County Bank family which has given me the opportunity to learn and grow professionally. I have gotten to know and work with such wonderful people, 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

#FridaysinFairfield: Meet Anna Zaremba

IMG_8857Meet Anna Zaremba, Teller Supervisor at our Fairfield Branch located at 1312 Post Road in this edition of #FridaysinFairfield.

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Anna Zaremba and I presently live in Norwalk with my family. Photography is my passion, because nothing else allows me to combine love for science and art.

When I was 26, I earned my Master degree in Architecture and Urban Planning in the Bialystok Technical University in Poland.

Since February 2018, I’ve been a Teller Supervisor at First County Bank, Fairfield Branch. I have been working at the Bank since October 2016. I started in the “Glenbrook Branch family” as a part time teller.  After 9 months, I had another great opportunity to learn from the best in the North Stamford Branch as a Full Time Teller. I am someone who has been fortunate enough to find great mentors at First County Bank, where I have been able to progress and be continually challenged. I am hoping that my present role allows for that to continue over the next years.

What separates First County Bank from other Banks?
First County Bank is a community bank that has served the Fairfield County population since the 19th century, and has always been known for exceptional customer service. We treat our customers like “family”, which is what separates us from other banks.

What excites you the most about the new Fairfield Branch?
The fact that we weren’t just hired to just “do a job” makes me very excited. We all were hired to be part of the branch as a whole, a branch that has very specific objectives and goals to achieve. But the idea that we have a unique opportunity to build relationships in the town of Fairfield and surrounding neighborhoods from a scratch makes me feel truly alive and inspired.

What’s something someone may not know about First County Bank?
I believe First County Bank is a leading creator of innovative financial solutions for all our personal and business customers. Something specific some people may not know is that we also take care of the ones our customers love the most, by offering a wide range of annuity products and life insurances offered by SBLI Vantis Life.

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 customers with their banking needs in a knowledgeable, professional manner and guiding them through tough everyday financial choices. It is extremely rewarding to see them leave happy.

 

First County Bank Profile

#FridaysinFairfield: Meet Ben Peter

bp-ffMeet Benedict Peter, Branch Manager at the new Fairfield Branch located at 1312 Post Road in our first edition of #FridaysinFairfield.

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Benedict Peter. I currently live in East Norwalk with my family. I have two kids Isabella and William and enjoy spending time with them. In my spare time I play soccer, cricket and enjoy taking long walks at the beach.  I have been with First County Bank since December 2017. I am excited to be at the Fairfield Branch and excited to have a great team to help serve our customers and our community with their financial needs.

What separates First County Bank from other Banks?
The biggest thing that separates First County Bank from other Banks is that we are a mutual community bank. This means that we do not have to report to shareholders. Instead we can focus on our customers, our community and our employees.

What excites you the most about the new Fairfield Branch?
I am excited that we have expanded our footprint and are able to serve our customers and community.

What’s something someone may not know about First County Bank?
Our Foundation was established in 2001 and contributes generously to nonprofit organizations that support community and economic development.  Since 2001 we have given over 1,000 individual grants worth over $8.2 million.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County moment was the first day of work. Everyone was so helpful and friendly that I immediately felt part of the family.

First County Bank Profile

#FridaysinFairfield: Meet the Staff

Pictured (Left to Right): Anna Zaremba, Teller Supervisor; Haidei Bolnos, Teller; Ben Peter, Branch Manager; Illiana Nikolova, Assistant Branch Manager.

Pictured (Left to Right): Anna Zaremba, Teller Supervisor; Haidei Bolanos, Teller; Ben Peter, Branch Manager; Illiana Nikolova, Assistant Branch Manager.

The move to Fairfield is not only an exciting moment for the Bank, but a confirmation of our commitment to the area of Fairfield County. For over 165 years, we have worked closely with our customers to deliver personalized banking solutions to fit their needs. None of this would be possible without a committed team of individuals who believe in what it means to be a mutual, community bank.

The Fairfield Branch will be no different. The Fairfield Branch opening brings seasoned First County Bank veterans and new faces to the branch, who all share the common commitment of what it means to work at First County Bank.

We’re excited to kick off a new social media series called, #FridaysinFairfield where we’ll give you a chance to meet and get to know the great members of our newest staff, located at 1312 Post Road, Fairfield, CT.

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.