First County Bank Profile

AITE Branch, Student-Employee Profile: Meet Anoushka Chatterjee

Anoushka Chatterjee, First County Bank, AITE Branch Student-Employee.

In this First County Bank Profile we stopped by our limited-access branch at the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE) in Stamford to meet soon-to-be AITE Graduate Anoushka Chatterjee.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a senior here at AITE and will attend Indiana University in the fall, I was admitted directly to the Kelley School of Business. I hope to major in Information Systems with a minor in either accounting or finance. My interest in business sparked when I took accounting last year, and I look forward to continuing my passion for the next four years.

Outside of school, I am a swimmer and swim for Zeus and Norwalk High School Girls Swim Team. In the fall, I was named FCIAC Scholar Athlete of the Month. I currently live in Norwalk, with a sister who attends the University of Wisconsin. Since my junior year, I have worked at Kumon Tutoring Center in Westport as well as played the cello in the Norwalk Youth Symphony. This is my second term working at the First County Bank, AITE Branch.

What were your initial thoughts about being a First County Bank, AITE Branch student-employee?
Initially, I thought it would be a great opportunity especially since I took Accounting I last year, and continued with Accounting II this year.

I also thought it would be perfect exposure to be a part of a business and learn how to consult with customers as a high school senior. Attaining these skills will benefit me as I go into business school, as I will have a better idea of what it’s like to work in the real world.

What surprised you the most about your experience in the financial industry?
I was surprised with the sense of responsibility that came from learning all the terms of confidentiality and detail to accuracy required. I was impressed with how technology has become so advanced in today’s society to make banking transactions easier for this job. Today there is apple pay, remote deposits, and the ability to deposit checks on mobile once we receive it.

What’s a key educational takeaway from your experience?
A key educational takeaway from this experience would be from the monthly BAI tests that we are required to take. They are essential for our jobs and allow us to learn a new skill each month. Some examples of what we have learned are: Identity theft (defend against someone from having their identity get stolen), OFAC regulation (determining someone’s past and risk), bank safety/robbery training (how to stay safe during a robbery).

How will you use the skills you’ve learned in college?
With this job, I’ve really learned to be disciplined and the importance of deadlines. Since I am pursuing business, everything I learned in financial services will help me for when I have presentations, internships and job opportunities. Managing money with today’s expenses and high costs is not easy, which is why it’s important to save as much as possible and start a 401(k) in the first job you get.

What financial tip or lesson would you share with a friend or family member based on your experience?
If there was one thing I learned from this experience, it would be how essential it is to be responsible with money and managing spending within means of your current salary. It’s extremely vital for people to understand the importance of budgets and how much one can spend. After going through this experience, I learned how difficult it can get having to pay off debts, so I strongly believe that one must value the concept of saving money.

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First County Bank Profile: Meet Beth Brucker

Meet Beth Brucker, Mortgage Loan Originator for the Norwalk, Westport and Fairfield Branches of First County Bank.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I service the Westport, Norwalk and Fairfield Branches of First County Bank.   In addition, I also work out of the main office of residential lending at Prospect Street, Stamford and service clients all over CT.   I have been with the bank since November 2016 and wished I moved to First County Bank much earlier in my career.

Volunteering is a passion to me and I am very involved in the communities of Fairfield County. For over a decade I was active with the Fairfield Women Exchange in Southport and am looking to rejoin this group again. In Westport, I have been a board officer and a Special Paul Harris Award Recipient for the Westport Rotary Club and serve as the Lobsterfest Volunteer Chair.

What separates First County Bank from other Banks?
First County Bank provides unparalleled customer service.   We are true to the meaning of a “community bank”. In residential lending, our upfront “commitment/pre-approval” without a property, “make sense underwriting”, their “sure fire closing process”, and everyone “under one roof” makes the loan process streamlined.    It is the best process I have witnessed in the residential lending business.

What excites you the most about the newly opened Fairfield Branch?
The opportunity to return to a town that was so much a part of me and my family.   Other than living in Southport, CT and volunteering at the Fairfield Women’s Exchange for over a decade, my roots are deeply seated in the Fairfield and Westport communities.   I graduated from Fairfield University and my daughters graduated from the Fairfield school system.   My husband practiced law in the town of Fairfield and played a big part in the development of The Ridge in Fairfield, the old Pepperidge Farm Estate.

What’s something someone may not know about First County Bank?
In residential lending, the fact that we issue a true solid commitment/pre-approval signed by our underwriters gives us a competitive advantage and is unique in the industry! Because of this upfront commitment/pre-approval, our closing is expedient and fast.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
My favorite First County Bank moment – is every day.   I love what I do because of the strong team that supports me.   I didn’t realize I would feel this way again about the mortgage industry.

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#FridaysinFairfield: Meet Ruchi Sharma

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

Tell us more about yourself.
My name is Ruchi Sharma and I live in Trumbull with my husband and two daughters. I am from India and we came to the United States in 2006. I like to keep myself busy with different kinds of activities that are related to work, house chores or entertainment. From the beginning, working in a bank and becoming teacher have been my ambitions and I am proud to say that today, I have fulfilled both.

I started my banking career with First County Bank in the Westport branch two years ago. The support and trust I received there as a new comer in banking, is something not only do I appreciate but respect. I will continue to give my best service to the Bank as well as to our customers.

In addition to fulfilling my role at the Bank, I am also the coordinator and teacher of the nonprofit organization HindiUSA. Simply put, I love what I do and there’s nothing stopping me from reaching my full potential.

What separates First County Bank from other banks?
There are many things that set First County Bank apart from other banks. However the most important thing is the enthusiasm towards our customers, which can be seen by our big smiles and the friendly manner and positive attitude we maintain in order to make customers feel like a family member. This is the most prevalent feature that separates us from other banks.

What excites you the most about the new Fairfield branch?
The opportunity to learn more and get to know more about the community’s needs in terms of banking.

What’s something someone may not know about First County Bank?
Most customers might not know that we also offer Vantis Life insurance. And also, an existing customer can now open an account online using online banking.

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
When a customer admires our service and tells us, “That’s what I love about this Bank, the people.”

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First County Bank Profile: Meet Sebastian Kulesza

Meet Sebastian Kulesza, Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager of our Glenbrook Branch, located at 275 Hope Street, Stamford.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Bialystok, Poland and at the tender age of 12 moved to the United States along with my younger brother and our mother in search of a “new beginning.” Upon our arrival, I was very disappointed that contrary to many beliefs and folklore tales, the roads in the U.S. were not made of gold but rather were full of potholes, especially in Brooklyn, New York were we spent our first year in America.

Fast forward to present time, I currently live in Norwalk along with my fiancé and our daughter Kassiani and son Aidan. We have a little home and a white fence; I guess all we’re missing is a cat or a dog to make our “American Dream” complete.

What is your favorite part of your role at First County Bank?
This a tough question to answer since I wear so many “hats” but I would have to say that my favorite role is being able to play a part in my staff’s development and then seeing them fly on their own.

Personally, I don’t think there are a lot of other things more gratifying than seeing others succeed and do well, especially when they have worked hard to get to where they are.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers?
 One of most frequent questions is: “What can we do, to assist a customer with their financial needs?”

What is something people may not know about First County Bank?
I believe that most of our customers are very familiar with our Bank and our belief in providing outstanding customer service. What makes us unique is our multicultural diversity and our ability to work as a team all-around to come up with creative solutions to achieve a customer’s financial needs.

What is your favorite thing to do during the spring or summer?
Going for walks at the park, going to the beach with family, and hosting family and friend cook-outs. What’s better than enjoying the company of those you hold dear to your heart over drink and food, while sharing laughs?

What is your favorite First County Bank moment?
Over the past 15 years, I have had the pleasure of being part of many great moments and memories at the Bank. I believe the memories we create by serving our community, all the fun times we have as a Bank team and the great mentors that have been part of my success here at the Bank are priceless.

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#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.

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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.

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#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.