National Small Business Week recognizes entrepreneurs and small business owners across the country. According to the Small Business Association, “more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.”
We plan to celebrate National Small Business Week by highlighting business events in our community, community partners, and our financial solutions. Help us celebrate National Small Business Week next week by shopping local!
Photo: Michael Cummo / Hearst Connecticut Media
This past Tuesday local executives met at the First County Bank Executive Offices to hold a panel discussion on philanthropic strategies within the community. The panel event, organized by the Mark Lapine Endowment for Families in Business Foundation, discussed key factors in engaging the nonprofit community. Local executives on the panel were:
- Cindi Bigelow, President and CEO, Bigelow Tea
- Reyno Giallongo, Jr., Chairman and CEO, First County Bank, and President, First County Bank Foundation
- Tiffany Kuehner, Board Chair and former CEO, Hope for Haiti
- Mike Maguire, CEO, Structural Graphics, and Co-founder, Raise the Roof
- Ashok Vasudevan, Co-founder and CEO, Preferred Brands International, Chairman of the Board, Tasty Bite Eatables Ltd.
- Moderator: Noah Lapine, Owner, President of Lapine Associates
“We believe that engagement in the nonprofit community should come from an individual’s DNA,” said Rey Giallongo, Jr. Recognizing this many of these executives credit their employees for engaging and fulfilling many of the initiatives they are involved in. “Be there . . . be loud. . .” said Mike Maguire, whether it’s community events or encouraging employees, being authentic about your values and mission play an important role in strengthening local communities.
We’re excited to announce that Carlene Green of Stamford, CT is our most recent winner of the FirstPrize $avings account $1,000 drawing. Responding to the overwhelming need for consumers to increase their savings, we designed the FirstPrize $avings account to inspire those over the age of 18 to save by encouraging frequent and consistent deposits. With each eligible deposit of $25 or greater into this savings account, account holders can automatically earn chances to win $1,000. Account holders can earn up to ten chances per month and up to 30 chances per three month drawing period. A winner is selected in a random drawing held four times per year.
“You made my day. I’m so excited!’ said Carlene when she was told she was the winner of the $1,000 FirstPrize $avings account drawing for the period December 1, 2016 through February 28, 2017. Robert Granata, COO and President of First County Bank was equally as excited to present Carlene with the $1,000 check. “I’m happy to present Carlene Green with $1,000 for winning the Bank’s FirstPrize $avings account drawing,” said Granata. “First County Bank developed the new product in order to provide a cash prize incentive to encourage people to save, while making saving money exciting.”
The next drawing period has already begun! If you haven’t already, sign-up for this account and begin building your savings with a chance to win $1,000! Account details, rules and regulations can be found at: https://firstcountybank.com/firstprize-savings.
Carlene Green is presented with $1,000 by Justyna Nurczyk, Branch Manager, First County Bank and Robert Granata, COO & President, First County Bank
In a recent article from the Greenwich Times, First County Bank Corporator, Juanita James was profiled in an article titled, “The Bright Side.” As an established businesswoman and philanthropist, James credits this to always having a positive outlook. From early challenges at Princeton University to becoming the first in her family to graduate from college, “she never loses her smile.”
As a businesswoman, James held high-level executive positions at both Time Inc. and at Pitney-Bowes, here in Stamford. Some of her recognition include being named, Stamford’s Citizen of the Year and Most Influential Black Corporate Directors.
Noting her challenges but choosing to dwell on her positive experiences, James states, “There seems to always be periods of great dissatisfaction and usually we come out of it with great leadership, because in the end, people want to be happy. As leaders, we need to generate that. Each of us has that power.” We congratulate Juanita on her accomplishments and are proud to have her as a First County Bank Corporator.
To read the full article, click here.
Celebrate the sweetness of maple sugaring season as this annual family favorite returns to the Stamford Museum & Nature Center Saturday, March 4th and Sunday, March 5th. The Maple Sugar Festival weekend is a fun filled family weekend which includes maple sugar and tree tapping demonstrations, sweet maple treats, face painting, a scavenger hunt and much more!
The first of two main events taking place over the weekend is our 4th Annual First County Bank Teen Chef Challenge. This event takes place Saturday, March 4th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The other main event is the Sunday, Pancake Brunch taking place March 5th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. We invite you all to join the fun and come out to the little red sugarhouse on Heckscher Farm.
For more event information visit the Maple Sugar Festival Weekend website. For admission information or to purchase tickets to the Sunday Brunch visit the Stamford Museum Maple Sugar Sunday website.
Representatives of Filling in the Blanks receive donation from Reyno A. Giallongo, Chairman & CEO, First County Bank and Agnieszka Maciejewski, Branch Manager, First County Bank.
The last Friday of every month is a special Jeans Day, for First County Bank employees. Employees donate $10 for the opportunity to wear jeans to work, which is collected by the Bank’s Jeans Day Fund. On a quarterly basis, participating employees vote to determine which organization in Lower Fairfield County receives the employee donation.
Filling in the Blanks, a New Canaan-based nonprofit, was voted as the recipient of the most recent Jeans Day Fund donation. We are proud to announce that we were able to raise and donate $2,000. This donation will help support Filling in the Blanks’ mission to provide weekend meals to needy children, who are in their free or reduced lunch program. Each child is provided with a bag of non-perishable, easy to prepare food items.
If you would like to learn more about Filling in the Blanks or support their mission of fighting childhood hunger, visit the Filling in the Blanks website.
Every year the First County Bank team takes time to ask and review the wants and needs of our customers through our survey. If you have not done so already, we strongly urge each and every one of our customers to take this 5-10 minute survey, as we truly do listen.
In 2015, savings was something many customers felt a concern with or something they needed help with. In 2016, First County Bank launched the FirstPrize $avings account in an effort to make saving a more attractive and rewarding option. In 2016, customers said that retirement planning and savings were a top concern and priority moving forward. In 2017, we will be launching initiatives to respond to this concern.
Have a part in the customer voice this year as we truly do listen. You, the customer, are the driver – tell us where you want to go, so we can help you get there. Thank you in advance for taking time to complete the survey.
Take the survey now.
First County Bank Foundation announces the availability of its 2017 grant application for nonprofit organizations in lower Fairfield County. This year, the application can be conveniently completed online. The deadline for submitting standard grant applications is March 31, 2017.
To be eligible for consideration, organizations must have nonprofit tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and serve the communities of Stamford, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk or Westport. Applicant organizations must support community and economic development, increase the availability of affordable housing or support quality of life and educational enrichment for families and children. Since the First County Bank Foundation was formed in 2001, it has awarded individual grants exceeding $7.5 million. The Grant application form is available on the Bank’s website at: http://www.firstcountybank.com/application-process.
“Each year we look forward to receiving and evaluating incoming grant applications. It is always gratifying to see the breadth and depth of programs that our local nonprofits are spearheading. And, for those first-time grant applications, we welcome the opportunity to get to know you better,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, Jr., president of First County Bank Foundation. “First County Bank Foundation and First County Bank’s directors, corporators, officers and employees, take great pride in distributing charitable contributions to local nonprofit organizations to help assure local needs will be met.”
Earlier this week the Greenwich YWCA announced its 2017 Brava Award nominees. The YWCA Brava Award recognizes “professional women who have excelled in their professional careers and have given back to the community through their time and talent.”
We congratulate Denise Doria, for being named a 2017 YWCA Greenwich Brava Award Nominee. Denise is a First County Bank Corporator and member of the Board of Directors. Denise embodies the Brava Award values; through her professional career and community support efforts she is an ideal recipient for this award. We are proud to have Denise as a member of our Board and as an active member of our local community.
Denise, along with ten other nominees, will be honored at the 40th Annual Brava Award’s Luncheon on Friday, February 10th at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich. The ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m.
The proceeds from this event goes toward providing free programs and scholarships to those in our community. For Brava Award tickets, sponsorships or program advertising, contact the YWCA Greenwich.
FirstPrize $avings launched in October 2016 as an account that would help promote savings. An account holder’s first 10 deposits per month of at least $25 earn entries into a drawing for a chance to win $1,000! The first drawing period came to a close on November 30th and the winner was selected, soon after.
Congratulations to Brooke Ann Bean of Stamford, the first-ever FirstPrize $avings Winner! Brooke opened her account at the Darien Branch, which happened to be the very first FirstPrize $avings account opened at the Branch. “I’m happy to present Brooke Bean with $1,000 from the Bank’s very first FirstPrize $avings account drawing,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, Jr. Chairman and CEO of First County Bank. “First County Bank developed FirstPrize $avings, which provides a cash prize incentive that encourages people to save, and makes saving money exciting.”
Congratulations to Brooke, the Darien Branch as well as all account holders who saved money. We hope that this account continues to excite and encourage people to save. The next drawing period ends February 28, 2017 – join the fun, open an account today and start saving!