Bank News, First County Bank Profile, In Our Community

Employee Profile: Meet Mat DeRienzo

We’ve been sharing about some of our front-line branch personnel and now we’re expanding to share stories about our wonderful employees who you don’t always see, who support the First County Bank team employees behind the scenes.

This week we meet Mat DeRienzo, a Network/PC Specialist I who works in our IT department. Mat (with one “T”) started out with us four months ago as an intern and was hired to work at First County Bank full-time over the summer.

Tell us a little about yourself – feel free to include information about your family, hobbies and/or involvement in the community:

I am a huge Yankees fan. I also love everything car related and enjoy working on my own car when I get the chance. I’m also guilty of playing video games, which often results in me staying up later than I should on weekdays.

What is your favorite part of your role with First County Bank?

My favorite part about working in IT is being a problem solver. It gives me great satisfaction whenever I fix something.

What is the most frequent question you receive from customers, and how do you respond?

The most frequent question I get asked is “can you unblock this site for me?” I normally respond by telling them there’s a process to follow and, unfortunately, I cannot do it on the spot.

Do you have a favorite First County Bank moment? This can be any moment at the Bank that has made an impact on your life.

My favorite moment was my internship. The work I received at First County Bank was not “busy work.” It was meaningful work that not only taught me a great deal of information, but was also rewarding. Even though I was only an intern at the time, I felt as if I was part of the team.

Anything else you’d like to say about your experience at the Bank (Optional)?

I’d like to say that I feel truly fortunate that my first job out of college is at First County Bank. I’m a pretty quiet person and was very anxious to embark in my first step to being a real adult. Everyone I interact with is incredibly kind and makes it much easier to be comfortable and confident.

In Our Community, Sponsorships & Events

Oyster Festival 2018: Thank You to Our Volunteers!

The Norwalk Seaport Association’s Oyster Festival was a success! Cloudy skies and occasional rain didn’t keep die-hard Festival-goers from attending and enjoying the many rides and food choices– from funnel cakes to gyros to lobster. Attendees enjoyed unique arts and crafts, games, rides, and attractions. The highlight of the weekend was our volunteers at the spinning wheel who encouraged visitors to spin for a chance to win a pair of sunglasses, lip balm, or a water bottle. Our booth drew big crowds, each guest hoping for a prize! Everyone was a winner.

An annual favorite, the teal bags were a hit with thousands handed out by volunteers. By the end of the weekend, we had achieved a sea of First County Bank teal bags wandering through the carnival and the other attractions.

 

We thank all of the volunteers who spent part of their Friday, Saturday, or Sunday with us to staff our tent. Visit our Facebook page for a complete photo gallery.

In Our Community, Sponsorships & Events

Ribbon Cutting Kicks Off Official Start of Norwalk Oyster Festival

The ribbon has been cut which kicks off the official start of the 41st Annual Norwalk Oyster Festival! We’re happy to be the Presenting Sponsor at this awesome 3-day family event which will be held on Fri., Sept. 7 – Sun., Sept. 9 at Norwalk Veteran’s Memorial Park.  

For more information, visit https://www.seaport.org/Oyster-Festival

Left to right: State Senator Bob Duff; State Rep. Terrie Wood; Robert Granata, President and COO, First County Bank; Mike Reilly, Chairman, Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival; Mayor Harry Rilling, City of Norwalk; Willard Miley, Executive VP, First County Bank; State Rep. Fred Wilms; and State Rep. Gail Lavielle.

First County Bank Foundation, In Our Community

FirstClass Grant for Teachers

First County Bank Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the annual FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers, a grant program developed exclusively for public school K-5 grade teachers in Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Westport, Fairfield and neighboring communities of Bridgeport public school districts. Grant applications are accepted now through the deadline of October 31, 2018 and are available online at FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers or http://firstcountybank.com/firstclass-grant.

“This is an exciting program supporting teachers to help them provide supplemental educational programs to their students, which otherwise may not have been affordable,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, president of First County Bank Foundation and chairman, CEO of First County Bank. “It is rewarding to observe students’ joy of learning from these innovative programs. This is one way First County Bank Foundation demonstrates its commitment to supporting families, children and education in the communities we serve.”

FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers was designed by First County Bank Foundation to help teachers fund programs fostering creative education in and beyond the classroom. Special consideration will be given to requests that are creative, innovative and have lasting impact. Examples of program topics include nature-based, astronomy, financial literacy, conservation, environmental, music or art. Examples of past grants are available at FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers or http://firstcountybank.com/firstclass-grant.

Starting in November, grants will be awarded with funds available for use during the 2018-19 school year. Applications for the FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers can be conveniently completed online at www.firstcountybank.com/firstclass-grant. Requested grant amounts may not exceed $1,000 and principal authorization is required. Grant requests for books, magazine subscriptions, school trips and computer equipment such as tablets or laptops are not eligible. Questions can be answered by contacting 203-462-4858. Deadline for applications is October 31, 2018.

Photo caption: Students having fun participating in one of the many supplemental educational programs sponsored by First County Bank Foundation’s FirstClass Grant for Teachers.

In Our Community

First County Bank Foundation Announces FirstClass Grant for Teachers; Application Deadline is October 31, 2018

Stamford, Conn., September 6, 2018First County Bank Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the annual FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers, a grant program developed exclusively for public school K-5 grade teachers. The FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers was established in 2016 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of First County Bank Foundation. Eligible grant recipients are Kindergarten through fifth grade teachers in Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Westport, Fairfield and neighboring communities of Bridgeport public school districts. Grant applications are accepted now through the deadline of October 31, 2018 and are available online at FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers or http://firstcountybank.com/firstclass-grant.

“This is an exciting program supporting teachers to help them provide supplemental educational programs to their students, which otherwise may not have been affordable,” said Reyno A. Giallongo, president of First County Bank Foundation and chairman, CEO of First County Bank. “It is rewarding to observe students’ joy of learning from these innovative programs. This is one way First County Bank Foundation demonstrates its commitment to supporting families, children and education in the communities we serve.”

FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers was designed by First County Bank Foundation to help teachers fund programs fostering creative education in and beyond the classroom. Special consideration will be given to requests that are creative, innovative and have lasting impact. Examples of program topics include nature-based, astronomy, financial literacy, conservation, environmental, music or art. Examples of past grants are available at FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers or http://firstcountybank.com/firstclass-grant.

Starting in November, grants will be awarded with funds available for use during the 2018-19 school year. Applications for the FirstClass Grant Program for Teachers can be conveniently completed online at www.firstcountybank.com/firstclass-grant. Requested grant amounts may not exceed $1,000 and principal authorization is required. Grant requests for books, magazine subscriptions, school trips and computer equipment such as tablets or laptops are not eligible. Questions can be answered by contacting 203-462-4858. Deadline for applications is October 31, 2018.

About First County Bank Foundation

Established in 2001 in honor of the bank’s 150th anniversary, First County Bank Foundation was created to distribute funds annually to nonprofit organizations that support community and economic development for children and families. As a mutual bank with no shareholders, First County Bank considers contributions made by the foundation a means of paying dividends back to the local communities it serves.

About First County Bank

First County Bank, headquartered in Stamford, Conn. for more than 165 years, is an independent mutual community bank with 16 branches in Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, Greenwich, Fairfield, New Canaan and Westport offering deposit products, mortgages, wealth management, business banking services, and a full array of digital banking products including mobile and online banking. First County Bank has more than 220 employees, assets in excess of $1.5 billion and is a 2016-2018 Women’s Choice Award winner. For additional information, please visit https://www.firstcountybank.com. Become a fan by clicking “Like” on the bank’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/firstcountybank. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/firstcountybank, view and follow us on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/firstcountybank, watch us on YouTube at http://www.firstcountybank.com/camera or connect with First County Bank on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/920207.

 

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Photo: Students having fun participating in one of the many supplemental educational programs sponsored by First County Bank Foundation’s FirstClass Grant for Teachers.

Bank News, First County Bank Profile, In Our Community

First County Bank Profile: Meet Maria Bivona

Maria Bivona was recently promoted to the position of Branch Manager at First County Bank’s Academy of Information, Technology and Engineering high school branch in Stamford.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Sicily, Italy, and I moved to the United States in 2000. I live in Trumbull with my husband and our 9-year-old son. I love to spend time with my family traveling, watching movies, riding bikes and listening to music.

Currently, I’m attending my last year of the Connecticut School of Finance and Management and I am looking forward to graduation. I have worked at First County Bank for 11 years. I started as a teller in the New Canaan branch.

During my career with First County Bank, I had the pleasure of volunteering for many amazing community events, but my ultimate favorite event was the benefit walk for Bennett Cancer Center’s patients called “Hope in Motion.” It’s great to see the entire community come together to support those whose lives have been impacted by such a terrible disease.

What is your favorite part of your role with First County Bank?

My favorite part of my role with First County Bank is being able to establish a strong relationship with my coworkers and customers. I love being able to assist people and help address any of their concerns. I really enjoy interacting with customers and feel a sense of accomplishment when they leave with a big smile on their face!

Do you have a favorite First County Bank moment?

I have many special moments with First County Bank and picking one is almost impossible. I find it extremely rewarding helping and encouraging others to achieve both their financial and personal goals. I find it very satisfying when a customer leaves my office thanking me for my assistance and support.

In Our Community, Sponsorships & Events

First County Bank Teams Up with Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy to Offer FirstAthlete Access

First County Bank and Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy (BVSA) are excited to announce a special offer for our customers. We’ve teamed up with BVSA to offer FirstAthlete Access, a Bank customer appreciation program.

Available at all First County Bank branches, the FirstAthlete Access coupon offers a $350 value BVSA appointment for athletes of all ages to improve their game. This includes a choice of: 30 minute baseball or softball evaluation; 60-90 minute performance training session (age dependent); or entry into a BVSA baseball or softball clinic (six 1-hour, weekly sessions).

Left to Right – Rey Giallongo, chairman and CEO of First County Bank, with Bobby Valentine, founder of Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy and Willard Miley, senior vice president and director of Retail Banking, First County Bank.

In April 2018, First County Bank became the official field sponsor of BVSA’s 40,000 square foot indoor sports facility. The BVSA facility is a sporting home for young athletes and families in Fairfield County and hosts corporate events, fundraisers and sporting tournaments. Since the Sports Academy and First County Bank both are invested in serving the community, this partnership could not be a better match.

For more info about Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy, visit http://bvacademy.com.

In Our Community

First County Bank Volunteers with the Polish Saturday School in Stamford

Left to Right: First County Bank Employees Joanna Woznik, Anna Chmarzynska, and Justyna Nurczyk

First County Bank actively participated in Stamford’s Polish Saturday School during the 2017-2018 school year as a part of its ongoing involvement in the local Polish community.

A number of bank employees volunteered every Saturday to help young children start their first savings account and teach financial literacy to eighth grade and high school students. It was a wonderful opportunity to get involved with the local community and help students develop important life skills.

The 2017-2018 school year was also the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Polish Saturday School. Employees took part in their Jubilee Banquet on June 9, 2018, which celebrated the 30th anniversary and the end of the 2017-2018 year. The Bank is honored to be involved in such a valuable community organization.

First County Bank Profile, In Our Community

Richard Evanko 2018 CLC Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee

Richard Evanko, Vice President

Richard Evanko, Vice President, Business Banking Manager

Congratulations Richard “Rich” Evanko on being a Children’s Learning Center (CLC) 2018 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee.

Rich joined First County Bank in 2015 and serves as a Vice President and Business Banking Manager. In this position, he is responsible for managing the business development team, origination of commercial relationships, and client retention.

In the local community, Rich is active with the Stamford Chamber of Commerce where he is Chairman of the Young Professionals Council and on the Board of Directors. He is also involved as a member of CLC’s Finance Committee and the United Way.Rich is a lifelong resident of Stamford, CT.

Join us in congratulating Rich on this great achievement.

Bank News, In Our Community

First County Bank and Bobby Valentine Sports Academy Collaboration

First County Bank along with Bobby Valentine and his team are excited to announce a new collaboration between First County Bank and the Bobby Valentine Sports Academy (BVSA). First County Bank is now the official field sponsor of BVSA’s new 40,000 square foot indoor sports facility.

BVSA has been in Stamford for over 12 years and recently moved into its new facility located at 4 Largo Drive in Stamford, CT.  The new BVSA building boasts 40 foot ceilings, a 15,000 square foot turf field, two multi-surface areas and six batting cages. On any given day, you can observe one-on-one baseball and softball instruction, team practice on the full field, lacrosse skill training and IQ development, soccer team/small group training, football practice for local high schools and even large scale community events that can host over 800 guests.

“First County Bank’s relationship with Bobby Valentine and BVSA is exciting to the Bank and exemplifies its mission to support local communities in Fairfield County. The BVSA facility is quickly becoming a sporting home for young athletes and families in Fairfield County, and hosts corporate events, fundraisers and sporting tournaments,” said Rey Giallongo, Jr., chairman and CEO of First County Bank. “The functionality of the facility and its multi-sport activities provide opportunities for the community to train, network and create lasting relationships which supports our strategic community-minded mission.”

“First County Bank has been servicing our community since 1851. They have a personalized approach to customer service as does BVSA. We believe when you find a partner that treats others the same way you do, it makes for a great like-minded relationship,” said Bobby Valentine. “I am thrilled with our partnership with First County Bank. Teaming up with such a great local banking institution is an honor.” Mr. Valentine is a Stamford native and has been a First County Bank customer for most of his life.