First County 165, Miscellaneous

Throwback Thursday – A Tradition of Giving

Our Bank took its first official step toward formal community support in 1895 with a $100 donation to the Stamford Hospital Fund. This is a tradition that we have carried from that day on, to not only be invested in, but also be involved in improving our community.

In 2001, we reinforced our commitment with the establishment of the First County Bank Foundation. 121 years later, our relationship with Stamford Hospital also continues, this past June we sponsored the Stamford Hospital’s Hope in Motion Walk & Run to raise funds for the Bennett Cancer Center.

Our team supporting this year's Stamford Hospital's Hope in Motion Walk & Run

Our team supporting this year’s Stamford Hospital’s Hope in Motion Walk & Run

2016 is a big year for First County Bank as we celebrate not only our 165th anniversary, but also the 15th anniversary of the First County Bank Foundation. To mark these major milestones we will be digging into the archives, sharing some notable moments from our history on our blog and social media channels every other Thursday. You can follow along, or share your own moments of First County Bank history, by leaving a comment or posting a memory using #FirstCounty165.


Miscellaneous, The CEO's Posts, Trends & Tips

What do you save?

RGCEO11Cheryl and I got a head start this week clearing out some of the clutter in our loft. We started with the premise that we need more filing cabinets to store household paperwork and looked to place an on-line order, but did we? We pay all of our bills on-line, stack the invoices away and print many of the confirmations probably like most people do. But when it comes to financial record keeping and retention of paperwork, what do you really need to keep?

From a practical standpoint anything you can access electronically, it probably safe to shred. This would include bank statements, credit card bills, utility and phone bills as well as quarterly investment statements. You should keep tax paperwork up to 7 years, estate planning or health care documents and any paperwork relating to pensions or Social Security, as these are usually more difficult to reproduce. Some documents that are extremely difficult to reproduce like passports, wills and deeds should be kept in a safe deposit box but keep copies at home for convenience. It’s also a good idea to inventory and copy the contents of a safe deposit box for easy reference.

Figuring out what to keep or save goes a long way cutting down clutter and reduces the chance of personal documents falling into the hands of an identity thief.

Not sure what you should keep, and what can go?
Check out this special article from USA Today.


Employee Appreciation Day is on the way!

Employee Appreciation DayDid you know the first Friday in March is Employee Appreciation Day? What better time for the boss to go the extra mile and show your employees how much you appreciate all their hard work.

Inc. Magazine has 7 last-minute ideas to do just that! Whether it’s something simple like ordering lunch in for everyone or letting them take a half-day on that Friday, we’re sure you’ll find just the perfect gesture to express your gratitude.


First County Bank — A Year in Review and a Look Ahead

As we turn the corner to 2014, we have a lot to be proud of this past year and much to be excited about looking ahead. With every New Year, there is hope for a better, even more fruitful year. This is the time of year gym memberships soar and new diets are born. For First County Bank, it’s a time to reflect on our accomplishments and focus on our future.

As I reflect back, I think a key success in 2013 is the relationships we have established and maintained with our customers as their trusted financial advisors, offering experience and knowledge when it comes to all areas of banking including wealth management, retirement, small business loans, commercial and residential mortgages and more.

Other specific accomplishments we are proud of include introducing the Custom-Term Mortgage and Mortgage First Commitment Guarantee program offering customers maximum mortgage flexibility. As keeping current with the latest technology is a priority, we enhanced our mobile banking offering by providing text capabilities and real time alerts for banking convenience. Through the First County Bank Foundation, we awarded more than $560,000 in grants to local nonprofits. In keeping with our commitment to adopt new technological advancements, we launched a redesigned mobile website to optimize the user experience on mobile devices and tablets. Our dedication to supporting local community events continued with our sponsorship of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center’s Maple Sugar Festival and Chef’s Challenge, and were the presenting sponsor of the 36th annual Norwalk Seaport Association’s Oyster Festival. In support of our young professionals and future leaders, we co-sponsored the Young Professionals Networking Event at Chelsea Piers Connecticut in partnership with The Young Professionals Network of The Business Council of Fairfield County.  And toward the end of this year, our First County Advisors hosted a free networking and educational event “From Fiscal Drag to Wealth Effect” featuring keynote speaker Phil Orlando of Federated Investors.

Looking ahead, we will continue to listen closely to the needs of our customers and offer products and services that best respond to those needs. As a trusted financial advisor, we are committed to helping our customers think through and solve any challenges they have in a way no one else can. We are also excited to introduce many new offerings including a more robust credit card product for both consumers and businesses.  And we are even looking into installing tablets in all our branches!

No doubt this next year will prove to be full of change, growth and advancements. And we are excited to accomplish great things along with and for our customers, our community and local businesses. Here’s to a happy and financially healthy 2014!



First County Bank Foundation Grants $28,000 to Greenwich Nonprofits

First County Bank Foundation recently distributed a total of $28,000 in grants to five nonprofits in Greenwich for innovative programs promoting literacy, human services, emergency shelter, and counseling and nutrition for individuals and families in Greenwich. Of the $28,000, $2,500 was a CommunityFirst Grant, awarded to the YWCA for its Emergency Shelter Program. This grant, along with the others, supports the Foundation’s commitment to nonprofit organizations that encourage community and economic development, or assist children and families of lower Fairfield County.

“We believe these causes play a vital role in learning and enriching our communities,” said Rey Giallongo, president of the First County Bank Foundation and chairman and CEO of First County Bank. “The First County Bank Foundation is proud to support these organizations that have demonstrated leadership, creativity and innovation in helping the people of Greenwich.”

Since its inception in 2001, the First County Bank Foundation has awarded over 760 individual grants, worth $5.8 million.

Established in 2001 in honor of the bank’s 150th anniversary, the 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.

To be eligible for First County Bank Foundation grants, organizations must have nonprofit tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; be located in Stamford, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk or Westport; have community support; address community needs; have measurable outcomes; and demonstrate fiscal and administrative responsibility.  Special consideration is given to those agencies or programs benefiting low to moderate income populations.

The list of Greenwich-based nonprofits who received First County Bank Foundation grants is available at: First County Bank Press Releases.




First County Bank Appoints Wendy Macedo Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager And Mortgage Loan Originator At Norwalk Branch

Wendy Macedo, Assistant VP, Branch Manager and Mortgage Loan Originator First County Bank, 469 Westport Avenue, Norwalk

First County Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of Wendy Macedo as the new assistant vice president, branch manager and mortgage loan originator of First County Bank’s Norwalk Branch located at 469 Westport Avenue.

As branch manager, Macedo will be responsible for monitoring branch-wide customer relations, manage daily branch office operations and provide consultative mortgage lending services customized for the needs of each customer. Wendy joins First County Bank following 25 years of banking and mortgage loan origination exclusively in Fairfield County.

“Wendy Macedo brings extensive bank and mortgage expertise to First County Bank,” said Katherine Harris, President and COO of First County Bank. “Her experience in business development, mortgage/home equity loan origination and branch operations coupled with her notable superior customer service makes her an outstanding addition to First County Bank.”

Macedo held the position of VP and branch manager of Patriot National Bank in Wilton for 8 years and then Darien for one year prior to joining First County Bank.

Macedo’s community involvement includes serving as treasurer, director and then president of the Wilton Rotary Club from 2005 – 2012, member of the Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow Award in 2011 for “Service Above Self” for superior service standards both personally and professionally. Macedo lives in Norwalk with her family.



Introducing Morgan Cappetta Summer Intern

Morgan Cappetta, First County Bank Summer Intern

Morgan Cappetta, First County Bank Summer Intern

Hello, my name is Morgan Cappetta. I’m seventeen, and I recently graduated from the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE). I’m excited to be attending Boston University as a freshman this fall. This is my second year in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (MYEP), which is an internship program through the government center. Each teen admitted into the MYEP is placed with a local business. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how I managed to acquire this fantastic position here in the First County Bank Marketing Department with Karen Kelly, the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, as my mentor. Even though this is my second year in the program, I was extremely nervous for my first day. Stepping into the offices was like entering a different world. I was given the definite impression that First County Bank means business, no pun intended. The environment is professional yet welcoming, which reflects the bank’s personality. The identity that the bank projects is equally present in each facet of the bank that I have encountered thus far ‘behind the scenes’. Continue reading