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


First County Bank Sponsors Greenwich Sand Blast

First County Bank Sand Blast 2012

This year’s Greenwich Sand Blast, scheduled for July 20, will bring together young and old alike in a competition for the most spectacular sand sculptures at Tod’s Point Beach.  First County Bank is the presenting sponsor of the event and also helps support the Greenwich Arts Council’s enhanced arts education program serving Greenwich families.

“Our goal with Sand Blast and other events is to bring together neighborhood groups, local businesses, corporations and the residents of Greenwich for a fun and exciting display of artistic exploration highlighting what makes Greenwich a great place to live and work,” said Paul Master-Karnik, executive director of the Greenwich Arts Council.

“The Greenwich Arts Council is very happy to have First County Bank’s involvement in our organization.  This money will help expand current and future art programs serving low- to moderate-income families who might not have access to arts education,” explained Master-Karnik.  “We look forward to further developing our relationships with First County Bank and other private and public organizations around the area.”

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First County Bank Chairman & CEO Rey Giallongo Featured in the Senior GO TO Guide

In a recent interview with the Senior GO TO Guide, a publication for seniors and their families living in southern Connecticut, First County Bank Chairman and CEO Rey Giallongo shared his thoughts on the meaning of mutuality. Mutuality, both as an institutional definition, as in mutual bank, as well as a feeling that “permeates the bank’s culture and operations.”

As a mutual bank, “we’re not afraid to be ‘touchy-feely,’ said Giallongo. “We believe in adding a personal touch to everything that we do. We’re not just bankers. We’re also your neighbors. And we’ll take the time to go the ‘extra mile’ to help you make smarter banking decisions.”

Giallongo talks about the many ways the Bank goes the extra mile, its long term vision, how First County Advisors serve seniors and the community and more. “The senior segment is very important to us,” Giallongo said, “and we’ve been rolling out products and services of interest to them.”

For the full interview, visit: Senior GO TO Guide.



First County Bank’s Maple Sugar Festival Served Up a Sweet Time

The 13th annual First County Bank Maple Sugar Festival Weekend at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center was a big success, drawing more than 3,700 visitors from all over lower Fairfield County throughout the weekend. It was so popular the museum sold out of maple syrup! The Maple Sugar Festival Weekend has become a New England tradition and one of the most anticipated and highly attended events in lower Fairfield County. One of the highlights includes First County Bank’s 4th Annual Chef’s Challenge, where local chefs from David’s Soundview Catering, Bar Rosso, Festivities and EOS competed for the best recipe using maple syrup.
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Do You Remember Your First Job?

Everyone does. I started as a “bagger” behind my mother who was at the time a cashier at Marshall’s. That was 1968. My family was friends with Al Marshall, the founder of the retail store chain. We worked in Store #1 in Beverly, Ma. It was a great place to work – friendly, progressive and very tolerant of student hours. I have very fond memories and remember most of all my co-workers.

My wife, Cheryl, began her work life in 1973 biking to a cashier’s job at Capital Toy Store in Lowell, MA. It gave her a life-long ability to make change, all for $1.60/hour.

It’s much more difficult today to give a young person their first job. With unemployment being high and with high academic demands on high school students, many don’t work until their college years. Stamford’s Mayor Pavia has been trying to upend this trend with the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program. This innovative internship program combines real-world experience with weekly training on team building, personal finance, effective work habits – many of the things we take for granted.
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I Luv My Community Bank

Today, the Independent Community Bankers of America ® (ICBA) and First County Bank announced that the ICBA’s annual “I Luv My Community Bank” campaign has returned — just in time for Valentine’s Day! This national marketing and communications campaign celebrates the love that customers have with their community bank. Each year the ICBA celebrates community banks by prompting consumers and small businesses to share their personal stories and the positive impact that banking locally has on communities.

The campaign will run once again in conjunction with Community Banking Month in April. Testimonials and submissions from consumers will be accepted at www.iluvmycommunitybank.com and on the ICBA Facebook page from Feb.14 through April 12. The top 10 testimonial finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced on ICBA’s Facebook page on April 15, where bankers and consumers will be able to vote for their favorite through April 30. The top five winners, chosen by Facebook votes, will be announced on May 1 and they will receive one of five $500 gift cards, courtesy of ICBA.

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