In Our Community

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The waiting and anticipation is finally over – grant season is here! Since it’s origination in 2001, the First County Bank Foundation has become the cornerstone of the Bank. Every year, over one hundred nonprofit and community organizations apply for the Foundation’s Community and Standard Grants.

June commences our grant season, as we begin to deliver the grants to local nonprofit and community organizations. This year will also include a milestone accomplishment as our Foundation will tick over $8 million in grants over the past 15 years.

Standing (left to right)  Paul Isla, AVP, Branch Manager, First County Bank, Paula Arias, Camila Aguilar, Valerie Alvarez, Ana Sofia Mesa, and Jagiwan Singh, AVP, Business Development Officer, First County Bank Kneeling (left to right) Meghan Marshall, Madeline Sorial

Standing (left to right)
Paul Isla, AVP, Branch Manager, First County Bank, Paula Arias, Camila Aguilar, Valerie Alvarez, Ana Sofia Mesa, and Jagiwan Singh, AVP, Business Development Officer, First County Bank
Kneeling (left to right)
Meghan Marshall, Madeline Sorial


In Our Community

Women in Business Luncheon

On Tuesday, May 16th First County Bank sponsored the event, Women in Business at the Greenwich Country Club. Karen Kelly, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, First County Bank and Sara Tucker, Senior Vice President, Director Business Banking, First County Bank presented, “Your Professional Journey: Get Recognized, Called Upon and Rewarded” to a capacity-filled room. Their presentation generated much interest and follow-up at the event.

The Luncheon Keynote speaker was Jill Granoff, former CEO, Vince, Kellwood and Kenneth Cole who presented “Ask What You Want”. Many proclaimed the event as a great success revolving around women, wealth and wisdom. We are proud to continually support and develop the growth of business in our community.

Pictured (Left to Right): Sara Tucker, SVP, Director Business Banking; Anna Maria Pace, Branch Manager; Jennifer Lima, AVP, Branch Manager, Jagjiwan "Singh" Singh, AVP, Business Development Officer; Karen Kelly, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, First County Bank

Pictured (Left to Right): Sara Tucker, SVP, Director Business Banking, First County Bank; Anna Maria Pace, Branch Manager, First County Bank; Jennifer Lima, AVP, Branch Manager, First County Bank; Jagjiwan “Singh” Singh, AVP, Business Development Officer, First County Bank; Karen Kelly, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, First County Bank

In Our Community

Another Successful Tax Relief Campaign


Left to right: Nino Antonelli, First County Bank, Cristina Andreana, ACT Financial and Tax services, LLC, Richard Zaremski, First County Bank

Our Business Banking Department recently completed a successful Tax Relief Campaign. With each year’s tax season seeming busier than the year before, Business Officers from across the Bank delivered lunches to local accounting firms to show our support during their busiest season.

At the conclusion of tax season, each accountant we had lunch with received personal visits from our team with a gift of a beautiful book “Destinations of a Lifetime” to ease them back into a balanced life, and as an appreciation for their work on behalf of so many.

In Our Community, Trends & Tips

“Tips from the Experts to Drive Your Business”

Mark Rosenbloom

Mark Rosenbloom

Mark Rosenbloom, Vice President & Manager, Cash Management Services Department will be moderating a business panel discussion, “Stay Relevant in Today’s Changing Marketplace” on Wednesday, May 17th at the Darien Library. This forum is free and open to anyone who wants to hear from local business experts on how they navigate today’s marketplace.

Panel members include:

  • Cindy Palmer Dean, Owner and Creative Director at Palmer’s Market in Darien.
  • Doug Campbell, Executive and Career Consultant/Coach, Business Owner, Author, National Speaker and Innovator.
  • Brian Jarvis, SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” Volunteer.
  • Peter Belbita, Founder, Noble House Creative Group

You may arrive at 5:30 p.m. to sign-in and submit questions you want answered by the panel. The discussion begins at 5:45 p.m. Please register in advance at

In Our Community, Small Business Profile

Next Week is National Small Business Week

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!

In Our Community

Local Executives Work to Create a Philanthropic Corporate Culture

Photo: Michael Cummo / Hearst Connecticut Media

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.


In Our Community

FirstPrize $avings Account: Recent Winner Announced

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:

Carlene Green is presented with $1,000 by Justyna Nurczyk, Branch Manager and Robert Granata, COO & President, First County Bank

Carlene Green is presented with $1,000 by Justyna Nurczyk, Branch Manager, First County Bank and Robert Granata, COO & President, First County Bank

In Our Community, Lifestyle Trends & Tips

Juanita James and “The Bright Side”

juanita_jamesIn 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.

In Our Community

Save the Date: Maple Sugar Festival Weekend Upcoming

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 10.47.18 AMCelebrate 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.

In Our Community

Filling in the Blanks receives $2,000 donation


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.