CAP COM President and CEO, Paula Stopera, Announces Retirement

From the desk of Kate Fruscione, Public Relations Strategist at CAP COM Federal Credit Union.

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CAP COM Federal Credit Union has announced today that Paula Stopera, the credit union’s President and CEO, will retire in late May 2019. Christopher McKenna, CAP COM’s Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of its mortgage subsidiary, Homeowners Advantage, will take the reins as the organization’s new President and CEO.

Stopera began her career at CAP COM in 1980 as a Member Relationship Officer. She has held the role of President and CEO for the past 15 years. Paula also holds the position of Treasurer on the CAP COM FCU Board of Directors, and serves on the Board of Managers of The CAP COM Group, a set of subsidiaries of CAP COM Federal Credit Union.

When Paula joined CAP COM 39 years ago, there was one branch and nine employees. Now, the local credit union has 11 Capital Region branches and employs just under 400 people.

Since becoming President and CEO in 2004, Stopera has overseen more than $1.5 billion in growth. During her tenure, she increased the number of people CAP COM serves to more than 140,000 members.

One of Paula’s greatest achievements was establishing the CAP COM Cares Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, in 2003. The Foundation gives back to the community by supporting health and wellness programs; financial literacy and education initiatives; and causes that help underprivileged families. Since its inception, the Foundation has donated nearly $4 million and 30,000+ volunteer hours to make a difference for thousands of Capital Region individuals and families. This is accomplished through the generosity of Paula, staff, volunteers, and members of CAP COM Federal Credit Union. The Foundation partners with more than 100 local organizations to help address community needs throughout the year. Stopera set the groundwork for the Foundation’s development; because of her relationships with so many organizations, the CAP COM Cares Foundation will continue to grow.

Under her leadership, CAP COM has been honored with The Albany Business Review’s Best Places to Work award for 15 years running, the Times Union’s Top Workplace award for seven years since its launch in 2012, and has been voted both a finalist and winner of Best Credit Union and Best in Customer Service by Capital Region Living Magazine many times over the years. CAP COM has also been acknowledged for being one of the Fastest Growing Companies in the Capital Region by the Albany Business Review’s annual list – eight times since 2006.

Paula leaves behind a legacy in financial services and philanthropy in the Capital Region community. Stopera most recently served as 2018 Chair for the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce. In October 2017, she began her term serving on the Advisory Council to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She is a past recipient of the Chamber’s Women of Excellence Awards, as well as the 2011 recipient of their Arthur Kapner Spirit Award. Paula is also a past recipient of The “Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award – Corporation” from Girls, Inc., as well as the Hudson Valley Community College Otto V. Guenther Career Achievement Award.  Paula has been awarded the YMCA’s President’s award, as well as the Mary E. Brizell Building a Senior Community Colonie Spirit Award from the Colonie Senior Services Center. In addition, she was selected as Professional of the Year in 2008 by the New York Credit Union Association.

“So much has changed in the world since I was hired as a CAP COM employee 39 years ago,” said Stopera. “Leading the credit union as President and CEO since 2004, through times of immense change, has been demanding, sometimes daunting, and thrilling. This has been the career of a lifetime. The CAP COM Cares Foundation will continue to be a focus of mine in the future. Forming the Foundation has been a personal highlight.”

Stopera will be succeeded by Christopher McKenna, who currently serves as Executive Vice President, and has been with the credit union for nearly a decade. Since 1990, McKenna has been active in the financial services and mortgage industry. He was hired for a leadership position at CAP COM in 2010. McKenna has served on the executive leadership team with Paula for the past eight years. Chris’s advocacy for members and unrelenting focus on service excellence make him a superb fit for the top leadership post.

“I am honored to represent our members as the next CEO. The organization has a deep foundation of providing superior service, and the entire staff shares this goal.” stated McKenna. “We will focus on continuing to provide members with one-on-one guidance and support in the moments that matter the most. Meanwhile, we will invest in technology to make it easier for members to save money, afford major purchases, protect their assets and family, and make plans for the future. Technology is also a great way to organize our community outreach efforts.”  

For those seeking a tangible way to honor Paula, donations can be made in her name to the CAP COM Cares Foundation at www.capcomfcu.org/give.

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CAP COM Congratulates 2019 and 2020 Adopted Nonprofits

From the desk of Kate Fruscione, Public Relations Strategist at CAP COM Federal Credit Union.

On behalf of CAP COM Federal Credit Union, the presenting sponsor of the Capital Region Chamber Women’s Business Council we’d like to congratulate The Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York and The Food Pantries for the Capital District for being named the 2019 and 2020 Adopted Nonprofits!

We look forward to working with you and helping spread your mission across the Capital Region for the years to come.

CAP COM Merges with Albany City Lodge Knights of Pythias Credit Union

The Boards of Directors of Albany City Lodge Knights of Pythias 540 (ACL) and CAP COM Federal Credit Union (CAP COM) have approved a resolution to merge the two credit unions, which became effective October 31, 2018.

ACL, the 52 year-old credit union located at 10 Russell Road in Albany, NY, has discontinued operations at that location. The credit union’s 200+ members will join CAP COM’s membership of 146,000.

The merger of the two credit unions was driven by a dynamic regulatory environment that creates significant pressures on small financial institutions like ACL. Previous members of ACL will now be able to take advantage of the full breadth of products and services CAP COM provides. In addition to its array of financial solutions, CAP COM offers multiple branches, a vast network of ATMs, educational resources, online and mobile technologies, and award-winning service tailored to members’ needs.

“It is our commitment to provide each member with a positive and memorable financial services experience,” noted David Jurczynski, CAP COM’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “CAP COM is delighted to welcome members of Albany City Lodge to the CAP COM family of members, so they can experience firsthand the warm, exceptional service for which we are known.”

“In order to thrive in today’s competitive environment, many credit unions look at mergers as a viable strategy,” said Jayson Schner, Albany City Lodge K of P 540 Federal Credit Union’s Board Chair and President. “A merger can open opportunities to offer better products and services to credit union members through increased operating efficiencies. This merger represents a joining of two financial institutions to benefit both memberships.”

CAP COM Opens Nominations for Military to Fly Home

From the desk of Kate Fruscione, Public Relations Strategist at CAP COM Federal Credit Union.

CAP COM Federal Credit Union, in partnership with Verizon, is “reuniting hearts” this Veterans Day with its Reunite Flight program. The program was founded to help active-duty military personnel travel to be with their families when it otherwise might not be financially possible. This program is a way for CAP COM to recognize and thank service members for all they do to protect and serve our country. Nominations open Tuesday September 11 and close Wednesday, October 31.

This is the program’s third year. With support from Verizon, CAP COM will award four people the round-trip airfare home to see their loved ones.

A 2016 recipient, Grady Ellis, of the Navy commented, “This means a lot, thank you CAP COM for your support of the U.S. military. Also thank you to the other men and women, that currently serve and have served our country. With this opportunity I look forward to being able to spend time with my family and friends.”

“The Reunite Flights program is a wonderful way to thank our service personnel with the gift of family,” noted Amanda Goyer, CAP COM Federal Credit Union’s Community Relations Manager. “CAP COM is built on the foundation of people helping people and strives to nurture the community in support of families.”

“Verizon is thrilled to partner with CAP COM on granting Reunite Flights,” said Chip Lawrence, CAP COM board member and Senior Manager at Verizon. “Recognizing our U.S. military is very important to us. Letting those personnel spend time with their families and friends is one of the most rewarding projects we participate in.”

Members of CAP COM can nominate active-duty members of the military they feel deserve a Reunite Flight by visiting www.capcomfcu.org/reunite. A committee consisting of representatives with military backgrounds will choose four recipients from those nominated. Recipients will receive free, round-trip airfare to visit their family over the next year. Nominations are open through October 31, 2018. Winners will be announced on Veterans Day, November 11, 2018.

CAP COM Launches Community Heroes Mortgage Program

From the desk of Kate Fruscione, Public Relations Strategist at CAP COM Federal Credit Union.

CAP COM Federal Credit Union introduced a new Community Heroes Mortgage Program in July. The program is a way for CAP COM to say “thank you”  to people who dedicate their lives to others’ well-being. Program participants receive cash and discount benefits when obtaining a mortgage through CAP COM’s mortgage division, Homeowners Advantage. Benefits are valued at more than $1,000.

Professionals and staff who work in the following fields are eligible to participate in the Community Heroes program:

  • Fire and Rescue (paid, volunteer)
  • Law Enforcement
  • Healthcare
  • S. Military (active-duty, reserves, veterans)
  • Education

Community Heroes incentives include a $500 cash deposit (post-closing), complimentary personal real estate attorney representation (estimated value: $500), and a discounted home inspector’s fee (participating provider). A Community Hero Advocate Team manages the home buyer’s mortgage needs.

“Giving back to the local community is one of the core principles of our credit union and the CAP COM Cares Foundation,” noted CAP COM Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer Chris McKenna. “That is why the lending team is excited about bringing the Community Heroes Mortgage Program to life. The work these local heroes perform every day often goes unnoticed. This program is CAP COM’s small way of acknowledging these cornerstones of our community.”

CAP COM’s efforts to make buying a home easy and affordable are continuous. For example, it recently debuted a no down-payment mortgage product to assist homebuyers with good credit who are low on cash.

For more information or to apply, visit: www.capcomfcu.org/hero

CAP COM Launches “Live Life, Give Local” Campaign and Cash Sweepstakes

From the desk of Kate Fruscione, Public Relations Strategist at CAP COM Federal Credit Union.

 

CAP COM Federal Credit Union and its charitable giving arm, the CAP COM Cares Foundation, have launched a summertime sweepstakes: Live Life, Give Local. The campaign seeks to rally Capital Region residents around giving back to the community while attracting new members to the credit union.

Five winners will receive $1,000 and donate another $1,000 to a local charity of their choice, courtesy of CAP COM. Anyone can enter Live Life, Give Local – by either by opening a new checking account for an automatic entry, or by entering online at www.capcomfcu.org/livelife. The campaign runs through August 31, 2018.

A culture of giving back to the community is the hallmark of CAP COM, its members, and employees. The Live Life, Give Local program engages people to expect great things from their financial institution.

“Put your money where your heart is,” are words to live by for Amanda Goyer, CAP COM Community Relations Manager. “When you bank with CAP COM, you’re doing more than giving your funds a place to live. You’re aligning with a financial institution that strengthens neighborhoods, and believes in the potential of you. ”

Live Life, Give Local winners will be asked to select a local, nonprofit, 501(c) (3) charitable organization to receive their donation. For official rules and ways to enter, visit www.capcomfcu.org/livelife.

CAP COM Awarded Over $75K in Scholarships & Awards

From the desk of Kate Fruscione, Public Relations Strategist at CAP COM Federal Credit Union.

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Pictured: The CAP COM Federal Credit Union 2018 Scholarship and Award honorees.

CAP COM Federal Credit Union has awarded its 2018 Scholarship and Awards. Each year CAP COM’s charitable giving arm, the CAP COM Cares Foundation, donates over $75,000 in scholarships and awards. Back by popular demand from 2017, CAP COM also recognized 3 teachers in addition to over 30 student honorees.

CAP COM takes pride in awarding a variety of scholarships based on eligibility and interests. The most popular, the $2,500 Memorial Scholarship was awarded to 24 high school seniors pursuing an undergraduate degree. The $2,000 Art Goedeke Memorial Scholarship, named after a long-time CAP COM FCU Board Member was awarded to a student studying computer science or information technology, which was a passion of Goedeke’s. The CAP COM Cares Foundation also acknowledged three educators and six students with the Making a Difference Award, which went to those individuals who go above and behind to help others in the community and their classrooms.

“CAP COM’s deep rooted belief in empowering our youth through education, and being part of their greatest achievements, while watching their dreams and goals come to life, is the highest honor for us all. We believe education is the foundation for a better future” said Paula A. Stopera, President/CEO, CAP COM.

Students applied for a scholarship by filling out applications and answering an essay question. This year’s Memorial Scholarship question, aimed to encourage the thought leaders of each educational institution stated, “Imagine you have the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a local or world leader. Which leader would you choose, and what impact would you like to have during the experience?”

The Scholarship Committee received upwards of 450 submissions this year. Winners were recognized and awarded at CAP COM’s Annual Scholarship & Award breakfast held this past June 20 at the Albany Marriott.