CAP COM Launches “Live Life VIP” Sweepstakes

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

CAP COM Federal Credit Union has launched a summertime sweepstakes: Live Life VIP. The campaign rallies Capital Region residents to “Live life to the fullest, supported by financial advocates who treat you like a VIP.”

Life Life VIP offers the opportunity to win a luxury cruise or VIP concert experience, while encouraging people to join CAP COM and bank where they matter most.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Yankee Trails gift card for $5,000 to use towards a Norwegian Cruise Line® luxury cruise or vacation of their choice, plus $1,000 spending cash. An Early Bird Prize winner will receive 4 tickets to a Live Nation® concert – Jason Aldean’s Ride All Night Tour – on September 5 with special guests Kane Brown and Carly Pearce (with VIP seating and $500 spending cash).

Anyone can enter Live Life VIP – either by opening a new checking account for an automatic entry, or by entering online at CAP COM checking account benefits include no monthly fees, free checks for life (certain styles), and free withdrawals at 30,000 CO-OP network ATMs worldwide.

The campaign runs through August 31, 2019.

Making people central to their mission with a culture of giving back are hallmarks of CAP COM. The Live Life VIP campaign reinforces these values and reminds people to expect great things from their financial institution.

“We believe in people,” stated Chris McKenna, President and CEO, CAP COM. “As to borrow the famous quote from Joe Maddon, manager of the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, we ‘Do Simple Better.’ We focus our energy on making CAP COM a great place to work and believe that happy employees provide better service to our members. The Live Life VIP sweepstakes is another way of us giving back to people who chose to bank at CAP COM. Thank you to our employees who give so much of themselves to our members, and good luck to everyone who enters.”  

For official rules and ways to enter, visit


The CAP COM Cares Foundation held its annual BIG Benefit Raffle Drawing at CAP COM’s Financial Center, located at 4 Winners Circle, Albany at noon on June 12. During the drawing, $26,000 in cash prizes were awarded to nine raffle ticket winners. Prizes ranged from $1,000-$10,000. This served as one of the Foundation’s primary annual fundraisers.

Make-A-Wish Northeast New York also received a $10,000 check from the Foundation to grant a wish to a child diagnosed with a critical illness. This is the fifth wish sponsored by CAP COM since 2015.

Thanks to the sponsorship by CAP COM Federal Credit Union and the CAP COM Cares Foundation along with the craftsmanship of 4x Heaven of Gloversville, the 5-year-old Make-A-Wish Northeast New York wish child, Carlie, from Amsterdam got her wish for a new customized adaptive stroller granted.

The stroller comes not only with pinstriping but also speakers, Bluetooth and a charging station. 4x Heaven transformed the carrier into a one-of-a-kind piece of functional art.

“At CAP COM, we believe in the importance of community and people helping people,” Paige Rueckert, the Community & Youth Advocate for the credit union, said at the wish reveal/raffle at the CAP COM Financial Center in Albany. “Make-A-Wish Northeast New York embodies those same values, and that is why we are honored to once again have them as our BIG Benefit Raffle beneficiary.”

Carlie now has the sweetest ride in Montgomery County. The wish reveal and announcement of the raffle winner was attended by dozens of CAP COM employees, the Make-A-Wish Northeast New York staff, media, and Carlie and her family.

“We at Make-A-Wish Northeast New York are very grateful to the employees and members of CAP COM FCU for the generous and continued support of our mission and wish families,” chapter CEO William C. Trigg, III said. “Our partnership with CAP COM is helping us fulfill our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child in our region.”

Christopher McKenna Becomes Cap Com’s President/CEO

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

CAP COM Federal Credit Union announced earlier this year that Paula Stopera, the credit union’s longstanding President/CEO, would retire this spring. Christopher McKenna, a member of the credit union’s leadership team, was named her successor. He has assumed the role of President/CEO.

Most recently, Chris served as Executive Vice President for the organization. Prior to that, he was Chief Lending Officer of its mortgage subsidiary, Homeowners Advantage.

“The future looks bright and under Chris’ leadership, we will continue to make service to members and outreach to the community hallmarks of our credit union. We are grateful to Paula for devoting her 39-year career to serving others, while overseeing a period of tremendous growth at CAP COM,” said Board Chairman, Ed Gilligan. “We know Chris will lead us forward by reinforcing the importance of superior service. Helping members flourish with a blend of human interaction and technology will continue to be top priorities.”

Chris McKenna grew up in Peekskill, NY and attended the University at Albany. After graduating, he worked in New York City then returned to the Capital Region to continue his career. Since 1990, Chris has been active in financial services. Prior to coming to CAP COM, he was 50% owner in a mortgage company that served credit union members across New York and Florida.

Chris joined CAP COM in 2010, when the credit union acquired his mortgage company. Under Chris’s leadership as Chief Lending Officer, CAP COM’s mortgage subsidiary, Homeowners Advantage, has written $2.5 billion in mortgage loans. It is now the fourth largest residential mortgage provider in the Capital Region.

In January of 2018, Chris was promoted to Executive Vice President. Under Chris’s leadership in that role, CAP COM implemented its largest technology transformation in 20 years. The credit union’s core system was rebuilt to improve efficiency and position CAP COM to provide new services in the future. This major, year-long undertaking involved virtually every department, and is one of the credit union’s notable successes.

CAP COM Partners with Make-A-Wish Northeast New York For Annual Big Benefit Raffle

From the desk of Amanda Goyer, Director of Community Engagement at CAP COM Federal Credit Union.

CAP COM Federal Credit Union and its charitable giving arm, the CAP COM Cares Foundation, have announced the launch of the 2019 BIG Benefit Raffle. Once a year, the credit union runs a two-month campaign offering a chance to win up to $10,000. Tickets, priced at $25 each, can be purchased by anyone. This year’s raffle will run through May 31st or when tickets sell out. A maximum of 5,000 raffle tickets will be sold.

The BIG Benefit Raffle will raise a grand total of $125,000 and the funds are distributed in three ways. $26,000 will be awarded to nine ticket winners for cash prizes between $1,000 and $10,000; $10,000 will be awarded to the 2019 beneficiary, Make-A-Wish Northeast New York; and the remaining $89,000 will be distributed year-round through CAP COM Cares Foundation’s local non-profit partners.

“Through this collaborative partnership with Make-A-Wish Northeast New York, CAP COM Cares Foundation has granted three children their wishes over the past three years. Avery, Evelyn and Colby (pictured) have all become part of the CAP COM family,” noted Amanda Goyer, Director of Community Engagement, CAP COM. “We can’t wait to help deliver another dream come true with the help of our credit union community through these ticket sales.”

Founded in 1987, Make-A-Wish Northeast New York serves eligible wish kids and their families in the 15-county 518 and 838 area codes by granting their heartfelt wish. These wish experiences can be a game-changer for a child. Wishes are granted based on a referral process followed by a medical eligibility assessment. To receive a wish, the child must be between the ages of 2 1/2 and 18 and have been diagnosed with a critical illness that is progressive, degenerative, or a malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy.

“Thanks to corporate sponsors such as CAP COM Federal Credit Union and the CAP COM Cares Foundation, our Chapter is able to grant life-changing wishes that provide a lasting hope, strength and joy,” said William C. Trigg, III, Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. “And that power of a wish extends beyond the individual wish kids and families: It impacts volunteers, donors, and even whole communities.”

The cash prize drawing will be held June 12 at CAP COM’s Financial Center, located at 4 Winners Circle, Albany. The $10,000 check will also be awarded to Make-A-Wish Northeast New York at this event. The annual BIG Benefit Raffle is one of three large CAP COM Cares fundraisers held annually.

Your tickets can be purchase at any CAP COM location and well as online here.

CAP COM Cares Foundation to award $80,000 in scholarship

From the desk of Amanda Goyer, Director of Community Engagement

CAP COM Federal Credit Union has opened its 2019 Scholarship & Awards application and nomination period. Each year, CAP COM’s charitable giving arm, the CAP COM Cares Foundation, donates nearly $80,000 in scholarships and awards. CAP COM will recognize educators 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 Legacy Scholarship, will be awarded to 25 high school seniors pursuing an undergraduate degree. The Legacy Scholarships honor Weidner “Ed” Davis, who was a founding father of CAP COM; Tony Celeste, who is remembered with this tribute from his family; and Paula Stopera, longstanding President/CEO of CAP COM. The $2,000 Art Goedeke Memorial Scholarship, named after a long-time CAP COM FCU Board Member, will be awarded to a student studying computer science or information technology. The CAP COM Cares Foundation will also acknowledge three educators and six students with the Making a Difference Award to those who go above and beyond to help others in the community and classroom.

“With the rising cost of college tuition and budget cuts that schools face, it’s our privilege to lift our community by offering financial assistance in the form of scholarships and awards for those who display drive and passion toward their educational endeavors. We are thrilled to not only honor our students but also educators who make such a tremendous, positive impact in the lives of others!” said Paula A.Stopera, President/CEO of CAP COM FCU and Chair of CAP COM Cares Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Application and nomination forms are available at The deadline for submitting applications is May 1, and winners will be recognized and awarded at CAP COM’s Annual Scholarship & Award breakfast in June.


cap comPhotographed above are CAP COM Cares Foundation’s 2019 Scholarship & Award honorees.

CAP COM Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial institution based in the New York’s Capital Region with more than $1.75 billion in assets and 11 branch locations. The credit union is member-driven and focused on superior service, convenient products and competitive rates that help members save money and make life just a little easier. CAP COM offers all the products and services you’d find at a typical financial institution. Visit to find out more. Federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. Equal Housing Lender.
CAP COM Cares Foundation was established by CAP COM Federal Credit Union in 2003 to nurture the community by supporting health and wellness programs; financial literacy and education initiatives; and causes that assist underprivileged families. Since inception, the Foundation has donated over $4 million and over 35,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of organizations in the Capital Region. The CAP COM Cares Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Tax ID # 54-2071140.


CAP COM President and CEO, Paula Stopera, Announces Retirement

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

paula retirement announcement

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

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.