Paula Stopera, former CEO of Capital Communications Federal Credit Union in Albany, New York, has died. She was 64.
Stopera retired as chief executive in 2019 after 39 years with the credit union, CAP COM noted. The credit union’s assets grew by $ 1.5 billion and it added about 400 employees during her tenure as CEO. Stopera was one of the first women in the Greater Albany area to become a CEO or lead a financial institution.
In a retirement interview, Stopera said that one of her greatest achievements was establishing the CAP COM Cares Foundation in 2003. At the time of her retirement, the organization had donated about $ 4 million and over 30,000 volunteer hours to families in the region.
“I’m obsessed with children and the fact that I want every child to have an equal opportunity at life and education,” Stopera said.
In 2017, Stopera was named to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council. In that role she represented community bankers and credit unions. Stopera said she was “one of the very few women” to serve the bank in a leadership capacity, and was happy to have helped the trend toward diversity. Today, three women serve on the New York Fed’s board of directors.
“I’m obsessed with children and the fact that I want every child to have an equal opportunity at life and education,” said Paula Stopera, former CEO of CAP COM Federal Credit Union.
A representative of the New York Fed offered condolences to the Stopera family.
CAP COM hired Stopera as a membership relationship manager in 1980, when the credit union had nine employees. When she retired in 2019, the credit union was the second largest in the greater Albany region, with 11 locations serving about 130,000 members.
Stopera’s successor, president and CEO Chris McKenna, said in a press release that Stopera was a tireless advocate for member service.
“As the architect of our philanthropic culture and a passionate advocate for our ‘every member, every time, every day’ philosophy, Paula shaped the direction of CAP COM forever,” McKenna said. “Her infectious personality, her steady hand and her huge heart will be missed by all of us.”
Stopera is survived by her daughter Amanda Goyer, son-in-law Chris Goyer and grandsons Roen and Noah.