Longtime exec Paula Stopera dies; Led CAP COM expansion

The late Paula Stopera, former President and CEO of CAP COM Federal Credit Union.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The late Paula Stopera, former President and CEO of CAP COM Federal Credit Union.

COLONIE — CAP COM Federal Credit Union on Wednesday announced the death of Paula Stopera, its president and chief executive officer from 2004 to 2019.

Stopera worked nearly 40 years for the credit union during a period of extensive growth: when she started in 1980 as a membership relationship officer, it had just nine other employees.

At her retirement in 2019, CAP COM had over 360 employees, 130,000 members and about $1.8 billion in assets.

Stopera also was known beyond the business world as a philanthropist: She and Sharon Phillips in 2003 founded the CAP COM Cares Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that has since donated over $4 million and contributed more than 35,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of organizations in the Capital Region.

In a news release Wednesday, Stopera’s successor as president and CEO, Chris McKenna, spoke of her huge influence on the evolution of the Colonie-based credit union: “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. Her infectious personality, her steady hand and her huge heart will be missed by all of us.”

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