CAP COM FCU on Wednesday announced the passing of Paula Stopera, 64, the beloved and longtime former president/CEO of the Albany-based credit union.
Stopera joined the credit union in 1980 as a membership relationship officer when CAP COM had just nine employees. By 2004 she had ascended to the role of president/CEO, and serving more than 15 years in that role, oversaw CAP COM’s record growth to 130,000 members, almost $1.8 billion in assets and over 360 employees.
Stopera was known throughout the Capital Region as a strong proponent of corporate giving and service, and she leaves a legacy of philanthropy both personal and professional. In 2003 she, along with Sharon Phillips, founded the CAP COM Cares Foundation, which has donated approximately $5 million to local nonprofits. She retired from CAP COM in 2019.
Her influence in the Capital Region community went well beyond her role at CAP COM. Her positive impact lives on in the many charitable institutions she supported, the men and women she mentored and her legacy of support for a growing and thriving Capital Region business community.
“The New York Credit Union Association is heartbroken to learn of Paula’s passing,” said William J. Mellin, New York Credit Union Association president/CEO. “Paula’s positive impacts not just at CAP COM, but in her charitable contributions to the community at large, should serve as an example to all of us that there is always more we can do to help make our communities a better place. She will be missed dearly.”
Chris McKenna, CAP COM president/CEO, said that “Paula’s influence on CAP COM is beyond measure. 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.”
CAP COM Board Chair Pat Kelly said that “Paula’s legacy of service and stewardship of our credit union over many years, stands tall amongst all of us. The CAP COM family of companies mourns the loss of an extraordinary woman, businesswoman, mother and grandmother.”
Stopera is survived by her daughter Amanda Goyer, son-in-law Chris Goyer and grandsons Roen and Noah. In her passing, she joins her son Alex Stopera.