Cooperative Federal is a member-owned, member-driven cooperative. Members have a voice and vote in governing the credit union, by electing the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting.
Our Board of Directors is composed of credit union members who live or work in the city of Syracuse, and who volunteer to serve their fellow members. The board sets direction and determines policy for the credit union; board members serve two-year terms.
Members are invited to contact the board at this email address, which is automatically distributed to each board member. Members can also attend monthly board meetings to discuss questions and ideas.
2019-2020 Board of Directors
Frank Cetera, President. Frank Cetera's work involves a wide range of cooperative enterprises and initiatives beyond Cooperative Federal.Frank has been a resident at Bread and Roses housing coop, and is currently living in and developing the Bitternut Collective Urban Homesteading coop on the Near Westside of Syracuse. Frank is a member of both the Syracuse Real Foods Coop (SRFC) and Eat-To-Live food coop (ETL). He works in his day job as a NYS Senior Business Advisor at the Onondaga SBDC (Small Business Development Center), located on the OCC campus, helping small businesses start-up and develop, including focusing on cooperatives. Frank is one of the founders of the NY Cooperative Network and engages regularly with professionals and educators regarding cooperative principles and organizing.
Jesse Harasta, Co-Vice President. Born and raised in Binghamton, Jesse moved north twelve years ago. Since earning his doctorate in anthropology at SU, he has taught international studies and social sciences at Cazenovia College. A former member of the Bread and Roses Housing Collective, Jesse still lives in the Westcott neighborhood as a homeowner with his wife, step-son, cat and dog. Having lived and worked in Colombia, he speaks both Spanish and English.
Tiesha McNeal, Co-Vice President. In 2008, Tiesha moved from North Carolina to Syracuse to study Architecture at Syracuse University. After graduation, she has worked as an architectural designer collaborating on airport, governmental, educational, and housing projects throughout Central New York. She is active in The Junior League of Syracuse, an organization that works to improve the lives of women and children through education and volunteerism. Tiesha lives on the Southwest side of Syracuse with her wife, four-year old son, and 6-month old daughter, the joys of her life.
David Kauffman, Financial Officer. David has been a member of the credit union since 2009 and joined the Board in 2016. During his first 2 year term David served on the Technology Committee, Budget Committee, and Nominations Committee. David has been involved in the leadership of several cooperatives in different cities, including President of the Madison Community Cooperative in Wisconsin where he helped the organization through several financial struggles. For several years David worked in a consulting practice that did risk assessments of local religious, non‐profit, and business organizations in order to guide them toward improving their internal controls, better managing their risk, and securing their finances. David currently works at a local manufacturing company doing data visualization and project management.
Liz Crocket, Secretary. Liz moved to Syracuse to go to grad school in 1981, joined the Coop, and soon joined the newly‐forming Credit Union. Since then she has used the CU as her primary financial institution. Liz lives in Fabius and works in
Syracuse. Her educational background is in community nutrition. Since 2000 Liz has worked as Executive Director of a small not‐for‐profit that works on improving health and reducing health disparities, focusing on women’s and infants’ health and adolescent pregnancy prevention. She has experience serving on Boards and the important roles that a Board serves to support an organization.
Salat Ali. Salat was born in Dadaab, Kenya and was raised there until the age of 11. He and his family moved to Syracuse before he turned 12 and it’s become his second home ever since. On May 13th of 2017, Salat graduated from Cazenovia College with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Salat has also completed Minors in International Studies, Sociology, and Human Services. Currently, Salat works as a Substitute Teacher as well as a Youth Coordinator for an afterschool program. As far as community involvement goes, Salat worked with Interfaith Works, Salvation Army, and Hopeprint. Additionally, Salat is currently a board member of a non‐profit organization called Refugee & Immigrant Self‐Empowerment (RISE). He also has been part of the Board of Directors of Coop Fed as a result of an original elected Director leaving their position. Things that interest him include reading, sports, music, and socializing.
Jessica Azulay Jessica is Executive Director of Alliance for a Green Economy, and co-founder and Steering Committee Co-chair of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance, a coalition of grassroots organizations centering racial and economic equity in the transition to a 100% renewable energy system in New York. Jessica was born and raised in rural West Virginia and moved to her current home in Syracuse, NY in 2002. She has 20 years of multi-issue grassroots organizing experience and a Bachelor's Degree from Sarah Lawrence College where she focused on political economy and international economics. Before taking her job at AGREE, Jessica worked professionally as nonprofit publisher, editor and journalist with the award-winning hard news website, The NewStandard, and served as faculty for three years at the Z Media Institute. Jessica also previously held a staff position at the Syracuse Peace Council, and is a former board member of Coop Federal. Jessica was a 2015 recipient of the GreeningUSA “Sustaining Our Communities Award” for her development of the successful Solarize Syracuse campaign, and she was the 2016 recipient of “Lou and Judi Friedman Legacy Award” from Beyond Nuclear and People's Action for Clean Energy for her inspiring leadership and coalition building to transition New York State to a carbon-free and nuclear-free energy supply.
Paul Ciavarri. Paul works for Legal Services of Central New York as the Community Development Organizer for a new project dedicated to responding to the increasing concentration of poverty in Syracuse. Paul has organized with the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), and residents of Central Appalachia fighting to end mountaintop removal coal mining. He has also taught English in Guatemala. Through Legal Services, Paul teaches a class in community organizing to young community leaders in Syracuse.
Elmore Davis. Elmore retired from the United States Air Force after 27 years. A staunch advocate of public service, she continues to work with several community-based non-profit organizations, including Syracuse United Neighbors (SUN), National Action Network (NAN), and currently serves on the board of Jubilee Homes. Elmore has recently retired from the VA Medical Center. She is a grandmother of two.
Ed Griffin Nolan is the owner of two small businesses, both of which have been greatly supported by Coop Fed. He is also a parent of three adults and a neighborhood activist dedicated to equitable development of the West Onondaga Street corridor. Ed's past experiences include serving as Coordinator of Witness for Peace in Nicaragua, an organizer with the Arizona Farm Workers, and a reporter and columnist for Syracuse New Times. Ed is fluent in Spanish and moves comfortably in a variety of cultures present in Syracuse.
Yasser Guerra Garcia. Yasser has been a Board member for Cooperative Federal since 2015. He is of Cuban origin with 5 years of college studies in Accounting and Finances. After completing his studies, Yasser worked in an accounting department for two years, and has eight years of experience as a small business owner. In 2010, Yasser relocated to Ecuador where he lived for two years working as a teacher in an educational complex with children ranging from 8-to-15 years old. In October 2012, he arrived to Syracuse and one month later was working on his first job in the US. He currently works at CXTEC in North Syracuse, in which he is in charge of marketing responsibilities. Other previous experience in the US include working as a tax preparer for H&R Block and with Cardinal Health located on Molloy Rd.
Gabrielle O'Brien Currently working as a teaching assistant for Elmcrest Early Education Center, Gabrielle graduated from SUNYIT in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Gabrielle also completed the Dale Carnegie 8 week Leadership Training Course in the summer of 2018. A compassionate educator and a fast learner, Gabrielle believes that a calm and caring attitude can help create a safe environment where people can thrive.
Louise Poindexter. Louise has lived in Syracuse since she was a small child and she has been a Syracuse resident for over 65 years. She is extremely involved in the local community serving as an active volunteer for Syracuse United Neighbors (SUN), Partnership for Onondaga Creek, Urban Jobs Task Force, PEACE Council, and her church group. Louise strives to increase equal opportunity for decent jobs and decent wages as well as the ability to better oneself through employment.
Adelaide Rosa Since moving to Syracuse four years ago, Adelaide has been quite involved in activism and advocacy. Much of this has centered around issues of environmental and social justice relating to water and community health. After completing her Masters of Public Administration degree at Syracuse University in 2016, Adelaide began working with the Onondaga Nation, engaging with the continuing pollution of the watershed as well as building partnerships with other affected groups. In 2018 Adelaide started work on a PhD in Social Science at Syracuse University, investigating links between places, communities, and ‘decision-makers’ (mostly politicians and bureaucrats in this context), focusing on just solutions. Adelaide is a commited socialist and approaches community advocacy from a perspective of solidarity. As a white transgender woman, Adelaide strives to stand alongside those who are different from her in a space where their voices can be heard.
2019-2020 Board Meeting Schedule
Board meetings are open to the membership and are held at 800 North Salina Street. During items that involve private information (such as member information or personnel matters), members would be asked to leave the room.
- Wednesday, Apr 24, 2019 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, Jun 26, 2019 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, Jul 24, 2019 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, Dec 18, 2019 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020 at 7 pm
- Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 at 7 pm
2018-2019 Supervisory Committee
The Board of Directors appoints members of the Supervisory Committee, which is our audit and internal controls oversight committee. The Supervisory Committee conducts audits, provides oversight, and resolves disputes.
- Liz Crockett, Chair
- Stephen Bittner
- Jenny Penningston
- John Faley
Any Cooperative Federal member is eligible to be on the Board of Directors. Love the credit union? Have suggestions to make us stronger? Please consider joining the Board! Contact the Nominations Committee with suggestions and inquiries.