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ESL Federal Credit Union Announces Growth to its Community Impact Team

Rochester, NY — ESL Federal Credit Union announces the addition of three new members to its Community Impact team. The Community Impact team works to build a healthy, resilient and equitable Greater Rochester region where all residents have access to a good education, employment opportunities and affordable, connected neighborhoods. ESL recently welcomed the following as senior relationship managers:

  • Michelle Shafer — Shafer brings more than 15 years’ experience to her new role, previously serving more than 10 years with March of Dimes where her most recent role was regional maternal and child health director for the northeast. In her role at ESL, Shafer promotes collaborative efforts by participating in and funding initiatives that help the Greater Rochester region around expanding individual opportunity, specifically for education and employment. Shafer holds a master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in Health Science from the State University of New York at Brockport. She resides in Fairport with her husband and two children.
  • Eric Van Dusen — Van Dusen’s experience stretches nearly three decades promoting local community development efforts. He most recently served as senior economic development specialist with the City of Rochester. Van Dusen is responsible for managing ESL’s grant initiatives around building strong neighborhoods in the Greater Rochester area. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Empire State College, and resides in Rochester with his wife.
  • Barbara J. Zappia — Zappia joins ESL with more than 30 years’ experience working in the health, nonprofit and philanthropy sectors. She most recently served as associate principal with the Center for Governmental Research, Inc. In her role, Zappia works collaboratively with community partners to support nonprofit organizations and initiatives to create a healthy and resilient Rochester. She holds a Doctorate in Human Development from the University of Rochester, a master’s in Public Administration from the State University of New York at Brockport and her bachelor’s in Physical Therapy from Ithaca College. She currently resides in the City of Rochester with her husband.

“Our Community Impact team is committed to its objectives of expanding individual opportunity, building strong neighborhoods, and strengthening organizations and systems,” said ESL Federal Credit Union Vice President/Director, Community Impact, Ajamu Kitwana. “We look forward to helping our community thrive and prosper by embedding equity into our funding initiatives and collaborating with organizations in order to build on the community’s assets.”

About ESL Federal Credit Union

With 100 years of locally-owned history, ESL Federal Credit Union serves as a full-service financial institution to more than 369,000 members. Founded in 1920, the company provides personal banking, business banking, mortgage services, and wealth management services through its locally-based 22 branch network, telephone, mobile, online and live chat center.

The Rochester-based financial institution employs more than 850 people in in the Greater Rochester area and holds more than $6.8 billion in assets. Since 1996, ESL has paid out 24 consecutive Owners’ Dividends to its members totaling than $150 million. The company has appeared on the Great Place to Work® Best Small & Medium Workplaces list for nine years since 2010. ESL Federal Credit Union is headquartered at 225 Chestnut Street, in Rochester, and can be found online at

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