125 North Fulton St. Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-4611
Toll Free: (877) 273-AFCU      Contact

Board member profiles

Kenny Christianson, President

Kenny holds a Masters of Arts in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration from Syracuse University. He is a lecturer of Economics at Binghamton University and Ithaca College and holds a position as Academic Consultant in the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Ithaca College. Kenny has been a member of Alternatives since 1992 and is committed, through his work on the Board, to meeting the needs of the underserved population in our area.  

Alison Christie, Vice President

Alison joined the Alternatives' Board in 2001. She enjoys many training opportunities available to Board members. Alison brings Marketing and Cooperative experience to the Board. She worked at GreenStar Cooperative Market for twelve years, during which she became Marketing and Member Services Manager. Alison is drawn to participate as a board member at Alternatives to support our vital and worthy mission and also because she is captivated by the cooperative movement and its capacity to transform peoples' lives and offer a democratic economic alternative in our capitalist economy. Alison is honored to be a steward for such a precious community asset.

Jim Fravil, Treasurer

Jim has been a member of Alternatives for many years. He has been on the board since 1997. Jim leads a quiet, private life.



Gvozden Dokic, Secretary
Gvozden grew up in Croatia and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) there. After the war, Gvozden moved to New York City, married, had two children, and started working in the banking industry. In 2009 he and his family decided to move to Ithaca after wanting a change of lifestyle and a more locally-orientated community. In Ithaca Gvozden has opened his own IT consulting company, XOrca. 

Dr. Aloja Airewele

Dr. Airewele was born and raised Nigeria and trained as a family physician at Obafemi Awolowo University, practicing for eight years before switching to pastoral ministry in 1996 while living in London. He served as a legislative liaison to Ithaca Assembly woman Barbara Lifton for four years. Dr. Airewele currently serves as the President of the Tompkins County Library Board of Trustees and The American Red Cross Homeless Services Program Director.

Dr. Airewele contributes his knowledge of this community and the various human services agencies in any way to help Alternatives grow and become more effective in realizing its goals.

Daryl Anderson

Daryl is a retired teacher living in Hector. He is the father of four adult children and grandfather of one. His family lived in Ithaca for five years and banked with Alternatives Federal Credit Union. He then moved to Trumansburg where he taught middle school math for 16 years. Prior to teaching, Daryl owned a software company and was a full-time parent for about a decade. 

He and his family share a large piece of property with a young couple running a CSA farm, with another remarkable pair creating a permaculture farmstead, and with farm interns and goats, turkeys and chickens. 

In 2013 Daryl ran for the Hector Town Board on an anti-fracking platform. He is currently involved in the “We Are Seneca Lake” campaign.

Daryl's geographic location, straddling the Tompkins/Schuyler line, gives him a sense of the sometimes unique values and concerns of this very rural, growing and dynamic communities involved in small-scale, sustainable food-production and wine-growing enterprises. 

Diane Cohen

Diane has been a member of the Ithaca community for more than 30 years. She worked in nonprofit management since 2001, and is the Executive Director of Finger Lakes ReUse, a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 with a triple bottom line mission to enhance community, economy, and environment through reuse. ReUse is a past recipient of Alternatives FCU’s Jeff Furman Award for Social Responsibility in Business and is deeply aligned with our mission of creating opportunities for underserved people and communities.

Diane currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County and is a member of the Environment Program Committee at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, the Get Your Green BackSteering Committee and the TST BOCES Technology Committee.

Maria Klemperer-Johnson

Maria moved to Ithaca in 2000, and became a member of Alternatives shortly thereafter. As a woman working in a traditionally male-dominated trade, I have experience with the challenges faced by women in the workforce, especially in non-traditional jobs. As a working mother, I co-manage a household of eight with two working parents, and have learned to navigate the financial challenges of raising a large family. 

Maria brings two perspectives: 1.) As a member of the population Alternatives aims to serve – a lower income woman with a micro-business startup. 2.) As a business owner trying to serve a social mission while maintaining a sustainable business. Maria's brings her understanding of both the needs of the underserved and the complexities of maintaining financial solvency while serving a social mission to the board.

Yvette Rubio

Yvette joined Alternatives Federal Credit Union in 2001 because she believes in the mission. She served on the board from 2002-2011 – the last four as its President.

Yvette currently serves as the Coordinator for Volunteer Services at Tompkins County Public Library, on the board of Foodnet/Meals on Wheels, maintains a position at the public library and volunteers.

Growing up in the South, raised by her mother and father, the latter an immigrant from Guatemala, has lent Yvette a perspective that is sensitive to the kinds of discrimination many of the people in Ithaca may experience. Her father's dream to live in a country that values democracy and fairness is one he passed on to her. 

Yvette's is committed to seeing that Alternatives FCU remains an organization dedicated solely to promoting economic justice through its programs and policies.

Leonardo Vargas-Méndez

Leonardo is the Executive Director of the Cornell Public Service Center (CPSC), and as such, is a member of Cornell University’s Division of Student and Academic Services’ senior management team. Leonardo is Co-Principal Investigator for the Cornell Upward Bound Program and is Co-Director of the Faculty Fellows-in-Service learning programs. He is Cornell University’s liaison to the New York Campus Compact Advisory Board, and a member of the founding Board of this statewide higher education membership institution. He is also a Carl L. Becker House Faculty Fellow at Cornell University.   

In addition to his Cornell responsibilities, Leonardo has served on the boards of many Tompkins County non-profit agencies and governmental committees, including the Board of Trustees of the Tompkins County Public Library; the Founding Board of the Latino Civic Association of Tompkins County Inc.; the Ithaca Alliance for Community Empowerment; the Advisory Board of the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service of Tompkins County; the Tompkins County Workers Rights Center; the Board of the Tompkins County Human Services Coalition; the City of Ithaca’s Board of Public Works; and the Board of Planning and Development; the Board of the Tompkins County Human Rights Commission; and the Board of Planned Parenthood of Tompkins County. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Tompkins Community Action, and also a member of ATTAC International, Chile’s chapter.  

Leonard enjoys being a Board member for Alternatives on many levels, and he and his family have been Alternatives members for many years.  



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The Nutritional Wellness Center is celebrating its eighth year in business. We started on the right foot in 2006 by attending the Business CENTS program and by receiving a business loan. So far we have helped over 1,000 people on their journey to optimal health. Our mission is to help as many people as humanly possible be healthier and happier without the use of unnecessary drugs or surgery. Thank you Alternatives for your support along the way!

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