OCO holds annual election for board members

FULTON, NY – Oswego County Opportunities is holding its annual election for open seats representing the low-income sector on its board of directors. Election will take place at several OCO program sites on April 1, 2 and 3.

Five candidates are participating in this year’s election, according to OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Courier.

“Our corporate structure requires one-third of our board to be composed of members who represent the low-income sector, either through economic eligibility or employment or volunteer activities that serve low-income populations,” she said.

All Oswego County residents, with the exception of OCO employees, who consider themselves to be low-income residents, are eligible to vote for participant representation on the OCO Board of Directors.

“It is a requirement that the low-income representatives be elected by their peers,” Cooper-Currier said. “We encourage our program participants and members of the community to stop at one of the sites and casting a ballot.”

Here is some brief information about each candidate.

John Zanewych is the owner of Big John Sales, Inc.. John is very active in the community and is a Board member for the Oswego County Child Advocacy Center, Oswego County Habitat for Humanity and the Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce. John likes to get involved and be part of the solution. He believes his involvement with the Child Advocacy Center and Habitat For Humanity is very connected to the work of OCO and as a Board member on all three organizations, he can make a strong link between these agencies and their service to the low income and those who struggle for stability and safety in their lives.

Karen Paterniti is the chief financial officer at Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc. NOCHSI is the county’s federally qualified health center focused on providing health care to the low income. As an OCO board member, Karen would welcome the opportunity to better serve community members and look to strengthen the partnership between OCO and NOCHSI.

Carissa Seaton is currently a Head Start parent and has served on a Head Start Center Committee and the Head Start Policy council since September of 2012. Carissa is an artist and has used her talents in this area to help others out through benefits and fundraisers. She is interested in helping in the community and feels that serving on the OCO Board of Directors is a good way to do this.

Gidget Stevens is the director of assistance programs for Oswego County DSS. This provides her with insight to the needs of the community, particularly the low-income. Gidget was in a low-income environment and chose this line of work as a way to assist individuals to self-sufficiency. She believes in the mission and vision of OCO and works with OCO on many committees and collaborations.

Jeanne Unger is the executive director for Farnham, Inc., responsible for overall operation and expansion of services related to chemical dependency treatment and prevention. She serves on a number of professional committees and boards including the Governor’s Advisory Council on Alcoholism and several OCO advisory committees. Jeanne has a B.A. in Political Science and a M.S. in Counseling and Psychological Services from SUNY Oswego. She resides in Oswego with her husband and children.

Voting dates are April 1 through 3, at the following sites during normal program hours unless otherwise noted:


Oswego Reproductive Health, 10 George St. – 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Crisis and Development – Midtown Plaza – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Oswego WIC, 10 George St., Suite 400 (April 3 only)  – 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.


OCO Administrative Office, 239 Oneida St. – 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Fulton Reproductive Health, Lee Medical Office Building – Suite 400
Fulton Senior Meal Site, Municipal Building – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Backstreet Books and Bistro, 201-203 Oneida St. – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fulton WIC Site, Believers Chapel, 614 S. Fourth St. across from McDonald’s (April 1 only) – 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Discovery Day Care/Head Start – County Route 59 (off Route 481)

Other Locations:

Senior Dining and Activity Center sites are open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Constantia Senior Meal Site, St. Bernadette’s – County Route 49 (April 2 and 3)
Mexico Senior Meal Site, Presbyterian Church – (April 2)
Parish Senior Meal Site, Presbyterian Church – (April 3)
Phoenix Senior Meal Site, Congregational Church (April 2)
Hannibal Senior Meal Site, Community Library (April 2)
Sandy Creek Senior Meal Site, United Methodist Church – (April 2 and 3)

A private, non-profit agency, OCO’s many programs touch the lives of more than 22,000 Oswego County residents each year.

One of Oswego County’s largest employers, OCO employs more than 600 people and boasts a volunteer force of nearly 2,000.

For more information, visit www.oco.org