We announce with deep sorrow the passing of our friend and associate, Alan Orechwa. He served Clearinghouse CDFI in many capacities throughout the entire history of our company. Alan was our longtime Board Chairman, Chief Financial Officer, as well as the senior member on our Loan, Asset Review, ALCO and Arizona MultiBank Investment Committees.
Alan had a distinguished professional career as both a CPA and bank executive. He started his career with Peat Marwick, where he was responsible for bank audits. Alan then moved on to a Senior Executive position with Coast Federal Bank in Los Angeles. Under his leadership, Coast was a charter investor in Clearinghouse CDFI during our initial capitalization in 1996. From 2009 through 2012, Alan served as the Chief Operating and Financial Officer of Junior Achievement of Southern California, Inc. (JASoCal). He was charged with turning the operation of JASoCal around following massive losses incurred in 2008. Prior to this position, Alan served on the JASoCal Board of Directors for 17 years. Since then, he has continuously been involved as both a board and loan committee member throughout our 22-year history. Alan has voted on, reviewed, or opined on, essentially every loan we have ever made – totaling over $1.2 billion.
In 2012, Alan resigned from the board and became our Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, he has led our finance, funding and loan servicing teams. Alan has also contributed significantly to our executive team during a period of tremendous growth and geographic expansion. Always the CPA, many of our corporate policies, practices and operations can be attributed to Alan’s conservative and principled approach to running a financial institution. Yet, he embraced our community focus and was extremely proud of our most impactful loans. Alan’s commanding presence and dry sense of humor meant he was both respected and well-liked in the office.
Alan was tenacious about continuing to work and contributing up until his final days. He could not have accomplished this without the tremendous assistance of his loving and devoted wife, Doris. A herculean effort was needed each morning just getting into their car. They would then make the trek from El Segundo to Lake Forest so that Alan could continue his responsibilities as CFO for the company he loved so much. Yet, Alan never complained nor wanted any sympathy from any of his co-workers. He was truly a role model for commitment, dedication and displayed a “never quit attitude”.
Clearinghouse CDFI owes much to Alan Orechwa. Our entire staff is sad and grieving his absence. Alan has been a personal mentor and role model for me over the past 20-plus years. I have benefited greatly from, and relied upon, his wisdom and guidance on numerous occasions. We will all miss him immensely.
– Douglas Bystry, Clearinghouse CDFI President/CEO