Brian A. Orenstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut.
"It's an honor for me to chair the United Way board and to work with such a respected team of leaders who care deeply about helping those in need throughout our region," said Orenstein. "We're all committed to continue our work this year to advance the common good and create opportunities for a better life for all those living and working here in southeastern Connecticut," he said.
Virginia L. Mason, United Way’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said that "Brian is a talented leader with outstanding experience and a track record of serving the community. His leadership was instrumental in overseeing a successful United Way campaign and for other initiatives that engage people in our work. Brian truly understands that caring is good business and has potential to develop the community. He brings a culture of good will and hard work for others. We look forward to working with him as our Board Chair."
Orenstein was elected to United Way’s Board of Directors in 2014 and was serving as Vice Chairman of the 22-member board prior to his election as Board Chairman. He also served as Co-Chairman of the successful United Way 2014 campaign appeal, which raised more than $5.7 million. His Co-Chairman for the annual appeal was Wayne J. Burgess, who is Chairman of Charter Oak’s Supervisory Committee and President of the Southeastern Connecticut Central Labor Council AFL-CIO.
Orenstein has been actively involved with United Way for many years, and the Waterford-based Charter Oak is also a longtime corporate benefactor of the Gales Ferry-based social services organization. Our United Way traces its roots back to 1962 with the merger of the United Fund of Norwich and the Community Chest of Groton, New London and Waterford. In 1975, our name changed to United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, and today we support 49 partner programs at local health and human service nonprofits as well as an additional 21 United Way programs and initiatives in the areas of education, income and health. Among the many programs that we fund and administer are the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London, a Mobile Food Pantry, Project Warm-Up heating assistance, Day of Caring and United Way 2-1-1.
Orenstein has served as the chief executive of Charter Oak since 2007. During his tenure, Charter Oak has experienced strong growth, with a nearly doubling of its branch network from 8 locations to 14 branches in New London and Windham counties and a 61 percent increase in assets from $580 million to $935 million as of December 31, 2015. Charter Oak, which is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union, will open its 15th branch in Mystic this spring, providing one of the largest and most convenient branch networks of any financial institution in eastern Connecticut.
Orenstein has three decades of financial-services experience, including two decades in senior management. He also serves as Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of the SBM Charitable Foundation, Inc. based in Manchester. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition, Orenstein is a Certified Public Accountant.
Charter Oak was founded in 1939 as the Groton Shipbuilders Federal Credit Union. In 2014, Charter Oak celebrated its 75th anniversary and also opened its new Branch and Headquarters complex on Route 85 in Waterford. Visit their website at CharterOak.org to learn more.