League says final "Aloha" to Scot Tsuchiyama

on "September 04, 2019 1:42 pm"

It is with great sadness that Hawaii Credit Union League says a final Aloha to Scot Tsuchiyama of Lihue, Kauai. Scot passed away on August 2, 2019, at Straub Clinic on Oahu. He was 58 years old.

Scot was the General Manager, President, and CEO at Kekaha Federal Credit Union from 1991-2018.  His achievements over the 27 years of his career in the credit union industry were extraordinary.  Scot actively participated in credit union events locally, statewide, and nationally.  He served as President of the Kauai Chapter of the Hawaii Credit Union League from 1994 to 2001.  He also served on the Board of Hawaii Credit Union League for 20 years in various leadership roles including Chairman. His passion and dedication to the credit union industry was clearly evident and his achievements are unmatched by anyone in the State of Hawaii.

On a national level, Scot represented the State of Hawaii as a member of the Credit Union National Association’s Small Credit Union Committee for 10 years and the National Credit Union Legislative Action Committee where he was a Trustee for 11 years, and he served on the Executive Committee for 5 years.

Scot’s heart was always for the people of Kekaha and his efforts in the community won national awards. 2015 scot

In 2005 Kekaha FCU gained national recognition with its first-place award in the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility program. The award recognized a partnership between Kekaha FCU and Kekaha Elementary School. Scot initiated the partnership in 2004 with then-Kekaha Elementary School Principal Billi Smith on an educational program credited with helping Kekaha Elementary School students to achieve passing levels on state standardized tests during two consecutive testing periods. Incentives such as body boards, movie passes, and bicycles provided by Kekaha FCU were used to encourage students to succeed in The MAX (Maximum Communication Journal) Program.

In 2008, Scot and Kekaha FCU again won another 1st place national award in the Dora Maxwell Program.  The program was directed to providing free income tax preparation for qualified low-income residents of Kekaha.  The program, called the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program or VITA, offered free income tax returns for families with income up to $40,000 per year.  Scot spent many hours after normal work hours and weekends, preparing tax returns for people in the community.

Over a period of 10 tax seasons, Scot prepared 3,781 income tax returns, saved approximately $470,650 in tax preparers’ fees, AND, Scot obtained close to $4 million in income tax refunds for his clients.

Kekaha FCU’s newsletter, Kui Ka Lono, won a 2000 CUNA Bridge Award, an annual contest which encouraged excellence in credit union member education communications. Kui Ka Lono won first place in the credit union asset size category of “Newsletters $30 million or less”.

Scot was a humble, hands-on manager who knew his members well and would take time to counsel them on their finances. He helped members build credit by offering small dollar amount loans and encouraged timely repayments. “I’m the loan officer, the collection officer, the mortgage loan guy, the BSA officer, compliance officer, the HR guy,” he once said of his job as manager.

Scot retired as manager of Kekaha FCU when it merged into Aloha Pacific FCU in November 2018. The credit union still has its presence in Kekaha and is now known as Kekaha Credit Union, a division of Aloha Pacific FCU.

Scot is preceded in death by his father Stanford Tsuchiyama and is survived by his mother Violet Tsuchiyama; brothers, Alan (Joy) Tsuchiyama, Mark Tsuchiyama; sister Iris (Wallace) Zoller; nephews Ryan and Evan Tsuchiyama; dearest friends Aida and Brandi Dolfo.