Santa Monica, CA— June 23, 2022 — At age ninety-two, after fifty-three years of dedicated volunteer service with the California Lithuanian Credit Union’s (CLCU) Board of Directors, Albinas Markevicius has announced his retirement. Albinas, known to many as Mr. Mark, co-founded the CLCU in 1969 after he, and fellow cofounders, saw a need for greater loan accessibility to recent immigrants who wanted to build investments. He has served on the board since the CLCU’s founding, and has been chairman for most of his tenure. At his final meeting, Albinas was addressed by the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Lithuania in the California Central Coast, Daiva Navarrette. She thanked Albinas for his hard work and commitment, and said, “We are proud to have had you at the helm for 53 years and in all probability something like this will never be duplicated.”
When thinking back on his time with the CLCU, Albinas said that he admires how much “the Credit Union has grown with the efforts of staff and volunteers over the last five decades. I wish the next generations success in continuing to aid our community, may the credit union and its members prosper for years to come.” Following Albinas’ retirement, his son, Marius Markevicius succeeded him as Chairman of the CLCU. Marius has said that “It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of the outgoing chairman. The California Lithuanian Credit Union is here to be resource for all people of Lithuanian and Latvian heritage.”
The CLCU is a federally insured financial institution that provides comprehensive resources to people of Lithuanian and Latvian heritage. They provide online banking, loans, debit and credit cards, and certificates of deposits (CDs). Throughout his time with the CLCU, Albinas has made a great impact on members, many of whom are immigrants, allowing them to build the lives they desire. One pertinent example includes Health-Ade, a kombucha company founded by a credit union member and her two partners. Thanks to a business loan to expand from the CLCU, this company has grown exponentially.
Albinas was born on a small farm in rural Lithuania, where he began working full time in 1941 at age eleven. World War II battles between Germany and Soviet Russia came to their doorstep, forcing the family to flee Lithuania. They were homeless for two years, eventually making their way to a German refugee camp; the family’s simple wagons were confiscated by the German army and much of their journey was on foot. Two years later, began work as a contracted laborer at Pickle Crow Goldmines in Ontario, Canada. After, he moved to Montreal, and began working in a brewery manufacturing plant. It was there that Albinas began investing his savings in real estate.
In 1957, Albinas joined his sister in Santa Monica, which was a sleepy beach town. He pursued a career in real estate and insurance. Albinas worked as a sales agent for several years before deciding to join his partner Roque Hermacillo Rodriguez in opening their own brokerage. Roque and Mark Real Estate was founded in 1965, and just three years later, in 1968, Roque passed away. Even so, Roque and Mark continued to serve the real estate needs of Santa Monica and West LA, enabling many families to buy their first homes and investments for retirements. and has been open for fifty-seven years. Albinas earned his Associates of Arts degree from Santa Monica College in 1969, the same year that the CLCU was founded.
His dedication to the community is long and widespread. Albinas has served as President of the Santa Monica Board of Realtors, State Director of the California Association of Realtors, Co-founder of the Santa Monica Lithuanian Club, Director of the action Apartment Association, Chairman of the Santa Monica Sister City Foundation, a member of the Santa Monica College General Advisory Board, Founder and President of the Lithuanian Assistance Foundation, and led several organizations that advocated for the independence of Lithuania from Soviet Russia. After many years of dedication, Albinas was awarded a by the Office of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania for service to the country of his birth at a ceremony in Washington D.C. hosted by the ambassador.
For more information about the California Lithuanian Credit Union, visit https://www.clcu.org/.