38th Americana Awards honors local resident from Buena Park


Dale Eichman, CFP, CRC, from Buena Park was honored as the 2013 Americana Award recipient.

One day before Hollywood celebrated its Oscar Awards on Sunday, Orange County’s Cypress College held its annual “Cypress Americana Awards” Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Disneyland Hotel honoring local citizens for their individual spirit of giving.

Dale Eichman, CFP, CRC, from Buena Park was honored as the 2013 Americana Award recipient.

One day before Hollywood celebrated its Oscar Awards on Sunday, Orange County’s Cypress College held its annual “Cypress Americana Awards” Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Disneyland Hotel honoring local citizens for their individual spirit of giving.

Once again, it was a cast of well-deserving people who reach beyond themselves to give to others in a way that touched their hearts and in turn touched the hearts of those who heard their individual stories on large screens at the front of the ballroom, and then watched as Cypress College President Dr. Robert Simpson presented each of the recipients a ceremonial clock while on stage inscribed with the college’s name, 2013 Americana, “Citizen of the Year” and their individual city and name.

Event Chairperson Jenelle Godges began the evening by welcoming and thanking people for attending the 38th Americana Awards banquet and fundraiser, which is Cypress College’s signature event that has been supported by thousands of generous people over the years.

The evening is for recognizing remarkable people as Citizens of the Year; the men and women who through their service to others, leave life a little better than they found it in a way that exemplifies the best America has to offer.

The Citizen’s of the Year are people devoted to others, in areas that are meaningful to them and thereby, they make a brighter future by leading exemplary lives, which reflect their own inner qualities and inspire others along the way, to excel as well.

Receiving the Cypress American Award from Buena Park was Dale Eichman, CFP, CRC.

Whether Eichman is out riding on his motorcycle for enjoyment or charity, on his dirt bike in the desert, or playing with the grandkids, he doesn’t leave his community responsibilities far behind.

As an avid Harley Davidson rider, Eichman participates in several annual charity rides to help the less fortunate in Southern California. Most recently he participated in a ride to collect gifts for Toys for Tots and on 9/11 he was involved in an outing to benefit families of fallen firefighters and police officers.

He also enjoys camping, boating and traveling with his family and friends. Although he loves to travel, when he’s in town, he spends numerous hours volunteering.

“I enjoy giving back to the community that has been so good to me by providing service to that in need,” he said. “I especially enjoy helping the sight and hearing impaired, through the Buena Park Noon Lions Club.”

Eichman has been a member of the Lions for approximately 20 years, serving as president from 1999 to 2001 and has been the club’s treasurer since 2005. He served as the general chair for the Lions annual Silverado Days in 1998 and 1999.

He provided leadership as the Chief Financial Officer of the Buena Park Chamber of Commerce from 2003 to 2008. In 2011, he accepted the position as chair of the Endowment Review Committee, Jaynes Endowment Commission for the Buena Park Historical Society.

Eichman is a registered representative and registered investment advisor with Financial Network and Cetera Advisor Networks, Gardena Branch since 1980.

Eichman was born in Los Angeles and raised in Torrance, graduating from South High School in Torrance. He attended El Camino College from 1971 to 1973, where he majored in Public Administration. Later he majored in Political Science at Cal State University, Long Beach. After college, he worked as a key account manager for the food brokerage firm of Kelley-Clarke in South Pasadena.

In 1978, he began his career in the financial services industry with the Prudential Insurance Company of America. IN 1986 he enrolled at the College for Financial Planning in Denver where he earned the professional designation of Certified Financial Planner and has earned the Certified Retirement Counselor title as well.

Eichman has been involved with the youth, community and professional organizations, which has earned him the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Award and in 1973 and 1974 he received the City of Torrance Legislative Intern Award. He has been named as Lion of the Year, twice, by the Buena Park Noon Lions Club.

In 1990, 1997, 1998 and 1999, he was named to the Financial Network Investment Corporation’s Century Club and in 2007 to their Regent’s Club. He is listed in “Who’s Who in Finance and Industry,” 26th Edition, 1989-1990.

Eichman has lived in Buena Park for the past 27 years and been involved in the community for the past 25 years. He has three children and eight grandchildren.

Sponsors on all levels make the Cypress Americana possible, by those who generously bid on silent and live auction items throughout the evening.

The Title Sponsor was Union Bank, with Patriots including Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Disneyland Resort.

There were nine Founders-level sponsors; many benefactors and Star Sponsors, too numerous to mention here, but equally appreciated.

Chosen as “Man of the Year” was Trevor Hoffman, who has spent the past 18 years as one of the Major League Baseball’s shining stars and still remembers with fondness his baseball days at Cypress College.

Then an infielder and hitter, he recalled Coach Pickler allowing him to take the mound once; that attempt was not successful, but later, he developed into one of baseball’s outstanding pitchers.

Growing up in Anaheim, the Hoffman and Pickler families knew each other and Hoffman said Pickler was committed to the team.

“I felt safe and was able to spread my sings…it was fun and a great environment to be in; I enjoyed the program and grew mentally over those two years,” Hoffman said.

He received a full scholarship to attend the University of Arizona, but since he only had one kidney, the university was concerned about the possible liability.

When he was 6 weeks old, surgeons removed a damaged kidney because of an artery blockage.

At the age of 7, he knew he wanted to be a ballplayer and follow in his brother’s footsteps and so he did and became a standout with the Wildcats, continuing on and upward from there in the field of baseball.

Because of Hoffman’s own history with kidney problems, he has worked with the National Kidney Foundation as well as the Rady Children’s Hospital, where he has visited the children for decades and helped raise funds to improve the facility.

He also donates time and resources to the Padres Scholars program, the San Diego Family Justice Center and numerous military outreach programs and is involved in raising funds to provide scholarships to local kids through the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund.

During his MLB career, he was selected for the All-Star team seven times and twice he was the runner-up for the National League Cy Young Award. He retired with Major League Baseball records of fifteen 20-save seasons, fourteen 30-save seasons and nine 40-save seasons. He also retired with the highest career strikeout rate of any reliever. In addition he was the major leagues’ first player to reach the 500 and 600-save milestones and was the all-time save leader from 2006 to 2011.

While he works hard to help others, he puts his family, his wife and three children, first.

For Cypress Americana Awards information, visit cypresscollege.ed/about/foundation.

For Cypress College information, call 714-484-7000 or visit cypresscollege.edu.

Loreen Berlin may be reached at loreenberlin@verizon.net



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