Remembering Leonid: Honoring a Visionary Leader and Cherished Friend
by Yanki Tshering, Executive Director
It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the news of the unexpected passing on June 30th of our beloved Chief Lending Officer, Leonid Ostrovsky. His departure has left us all reeling, mourning the loss of an exceptional leader, visionary, and dear friend.
Leonid possessed an unparalleled passion for helping people and an extraordinary ability to inspire those around him. His infectious enthusiasm and unwavering dedication made a lasting impression on everyone fortunate enough to work with him. I vividly recall a conversation we had about updating his bio for our new website: when I asked him what he wanted people to know, he replied, “I want people to feel the sense of pride I experience when I walk through a neighborhood and can point to the businesses I have worked with.”
Leonid’s role in Accompany Capital began in 1997. He was the first person I hired to work with me at the newly formed outgrowth of an organization that had been formed to support refugees from WWII. Little did I know at the time that this would mark the beginning of an extraordinary 25-year partnership.
Throughout the years, Leonid played a pivotal role in numerous transformative initiatives at Accompany Capital, earning widespread admiration in the CDFI community, in the New York Community, and among our clients. His dedication, strategic insights, and unwavering focus on our clients were instrumental in shaping Accompany Capital into the leading CDFI it is today, leaving an indelible mark on our organization and the CDFI world as a whole.
Leonid’s commitment and dedication to our mission was shaped by his family’s experience as refugees from Ukraine resettled in the US. He understood the dreams and aspirations of our clients: refugees and immigrants who came to the US to escape persecution, to improve their economic circumstances, and to build new lives. He provided the same level of attention to a client that came in to request a loan of $2000 or $250,000. He understood how much that loan meant to them and how it could put them on the path to becoming financially secure and providing for their family.
We take comfort in the fact that, during what would be his final days, Leonid had the opportunity to reconnect with many colleagues and friends in person at the OFN Small Business Finance Forum in Chicago. We are grateful, too, that he witnessed the fruition of his work with the NYC Opportunity Fund and was recognized for it at a press conference with Mayor Adams, Commissioner Kim, and NYC CDFI leaders at City Hall last month. These were moments that highlighted his tireless efforts and his impact on our community.
As we navigate this profound loss, we are committed to honoring Leonid’s memory and continuing his legacy of excellence and service. We will remember him not only for his professional achievements but also for his warmth, unwavering kindness, infectious sense of humor, and genuine care for each and every client and professional relationship.
In the coming weeks, we will be organizing a way to remember Leonid’s life and legacy. We will share details with you as they become available, and we warmly invite you to join us in paying tribute to this exceptional colleague and friend who meant so much to us all.