Mr. A. Gary Anderson, a 24-year veteran of the mortgage banking and real estate industries, was chairman and chief executive officer of Directors Mortgage. He purchased Directors Mortgage in 1976 when it had four branch offices and 105 employees. He grew the company to more than 90 offices and 1,800 employees, and in 1991 was the nation’s 15th-largest residential lender with $3.85 billion in loans.
Mr. Anderson made an indelible impression on the Inland Empire region, both as a professional in the business arena and as a generous humanitarian in the surrounding communities. He was chairman of the Children’s Fund of San Bernardino County, a charitable organization he founded, and was a founding member of the Inland Empire Economic Council. After his passing in 1992, the A. Gary Anderson Memorial Golf Classic was established to continue his work supporting at-risk and abused children through the Children’s Fund. Also in 1992, he was posthumously honored as the Inland Empire’s entrepreneur of the year.
Mr. Anderson sat on the advisory board of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the board of governors of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. He was president of the Inland Empire Mortgage Bankers Association in 1973 and of the California Mortgage Bankers Association in 1989. He was also board chairman and a major shareholder of Allmark Inc., a development and property management firm in Rancho Cucamonga.
Passionate about philanthropy, A. Gary Anderson established the beginning of the A. Gary Anderson Foundation, located in Irvine, California, before his untimely passing at the age of 52. In 1979, the A. Gary Anderson Foundation established the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics. This generous endowment gift provided for expanded research efforts, making it possible for the Anderson Center to remain at the forefront of urban and regional economic analysis. The gift also created the A. Gary Anderson Chair in Economic Analysis.
His children, Chapman University alumna Erin Lastinger ’88 and Erik Anderson, along with Erin’s husband Gary, have continued his legacy, investing in more than 200 organizations since 1994. At Chapman, the foundation made a leadership gift to name the Erin J. Lastinger ’88 Athletics Complex, paving the way for the University’s membership in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). A more recent gift is supporting the construction of the new Erin J. Lastinger ’88 Tennis Center.
Alongside Chapman University, just some of the organizations the foundation has supported include the University of California Riverside Foundation, the Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation Foundation, Hoag Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and Children’s Fund. The foundation has worked with many charities to re-evaluate their methods, leading to improved program delivery, partnerships and outreach for fundraising.
Through a longtime partnership with Children’s Fund, the foundation has provided instrumental support to the Children’s Assessment Center, where abused and neglected children in San Bernardino County receive medical assessment of their injuries, therapy and referrals to ongoing resources.
The A. Gary Anderson Family Foundation was named the 2014 Outstanding Foundation by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).