I am sharing this news with an extremely heavy heart.  CLASI’s CFO, Keith Criddell, died suddenly on Nov. 20 at age 53.  It was a horrible shock and has hit us all very hard.  Perhaps it is the dissonance of his death—he seemed so healthy, so young, fit, and strong.  Perhaps it is the human tragedy of it all.  He passed on the morning of his mother’s funeral, and leaves behind his wife, Belinda, and son, Keith Jr. (“KJ”).  KJ is a sophomore in college and it quickly becomes obvious to all who meet him that he is a fine young man, of whom his father was extremely proud.  That apple did not fall far from that tree.

Keith had been with CLASI since August of 2007.  He came to CLASI at a very difficult time (soon after the death of a longtime Financial Director) and then circumstances beyond his control made the job even more difficult.  As the U.S. economy collapsed and our IOLTA funding dropped precipitously, Keith navigated us back from the abyss and helped us stabilize our finances.

Keith was a solid man, both inside and out.  He was calm under pressure, understood the nature of the work we do, and supported the importance of our mission.  He expertly balanced twenty different grants (federal, state, and miscellaneous others) and smoothed out the cash flow challenges we frequently faced.

The loss to CLASI and his colleagues is significant and tangible.  The gravity of his loss to Belinda and KJ is overwhelming and impossible to fathom.