Clifford Schechter was born in 1958 and is a native New Yorker. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude, majoring in finance and accounting. In addition to receiving numerous academic honors at URI, Cliff was a member of the NCAA playoff-qualifying varsity soccer team.
Cliff returned to New York to pursue his legal education and obtained his J.D. from Fordham University in 1982, concentrating on taxation and commercial law. He served as Wormser Chapter Justice in 1980-81 and was his Chapter's delegate to the 1980 Convention in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he served on the Nominating Committee. Cliff was voted Wormser Chapter's Outstanding Active Member in both 1980-81 and 1981-82. In his final year at Fordham, he was also the recipient of a PAD Service Award, the American Jurisprudence Award for Scholastic Excellence in Estate Planning and was listed in "Who's Who Among American Law Students."
Upon graduation from Fordham, Cliff joined the Tax Department of Touche Ross, then one of the "Big Eight" accounting firms, and was a Tax Supervisor at the time of his departure from public accounting in 1986. He immediately joined the "Wall Street Community" as a member of the investment banking firm of L. F. Rothschild & Co. Incorporated and was a Senior Vice President and the firm's Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration and Taxes. The hit movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street” (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) was based on events that occurred at L.F. Rothschild during Cliff’s tenure there.
In mid-1993, Cliff's move to "Sunny Southern California" was completed as he served as President of Royal Financial Services Incorporated, a personal financial and business planning and consulting firm based in San Diego from 1993-1996. From 1996 through 1999, Cliff was a member of Ernst & Young LLP, a leading international professional services firm, where he was the Personal Financial Counseling Manager in their San Diego Office. From 1999 through 2003, Cliff was a Senior Vice President and Private Financial Advisor with Bank of America Private Bank, where his responsibilities included the coordination of the delivery of comprehensive financial planning advisory services to high net worth individuals and their families. During that time, he was also the co-host of the “The Money Hour,” a weekly radio talk show on KSDO, AM-1130 in San Diego. Cliff returned to New York City in 2003 and joined the Anti-Defamation League, the world’s leading human and civil rights organization fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred, bigotry and prejudice through its numerous programs, services and advocacy efforts. Cliff currently serves as ADL’s Chief of Staff, following three years as its Chief Operating Officer with overall senior management responsibility for all facets of ADL’s daily operations. Prior to his appointment as COO in 2013, Cliff served as ADL’s Director of National Development and in that capacity, was responsible for all aspects of the Agency’s annual, restricted and planned giving development efforts. Prior thereto, Cliff served as ADL’s Deputy Director of National Development, and the Director of National Planned Giving, Legacy and Endowments where his responsibilities included the direction of the ADL Foundation’s $250-million Legacy Endowment Campaign.
He has served Phi Alpha Delta as Clerk of the New York City Alumni Chapter from 1982-84 and was a delegate from that Chapter to the 1982 and 1984 Conventions in St. Louis and Miami, respectively, serving twice on the Audit and Finance Committee. Following the Miami Convention, Cliff was appointed District XV Justice which at that time included chapters in New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Northern New Jersey. In his first year as D.J., he was a co-award winner of the Stan P. Jones Memorial Award as the Outstanding District Justice for 1984-85. At the 1986 Convention, Cliff was the Chairperson of the Audit and Finance Committee and was elected to the International Executive Board as your International Proctor. At the 1988 and 1990 Conventions, he was re-elected to the Executive Board as your International Marshal and International Historian, respectively. In August 1992, Cliff was elected International Treasurer and has, in all probability, been the most active International Treasurer in our history. In August 1994, Cliff was elected International Vice Justice of Phi Alpha Delta and at our 1996 convention in Miami, Florida, he was elected International Justice. Increased communication, a Fraternity owned Headquarters and facilities relocation have been amongst his highest priorities, all of which have now been realized. While on the Board, he has served on the Building Fund Committee, as Chairperson of each of the Endowment Loan, District Restructuring and Finance Committees and was the "driving force" behind the 1988 and 1990 Convention Souvenir Ad Journals. Cliff has also represented P.A.D. very well at a number of annual meetings of the Professional Fraternity Association. So much so, and recognized as a leader among leaders, Cliff has been elected to the P.F.A. Board for five terms and was ultimately elected to serve as the P.F.A. President, while also serving as P.A.D’s International Justice. In 2015, the P.F.A. honored Cliff with its highest award, the P.F.A. Career Achievement Award. Cliff also served on the Board of Directors of the North American Interfraternal Foundation (NIF). On August 3, 2002, Cliff was inducted into Phi Alpha Delta’s Distinguished Service Chapter, the highest honor that can be afforded to a member of our Fraternity. In the history of our Fraternity, only 22 of our members were ever afforded such an honor. Cliff also diligently provided dedicated service for many years as the CFO and a Trustee for the P.A.D. Endowment Fund, now known as the P.A.D. International Foundation.
Cliff, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), who also possesses an M.B.A. Degree in Accounting and Taxation from Long Island University, is a member of the Wall Street Tax Association and has been named an "Outstanding Young Man in America" six times. In addition, he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Hall of Champions and has served on the faculties of Pace University and Adelphi University, where he has taught Estate Planning, Investments and Income Tax Planning. He has also been a lecturer at San Diego State University’s Entrepreneurial Management Center. He has also been honored by listings in "Who's Who Among Rising Young Americans”, "Who's Who in the East”, “Who’s Who in the West”, "Who's Who in Finance and Industry”, and "Who's Who in the World”.
In 2006, many of our Phi Alpha Delta Sisters and Brothers participated in the P.A.D. Wedding in New York City, which united Cliff with Gail Bernheim (Rockefeller Chapter). In addition to their common love for Phi Alpha Delta, each has great joy for their children; Cliff’s children – Dana, Adam and Talia – have been frequent attendees at past P.A.D. Conventions. Dana, now a successful immigration attorney in Northern California, is married to Adam Gold, a financial services professional, and they have provided Cliff and Gail with two grandchildren, Jacob Alan Gold, who was born in February 2013 and Everly Shir Gold, who was born in May 2015. Adam Schechter is currently working in Los Angeles, CA, having successfully completed his M.B.A. in International Business at Bar Ilan University in Israel and Talia is currently a Senior Tax Consultant with RSM (formerly McGladrey) LLP, a leading U.S. provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. Talia graduated from Loyola Law School, where she not only received her LLM in Tax and JD, she also served as Co-Justice of Ford Chapter in 2013-2014. Not to be outdone, Gail’s son, Harrison Abramowitz, a graduate from the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, is now a successful real estate professional, specializing in retail leasing in New York City, as a Director with the international firm of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.