USA Financial was founded on April 1, 1988 (Yes, that’s right, April Fool’s Day) by Gary G. Walters, who continues to serve on the Board of Directors as Chairman.
Gary’s distinguished 45+ year career is a true “rags to riches” story beginning in the Kentucky foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Gary, at the time a determined 17-year old boy, was unsatisfied with the options of becoming a coalminer or tobacco farmer. So he and a buddy decided they’d head north together. They each scraped together enough money to buy one tank of gas, estimating that two tanks should be able to get them to Detroit, Michigan, in the buddy’s Chevy.
As expected, Gary arrived in Detroit, and promptly found work in the mailroom of Blue Cross, Blue Shield. It was 1957. And although no one realized it (besides Gary anyway), this 17-year old boy had just taken his first step on a long, rewarding and admirable journey.
It is from these humble beginnings that Gary quickly began his aggressive climb up the corporate ladder. While juggling night-school and graduating with a B.S. degree from Wayne State University (Detroit), Gary rapidly rose to the position of Assistant Finance Director at Blue Shield of Michigan.
From this launching pad, Gary began on a meteoric rise within the industry. He became the Chief Financial Officer at Michigan Life Insurance Company; next was Senior Sales Vice-President at American Community Mutual; which led to being appointed President & CEO of Teledyne Life (overseeing 5 other insurers); and then finally President & CEO of American Annuity Life Insurance Company. All the while, he served on the Board of Directors of several of these companies.
In 1988, Gary broke stride from his high-powered corporate path to fulfill his entrepreneurial dreams through the creation of USA Financial. Gary’s son, Michael D. Walters, eyed this entrepreneurial challenge and joined his side, within three months of USA Financial being established.