Remembering Charlie Walters
AFSA was saddened to learn of the death of Charlie Walters on Sunday, August 16. For those of us in the AFSA family, Charlie was a leader of our association and our industry, and a larger than life figure whether in a board room or at an AFSA conference.
Charles Daniel Walters’ life-long career in the consumer finance industry started in 1959 as a trainee with Consolidated Credit Corp. in Charlotte, N.C. He married his beloved wife, Pam, in 1960 and over the next 30 years, Charlie and Pam, would raise three children, Windi, Wanda and Dan, and relocate 12 times. Charlie’s career took the family to Mississippi, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina, and Texas, where he and Pam launched their own business, Pioneer Loans of Texas. He would later also serve as a director of the Tennessee Finance Association as well as the President of the Georgia Industrial Loan Association, South Carolina Independent Consumer Finance Association, the Texas Consumer Finance Association and Georgia Installment Lenders Association.
In 1976 Charlie sold Pioneer to World Acceptance Corporation and became its Vice President for the Western Operation. In 1984 he was promoted to Executive Vice President in charge of all operations. Soon after, he rose to the rank of President and CEO of the company, which was then owned by First Union Corporation.
Charlie successfully led a management buyout of the company from First Union in 1989 and was successful in taking the company public in December 1991, one of the greatest challenges of his career. It was also one of his greatest achievements and earned him the nickname, “Wall Street Charlie.”
This was around the same time that Charlie took on leadership positions for AFSA. He served on the AFSA Board from 1991 to 2006, was AFSA’s Chairman from 1996 to 1997, and served on the AFSA Education Foundation board between 2000 and 2015. He received the AFSA Distinguished Service Award in 1998 and the Outstanding Independent Award in 2000. Charlie’s breadth and depth of experience made him a leading advocate for AFSA’s efforts on bankruptcy reform legislation, and he led efforts in obtaining support for the initiative from various state associations.
When asked about his hobbies, Charlie would proudly cite his job in consumer finance as one of them. But he especially noted time with his family, especially his eight grandchildren and a great grandchild.
A funeral service will be held Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in Graceland East Memorial Park Mausoleum Chapel. More information may be found at www.thomasmcafee.com. Condolences may be sent to the family at 15 Springcrest Court, Greenville, SC 29607.
August 18th, 2020 by Dan Bucherer