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Cindi Walters
Cindi Walters
Founder and President
As the Founder and President of C Walters Intercoastal Corp., Cindi Walters has become a global leader in the predominantly male-run water sports industry. And it’s through sheer savvy and determination that the California native has earned herself this coveted position.
Rags to Riches
Walters’ story began as her parents divorced when she was six-years old. Her father was absent and her mother worked and went to school, forcing her to become a surrogate parent to her older brother. Her mother remarried a short time later and had another child, to whom Walters also became a caregiver. She found herself playing parent to herself and two siblings, while most girls her age would have been playing with dolls.
Adult responsibilities forced Walters to mature at an early age, but she was unable to pursue a conventional career. Without money for college, she instead married at 17 and began her family quickly, having three children at a very young age.
Her former husband’s family owned a water sports equipment business, Sea Pro, which went bankrupt six months into her marriage. Walters applied her skills for facilitating difficult situations, and the young couple fought to finance the purchase of the molds and other assets that would allow them a chance for their own future. Within a short period of time, Walters and her husband were running the company.
She spent a few years learning everything she could about the water sports industry and building a business from the ground up. The ambitious Walters then left Sea Pro to launch her own company, Cal Pacific Manufacturing, where she developed innovative scuba equipment. The certified diver also served on the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association’s (DEMA) Board of Directors from 1989 to 1998, including functioning as the board’s first female president from 1994 to 1995.
The Sound of Success    
Walters took on the task of running two companies when she founded CWIC in 1996 in order to distribute aquatics products under the Body Glove brand. In 2001, she closed Cal Pacific and mortgaged her home, secured treacherous loans and even went without a paycheck for three years in order to ensure the success of CWIC.
Walters is now known throughout the industry as a leader in vision and innovation. She creates specifically-designed diving, snorkeling and recreational aquatics gear for men, women and children under the Body Glove, Fluid Water Sports and Disney brands, and is effectively changing water sports from a small specialty category to a mass-market phenomenon.
“Of all our licensees, CWIC is far and away the most successful, and Cindi Walters had been the driving force of the company,” said Russ Lesser, president of Body Glove International. “I have never known anyone that works as hard as she does and is as passionate about her business.”
Giving Back    
In between her enormous workload and spending time with her family, Walters still manages to give back to the community. She has volunteered with the Amends Center, a half-way house in Long Beach, CA that has helped thousands achieve and maintain sobriety. Over the years, she has employed and even given a room in her own home to some of these individuals. She uses her own experience to help motivate others to overcome life’s challenges.
She also works with the Orange County Association for Retarded Children (OCARC) to provide work for the developmentally disabled.
Close to Walters’ heart are the people of Baja de Sur, Mexico. She has contributed to the “King’s Day” charity event, during which food and gifts are distributed to nearly 1,000 local children in need. She also helps raise funds for a local orphanage with needs as basic as beds.
Walters has recently taken on the task of creating her own non-profit foundation, Aqua Angels, which will try to help disadvantaged children in any way possible. “We are going to stay small, but do big things,” she said of the organization.
Cindi Walters shatters preconceived notions of what a typical powerful businesswoman might be. She is a free-spirited California girl with a bright mind and a big heart. She resides in Coto de Caza, CA with her son, Cameron, daughters, Kelsey and Brooke, and her son-in-law, Matthew. The loving single mother continues to keep her family close and involved in her business as much as possible.
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