A Career in the Financial Services Industry
Gary Peters is a Wall Street veteran who spent over 40 years in the financial services industry. In 2008, he retired as Executive Vice President of LaSalle Bank, where he had founded the Broker-Dealer Services Division (BSDS), a national wholesale distributor of fixed income securities and equity linked investments. Since his retirement, he has devoted himself to philanthropy.
In his executive leadership role at LaSalle Bank, Gary Peters recognized early on the importance of technology in the securities industry and allocated significant resources to the development of customer contact, trading, hedging and marketing systems. These platforms were among the most sophisticated systems supporting the division’s overall efforts and resulted in higher profitability and markedly improved customer support. In addition, within his division, he promoted and encouraged a culture of integrity, teamwork and community service by word and example.
Monopoly—Not Just a Game
In 1987, Gary Peters won a small MONOPOLY tournament in Winter Haven, Florida, qualifying him to represent the state in his first U.S. championship. Representatives from each state competed for the national title and Peters won. The next year, he competed in the World Monopoly Championship. In 1991, Peters successfully defended his national title and soon after, was inducted into the MONOPOLY Hall of Fame, in recognition of his two national titles, as well as his charitable work hosting MONOPOLY events to raise money for non-profits including Sheridan House Family Ministries and Boca Helping Hands.
Giving and Doing—A Way of Life
Gary Peters is no stranger to community service. He served three terms on the Board of Directors of Sheridan House Ministries over a period of 31 years, during one of which he was the Chairman. He has served on an Advisory Committee of 4Kids of South Florida. He has been a Trustee and Member of the Executive Committee at the Saint Andrew’s School for six years and serves as President of the Gary Peters Family Foundation.
He established the Gary Peters Family Foundation in 2004 as a conduit for focused philanthropic efforts by the Peters Family. This is a family-run and family-financed non-profit whose mission is to work with communities and organizations to address the needs and enhance the lives of children and families.
Forced by Hurricane Wilma to face hunger and poverty issues in the Boca Raton area, Peters broadened his commitment to the community and became a member of the Board of Directors of Boca Helping Hands in 2006. Under his leadership and oversight as President of the Board, Boca Helping Hands has expanded its program and its outreach. He has worked tirelessly to spread the word about the organization’s services, recruit valuable volunteers and staff, raise money and support from the community and ensure excellence and longevity for Boca Helping Hands. Gary Peters has made a transformational difference at Boca Helping Hands. In 2010, the organization moved into a brand new 15,000 square foot facility, the Remillard Family Resource Center.
Gary Peters, in partnership with his wife, Cecilia Peters, an educator, have a strong commitment to educational opportunity. They started financial aid endowments at each of their children’s schools. At Coral Springs Christian Academy, they funded a high school gym. St. Andrews School in Boca Raton, Florida was the beneficiary of an endowment to support the educational aspirations of motivated scholars in need of financial aid. Vanderbilt University, which one of their sons attended, received an endowment for worthy students in need of financial help. Most recently, Florida Atlantic University’s First Generation Scholars program was the beneficiary of the Peters’ help.
Foster care is another major philanthropic focus for Gary and Cecilia Peters, including 4 Kids of South Florida and Place of Hope in Boca Raton.
Gary Peters’ most recent honors include:
- 2001 Men with Caring Hearts Award from the Florence Fuller Child Development Center
- 2012 Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Palm Beach Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals
- 2014 OPAL Award for Philanthropic Leadership from the Rotary Club of Boca Raton
- 2016 Heroes in Medicine from the Palm Beach Medical Society
- 2017 Jay DiPietro Hero of Hope Award from Place of Hope
Gary has implemented a succession plan for the Gary Peters Family Foundation to ensure that the next generation would continue the philanthropic legacy started by Gary and Cecilia Peters. Family members who are now Directors include Gregory Peters, Gary Mazzone Peters and Adam Peters.
Gary Peters has elected to live a meaningful life by making a difference in the lives of the underserved. What he has accomplished is a testament to what a man with a purpose and a vision can achieve.
Gary is married to Cecilia Peters and is the proud father of five children, five grandchildren.