The Virginian-Pilot
                             THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT 
              Copyright (c) 1997, Landmark Communications, Inc.

DATE: Tuesday, February 11, 1997            TAG: 9702110213
                                            LENGTH:   61 lines


The financial-services organization USAA has named a retired Navy rear admiral to head its mid-Atlantic regional office in Norfolk.

Benjamin T. Hacker, currently executive vice president and chief administrative officer at USAA's headquarters in San Antonio, will succeed John J. Wolcott, who is retiring.

Hacker, who joined USAA in 1988 after 30 years in the Navy, will assume his new post as senior vice president of the association's mid-Atlantic region at the end of March.

USAA, which has 40,000 members in Hampton Roads, specializes in providing auto and homeowners' insurance to military officers, retired officers, and their family members.

During his service career, Hacker had been a naval aviator and commanded the Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine, and the Military Enlistment Processing Command at Fort Sheridan, Ill.

He also served as commander of Fleet Air, Mediterranean, in Naples, Italy, and headed other commands in the Mediterranean and the Sixth Fleet. Before retiring, he commanded the Naval Training Center in San Diego and the San Diego Naval Base.

Hacker's first job with USAA was assistant vice president for policy service at the organization's western regional office in Sacramento. In the early 1990s, he served briefly as director of the California Department of Veterans Affairs and rejoined USAA as regional vice president and general manager of its western region.

Hacker moved to his current post in San Antonio in December 1995.

Wolcott, a retired Air Force colonel, oversaw the opening and development of USAA's regional office in Norfolk in the early 1990s. He is stepping down with a medical retirement because of lower back problems, a USAA spokeswoman said.

Wolcott, 57, began working at USAA in 1988 and served on the boards of several organizations in Hampton Roads during his tenure as general manager of USAA's regional office in Norfolk. These included United Way of South Hampton Roads, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, and Sentara Health System.

After using temporary facilities in the Norfolk Commerce Park for three years, USAA opened a 340,000-square-foot building on Northampton Boulevard near Military Highway in 1993.

Most of the 810 employees at the office handle insurance-policy inquiries and process claims for USAA members in a five-state area. The association has 400,000 members in its mid-Atlantic region, which encompasses Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.

When USAA chose Norfolk as the site for a regional office in 1989, there were predictions that it might employ as many as 3,000 in the office by the late 1990s. The size of its local work force hasn't reached that level partly because of greater efficiency in USAA's operations, said Barbara Stevens, an association spokeswoman in Norfolk.

``We've tried to do more with less,'' she said. ``Like many companies, we have given our people additional responsibilities in the work they do.'' ILLUSTRATION: Photo

Benjamin T. Hacker, retired Navy rear admiral, will be senior vice

president of financial-services organization's mid-Atlantic region,

based in Norfolk.


by CNB