2024 MWAA Industry Achievement Award Recipient

Fadi Cheikha, a man of remarkable ambition, was born and raised in Lebanon during its Civil War in a multicultural household where he learned to fluently read, write, and speak four languages: English, Arabic, French, and Greek. With a thirst for knowledge and success, Cheikha completed college with dual degrees in Business Management and Economics at the mere age of 20. From there, he immigrated to the United States to seek new opportunities and the American dream.

Over the past three decades, Cheikha has dedicated his time to building a merchant service company that exceeds industry standards. Recognizing a need in the market, he seized the opportunity to offer businesses a range of payment solutions from a single source, all with a personal touch. Cheikha is dedicated to ensuring that all business types, sizes, and industries become more efficient and productive with his products and services.

With a mission of being a “One Stop Shop” for all payment product needs, USAG provides merchant cash advances, ATM, credit and debit card, check, and ACH processing solutions. USAG is committed to providing quality merchant services and maintaining equitable relationships with its clients, employees, and the business community.

However, Cheikha has an untamable passion for continual advancement. He believes that diversification and persistent growth are essential to his success as an industry leader. As a result, he owns numerous companies in various industries. These include, but are not limited to, US Alliance Group, Electronic Cash Systems, Alternative Payments International, Precision Payments International, Aiden Capital, Aiden Investments, Aiden Brown, Aiden Holdings, Aiden Farms, Aiden Fintech Group, Aiden Technology, Aiden Real Estate, and Aiden Exotic Car Club.

While Cheikha’s business success is undeniable, his compassion for the less fortunate is equally profound. He and his wife, Kim, along with their four children, are deeply involved in numerous nonprofit partnerships. Their most significant contribution is their own nonprofit, Aiden Whisper, which conducts numerous service projects throughout the year and provides financial aid to nonprofits in local and global communities.

To solidify his achievements, Cheikha was recognized as a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2021 and 2022, C Level Focus’s 10 Most Admired CEOs of 2021, and in 2021, was also recognized by Orange County Business Journal with their Excellence in Entrepreneurship award.

Cheikha’s most recognizable company, USAG, has had the honor of being ranked nine times on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the Fastest-Growing Companies in America and seven times as one of the Fastest-Growing Private Companies by the Orange County Business Journal. Moreover, USAG has been recognized as a Top Workplace by Inc. 500/5000, Orange County Business Journal, and the Orange County Register for the last five years. 

Other recognitions include Orange County Business Journal’s Companies that Care and Family Owned Business, Rancho Santa Margarita’s Large Business of the Year, Top Credit Card Processors.com, Wnet (Paytech Women) Diversity and Helping Hands, and ETA Star Awards Pay It Forward.

Previous MWAA Industry Achievement Award Recipients


James ‘Jim’ Oberman


Kate Gillespie
The Green Sheet


Juan Ortiz
Juan Ortiz Inspires Inc (JOI)


O.B. Rawls IV
Paysafe Group


Holly Targan
Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss


Jim McCormick
Founder of the Midwest
Acquirers Association

John McCormick
Founder of the Southeast
Acquirers Association

Jaques Breton
Founder of the Northeast
Acquirers Association

Sherry Friedrichsen
Founder of the Western States
Acquirers Association


Deana Rich
Rich Consulting


Gerry Wagner
Discover Financial Services


Bob Jenisch
Digital Transactions


Biff Matthews
Owner of CardWare


Mark Dunn
Field Guide Enterprises and
Treasurer of the MWAA


Dan Neistadt
Electronic Merchant


Linda Perry
ISTS Worldwide


Donna Embry
Payment Alliance International


Kim Fitzsimmons
First Data Corp


Mike Ponder
Integrity Payment Systems


Dick Draper
PeriPheron Technologies


John Rante
President of Online Data Corp


Paul Green
The Greensheet


Robert O. Carr
Heartland Payment Systems
The inaugural MWAA
Industry Achievement Award