Department: Board Member
Known for his quotes and forward-thinking blogs, Chuck Peters coined, “We are all inferential processors in a quantum soup,” as his mantra. Chuck’s vision is unduplicated, and his relentless pursuit of co-creating an emerging future, is admired by economic development leaders throughout the region.
The oldest of four boys born to Mary Lou and John Peters, Chuck grew up in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and went to college aspiring to become a research scientist. Chuck married his high school sweet heart, Mary Ann, and took their new family to the East Coast to attend Harvard Law School. After incurring a serious head injury, Chuck and Mary Ann returned to Iowa to be closer to family and regroup. Despite his very challenging recovery process, Chuck returned to law school at the University of Iowa and listened to lectures as his head trauma precluded him from reading at the time. By the end of the school year, Chuck had learned to read again, graduated from the University of Iowa, and passed the Iowa Bar exam in 1980.
A lawyer by training, his experience includes work at the law firm Simmons, Perrine, Albright and Ellwood, leadership positions at Amana Refrigeration, Maytag, Breakthrough and two terms as town mayor in Fairfax, Iowa.
In 1998, Joe Hladky approached Chuck to become President of the Gazette Company, making Chuck the first non-family member to hold this esteemed position in the well-known media company. Hladky’s charge was for Chuck to reorganize and create a media company of the future.
Chuck’s innovative leadership style was quickly felt throughout the community and within the walls of the newspaper company and television station. His unique focus on the community has transformed the culture of the media organization and with the networked Digital Age, “he brings a holistic view of people and our community” cites Patrice Carroll, President & CEO of ImOn Communications.
Also described as an authentic leader, Chuck is deeply committed to the economic fabric of Eastern Iowa. Leading by example, Chuck builds a sense of connection and engagement within the community. He and his colleagues are relentlessly searching for what’s emerging from products and services that engage our communities in meaningful ways to working with citizens, customers and community leaders in creating the future together.
“Chuck is one of the most concerned and committed citizens I know, a man with the highest of ethical standards and a deeply compassionate heart,” Parker J. Palmer (author of “Healing the Heart of Democracy” and founder and Senior Partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal). Deeply passionate about the Eastern Iowa Region, Chuck is active in many civic and charitable organizations including, but not limited to, the United Way, the Hall-Perrine Foundation and Junior Achievement. Chuck is a founding director of Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust, is a trustee at Coe College, a director of both Swift Communications and ImOn Communications.
Chuck and his wife Mary Ann have three sons, Nate, Scott and Nick and most recently welcomed their first grandchild.