In addition to being extraordinarily active in their community, Chris and Erin Peterson share a lifelong love of sports. Chris, a native of Brimfield, graduated from Eureka College, where he was the top scorer on the legendary team that won the 1994 NAIA Division II men’s basketball national title. He went on to play professional basketball in Europe before landing at COUNTRY Financial in 2011, where he is a financial representative. Chris is board chairman of the Independent Sports Club of Central Illinois and currently serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Children’s Hospital of Illinois Community Advisory Board, and Heller Center for Kids with Cancer Campaign Steering Committee.
Erin is from Bloomington-Normal and earned her bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University, where she was a four-year scholarship recipient on the women’s volleyball team. Today, as strategic philanthropy officer for OSF HealthCare Foundation, she directs fundraising efforts for OSF Innovation and community corporate partners. Since joining OSF in 2013, she has guided and engaged key community advocacy groups, including the Children’s Hospital of Illinois Development Committee and Young Professionals Group and OSF Saint Francis Angel Ball Underwriting Committee, among other leadership roles. She also serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria.
The Petersons live in north Peoria with their daughter Rylee and puppy Sadie. In their free time, they enjoy traveling, spending time with family, and attending sporting events. “We both love basketball and consider March Madness a national holiday,” Chris adds. “College football is our favorite season. Erin loves volleyball and can’t wait to get our daughter Rylee out on the court!”
- Favorite vacation spot outside the U.S.: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We were married on the beach nearly 10 years ago and go back to visit each year as a family.
- Favorite aspect of central Illinois: The wonderful people and sense of community. There are so many great organizations and amazing people who give back. We also enjoy the change of seasons.
- Secret ambition: Erin wishes she was a pop star but can’t carry a tune. Chris would love to be lead guitarist for a rock band (long hair and all) but has no musical ability!
- Which living person do you most admire? Erin: My 97-year-old grandfather. He is still actively farming in Marshall County and is the most joyful, strong willed, faith-filled man I know, with a distinct laugh that will bring a smile to anyone’s face. Chris: My college coach and his wife. They have had such a positive impact on so many people’s lives and still play a large role in the college community and with all his former players.
- The one TV show I don’t usually tell people I watch is: Chris: Real Housewives. Erin: All sorts of reality TV.
- Favorite childhood memory: Erin: Vacations in Northern Wisconsin—fishing, water skiing and swimming in the summertime, and snowmobiling in the winter. Love the Northwoods! Chris: Going fishing in Wisconsin with my grandpa.
- What do you do when you want to relax? We love spending time out at Oak Run. Whether it is a boat ride in the summer or taking in the beautiful snow in the winter, it is so relaxing and some of our best memories with family and friends.
- What’s one thing you should throw away but haven’t? Chris: My basketball shoes from college. Erin: Positive pregnancy test.
- Most impulsive thing I’ve ever done: Erin: Bungee jumping. I’m afraid of heights and was terrified! Never again. Chris: Our first vacation… we booked it and left the same day.
- Words to live by: Don’t count the days; make the days count. PM