Steve Peterson moved with his family to the Windsor Heights area in 1979. He’s been in the neighborhood ever since, and he has seen the community and its businesses grow greatly in the 34 years since he’s arrived.
“I love the area,” he says. “It’s close to everything, and it has great public services like the fire department and police.”
His deep roots in the area made him an ideal fit to join the Windsor Heights Chamber of Commerce, which he did in 2011. Peterson, who studied journalism just up the street at Drake University and who works at DuPont Pioneer, wanted to help give back to the community he’s lived in for most of his life.
Shortly after joining, Peterson became the vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, a voluntary position in which he helps come up with new ideas for engaging the local business community. He’s also responsible for helping plan Chamber events, like an annual chili cook-off dinner held every March, a community Fourth of July parade, bingo games at the community center and a golf outing in September. He’s also planning an event for Windsor Heights business owners to meet their local state legislators in January over coffee at the 3E Conference Center. With all of the events the Chamber helps organize, a need for extra equipment storage quickly arose. The Chamber asked for volunteers, and Peterson gladly offered up his garage space.
“The City didn’t have a place to store any of this stuff,” he says. “I’ve got plenty of room, and when they need something I just open my garage door and off it goes.”
Of the events Peterson has helped organize, he says he’s perhaps proudest of the Windsor Heights Chamber Scholarship, a cash award given to three local elementary school students from a pool of nearly 200 applicants from five elementary schools. The awards were given based on illustrations from the applicants showing what they wanted to be when they grow up.
“It was a spectacular event,” Peterson says. “It was so rewarding to see the students’ work.”
With the Chamber of Commerce’s continued growth (more than 50 people have already joined its new young professional organization, WHYPro), Peterson’s garage likely won’t last much longer as the group’s storage space. However, he encourages area businesses both big and small to consider joining.
“It’s such a tremendous organization,” says Peterson. “I would encourage any business to join.”
Contact Darren Tromblay at 953-4822 ext. 304 or email@example.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of What’s In Your Garage?