Football, Tom Brokaw & Fundraising: Meet LSS VP Bill Peterson

Peterson Bill 2014MY LSS STORY:  I have been Vice President Development and Foundation at LSS for just over a year.  Prior to coming to LSS, I was in government relations for the surety bonding industry for nearly 25 years.  I was looking to do something that would have more social significance and it was serendipitous for me to find an opportunity to work for LSS.  I served 8 years in the South Dakota House of Representatives (4  years as Majority Leader) and had gotten to know Betty Oldenkamp, when she worked for the State.  Betty was looking for a Vice President for Development and here I am.

My job at LSS is very simple.  I raise money to support our many programs through annual fund giving, endowment and capital campaign giving.  While I do not have a professional fundraising background I have had extensive experience in fundraising working on campaigns to raise funds for other non-profits such as the Boy Scouts or Kilian Community College.  I am very excited about our upcoming capital campaign.

Family:  I have been married to Sue Lucas, formerly of Miles City, Montana for 23 years this coming June. Sue is an assistant track coach for Sioux Falls Christian High School. Our children are  Lucas, a sophomore at the University of South Dakota majoring in Business, Robert, a Freshman at USD majoring in History and William, a fourth grader at Sioux Falls Christian. I am proud to say that both Lucas and Robert played at state championship high school football teams.

Early Life:  I grew up in Vermillion where my parents ran a small main street restaurant called the Tip Top Café. While the café has been gone for 40 years, it is still remembered in my home town. Tom Laughlin (star of Billy Jack movies) worked for my parents in the 1950’s.  I waited on Tom Brokaw in the 1960’s when he was a student at USD and just beginning his broadcasting career. Grammy award winner Shawn Colvin was a regular customer as a little girl growing up in Vermillion.  She mentions about the Tip Top in her recently published memoir.

Interests/Bucket List:  I have an abiding love of history of all kinds and never met a historical marker that I did not have to stop and read.  I have a goal of visiting all of our states (46 of 50 to date), state capitols (42 of 50), and presidential gravesites (18 or 38).  Finally I have been tracing our family roots back to Norway and someday hope to visit Gol, Hallingdal, Norway where most of my family is from.

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