Many people bring relevant experience when they join the GI Research Foundation Board of Directors, but new member Brad Peterson has the distinction of previously serving as the longest-tenured President of its Associates Board.

It all began when Mr. Peterson, an Executive Vice President of Guaranteed Rate mortgage company, sought care from David T. Rubin, MD, for Crohn’s disease. Dr. Rubin recruited him to participate in the GI Research Foundation Associates Board in 2013. Soon after, the Associates Board elected him President.

“I was fortunate to lead the Associates Board during a ‘reinvigoration period’ of its lifecycle. I focused on building membership, and bringing the Board together with dedication and purpose,” explains Mr. Peterson.

His strategy is simple: find people who want to be engaged and help them see themselves as a critical part of the important mission of the GI Research Foundation.

“It’s all about membership, and engagement, and creating a platform of communication and education that truly reaches out to people; that makes them want to be engaged, makes them want to be a part of it,” says Mr. Peterson.

During Mr. Peterson’s tenure, the Associates Board funded research grants for early career investigators through its annual grant competition. He also spearheaded the Associates Board annual Cocktail Party fundraiser, which annually raised from $50,000 to more than $80,000 dollars for GI research.

As a new member to the Board of Directors, Mr. Peterson has already assumed a leadership role as its newly-elected Secretary. With his husband, Matt Humbarger (Group Vice President Strategy and Payer Engagement at SCA Health, an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare Group) Brad Peterson is deeply committed to the GI Research Foundation’s philanthropic mission and excited to begin this new chapter of involvement.

“We are very fortunate. At this stage of life, and with the resources we have, it really is our duty to give back. We have been involved in a number of different philanthropic initiatives over the years and have just started honing in on the ones that are really special to us. Obviously, the GI Research Foundation is near and dear to our hearts, given the struggles with Crohn’s disease that I have experienced over the years,” says Mr. Peterson. “In the GI Research Foundation, we have seen the passion and the breathtaking accomplishments it has made in the world of digestive diseases research. For us, seeing those successes — even for digestive diseases beyond Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — has made us want to go ‘all-in’ with this organization, which is making tremendous strides for the greater good.”

Brad and Matt live in Chicago and love to travel, enjoy Napa Valley wines, and dote on their two dogs, Marty and Gracie. They are involved in many philanthropic pursuits and also support Equality Illinois and Chicago Lights, an organization that funds a tutoring program for underserved youth in Chicago.

Together, they see a bright future for the GI Research Foundation. It’s really awesome to see that the GI Research Foundation continues to open up our spectrum of support. We are confident that we are going to capitalize on the advancements of research and see even more success in the future,” says Mr. Peterson.