THINKING: Profiles

Matthew Peters – Operations Specialist

Matthew Peters, a sixteen-year back office professional for Penserra’s Cheevers Division in Chicago, is a gregarious man of great intellectual curiosity who also shares a passion for comic books.

Q: How long have you been with Penserra’s Cheevers Division?

A: I started with the company a little over 16 years ago. Mark Gavina, who’s also still with the firm, recommended me to Kathy Cheevers and she graciously offered me a position. I was working with the Chicago Stock Exchange at their version of the back office. It’s interesting how a lot of our staff came aboard that way, word of mouth. In a way, it holds us all accountable to put forth our best effort so as not to let down the person who stuck their neck out for you. I’ll have to ask Mark if he ever wishes he’d left me clerking for the exchange.

Q: What do you enjoy most about coming to work every day?

A: Operations is a consistent challenge. Helping clients correctly line up their information is an ever-increasing responsibility. We’ve got a great team here and everyone brings something different to the table. There’s always something new to learn, and that keeps me engaged. In a lot of ways, it’s like completing a jigsaw puzzle. You get that same satisfaction at the end of the day.

Q; You host a podcast discussing the world of comic books. How did you get involved with that?

A: My good friend Archie Easter (a former employee of Cheevers) and I grew up reading comics and playing video games. We were always fascinated by what goes into the creation and development of them, so we decided to launch a podcast titled GCPD (The Games, Comics, & Puppy Dogs Podcast) in order to discuss these topics. We had a good run. Archie’s journey took him to a career in game development while I transitioned over to producing content for Uncanny, a Hugo award-winning sci-fi magazine that particularly highlights marginalized creators. In my spare time, I also work with the Chicago Nerd Social Club, moderate discussion panels at colleges and comic conventions, and host several other podcasts here and there with some entertaining folks.

Q: What is your favorite comic book series and/or character?

A: It’s amazing to consider the options available in this golden age of comic media. Given the substantial cultural impact primarily due to the recent high-quality film, I’d have to say Black Panther. Back in February, my team and I at CNSC hosted a free screening for a group of kids from Family Matters (a group that partners with low-income families to provide training and opportunity). Just hearing their reactions to what was happening up on the screen was enough to make me a fan of Black Panther for life.

Q: Finally, Batman or Spider-Man?

A: This is the most difficult question of all… While I admire Peter Parker’s determination to use his great power responsibly, I also admire Bruce Wayne for his unique superpower: money management. Even while obsessed with his journey for vengeance, Batman makes time to put the right people in place to handle the day-to-day dealings of Wayne Enterprises. Consider the fact that he’s adopted several sons, is a celebrated philanthropist, and supports development in scientific research. While money may not be the most important thing to consider in a war on crime, the Batmobile’s fuel cannot be cheap.