Arkansas-bred Darren Peters leads public affairs firm, Peter Damon Group
7 Questions with Darren Peters
How has life changed for you since you left Little Rock, Arkansas?
I’m still connected to Arkansas in spirit and ties to the community and that will be always. The song by Wayland Holyfield titled “Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me)” is in many ways something that I still hold true. My family roots are in Arkansas. I maintain strong connections with friends and within the community, but my life has changed tremendously since I first moved from the state to work with Bill Clinton’s campaigns and later within his administration. I have been enriched with two wonderful children and a great wife, a wealth of friends from various backgrounds, cultures, and political ideologies who are working to change the nation and the world. Over the tenure of my career and my transition from Arkansas now to Washington, D.C., I have been fortunate to have experienced incredible opportunities and life lessons, all of which have shaped the person I am today.
What inspired you to work in politics?
I have always been passionate about politics and I’ve always had it in my blood. The thought of making an impact on social causes that can change people’s lives for the better has always been a driving reason. Working to make a difference and bring about positive solutions has always been something that I find both inspirational and at the core of my work.
What was it like working with the Clintons?
Working with the Clinton’s and the Clinton political family has been incredible and has shaped both my personal and professional paths. I think most of my Clinton colleagues would agree that fierce loyalty, a commitment to treating everyone with the same level of respect regardless of your status in life, and a strong desire to make a considerable positive difference are key takeaways from being around the Clintons. I have learned the most from the people the Clintons have surrounded themselves with for decades, who I consider dear friends from Arkansas like Carol Willis, Kay Arnold, Patsy Thomasson and the others who were close once they got to D.C. like Minyon Moore, Alexis Herman and a host of others. I consider them all to be mentors even to this day. That’s another reason why I have spent so much time mentoring and engaging so many other individuals, the next generation, into the activities that I’ve been engaged in.
Tell us about your new business venture.
I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and combining this with my backgrounds in politics and business, I started the firm Peter Damon Group. We are a strategic public affairs, business development and event management services firm that offers customized consulting in government affairs, coalition building, advocacy, procurement, event management, strategic communications and public affairs.
Who would make the perfect client?
All of my clients are top tier clients and are treated as such. Any client, large or small, that gives our firm the opportunity to service them will know and feel they are our priority. We do not have favorites because we like them all, we enjoy this work, and we want to see each of our clients achieve success and their goals.
How has race impacted you as a Black man in 2017?
We don’t live in a colorblind world, so race impacts all of us. As a Black man, I’m still impacted by the sins of the past, and as an African-American father, I want to believe that society is changing for better. I understand that as a Black man, I’m still viewed by some as less talented, less intelligent and prone to let anger guide my thinking. While I recognize that’s the case, I can’t let racism or misguided beliefs of some determine how and who I am or limit what I am capable of achieving.
Where do you see your business in the next five years?
We plan to be a premier firm with a much-expanded client list while providing the same top-notch service.