In This Episode:
Giving Back to the City of Gratitude 

John Morris is the first native Peorian to serve as President and CEO of the Peoria Riverfront Museum. A proud Peoria Public School graduate, John left Illinois to study at George Washington University, where he received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in public administration. After completing his studies and spending some time in Washington, D.C., he brought his new expertise back to Greater Peoria to build up the community’s cultural and educational infrastructure.

Appointed CEO of the Peoria Riverfront Museum in 2017, John leads the only multidisciplinary museum of art, science, history and achievement in the nation. Plus, it’s home to the largest movie screen of its kind in Illinois and a state-of-the-art planetarium. John and his team have worked hard to transform the museum’s focus from the objects on display to the visitors themselves to inspire lifelong learning for all.

John also loves teaching people the joy of giving. Working in collaboration with the board and staff, he’s helped the museum achieve record fundraising success. In this episode, you’ll hear how the museum is using those funds to help, “unleash the full talent and genius of every individual,” as John likes to say. He also shares his take on how giving back can foster a culture of gratitude and why he’s dubbed Peoria, “The City of Gratitude.”

John is so passionate about the museum and this community—you can hear the enthusiasm in his voice. We hope this spirited interview leaves you inspired and excited about the great things happening at the Peoria Riverfront Museum and the important role it plays in the Greater Peoria region.

“In my life right now, my purpose is to help lead this museum and, more importantly, to help form a community of people inspiring each other and being inspired by each other.”


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About John Morris

John D. Morris is the President & CEO of the Peoria Riverfront Museum, the only multidisciplinary museum of art, science, history and achievement in the nation. The first native Peorian to ever lead the museum, John was appointed CEO by the board in 2017. He builds on three decades of success in teaching people the joy of giving and has helped steward gifts of more than $100 million for cultural and educational causes in our Peoria region. 

He previously served as founding director of the Ronald W. Reagan Society of Eureka College, Vice President of WTVP (PBS) and served eight years as an at-large member of the Peoria City Council including his assignment as the Mayor Pro Tempore. He holds a master’s degree of public administration and bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he was student association president, founding presidential fellow and a White House intern. 

John is married to Cindy Morris, President of the Peoria Public Schools Foundation, champion baker and hedgehog owner. They are proud to live in Peoria where they raised their two adult children, Jordan and Taylor. Connect with John on LinkedIn.

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