Pearce Passionate

By Marceliano Briones, Journalism Intern, Turner Center for Entrepreneurship, Bradley University

Passionate is a precise adjective to describe the heart of Maggie Butterfield. Hailing from a family of eight children in Brimfield, Illinois, she had a unique background in the farm town. Later discovering a talent in running, Butterfield found herself investing hours on end engaging in cross country and track during her adolescence. That same talent earned her way to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on a cross country and track scholarship where she majored in Kinesiology. The program allowed her to further discover her interests in fitness and perhaps, a way to monetize such interests later in life. Yet, one degree was not enough so she obtained a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling enabling her showcase her passion for helping others and completed the program in 2010.

In June of 2010, just two months following graduation, Butterfield would marry her beloved husband who services the Peoria County as police officer. A short term later, she would go to serve as General Manager at Running Central, a fitness company based in Central Illinois. Working diligently to serve the company and customer’s needs, in 2015, she would be awarded one of the 25 Women in Leadership by WEEK 25 News which would mark another step in her journey of many more significant milestones.

Two years and two children later, Butterfield felt an urge and calling to pursue something different in life. In April of 2017, she took a major leap forward and applied for the Executive Director of the Pearce Community Center in Chillicothe, Illinois and received it just a short time later. Her greatest challenges were the “financial means” of the Center such as grant writing and where to find and write them. Switching business entities from a for-profit at Running Central to a non-profit also proved a worthwhile challenge.

Butterfield gives praise to the Bradley University’s Illinois Small Business Development Center for business guidance. Following participation in the Senior Consulting Projects program at Bradley (Spring 2017 and Spring 2018), a new rate structure was conceived for the Center as a result of extensive studies on local comparisons and membership surveys. Such surveys gave members a voice, discovered their wants and needs and made members feel more involved in the process of what their money is being spent on. Membership data proved to be effective in constructing the rate structure.

Today, the Pearce Community Center serves as a “true community center” for local citizens. It entails a full fitness center consisting of a variety of women, group, and senior classes - an area of the Center which the majority of members use their benefits for. However, the Pearce Passion lies strong in serving the community through before and after school programs, summer camps, and sport leagues for the youth, adults and seniors. A partnership with the Central Illinois Agency on Aging also is a major part of the Center as they serve meals for anyone in need three times a week for a three dollar donation. In addition, the multi-use community room is often used for outside events.

With a business that is steadily growing, raising a family, and a life that is constantly moving, Butterfield finds it of significance to maintain “growth and forward thinking while answering what members want.” She also finds trends and developments a key component of the business that proves why adjustments are important in the containment of current and potential members. With an excellent team behind her, the Pearce Passion will forever live. Contact info for the Pearce Community Center: 309.274.4209 Ext 102,,

Some media in Bradley University's current print, video and online materials was acquired before the COVID-19 pandemic. Media acquired after the pandemic began was done so in compliance with Bradley's COVID-19 safety protocols at the time. The ongoing safety of our faculty, staff and students is of the utmost concern during these unprecedented times.