A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty


David Aduama, Age 37

Communications Manager, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council (GPEDC)

David Aduama

As GPEDC’s manager of communications, Aduama works with staff to ensure their internal work, outcomes and successes are widely communicated to the organization’s stakeholders. Meanwhile, he helps to shape greater Peoria’s narrative for an external audience.

A native of Ghana, Aduama moved to Peoria from Las Vegas to work at GPEDC, and in short order became “one of our community’s strongest cheerleaders,” said his nominator. “His advocacy for a better, more prosperous and more diverse and equitable Peoria is not limited to his 9-to-5 job.” 

He was a key player in organizing the 2022 Big Table event and the 2023 RISE Summit put on by the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce. He was heavily involved with the GP2030 talent attraction initiative. He completely overhauled GPEDC’s website to make it relevant to internal stakeholders and an attractive marketing piece to the rest of the country and world.

Outside work, Aduama is on the board of Neighborhood House, recently joined the Central Illinois Friends Board, and is an industry co-chairman for the annual Career Spark event. He also contributes his time and talents to Ignite Peoria and the Peoria Pride Festival, where as a proud member of the local LBGTQIA+ community he is a strong voice for tolerance, diversity and equity.

Childhood ambition: “I wanted to be a doctor because my dad is a doctor, and I thought the white coat would look great on my dark skin.”

Advice to 20-year-old self: “Keep doing what you are doing and don’t panic, you are going achieve all that you dreamed of and more.”

Hobbies: “The pandemic turned me into a gamer, so when I have any down time, you will catch me playing games on my PS5. I also watch a lot of anime.”

Biggest challenge: “Relocating to the United States and dealing with the numerous culture shocks.”

Motivating social issues: “LGBTQ issues are dear to me because they are personal, but also racial issues. Growing up in Ghana where the color of my skin was never an issue, I get really shocked and angry every time I see any form of racial injustice. To be very honest, I am passionate about any marginalized demographic.”

Peoria needs: “Taylor Swift. I am sorry but that is … a serious answer from me. But a real authentic West African eatery would be great!”

‘His advocacy … is not limited to his 9-to-5 job’
— David Aduama nominator