Prior to founding AW, Peterson co-founded AuctionWorks, an online real estate auction platform. Peterson built the auction platform for AuctionWorks utilizing her prior auction expertise and her experience founding and operating a real estate brokerage, PMD Realty, LLC, for over a decade.
In 2001, seeing an opportunity to provide homeowners an alternative disposition strategy, Peterson established PMD Realty. PMD Realty quickly became the leading local provider of flat-fee MLS listing services, dominating the emerging flat-fee market for several years. During that time, Peterson was recognized by the Chicago Association of Realtors as one of the top 5 producing real estate brokers, having closed +$130M in residential sales and negotiated +500,000 SF of commercial lease and sale transactions.
Prior to starting PMD Realty, Peterson worked for U.S. Equities Realty and JLL providing strategic planning, site selection and tenant representation services to office tenants nationwide.
In addition to her client-focused philosophy, Peterson is known for her exceptional negotiation and legal skills, honed during years of practice as an attorney with D’Ancona & Pflaum and Hedlund Hanley & John. Peterson draws on these experiences in upholding her commitment to provide only the highest level of service to her clients.
Peterson earned a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she served as an editor of the Minnesota Law Review, and before that, acquired a Bachelor of Arts (with honors) from the University of Chicago. In addition to her Illinois law license, she holds an Illinois real estate managing broker’s license and an Illinois auction license.
Frequently quoted in the news, Peterson has been featured in DS News, GlobeSt.com, Crain’s, Illinois Real Estate Journal, Real Estate Executive magazine, NS Magazine and many other publications. Peterson is often engaged as a speaker and moderator at real estate, workout and turn around management conferences. She has also served as an expert witness in real estate related litigation.
Peterson is a member of Turnaround Management Association (TMA), National Association of Federal Equity Receivers (NAFER), American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), Illinois CCIM Chapter, Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Active in the community, Peterson devotes time to serving on non-profit boards. Most recently, Peterson has served on the boards of Northwestern University Settlement House, True Mentors, The Goldie B. Wolfe Miller Women Leaders in Real Estate Initiative, The Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago, PAWS Chicago, The Poetry Center of Chicago, and The Young Leaders Fund of the Chicago Community Trust.
Diana M. Peterson, Esq.
President & CEO
Designated Managing Broker
Active in the community, Peterson devotes time to serving on non-profit boards.