Sheila and Jim Peterson

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Not long ago, Sheila and Jim Peterson attended a talk by Dr. John Longhurst, director of UC Irvine's Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine. As he presented the center's fact-based approach to using acupuncture, the couple was happy to learn that the campus supported these cutting-edge studies.

Sheila later joined the center's advisory board, and the couple became generous donors to the center.

Sheila and Jim Peterson

"We have always held a strong belief in the body, mind and spiritual connection as well as Eastern medical philosophies," Sheila says. "Our hope is that the center will lead the country in helping health care evolve towards using a proactive approach, as opposed to a reactive one, so that people have more treatment options."

After spending her career in the high-technology field of semiconductors, Sheila retired in 2000 to pursue other interests, including her passion for gardening and spending more time with their six children and three grandchildren. She had previously earned her certificate as a Master Gardener from the University of California Cooperative Extension, and she now writes a column for the UCCE Master Gardeners. Her gardening articles have appeared in area newspapers, and she facilitates an after-school enrichment program of hands-on gardening for the local elementary school.

Jim is president and chief executive officer of Microsemi Corporation, a leading semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in Irvine. He joined Microsemi in April 1999 upon the acquisition of Linfinity Microelectronics, Inc. and became Microsemi's president and CEO in November 2000. Previously, Jim rose to senior worldwide marketing and sales management positions with Silicon Systems, Inc., Rockwell Corporation and General Instruments Microelectronics.

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