Board of Directors

Colleen Peterson – Founder & President
Cheri Kennedy – Vice President
Dr. Ralph Shapiro
Dr. Carrie Pettey
Laurie Kjelden


Colleen Peterson

Founder & President

Colleen is the mother of Cole Peterson, which is what COLE is named after. Cole was born in 2013 with a diagnosis of Wolf-Hirschhorn and is a medically complex, special needs child who can not walk, talk, eat or point but is the happiest loving kid anyone could ask for. Colleen has experienced first hand the frustration in getting the equipment he needs and hopes COLE will provide families the opportunity to unleash their own children’s potential without having to fight for it. Colleen is a graduate of Augsburg College and has a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her work with numerous charities helped crown her Miss Teen United States 2001. She has been a National Judge for the United States National Pageants the last two years. Colleen is also a Gold Medalist and Olympic Trained Figure Skater. Her newest hobby is Abstract Figure Painting in which three of her pieces were shown in a Milan, Italy Gallery.

Colleen has been in the Medical Industry for 15 years and resides with her husband and son in Woodbury, MN.


Cheri Kennedy

Vice President

Cheri has more than two decades of experience in nonprofit organizations. She has a strong interest in benefiting individuals with disabilities as the grandmother to a young person with autism. Cheri served on the Minnesota Best Buddies expansion board and fundraising committees. Cheri has also served on St Paul’s and Minnesota’s American Cancer Society Fundraising Boards and has received the Cancer Fighting Hero award. She was also fundraising coordinator and developed groundbreaking golf tournaments for the Jacob Wetterling Foundation.
Cheri’s 30 years as a business owner of the Image Group and previously C Cosmetics inspired Cheri to pay forward what she had learned and discover this path in nonprofits. Along the way, Cheri has discovered that this journey is a passage that involves the entire community, harnessing collaboration and driving change.

Cheri and her husband Todd live in Shoreview, have two children, six grandchildren, and one rambunctious Golden retriever.


Dr. Ralph Shapiro

Founder & President of Midwest Immunology Clinic and Infusion Center for 20 years.


Dr. Carrie Pettey

Dr. Carrie Pettey is delighted and honored to be a part of the Board of Directors for Cole‘s Foundation. Dr. Pettey grew up in Wisconsin and completed her undergraduate degree with summa cum laude honors from the University of Minnesota. She completed her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin, and her pediatric residency at the University of Minnesota. She enjoyed being a hospitalist and clinician at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota for almost 9 years. During her tenure there she was the director of Children’s Medical Home Collaborative and received the Resident/Medical Student Teaching Award. While she cherished her time at Children’s, she now enjoys practicing General Pediatrics in a clinic setting at Central Pediatrics.

She has been named as one of the Top Doctors in the Mpls. St. Paul Magazine on numerous occasions. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, camping, and travelling with her family. When not attending the sporting activities of her children, she enjoys cheering for the Gophers and Badgers in any sport. Two recent highlights for her and her family were hiking in the majestic beauty of Yellowstone and enjoying the stunning scenery at the Grand Canyon.


Laurie Kjelden

Laurie is currently an independent contractor offering court reporting services for select law firms in the Midwest region. Due to the pandemic and lack of court reporters, Laurie was able to put her entrepreneur abilities to work this year and recently took her court reporting skills to a national level for select law firms.
Working with nonprofit organizations and volunteering has always been in her background and a passion, starting as far back as her first job at Dakota’s Children, a nonprofit organization for children with developmental disabilities and their families.
Everyone deserves the resources and opportunity to thrive.

Your Donation Helps

Our work wouldn’t be possible without your assistance. All monetary and equipment donations are tax deductible.