2018 40 Under 40 Winners

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Todd Peterson

Be The Match Foundation
Minneapolis, MN

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  1. In 2017 the Development Team Todd leads exceeded its goal of $3.7 million, including a new six-figure corporate partnership and an annual gala that exceeded the previous year’s total by $175,000.
  2. While at the American Cancer Society, Todd led the strategy and integration of all corporate partnerships and events in the Midwest Division, exceeding a $6 million goal in 2015.
  3. He was recognized with multiple awards for his work at the American Cancer Society, including both the Society’s Commitment to Excellence Award and CEO Award.
  4. He serves as a member of Minneapolis Downtown Council Board of Directors and is a Steering Committee member of the North Loop 20/20 Partners of Minneapolis.

Q & A

  1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?

    About a dozen years ago, someone near to me was battling a very aggressive form of cancer.  Witnessing the devastating effects of the disease—not only on the patient but also on all those near her had a profound impression on me. Soon after, I saw a Community Relations position posted at the American Cancer Society. It resonated with me in a way it might not have otherwise. I applied and started my career in health care philanthropy shortly after.

  2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?

    I’ve found it to be the perfect mix of business acumen and meaningfulness. There’s so much to learn and apply— and at the end of the day, the mission is lifesaving. I love working with the selfless partners and contributors who are dedicated to growing the good in the world. I find it remarkable that they could be doing anything with their time and resources, and yet they’ve chosen to put their best toward a mission that will benefit people they’ll likely never meet. That notion has never been lost on me, and I show up every day attempting to honor it the best I can, never taking my position for granted.

  3. What has been the #1 factor in your career success so far?

    Show up! As my responsibilities and experiences have increased, I’ve realized the manner in which I conduct myself is the most important factor in any success I have. I’ve learned to come to the table with proactive thoughts and a spirit of collaboration every day. I love the challenge of putting the best work out in the word that I can—and then figuring out how to do it better next time.  

  4. What is your greatest passion and why?

    At Be The Match, we have a very specific and articulate plan to save lives. There’s nothing like working with a great team to further that mission. Achieving a great outcome alongside dedicated people who are all learning from each other and making each other better is such an amazing experience. When I have the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues and partners to be successful in a way none of us could have achieved independently, it’s pure joy.

  5. What are your future aspirations?
  6. My aspirations have never been concrete. I’ve learned that you have to carve out your own authentic path in this kind of work. My priority has always been to learn as much as I can and seek out new—and sometimes intimidating—experiences in which I can develop new perspectives and practices. This attitude has helped me to grow my responsibilities broadly. I’ve also learned there’s a real responsibility in this field to continue to grow and share your thoughts and experiences with others in meaningful ways—we owe it to the patients and families we serve. Others have done the same for me, and my intention is to honor their investments and keep growing for a long time!

Todd Peterson

Fun Fact:

My wife Tammy and I live in the house she grew up in with our two daughters in St. Paul, MN. Staying in the same neighborhood where she has deep roots has been a great way to remain grounded and connected to a community we know and love.