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Two young entrepreneurs with disabilities receive 2015 Judd Jacobson Memorial Award

MINNEAPOLIS 10/23/2015
Jacobson Award 2015

2015 Jacobson Award recipients Zach Knuckey and Kelsey Peterson, with Barbara Jacobson (center), the wife of the late Judd Jacobson.

Two young people with disabilities were recipients of the 2015 Judd Jacobson Memorial Award. The award honors exceptional entrepreneurs who also happen to have a disability.

The winners were recognized at a reception on October 8 at the Edina Country Club hosted by Courage Kenny Foundation. Each winner is granted a $5,000 cash award to help advance their business.

In 2012, Zach Knuckey, 26, from Duluth, Minn., experienced a stroke in his spine which left him with paralysis. Knuckey’s love of water and an active lifestyle led him to create Waters Edge Guide Service, which provides guided fishing tours and builds custom fishing rods.

Knuckey’s paraplegia doesn’t impact his ability to guide people to catch fish. His number one goal is to find fish; his second is to teach his customers how to catch them. While recuperating from his stroke, he perfected his skill of building custom fishing rods. Custom rods will soon become one of his primary sources of income along with the guided fishing tours.

Knuckey plans to use the Judd Jacobson Award money to build and maintain a website for his business. He also plans to purchase a rod wrapper and finisher to assist in building custom rods and purchase a state-of-the-art side imaging sonar with 360 degree imaging to help set his guided tours apart from others. To learn more, visit

Kelsey Peterson, 30, from Minneapolis, is a quadriplegic as a result of a diving accident in 2012. Since her injury she has devoted her time to Siren, an organic, safe holistic body care line.

Siren products range from deodorant and men's shaving and facial care to quality moisturizers, face masks and therapeutic bath soaks. All products include organic and locally sourced essential oils and are hand crafted in small batches. With a very grassroots movement, Siren started through friends and family and has spread from there.

With the award money Petersen plans to extend her customer base by participating in fairs, farmers' markets, local businesses and trunk shows with other local artists. She also plans to order new eco-friendly packaging and develop new marketing and display tools to help her grow her business. To purchase Siren products, visit

About Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute 

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health, was created in 2013 by the merger of Courage Center and Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute. The Institute provides a continuum of rehabilitation services for people with short- and long-term conditions, injuries and disabilities in communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute has multiple locations, and numerous programs and services. For more information visit

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, home oxygen and medical equipment and emergency medical transportation services

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