Skip to main content

Judd and Barbara Jacobson Award

  • Celebrating 25 years of entrepreneurial support for people with disabilities

    Established in 1992, the Judd and Barbara Jacobson Award recognizes the pursuit or achievement of a business entrepreneurial endeavor by a person with a disability. This year's award recipient will receive a $10,000 cash award to advance their business endeavor.

    The award is named for Judd Jacobson and his wife, Barbara. Judd was a Minnesota business leader who became a quadriplegic as a result of a diving accident in 1943.

    The award exemplifies the business entrepreneurial spirit of Judd Jacobson who was a committed, creative and innovative spirit in both his vocational and avocational endeavors. Funds for the award are made possible by a gift from the late Daniel J. Gainey, a lifelong friend of Judd and Barbara Jacobson.


    Applicants must:

    • have a physical disability or sensory impairment
    • demonstrate pursuit or achievement of an entrepreneurial business endeavor
      • The desired or current business must be one that will be ongoing with a forecasted future (e.g., book publishing costs are not an ongoing business with a forecasted future).
    • be 18 years of age or older
    • reside in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota or South Dakota

    Individuals and groups are welcome to apply for the award.

    Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute and/or Courage Kenny Foundation employees are not eligible. 

    Selection process

    To be considered for the award, nominees must complete and submit the Judd and Barbara Jacobson Award Nomination Form. Be sure to clearly specify how the money will be used to further your business endeavor.

    Applications are due Friday, July 28, 2017.

    All applicants will be notified of their application status the week of August 14, 2017.

    The finalists will be asked to participate in an interview on Friday, August 25, 2017. The interviews will be held at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Golden Valley, MN or may be completed by Skype.

    The recipient and runners up will be notified of the selection committee's decision shortly after the interview.

    The award winner is expected attend the award luncheon held on Thursday, October 5, 2017 to accept the award. The winner is also expected to provide regular updates to the committee on their business and present at the 2018 event.

    Award winners

    Recent Judd and Barbara Jacobson Memorial Award recipients

    2016 - Dawn Anderson

    2015 - Zach Knukey and Kelsey Peterson 

    2014 - Joshua Straub and Jenn Schmidt

    2013 - Joel Boonstra (See article on page 3 of Onward.)

  • Apply by July 28, 2017

    Nomination form: Judd and Barbara Jacobson Award

    Send completed form and supporting materials to:


    Lindsay Kedzuf
    Courage Kenny Foundation
    3915 Golden Valley Road
    Minneapolis, MN 55422

    Any questions?

    Call 612-775-2584.