ELFA - Equipment Leasing and Finance Association - Equipping Business for Success


Equipment Leasing & Finance
Executive Perspective

Honoring a Life and a Legacy

May-June 2022

In this special “giving back” issue of Equipment Leasing & Finance Magazine, ELFA member 

Brad Peterson talks about Uncle Jake’s Foundation, created in honor of his son Jake. 

ExecPerPetersonQ: What charitable effort are you most passionate about? 

A: The charitable effort to which I am most devoted is a very personal one. My family and I suffered the unexpected loss of my youngest son, Jake Peterson, in the Autumn of 2021 when he was just 26 years old. Jake was the “fun uncle” to his eight nieces and nephews and, as a dedicated fan of Minnesota sports teams, he loved bringing them to different events and fostering a shared enthusiasm for sports and activities. To actively honor Jake’s life and passions, we decided to establish the Uncle Jake’s Foundation (UJF) in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters - Twin Cities, which helps celebrate Jake’s legacy by providing their youth participants access to events and experiences as well as mentorship through positive adult volunteers.

In our first few months, UJF raised over $75,000. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and care from so many in our equipment finance industry and it has made clear how very fortunate I am to have built a career alongside so many who have become like extended family to me. The equipment finance community, with their tremendous generosity in donations, are an incredible group and I am humbled and appreciative beyond words. 

Q: Can you describe the effort? 

A: To honor Jake’s memory, Uncle Jake’s Foundation contributes 100% of its proceeds to Big Brothers Big Sisters – Twin Cities and works with them to fund event admission tickets to a variety of local sports, arts and entertainment experiences in the Twin Cities area. 

Jake in his element, surrounded by his nieces and nephews.

Q: What has been the outcome?

A: In January of 2022, we were able to host our first event and sent 200 Bigs and Littles from BBBS Twin Cities to a Minnesota Timberwolves basketball game together. It was a fantastic evening that embodied all that we hoped Jake would be remembered for! Up next, Uncle Jake’s Foundation will host 60 Bigs and Littles at a MN Wild hockey game and we are already organizing plans for a theater event soon. UJF will continue to offer youth in the BBBS community exposure and opportunity to see and enjoy the arts, sports and many other amusements.  

Editor’s Note: To contribute to Uncle Jake’s Foundation, please visit the GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/uncle-jakes-foundation.