Read about Can Do Canines dedicated leadership below. To contact an individual team member click here.
Executive Director & Founder – Alan M. Peters
Alan M. Peters founded Can Do Canines in 1987 and serves as executive director of the organization. Under his leadership, the organization has grown from an interesting idea to an industry-leading organization with 40 staff members. Can Do Canines has placed more than 700 fully trained, life-changing and life-saving assistance dogs into the community, all at no cost to their clients with disabilities.
Organizational achievements during his leadership:
- Purchased and rebuilt a 25,000-square-foot, four-acre commercial property creating a permanent home for the organization, including kennels for a maximum of 50 dogs.
- Completed a $4.4 million dollar capital campaign to pay for the project, creating a debt-free organization. The campaign included negotiating a $1 million dollar+ lead gift.
- Qualified and maintained Can Do Canines as a fully accredited member of our trade association, Assistance Dogs International, beginning in 2007.
- Awards to Can Do Canines under his leadership: Minnesota Council of Nonprofits—1992, the Minnesota State Council on Disability—1992, the Minnesota Corrections Association—2009, The Arc of Minnesota—2008, and the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans—2009.
- Personal awards include the Minneapolis Award—1994, Melvin Jones Fellow—Lions International—2009, Lasallian Service Award—St. Mary’s University 2019
After 35 years leading the organization, Mr. Peters has made the decision to retire at the end of this year. In his retirement, Mr. Peters looks forward to spending more time with family, embarking on a writing project and pursuing some long overdue travel. A search is currently in place to select a new executive director. Mr. Peters will remain on as executive director through the end of 2020. Following his retirement, he will remain available to offer historical perspective, awareness of national trends and business counsel when needed.
Can Do Canines Board of Directors
Mitch Peterson, President
Dianne Ward, Vice President
Ross Thorfinnson, Jr. Treasurer
Ann Curme Shaw, Secretary
Judy Sharken Simon