Our Board

 Kent Olson
 Chief Excitement Officer

Kent Olson was born and raised in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. Kent has an education in business from Minnesota State University - Mankato. After completing a banking internship in 1992, Kent began pursuing a career in financial services. After the banking internship, his first position was in customer service working for Norwest Mortgage in 1993. He remained in the mortgage industry for over 16 years until 2008.

In late 2008, Kent began building a real estate franchise for Keller Williams Realty in the Minneapolis area, taking the franchise from 3 to 80 agents during his tenure. In spring of 2013 Kent began working as Vice President of TheMLSonline.com, a Minneapolis-based independent real estate company operating in 2 U.S. markets. Kent and his wife Laura have been married for almost 15 years. They live in Minneapolis with their two children Matthew and Kathryn (Matty and Katie). Kent enjoys running and other exercise, traveling to warm destinations with Laura in the wintertime, summer cabin trips with Laura, the kids and the entire extended family...as well as reading, cooking, golfing and entertaining.

 Randy Pierfelice
 Vice President of the Giving

Randy Pierfelice hails from Detroit, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan. Upon graduation, he pursued a career in Christian ministry and not-for-profit management. Along the way, he picked up an accounting degree from the University of Minnesota at Duluth and began working in corporate accounting. He worked for Honeywell, Carlson Companies and Cargill. He 2013 he switched gears and went to work for a local real estate company, TheMLSonline.com as their controller.

Randy has been married to his wife, Muggy for the past 27 years and they have two sons, Connor and Christian. They reside in Brooklyn Park, MN.

 Laura Olson
 Vice President of the Details

Laura is from the Twin Cities. During the day you’ll find her choreographing many aspects of international logistics, a field she’s been in for over 15 years. Laura is currently with a company in Maple Grove where she has worked for over 10 years. In this profession attention to detail and project management skills are a must.

Since the Chief Excitement Officer tends to get excited, he has an appreciation for these particular skills Laura brings to the foundation. When Laura is not spending time with family and friends she lets Rocky (the family dog) take her for walks, fuels a love/hate relationship with running, enjoys live music and reading, and is a huge fan of stand-up comedy.

 Jolene Peterson-Taylor
 Board Member At Large

Jolene Peterson-Taylor, A coffee loving road trip enthusiast, finding her calm in nature. Together she and her husband of 15 years are raising 3 beautiful daughters, one of whom is on the spectrum. Advocating for her daughter she understands the medical diagnosis of a family member creates a need for community providing support for all family members including emotional and mental wellness. Graduate of Winona State University and owner of Life in Full Photography since 2018, in which time has been published in both local and international magazines. She has the privilege of joining families in capturing and preserving authentic moments of connection, collaborating with local businesses and community members to create professional and meaningful projects including the support of Twin Cities Autism Foundation. You can find her on Facebook, or her website, lifeinfullphotography.com

 Andy Williams
 Board Member At Large

Andy was born in Minnesota and grew up living in several midwestern states. He attended the US Naval Academy where he earned a BS in Systems Engineering. After serving 9 years in the Navy as an aircraft commander and instructor pilot, Andy returned to Minnesota and worked with Target Corporation for 8 years primarily in operations, logistics and inventory planning. He then spent 2 years working in supply chain development with Advance Auto Parts before transitioning to Polaris Industries. Andy is currently Vice President of Supply Chain for Polaris’ Parts, Garments and Accessories division. In his spare time, Andy has enjoyed coaching youth sports and serving at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fridley, most recently as President of the Congregational Board for the past 4 years.

Andy and his wife, Tina, have been married 16 years and live in Brooklyn Park. He has 6 children and 3 grandchildren, all of whom live in Minnesota. In 2020, Andy and Tina committed to a goal of visiting all 7 continents in 7 years along with their youngest children (Evelyn and Quinn) – fortunately, they were able to get to Australia before the pandemic! Andy is passionate about our mission particularly because his youngest son (Quinn) is on the spectrum and he has seen the positive impact Foundations can provide in other arenas.

 Billy Flanagan
 Board Member At Large

A Native Minnesotan, Billy has always embodied an analytical and heart felt balance in his work and personal efforts. This eventually prepared him for the adventure of a lifetime when he and his wife adopted their daughter, Seeley, at birth in 2015. In the years since, he has immersed himself in the autism community, learning as much as he could to help his small and energetic family. He has really grown to connect with fathers going through similar celebrations and struggles in their homes. To follow Billy's journey and learn more about his story, follow him on Facebook. Professionally, Billy has spent a majority of his career in maintenance management where, once again, his pursuit of systems, solutions and a personal touch has served him well.

Billy has an advocacy page with his wife, Rachel, called FlanaVille. The Flanagan's work hard to shine a light on autism in girls, bring a heightened awareness to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, share their adoption journey, and a whole bunch more. Billy is excited to join forces with The Twin Cities Autism Foundation. and we are excited to see what comes next!

 Kate Swenson
 Board Member At Large

Kate Swenson is a Minnesota based wife, mother, and author. She started her blog, Finding Cooper’s Voice to share her family’s story with severe, nonverbal autism nearly 8 years ago. Since then, she has had many essays and videos go viral, and is using her platform to create a place for people to celebrate the unique struggles and beautiful joys that go into the secret world of autism. She has been featured on many notable sites such as The Today Show and Love What Matters and is currently writing her first book to be published in 2021. To learn more and keep up with the growing community, follow Kate on Facebook.

 Chad Conzet
 Board Member At Large

Chad has long considered himself a very lucky man. He’s been enriched with such a wonderful family. He’s married to his beautiful wife of 26 years and has 3 incredible children. He is an Executive Account Manager for Asset Marketing selling rarities for over 20 years! Chad enjoys entertaining, playing golf and watching football...but most of all, traveling with his family. His motto has always been “Food, Family and Friends!” He also feels very blessed to be part of the work that TCA is doing. “I’m happy and very privileged to be a part of such an important cause,” he said. “My God Son Matthew has been such an inspiration and I'm so proud of him.”

 Matt Nelson
 Board Member At Large

Matt Nelson has been married to his beautiful wife, Gloria, for almost 11 years and resides here in the Twin Cities with Gloria and two girls! Before his time in real estate, Matt was in the IT/Computer Technology industry. He ran his own computer consulting business and worked with many large corporations on a variety of projects. After getting his real estate salesperson’s license in 2009, he used his tech and people skills to run a successful business. In 2020, he became a licensed real estate broker and now is helping lead one of Minnesota’s largest and most productive real estate teams. Outside of work and family, Matt loves to help others in the community, however he can. Since he was young, Matt has been volunteering his time and technical skills and to churches and organizations across the twin cities...and now he is honored to do the same with Twin Cities Autism Foundation.

 Tracy Mindiola
 Board Member At Large

Tracy has been married to her husband John for 18.5 years. They have 2 kids, Christian (16), Julianna (10). Christian was diagnosed at the age of 2 with severe Autism along with ADD, Mental retardation, ODD, OCD. Christian has significant speech language, cognitive, sensory and social delays. Tracy and her husband have always wanted Christian to be like every other kid, having friends, playing sports, having fun but Autism has shifted those goals. Their desire for Christian and all people with special needs to be able to do everything every other kid especially social events and sports. Tracy is a certified personal trainer, run coach and Registered Dietitian with a strong desire to work with special needs individuals and their families to achieve fitness and health goals. Every person is unique and needs to be met at his or her level. We all have a starting line and a finish line, but the journey is unique and we need people to help, direct and encourage us on the path. To learn more about Tracy's work and passion for running, visit her website, runwithtracy.com.

 Mary Pena
 Board Member At Large

Mary Pena is from New York but currently living in the east suburbs of the Twin Cities. She Graduated from Iona College with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work in 2005. She worked in the Wisconsin law enforcement as a jailer and as a social worker for about 8 years. Mary started her real estate career in 2016 with Keller Williams. She found her way to TheMLSonline.com in 2018. Mary has been married to Luis Pena for 5 years. She is a mother to 4 of her own children: Madelyn, Jack, Zander, and Constantine and 3 step children: Sal, Gianna, and Vincent. Two of the children have Autism. Mary loves to work while the house is sleeping, and enjoys a hot cup of coffee. She enjoys traveling with her family and also with just her husband. She enjoys trying new foods, baking and learning to knit and crochet.

 Jackie Barthel
 Board Member At Large

Jackie is a wife and mom of three boys ages 13-19, two who are on the spectrum. She majored in Child Psychology at the University of Minnesota and was a lead preschool teacher at a local Christian Day Care before taking over a local dance studio. In 2004, she transitioned into Real Estate and now runs a small top producing team at Realty One Group Choice in Andover. She is active in her community, supporting causes such as the Anoka Royal Ambassador Program and the Jackie B Realty Group Women in Business Scholarship Fund. She volunteers on the Kids Ministry team at her church, and among other volunteer opportunities, serves on the Anoka Boys High School Hockey Booster Club Board. In her free time Jackie enjoys spending time with her family at their lake place, raising chickens and attending one of the boys many activities.

 Lisa Carlson
 Board Member At Large

Lisa Carlson is Revolution Wellness Center's Director of Zing Performance and a Certified Health Coach. She has been married to her husband David for 30 years and is Mom to 3 grown sons, one of whom has Autism. Her journey with her middle son brought her into the arena of Natural Health over 20 years ago. Lisa has previous experience working with Brain Balance as a Nutritional Consultant, Center and Program Director, and is on Ancient Nutrition’s Healthcare Practitioner Advisory Panel and most recently was Director of Business Development for Zing Performance NA. She has extensive knowledge of nutritional support products and homeopathic remedies. Lisa has owned her own alternative health company for over 20 years and she is passionate about helping individuals and families on their health & wellness journeys — specifically Moms of children with Special Needs and young children facing challenges with learning and behaviors.