Jenny Petersen is a Cartersville native with a deep love for her home community. She and her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Lexi Grace, returned to Cartersville in 2018 after multiple Army moves. Jenny has taught Criminal Justice and Sociology for the past 12 years as they have moved from place to place but has continuously maintained involvement in the non-profit sector in each community they called home. Upon her return to Cartersville, she quickly became involved with the BLESS Coalition as a volunteer. In October of 2020, Jenny accepted the Executive Director position within the BLESS Coalition and is excited for the new opportunities.
Through many Army moves, Jenny has taught High School, College and served as the Director of a college. She graduated from Cartersville High School in 1998 and went on to Kennesaw State, Bowling Green State and Valdosta State to pursue advanced degrees. She looks forward to working with the many BLESS Partners and seeing the community come together in big ways to help those who need it.
“The BLESS Mission and goals are near and dear to my heart. The fact that we don’t just have one-touch events but engage the same community all throughout the year really motivated me to get involved. As I’ve volunteered, I have been so encouraged by the amazing partners that we work with to get our families with the right resources when they need it. As a former high school teacher, my love for students and teachers is huge and the opportunity to be more involved in our local schools is exciting!
I love how involved our local community is and how many amazing organizations already exist to meet the needs of those who come to us. ‘Do More’ is kind of my personal motto and an idea that guides my daily life. Whenever possible, we should do more. Help more. Serve more. Love more. Together we can reach more families, more students and just do more. Honestly, I believe there is so much love in our community and people really do want to do more but they just need to know how. My job at the BLESS Coalition is partly showing them how- not just with us but with all of our partner organizations.”
Board of Directors - Chairman
Patrick Nelson is the Redevelopment Coordinator for Bartow County Government. He and Matt Warren were the first to begin the partnership efforts between the local government and the churches to provide outreach efforts in the southern portion of Bartow County, GA in 2015.
Patrick and his wife Bree, a second grade teacher at Cartersville Primary School, have two boys Colin and Hollis.
In addition to the Coalition, Patrick serves or has served in various capacities throughout the community including:
- Board Member and former Chairman of the Cartersville Bartow Community Foundation (2010-present)
- Member and former President of the Rotary Club of Etowah(2015-present)
- Chairman of the Bartow Cartersville LandBank (2017-present)
- Advocates for Children Board of Trustees (2021-2025)
- 2015 Chairman of the Cartersville Bartow County Chamber of Commerce (2012-2015)
- Former Director of the Allatoona Resource Center (2015-2016)
- Served as Interim Director for Advocates for Children (2018)
- REACH Georgia Mentor in Bartow County Schools
- Former Board member and Chairman of Bartow Collaborative (2015-2018)
Board of Directors - Board Member
Board of Directors - Secretary / Legal Director
Carrie Trotter is an attorney at Tilley Deems & Trotter, LLC. She received her J.D. from Georgia State University after graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree. A graduate of Cartersville High School, Carrie returned to her hometown to begin her career and cultivate relationships in the community where she was raised.
Carrie and her husband, Grant, live in Marietta with their two daughters, Vivian and Winnie.
In addition to her service on the Board of the Coalition, Carrie has been involved in the following programs:
- Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the State Bar of Georgia Leadership Academy, Class of 2011
- District Representative for the Northern District of Georgia, YLD of the State Bar of Georgia
- Board Member for the YLD of the State Bar of Georgia
- Cartersville-Bartow Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bartow, Class of 2015
- Member of the Youth Leadership Bartow committee, Cartersville-Bartow Chamber of Commerce
- Chairperson, Youth Leadership Bartow committee, Cartersville-Bartow Chamber of Commerce, 2016 and 2017
Board of Directors - Board Member
Brad has been a Realtor in Bartow County for 24 years, serving his community wherever possible. He has been married to his wife, Kim Cowart, for 29 years and they have a daughter named Madison. Brad learned about Bless from Patrick Nelson says he felt led to be apart of this incredible organization.
Some of the local community organizations that he has been involved with are:
- President of the Northwest Metro Area Board of Realtors
- Georgia Association of Realtors Professional Standards Panel member
- Oakland Heights Baptist Church Missions Board
- Cass High School Business Advisory Committee
- Board of Directors for Georgia Initiative for Community Housing
- Oakland Heights Baptist Church Sunday School Teacher
- Oakland Heights Angel Worker
- Oakland Heights Baptist Church Security/Awareness Team
- Creator and Past Chairman for Jingle Jog
- Past Board Member of Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, Small Bridges and Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter
Volunteer - General Store Servant Leader
I have been married for 35 years. Rusty and I are empty nesters who live in White, GA. We have 4 married children and 5 grandchildren and 2 more on the way this year. I’m a home comfort sales person for a global company. I love to spend time with my family doing whatever they enjoy and traveling to places I have never been before. I love being by, on or in the water - fishing, swimming, boating, etc. I feel blessed beyond measure that God would allow me to be even a small part of anything that would bring glory to Him. I love the General Store and it’s mission of connecting with people who have a need for these goods so we can show them the unconditional love of Jesus. One of my favorite comments I heard from a woman who visited our store was “you people must really love people to come out in this rain to give away these items” - I gave her a big hug and told her “We love you!”. All people need to experience the love of Jesus but none of us individually can reach them all. I strive to always remember- love the one in front of you. Serving in Bless General Store gives me that opportunity. If you have 5-6 hours a month and are like me and looking for a place to give back and impact people for Jesus I would love for you to come out to the Bless General Store. We could never have too many workers.