Petersen accepted the award March 19 at the Red Cross’ annual National Awards and Recognition Dinner in Washington, D.C.
The Presidential Award for Excellence is given each year to American Red Cross employees and volunteers who demonstrate superior job performance aligning with the organization’s priorities.
“Receiving the award was very humbling — a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Petersen said. “I don’t volunteer for the recognition — I do it to make a difference.”
Petersen is a volunteer coordinator at the Red Cross of Ottawa County. Her responsibilities include recruiting volunteers, organizing service opportunities, creating volunteer recognition events and implementing a new online Red Cross volunteer program in West Michigan. Thanks to her work as a coordinator, volunteers with the Red Cross of Ottawa County logged nearly 48,500 hours of service in 2013.
Petersen is also involved with several other Red Cross programs including preparedness education, service to the armed forces and disaster relief. She teaches courses to Red Cross volunteers in West Michigan about responding to disasters and supporting members of the military and their families.
For more information on how to give, get trained or get involved with the American Red Cross, visit redcross.org or call 800-RED-CROSS.