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Our Team

Harlan Peterson Partners is a woman-owned organizational consulting and executive coaching firm. We support successful professionals and subject matter experts to become exceptional, mission-driven leaders, owners and entrepreneurs.  

Our Team

Harlan Peterson Partners is a woman-owned organizational consulting and executive coaching firm.  

We support successful professionals and subject matter experts to become exceptional, mission-driven leaders, owners and entrepreneurs.  

We transform specialists and individual contributors into leaders of high-performing, nimble firms that standout among their competitors.  

HP2 successfully applies the same principles we have perfected with lawyers and law firms to other professions, too.  We support physicians, health care professionals, accountants, IT professionals and engineers as they progress in their careers where the rules are constantly in flux.  

All learning involves change and all change involves learning.
— Ann Harlan and Kay Peterson, Harlan Peterson Partners

Ann Harlan

Kay Peterson

Ann Harlan is a founder and Co–CEO of Harlan Peterson Partners. Prior to founding Harlan Peterson Partners, Ann was the Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for The J.M. Smucker Company.  The J.M. Smucker Company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SJM with annual sales in excess of five billion dollars. Smucker is a leading marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, retail packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, sweetened condensed mild, and natural foods products in North America.  Ann joined the Company in 1999 and, as a member of the leadership team for two major acquisitions, participated in the Company's growth to a $5 billion company. In her role as General Counsel Ann was responsible for the legal affairs of the Company, including the selection of outside counsel and other legal service providers. Prior to joining the The J.M. Smucker Company, Ann was a partner with the a large mid-west based law firm, where her practice focused on mergers and acquisitions.

Ann serves on the Board of Directors of The Gorman Rupp Company, a New York Stock Exchange Company, where she is Lead Director, Chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee and serves on the Audit Committee.  Additionally, Ann was on the Board of Directors Eatem Foods Corporation, a privately held manufacturer of food ingredients and flavorings until its acquisition by ADM in 2015. Ann also serves on the Advisory Board of The Gates Group Capital Partners.  

Ann is a member of the Board of Trustees of University Hospitals Health System, Inc. where she is the Vice-Chair of the Compensation Committee and serves on the Audit Committee as well as the Nominating and Governance Committees.

Ann also serves on the Visiting Committee of both The Case Western Reserve University and The Case Western Reserve University School of Law.  She also served as the Co-Chair of the 2013 and the 2012 Women in Law and Leadership Conference at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.   

Ann is a founding member and Co-Chair of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Women Corporate Directors and is on the Board of Advisors of Direct Women.  She is a member of Leadership Cleveland Class of 2007.  

In addition, Ann is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of The First Tee of Cleveland where she serves on the Executive Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee.  

Ann is a graduate of Skidmore College and Case Western Reserve University School of Law where she was inducted into the Order of the Barristers and the Society of the Benchers. 

Kay Peterson is a founder and the Co-CEO of Harlan Peterson Partners and Learning Partners Group. Kay has designed and implemented leadership development and executive coaching programs to organizations and professionals in health care, law, service, manufacturing, education and non-profit settings from Fortune 100 companies to privately held family businesses.  Kay's unique expertise has supported leaders and their teams transform to meet the current and future needs of the competitive complex marketplace.  She has created customized coaching and team programs that drive development of professionals and specialists as they move to positions as leaders, owners and entrepreneurs.  

In addition to having coached scores of Executives and other leaders in organizations, Kay serves as a Master Coach at Dively Executive Education of Weatherhead School of Management at  Case Western Reserve University.  In this role, she has coached faculty, executives, and graduate professionals as they transition to expanding roles.

in both leadership development programs and coaching, Kay uses a variety of leadership, learning style and adult development tools.  She is an expert in Experiential Learning, a method of empowering leaders to learn continually "on the job" and to develop to their highest potential.  Kay creates programs based on Experiential Learning to support leadership development,  increase team cohesion, and spur collaboration and innovation.  

Earlier in her career, Kay held leadership positions in a privately held, entrepreneurial firm as an owner, Chairman of the Board and President.  The business provided sales and marketing to manufacturers and distributors of specialty chemicals and minerals, opened new lines of business and created sustainable ventures, saving millions of dollars for customers.  She coordinated professionals across all lines of business to develop, manufacture and market new specialty chemicals for customized applications.  

Kay began her career as a Clinical Nurse Practitioner in Community Health, coordinating an occupational health program at Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.  She also held positions in nursing in Critical Care, Surgery and Emergency Department at health care organizations, including Emory University Hospital and Vanderbilt University Hospital.  

Kay has held leadership positions on health care and civic boards. Kay served on the Board of Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital from 1996-2004, acting as President from 2002-2004.  She also served on the Board of University Hospitals of Cleveland, Inc. from 2002-2004 in that capacity.  Kay was on the Board of Trustees of the Ashtabula County Public Library Association, serving as both Secretary and President.  She is a graduate of Leadership Ashtabula County.  

Kay is a Gestalt Professional Certified Coach, a Master Coach at Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management, and a Board Certified Coach.  Kay earned a Bachelor of Science from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Science in Positive Organization Development and Change and a Master in Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University. In addition, she holds a Master in Nursing from Emory University and has pursued post-graduate training at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland in Gestalt Training and Somatic Studies.  Her work has been published in HBR Guides, OD Practitioner and the Journal of Experiential Learning.  



  • DirectWomen – DirectWomen is a national non-profit that works to increase the representation of women on corporate boards. Twenty-one percent of DirectWomen alumnae serve on at least one large corporate board.