Congratulations Executive Directors of Color Institute Class of 2020

December 7, 2020

On Friday, December 4 we celebrated the 2020 graduating class of the Foundation’s Executive Directors of Color Institute (EDCI). This cohort of 14 exemplary leaders has invested two years into strengthening their leadership and building their organization’s capacity. We are thrilled to add them to the 130+ EDCI Alumni members who wonderfully represent EDCI’s decade of work in peer-to-peer leadership and learning.

On the topic of representing the work of the EDCI Program, Class of 2020 graduate, Noreen Wilson, and the organization she leads, Operation Hope, has been chosen for the 2020 Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Award by the Denver African American Commission. Operation HOPE is a nonprofit organization working to disrupt poverty and empower inclusion for low and moderate-income individuals.

Meanwhile, Class of 2019 graduate and EDCI Alumni Jesse Ogas, CEO and Executive Director of Firefly Autism, has been nominated by the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation for the 2021 9News Leader of the Year Award. In his role as CEO and Executive Director of Firefly Autism, Ogas has increased outreach and autism treatment to previously underserved Latino and Black communities.

Both Noreen Wilson and Jesse Ogas are deserving of their recognition for exemplary leadership, and their organizations are assets to our Metro Denver community. 

See a full list of the leaders in the EDCI Class of 2020 below.

Are you or someone you know interested in enrolling for The Denver Foundation’s Executive Directors of Color Institute? EDCI will open for applications in January 2021. Contact us at for more information.

Executive Directors of Color Institute Class of 2020

Andrea Barela – NEWSED
Yoli Casas – VIVE Wellness
Shalelia Dillard – SCD Enrichment Program
Yoal Ghebremeskel – Street Fraternity
Olga Gonzalez – Cultivando
Pam Jiner – Montbello Walks
Stephanie Knight – Senior Hub
Larry Martinez –  Denver Inner City Parish
Claudia Moran-Pichardo – Museo de las Americas
Charlene Porter – Hattie McDaniel Museum
D. L. Pos Ryant – Apprentice of Peace Youth Organization
Nosh Tarachand – America’s House of Commons
Johnnie Williams – GRASP (Gang Rescue and Support Project)
Noreen VL Wilson – Operation Hope