Marjean Drost, Parish Seniors Director
Start Date: 2019
Marjean Drost has a BA in Economics and MS in Gerontology from University of Utah. She has worked in the aging arena through all capacities for over 25 years. Marjean was named the Director of Aging Services and Golden Hours Senior Center in Ogden, UT. She took a program of 1 staff, 20 volunteers, and only programming over two days to a full thriving senior center. Programming was throughout the week to provide socialization and education/healthy living. With her knowledge of Older American Act funds she was able to negotiate with the county Area Agency in Aging to provide lunch and transportation. Over 2 years she transformed the center to be a model for the state of Utah. Her family was transferred to Denver and shortly after they arrived Marjean was the first Program Officer for Aging at Rose Community Foundation in 1999. In that role she was instrumental in systemic change for older adults not only in Denver but nationwide. She partnered with National Council on Aging that launched a web based program called Benefits Check Up that has assisted millions of older adults to receive $2 billion of benefits entitled to them along as connected to local services. She convened all aspects of people, programs, drivers, end users in transportation to tackle issues for older adults and people with disabilities. The initiative was called, getting there. Through the process of feasibility studies, white papers/research, focus groups, large community meeting, and coordinating the cooperation of RTD and DRCOG a resourceful transportation guide and nonprofit focused on the issues of transportation were outstanding outcomes relevant today. Finally while at RCF, Marjean worked with the then Assistant Secretary of Aging Dr Janette Takamura to collect data, testimony, and stories to assist in passing the national Family Caregiver Act. Through her efforts Denver was selected to be in the Secretary of Aging collecting listening tour. The bill passed with bipartisan support. In 2001, Marjean became a member of the board at the Denver Inner City Parish. She was the voice and champion of the senior program. The board made the risky but much needed decision to move forward on a building on Mariposa, where the Parish is located today. She then developed the senior program from scratch from a one day a week program to a 4 day a week program with lunch being provided by VOA. While on the board Marjean started her own business recruiting the dream team of experts for Pro Consultants Network. The team assisted with capacity building, grant writing, business plans, marketing-branding, economic development, and small special events. Marjean did more work for programs outside of the aging arena in family & children, food bank/hunger. community mental health, and the arts. She then turned to the for profit area in the role of marketing. Developed a large network of contacts to increase admissions to area rehabilitation centers, hospice, and home health. Was member of all three of the Senior Coalitions in the Denver Metro area. In 2010, while assisting older adults she was hurt in a severe car accident. Through the 9 years of surgeries and recovery she still continued to expand her knowledge by becoming a certified Validation Therapist to help people with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. She volunteered at a variety of memory care type facilities. The same training is a vital link to have healthy clear communication with empathy and sympathy for all people. In June Marjean came back to the Parish to see how she could assist the senior program and not only to bring it back to the strong senior center it was but lift it to be a model for the Denver Metro area.
William Michael Bruno, Hunger Programs Coordinator
Start Date: 2018
Michael Bruno is the Hunger Programs Coordinator at Denver Inner City Parish. He came to the Parish in January 2018 as a full-time volunteer with the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers, and was hired in July 2018 upon the conclusion of this program. He has helped to establish the VeggieRX program and has helped DICP maintain its relationships with other hunger-fighting organizations including Food Bank of the Rockies, Hunger Free Colorado, We Don't Waste, and more.
Jason Torrez, Director of Youth Development
Start Date: 2019
Jason Torrez. Director of Youth Development- La Academia Professional Development Institute. Jason heads the Professional Development Institute which provides job coaching, leadership training, and program/child development for Youth Development staff. Services are delivered through one-on-one coaching, a fellowship program, and sharing events. Jason has a twenty-five-year career history working with youth and families in communities of need as a front-line staff member. He has also served in leadership roles since 2001 in youth development as a program director of various programs across the Denver Metro Area, and a director of a youth-serving facility. Jason has also created curriculum, activities, and programs for youth in his various roles.
Marc-Paul Johnsen, Education Director
Start Date: 1998
Marc-Paul Johnsen is the Education Director at Denver Inner City Parish. He currently runs the La Academia Coding Institute which provides computer science and coding instruction to partner schools that work with underserved youth. Marc-Paul was previously the Language Arts Instructor and Vice Principal of the La Academia Private School which served youth in grades 7-12. He is licensed to teach language arts in grades 7-12 and has done extensive training in computer science education at the secondary level. He also assists in development and grant writing.
Cecilia Gutierrez, Care Navigator
Start Date: 2019
Cecilia Gutierrez has been involved with Denver Inner City Parish for 17 years. She started as a student at La Academia and has worked in several program areas during her time at DICP, including working at the College View Community Center. She is passionate about empowering and helping others and brings a wealth of community knowledge to her role. She is a member of the West Denver community and enjoys spending time with her family and being a professional photographer when not at work.
Emmitt Milton, Controller
Start Date: 2017
Emmitt Milton is the Controller of the Denver Inner City Parish. He is retired from Ernst & Young LLP, an international accounting and advisory firm. He was VP of Finance and Human Resources for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation for five years before joining DICP in June 2017.
Larry Martinez, Executive Director
Start Date: 2002
Larry Martinez is the Executive Director of the Denver Inner City Parish. He has worked at DICP for 17 years. He joined the staff as the Office Manager and Community Resource Coordinator in 2002. He was promoted to Associate Director in 2011 and became Executive Director in 2018. Larry has played a critical role in the development of many DICP programs and facilities. He is an advocate for social-justice and has been a part of many collective-impact groups like the Colorado Food Pantry Network, Food Exchange and Resource Network, Full Lives Full Pantries, Closing the Hunger Gap, and several others.