Donna Garnett, Executive Director
Donna has been involved with the work of Montbello Organizing Committee since 2014, originally serving on the organization’s first Board, then as a consultant and grant writer/project manager. Currently, she is the Executive Director and leads the Montbello FreshLo Initiative – MOC’s comprehensive community development effort. She has a long history of leading nonprofits and has raised over $60mm to support community-informed initiatives.
Mayra A Gonzáles, Montbello FreshLo Walkable Loop Project Manager
Mayra collaborates with Montbello FreshLo Community Partners on the design, planning, and activation of the Montbello FreshLo Walkable Loop. A graduate of the University of Colorado Denver Master's of Urban and Regional Planning Program (MURP), she combines her passion for community organizing, housing, food access, and transportation planning within this role. Mayra is also the president of the Vecinos de Montbello RNO.
Maricruz Herrera, Community Engagement Specialist
Maricruz has a long history of community organizing and is well-respected for her ability to bring together diverse stakeholders to work on issues of education, immigrant and refugee rights, seniors, transportation, and small business development. She has consulted with The Denver Foundation, the Colorado Trust, and the Latino Community Foundation, and is the co-founder and president of Colorado Changemakers Collective.
Mary Etta Curtis, Bookkeeper and MUSE Ad Sales
Mary Etta has been involved with MOC since its inception, first as a volunteer and now in a supportive role. Mary Etta has a long history in high-end retail sales and has assisted many nonprofits in managing their financial functions and in planning and carrying out successful fundraising events. Actively engaged in Far Northeast neighborhoods, she uses her skills and engaging personality to increase ad sales for the MUSE.
Kiera Jackson, MOC Project Manager
Kiera manages many of MOC's programs, including all education initiatives. She has spent most of her career serving the Montbello community through her political work and activism, involvement in the faith-based community, and education work as a former Denver Public Schools employee. She is also passionate about building Black, Indigenous, and people of color's (BIPOC) wealth by supporting small-businesses in growing their capacity to thrive.
Christopher Martinez, President
Chris is a Denver native and Montbello resident and community activist for over 40 years. He is a founding member of several community organizations, including Far Northeast Neighbors Inc., Montbello 20/20, Montbello Organization Committee, and L.I.F.T. Giving Circle among others. Chris has served on several Far Northeast School committees and is a former elected official serving eight years as a Board Member for the Regional Transportation District. Currently, Chris is the Executive Director for Hispanic Contractors of Colorado.
Angelle Fouther, Vice-President
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Angelle has lived in Montbello since March, 2003 with her husband Rev. James E. Fouther, Jr., pastor of the United Church of Montbello, and their two daughters. Angelle is a founding member of MOC and, currently, co-chairs the Freshlo Project Team. With 25+ years of experience in public relations, marketing, graphic design, and community engagement in the nonprofit sector, she has lead communications and endeavors for The Center for African American Health, LiveWell Colorado, and The Denver Foundation.
Greg Allen, Treasurer
Greg is currently a Principal Consultant of IT Infrastructure and Low Voltage solutions at Tek Systems, where he leads teams through complex, high-profile organizational initiatives. Prior to his current position, Greg was a senior manager for ERP solutions at Prologis; senior IT project manager and business analyst at Centrix Financial LLC; and IT project manager at Avaya/AT&T/Lucent, Inc. A long-time resident of Northeast Denver and an active member of the community, Greg also serves as chief executive officer for Montbello Barbers, LLC.
Erik Penn, Secretary
Erik is a management professional specializing in engaging government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and healthcare institutions. Graduating from Mercyhurst University with a BA in Social Work and from the University of Denver with an MA in Community Leadership and Organizational Practice from the University of Denver, he is experienced in fostering strengths to solve problems and improve outcomes. Erik served as co-chair of Montbello 20/20, a registered neighborhood organization and co-chair for Montbello Alive!, MOC’s annual celebration event.
Tricia Allen is Vice President, Community Impact of Mile High United Way. Prior to joining Mile High United Way, Tricia served as Interim President and CEO of Adams County Economic Development (ACED, where she created the strategic plan for the agency and spearheaded some of Adams County’s major developments and development opportunities. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science. She is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Denver, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the recipient of eight awards for Partnership, Outstanding Leadership & Achievement.
Janet Damon is a teacher-librarian and cultural curator in her community. She designs learning experiences that affirm identity and integrate mindfulness, healing justice, and centers Black and Indigenous cultures and histories. She is also the co-founder of Afros and Books, a team of librarians who amplify diverse books and authors. Janet moved to Montbello in 1988 with her family and has been a teacher-librarian in the community since 2000. In her free time, she writes a multiracial parenting blog called MixMomma and dances with her daughters in the Intergenerational Women's African Drum and Dance Ensemble (IWADDE).
Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr.
Rev. Dr. James Fouther is ordained in the United Church of Christ. He is a founding member of Montbello Organizing Committee. The United Church of Montbello, where he has served as Senior Pastor since March of 2003, has supported the efforts of MOC by providing a home for the organization’s meetings and acting as a fiscal sponsor prior to MOC gaining 501-c-3 status. Rev. Fouther serves on several other boards including Habitat for Humanity (Chair), Northeast Housing, FaithBridge, and Ecumentical Ministries, Inc. (Chair).
Silke is a founding member of MOC and has been a resident of Montbello for more than 40 years after emigrating from Germany to New York in 1954. She majored in foreign languages as an undergraduate at Gordon College and earned a Master’s Degree in Urban Education from Fordham University in 1973. Silke worked as a VISTA volunteer and community organizer from 1965 – 1972. She then became an Education Specialist for the Community Relations Service of the US Department of Justice and moved to Denver as Senior Conciliation Specialist in 1980.
Khadija is a native of Denver and a fourth-generation Coloradoan. On MOC’s board since 2015, she was treasurer for two years and is co-chair of the FreshLo Initiative. She is co-founder of Colorado Black Arts Movement (CBAM) and leads K-Solutions, a political and governmental consulting firm. Khadija served as the Chief of Staff for the Colorado Senate Majority and has served on many boards including the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Board, Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; and Colorado Black Women for Political Action.
Esteban has worked in the realm of community development for most of his life. He arrived as a refugee from Cuba to the Guantanamo Naval Base in 1994, and began doing work as a camp leader. He eventually expanded his organizing work to encompass the entire Naval base. Esteban served two military tours of duty in the Republic of Angola. He is a founding board member of Montbello Organizing Committee, and works closely with several of Montbello’s community organizations including Colorado Collectiva and Conectoras de Montbello.
Daniela is the Program Officer with the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado. In this role, she oversees the Latino Age Wave Colorado program and the Conectoras de Montbello, a team of community leaders providing community-based programming and resource and referral services to Latino older adults and their families living in the Montbello neighborhood. She also serves on the Alzheimer’s Association’s diversity and inclusion task force and the Advisory Council on Racial Diversity at University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work.