The Urban Land Institute, Colorado District Council (ULI Colorado) and OED recently celebrated the second class of graduates of the Real Estate Diversity Initiative. The program is designed to help increase awareness of opportunities in the real estate industry among women and minority groups.
Supported by CBIZ, Wells Fargo and Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C., the 2011 initiative included 37 participants who competed among more than 80 applicants to enter the program. Participants were partnered with ULI mentors – local real estate professionals – for seven months to learn firsthand what real estate work and development entails. Participant groups met monthly with mentors, either at their offices or on the site of one of the company’s projects. Mentors presented, discussed and demonstrated real estate industry concepts. The program exposed the protégés to options for getting involved in various aspects of real estate, with a focus on development.
Mentors for the 2011 program were: Ismael Guerrero, executive director of Denver Housing Authority; Getabecha (Gete) Mekonnen, executive director of Northeast Denver Housing Center; Lynn Crist, executive vice president of Mile High Development; Chris Achenbach, principal of Zocalo Community Development; James Chrisman, senior vice president at Forest City Stapleton; and Chris Coble, Civil Technology, Inc.
“I commend each of the graduates for dedicating their time and hard effort to completing the program,” said OED Deputy Director John Lucero who graduated from the first REDI class in 2010. “Likewise, our mentors really helped further develop the program this year by adding guest experts and special projects. REDI is a tremendous asset for our community and is playing a role in shaping Denver’s future real estate development leaders.”
The mentorship program’s marketability was bolstered this year, having received a continuing education stamp of approval from the state. REDI has been approved by the state’s Division of Real Estate as a continuing education course for real estate broker elective credits.
The third REDI class will begin in early 2012. Applications will be accepted this fall.
2011 REDI Program Graduates:
Ronald K. Abo
Letitia J. Horace
Jacqueline M. Jenkins
Kim N. Martin