Staff

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Andrea Barela

President/CEO

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Andrea has been with NEWSED since 2006, first as the Development Director and currently as the President and CEO since the beginning of 2018. Prior to NEWSED she worked for organizations such as the Chinook Fund, The Denver Foundation and the Denver Inner City Parish in all areas of program/event coordination, administration, programming and development. Andrea has a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from the University of Colorado at Denver. At NEWSED Andrea is responsible for facilitating NEWSED’s vision, mission, goals and objectives in coordination with the staff and board of directors. Andrea also serves as the Santa Fe Business Improvement District board President and provides administration and oversight through NEWSED.

Jessica Franklin

Development Director

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Jessica joined NEWSED in January 2019, as the Development Director. Jessica has over a decade of nonprofit experience starting as an AmeriCorps VISTA and working her way up to Development Director. Prior to joining NEWSED she worked for the Denver Inner City Parish, Colorado Children’s Campaign and Metro Denver Partners/GRASP. Jessica has a Bachelor degree in Journalism, Public Relations and a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. At NEWSED Jessica is responsible for implementing fundraising efforts and increasing public awareness of NEWSED and its mission.

Claudia Ortega

Homeownership Counselor

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Claudia started in the Housing Services industry in 2019 working for HUD Housing Counseling agencies. Claudia expanded her knowledge in Rental Counseling helping low to moderate income families in Colorado avoid eviction. She later decided to pursue her HUD Certification for Housing Counselor in 2021 to continue providing services to the community. Claudia joined NEWSED’s housing counseling team in March of 2022 to provide Housing Counseling including, Credit, Pre-Purchase and Foreclosure Prevention.

Adriana Tarango

Homeownership Counselor

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Adriana has started her journey with non-profits since late 2014 at NEWSED as a housing counselor assistant. Here her passion to assist people who needed housing counseling services emerged. She then worked for Northeast Denver Housing Center, where she expanded her knowledge into rental assistance services and affordable housing. She received her HUD certification in early 2020. Adriana has been back at NEWSED since February of 2023 and is now a housing counselor and will be working with clients on Foreclosure Prevention, Pre/Post-purchase, and credit counseling. She is currently working on achieving her Financial Coaching certification and is eager to expand her knowledge to better serve her clients.

Jessica Padilla

Housing Counseling Assistant

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Jessica Started with NEWSED early 2023 and is currently working as a housing counselor assistant. Jessica has a background of working with different banks such as Wells Fargo as well as working a short time preparing tax documents. Jessica is currently working on getting her HUD Certification and expanding her knowledge in the housing Industry.

Cecilia Cervantes

Cecilia Cervantes

Special Projects Manager

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Cecilia “Cece” Cervantes has a deep desire to empower individuals and families to achieve financial and housing stability. Cecilia’s first introduction to the non-profit sector came from an organization in her community where she first experienced the delivery of housing, youth, and senior food programs that benefited the community she lived in. Since then, she has anchored her career in the non-profit sector and hopes to continue to provide a positive impact in the community through her work. Cece rejoined NEWSED in the summer of 2022.

Elida Rubio

Elida Rubio

Homebuyer Education Trainer

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Elida joined NEWSED in February of 2024 as a Homebuyer Education Trainer. Elida has a deep understanding and strong desire to serve our community in their homebuying journey. As a bilingual housing counselor, she has had the opportunity to serve many clients. At the beginning of her career, she served as a foreclosure counselor at Northeast Denver Housing Center. She has also served as a loan processor for United States Department of Agriculture and more recently as a licensed mortgage loan officer.

Susan Luna

Susan Luna

Small Business Program Manager

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Susan started with NEWSED in at the beginning of 2022. Susan has over 25 years in the non-profit and community development sector. She has worked for organizations like, Mile High United Way, Intermountain Tennis Association, Denver Inner City Parish and Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center. She has an undergraduate degree at University of Colorado Boulder and master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at CU Denver. Susan is an energic Latina entrepreneur. She established her Lunapparel business in 2016 which produces athleisure wear with a creative flare. Using local family designs on her products.

Austin Tafoya

EMAP Manager

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Austin joined NEWSED in early 2023, after many years of volunteering with the organization, born and raised in Denver, Austin began his role as the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program Manager. Dedicated to helping families in maintaining homeownership in Colorado. With a deep-rooted passion for making a positive impact, Austin has dedicated his time to uplift and empowering those in need.

Tiffany Niu

EMAP Quality Control and Program Development Specialist

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Tiffany joined Newsed in October of 2022, as an EMAP Specialist. Tiffany is a HUD Certified Counselor with a background in non-profit housing services, particularly in anti-eviction and housing stability work. She’s worked for agencies such as Del Norte, Maiker Housing Partners, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, and the City of Aurora. Currently, Tiffany is responsible for overseeing cases in the EMAP department before funding is released.

Mayde Roman

EMAP Reviewer

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Mayde joined Newsed August 2023 having experience in the medical field and like many was affected during the pandemic. She was given the opportunity to work in the housing industry, witnessing firsthand the looming threat of housing instability. Drawing on her medical expertise and her empathy, she saw an opportunity to extend her reach beyond the clinic by joining Newsed. she was able to see what impact covid did to many families and their homes. Mayde is responsible for processing cases in EMAP to insure they are accepted for funding.

Cheryl Lucero

Cheryl Lucero

ZONE Marketplace Retail Associate / Small Business Trainer

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Cheryl Lucero is an innovative, dedicated, and passionate Small Business Development Consultant/Specialist/Instructor and Owner of Key Strategies for Business Success, LLC (since 1997.) She has 45+ years of corporate, small business, non-profit development and community organizing in Colorado. She is a former Radio Host/Consultant/Marketing Director for Latin Life Denver Media/Radio Show. At NEWSED she conducts monthly start-up business workshops and works part time as a storefront associate at the ZONE Marketplace, NEWSED’s retail incubator program.

Angela Herrera-Hoskins

ZONE Marketplace Retail Associate

Renee Ortiz

Renee Ortiz

Eventful Productions Inc.

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Renee Ortiz is a part of the NEWSED team as our official event producer. Her company Eventful Productions, founded in 2003, is one of the most successful event and festival productions groups in Colorado. Renee and her team make NEWSED’s largest event, the Cinco de Mayo “Celebrate Culture” Festival, possible through the role of vendor coordination, production design and implementation, planning and so much more.