Who We Are

and what we strive to accomplish

Who We Are

and what we strive to accomplish

Francesco’s Foundation aims to provide financial support for established & grass-root charities to combat the effects of cyber and non-cyber bullying on the mental health of teenagers, particularly relating to the LGBTQ community.

We aim to provide monetary support to charities working to protect the sanctity of life for minors with relations to the safe storage of guns in their family homes, particularly sports guns that are only intended for sports and not for self-defense.

Francesco’s foundation will also provide finance for charities seeking to educate and inform parents and teachers on parental controls. We will pave ways to gain access to your child’s devices so minors are not inadvertently harming themselves by establishing relationships with older adults or inappropriate friends that may persuade them to be involved in acts of a criminal nature or to harm themselves.

3 Pillars of Francesco's Foundation

Diana Cochran
Co-Founder, Francesco’s mother

Francesco was not just my child, he was like a wise old friend and the most wonderful companion. He was a shining light in my life, and despite the mere 17 years we had together, it feels more like a century with everything we packed into his short life.

His passing has left a massive void, and I feel it’s my responsibility to do all I can to help other children and young adults to avoid the same fate that befell my precious son.

As a gay woman, I have also grown up with discrimination, and life has not been without its many challenges. Decades before Francesco died, I remember when I was 17 at a girl’s boarding school in Dorset, England, being the butt of jokes and ridicule after I had been seen kissing another girl. I felt other girls staring and laughing at me everywhere I walked through the school grounds. I was so confused that I ran away from school, hitchhiking 60 miles back home, swallowing all the pills I could get my hands on, and drinking as much alcohol as possible from my parent’s drinks cabinet. Fortunately for me, they were only headache pills, and no gun was lying around. If the pills had been tranquilizers or had a gun available, I am sure I would have lost my life. I was not suicidal, and neither was Francesco. It was an impulsive moment of madness, and that is all it takes in the teenage brain to make a devastatingly bad decision.

I went on to become a photographer for Vogue and Tatler and then worked as an interior designer on many exciting projects like the Royal Palace in Malaysia and various luxury hotels in Europe. My older son now works in finance in NYC and is married with two young children.

Fortunately, attitudes have completely changed in the UK, and firearms could never be accessible to minors. It is almost mainstream in the US for LGBTQ teenagers to be bullied at school, and guns are more available than ever, despite the huge rise in teenage gun suicides.

Over twenty years after my experience at school, my older son wrote his Princeton essay on how he overcame his feelings of being ostracized by his friends. He was so frightened that they would find out he had a gay mother. As it turned out, his feelings were all in his imagination, but he got into Princeton!

Eighteen years later, Francesco killed himself with a shotgun at 17, having also consumed huge amounts of alcohol after being tormented and ridiculed about his sexual orientation at school that day. This shouldn’t still be happening, and I know it is my responsibility and now my purpose in life to help raise money for charities that are combatting these issues that could lead to teenage suicide.

3 Pillars of Francesco's Foundation

Jennifer Allsop
Co-Founder, Diana’s partner

I met Francesco three years ago at the age of 15 & we Aquarians instantly bonded through our mutual love of music & technology. He was so kind, accepting & welcoming of me into his ever-extending family; he made our lives an easier & happier place. I will now make sure I do everything I can to help his mother & family honors him & his memory.

I will be responsible for our activities’ strategic vision, oversight, and operational management. This includes policy, campaigning and fundraising, community engagement, oversight of our workplace, and empowerment programs, along with our programs for the distribution of funds to help & support mental health & young people.

Before joining Francesco’s Foundation, I had a long history of working in the Entertainment & Media sectors. I am an Entertainment lawyer by background, and in particular, I specialize in organizing & developing new businesses & for people who created innovative technologies.

I have had a number of career highlights, both big and small. Most recently, a highlight was in my last but one role at Mineral & Financial Investments Ltd, a London Stock Exchange AIM listed company trading under the ticker symbol MAFL. Whereas Executive Chairman, I was responsible for a complete corporate rebrand, restructure & investment strategy.

My previous working roles have been both legal & organizational with companies such as Northern & Shell, Polygram records, London Records, Command technology plc & YooMedia plc.

3 Pillars of Francesco's Foundation

Lewis H Aaron
Board Member

After 40 years’ experience in both the corporate and consulting environments, Lewis offers help and guidance to organizations to help them grow and prosper.

Lewis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) in 1956 and is a US and UK dual national. In 1980 he graduated with a BS in Accounting (1978) and MS (Honours) in Business Administration from the Pennsylvania State University. In the same year, he qualified as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young before moving to the Financial Services Consulting Group in New York in 1981, where he consulted to many S&P 500 companies in both technology and financial services. 

He joined the Financial Services Consulting Group of PriceWaterhouse Coopers in London in 1984 and worked with many FTSE 100 Companies in the financial services industry, before joining Lehman Brothers in 1985 on the London equity trading and risk arbitrage desk. He then became Head of Closed-end Funds research at SG Warburg (now UBS) in 1990, where he engineered the world’s first online real-time global closed end funds research and analysis system, which eventually became Fundamental Data.

Between 1987 and 2020 he continued to pioneer industry leading technology while holding various leadership positions within the financial and trading sectors, including Head of Investment Trust at Barclays de Zoete Wedd, (part of Barclays Bank), Founder and Co-head of the Closed-End Funds Unit at WestLB (Panmure Gordon), Research Director for Fundamental Data Ltd. (now the “Traded Funds” unit of Morningstar Inc.), and Founder of Fund Consultants LLC, providing unique specialist consultancy services to investment banks, fund managers, Boards of Directors, and legal and accounting firms.

In 2020, Lewis founded Brewerytown Management LLC (www.brewerytown-management.com)  to manage the personal direct property holdings of related family companies. Most recently, he served on the Advisory Board of the Queen Elizabeth II Sept 11 Garden (https://www.queenelizabethgarden.org/) and the Board of the Churchill Memorial Concerts Trust (https://www.churchillmemorialconcerts.org/)

We are thrilled to have him on board to support us with his vast knowledge and expertise.

Jason Brown

Jason Brown
Board Administrator

Jason Brown is a nonprofit fundraiser and advocate with 10+ year’s experience advancing children’s welfare, cultural equity, and LGBTQ+ inclusion. As a grant writer, he connects changemakers with mission-led institutions to address the most pressing issues of our times. A subject expert on the impact of discrimination on the most vulnerable, he has published research in The Oxford Encyclopedia of International Criminology, SAGE Encyclopedia of Trans Studies, and numerous books.

In 2015, he helped launch a nationwide movement to end LGBTQ+ discrimination in higher education, which resulted in the passing of a law requiring religious universities to publicly disclose how they discriminate against students (section 66290.1 of the California Education Code). He holds a B.A. in political science (with honors) from Biola University, a J.D. (with honors) from American University Washington College of Law, and an M.A. in social science from University of California, Irvine.

Melissa Temple Francesco's Foundation Advisor

MELISSA TEMPLE
Board Advisor

Melissa Temple brings a certain persuasion to real estate that can be summed up in one phrase: Live life fully and have a great time doing it – and make friends along the way. A top producing real estate advisor in the Aspen Valley, Melissa’s success has been primarily due to this attitude, bringing not only expertise but great fun to real estate. Focusing on providing the lifestyle her clients are seeking, Melissa is known for making them instant locals, inviting each client to partake in the culture and beauty in and around Aspen. Market-savvy, dedicated, innovative, honest, fiercely loyal, and with wicked–smart instincts, Melissa fashions real estate experiences that have her clients coming back for more.

Prior to diving feet-first into Aspen’s luxury real estate market, Melissa’s colorful career consisted of being a radio announcer in France, a record company executive in Australia – one of its first female directors, and General Manager of Aspen’s premier health resort, The Aspen Club. After becoming a full-time Broker in 2010, and at a time when the real estate industry was grappling with the effects brought on by the Great Recession of 2008, Melissa sold an impressive 10 million in real estate. Her clients are grateful she’s around, nominating her time and again for the best realtor award in the Valley. Melissa prioritizes giving back to her community, both in real estate and in service to local organizations. She is the President of Aspen Out and incoming President of the Aspen Board of Realtors for 2023. Extremely personal, confidential and discreet, Melissa will meet every need in your real estate experience, and you will certainly enjoy a heightened level of fun while doing it. The results will exceed your expectations and you will start using the words ‘fun’ and ‘real estate’ in the same sentence.

DONATE TODAY!

We have started taking donations to launch the foundation. Your tax deductible donation will help us achieve our mission.

Francesco's Foundation

Contact

Diana Cochran (Founder)
Diana[a]francescosfoundation.org

Jennifer Allsop (Coordinator)
Jennifer[a]francescosfoundation.org

Text us for a quicker response: (631) 709-4666