Diana von Welanetz and her husband Paul co-founded the Inside Edge in 1985 after a life-altering trip to the Soviet Union with other citizen peace diplomats. They attended the First International Peace Congress in the Soviet Union with people like actor and humanitarian Dennis Weaver, international lecturer Patricia Sun, spiritual leader Swami Satchidananda, actor and peace activist Mike Farrell, and author Alan Cohen.
At the time, Diana and Paul enjoyed celebrated careers as gourmet chefs, had co-authored six award-winning books, and co-hosted a long-running national television series on Lifetime Network. They returned from the trip inspired to make an even greater difference in the world. Their vision was to create a membership organization that supported and showcased authors, leaders, and change agents who were contributing to personal, community, and planetary peace.
The Inside Edge flourished under Paul and Diana’s leadership with weekly meetings featuring top speakers. The membership grew to five branches around the Southland. Sadly, just before the organization’s 5th anniversary Paul died, and Diana carried on as its leader. In August 1991 she began to think about closing the organization.
Dr. Michael Coleman then proposed that the Inside Edge could be recreated as a non-profit educational foundation run by a Board of Trustees and staff. Diana agreed, and together with key help from business notables Joe Broderick, Marty Lopata, Tim Piering and Ted Wentworth, the new Inside Edge Foundation for Education was created in September 1991, with Michael as President and Diana serving as Program Director. In 1992, after seven years of managing the Inside Edge, she moved on and joined the organization’s Advisory Board.
That same year Odile Nicolette became the Program Director. Working in collaboration with consecutive Boards of Trustees and Presidents, Odile played a key role in guiding the organization in its vision and growth for the next 10 years.
In 2003, Dr. Adrian Windsor followed Odile as Program Director and she continues today in this key management position, guiding and directing the organization in its mission to inspire self-awareness and personal growth through education, community and mutual empowerment.