BOARD OF DIRECTORS
“What inspired me about Insight Garden was it was a safe place where I learned to meditate and discover my reconnection to nature and the gardens. This has allowed me to successfully transition to a stable job and be present with my family and community in a way that I never have before. I have a different way of being in the world and the space that I hold in it.”
As an IGP graduate, Bilal now works with Planting Justice on their Transform Your Yard, Education and Canvass teams, gaining valuable skills in each program. He enjoys working in the community and sharing how he was able to tranform his life through his committment to IGP and his work with Planting Justice. Bilal spends his time with young people, offering his personal experiences in the criminal justice system to encourage and empower them to make smart decisions about their lives. With a passion for health, personal fitness and environmental care, Bilal is a shining example of how one person transformed can have a positive impact on others. He was born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, CA and enjoys spending quality time with his two children.
“During my first interaction with IGP participants, I caught myself doing my own introspection and healing. At that point, I realized that this program was a role model for anyone who is interested in building a better world and being a better citizen.”
Since a young age, Joaquin has been involved in sustainable agriculture and non-profit work. Back in his home country of Argentina, he learned sustainable farming on his uncle’s farm while volunteering at a homeless shelter. As a graduate student at UC Davis, in 2014, Joaquin joined the Insight Garden Program as a volunteer and was deeply involved in the planning and planting of IGP’s native flower garden at Solano State Prison. He also helped organize IGP’s March 2016 #GrowPrisonGardens crowdfunding campaign, helping to surpass campaign goals. Since then, he has been part of IGP’s Sustainability & Scale Committee.
Joaquin’s non-profit history has also involved raising money for Camp Kesem with a Rotary co-sponsored organization, advising FARM Davis to grow sustainably-grown grapes for the local homeless shelter, and currently consulting with Osato Research Institute for the establishment of vineyards that will be maintained by the elder community of Ono-cho, Japan. Joaquin holds a B.S in Managerial Economics and a M.S. in Horticulture and Agronomy from the University of California at Davis.
“In addition to being on the Board, I volunteer at Insight Garden Program in San Quentin prison. The program provides a green oasis in an otherwise grey environment, and the curriculum combining practical learning with personal growth is truly transformational. I’m inspired by the class participants and their commitment to the program.”
Dan Geiger, Principal of Dan Geiger Consulting, is a social entrepreneur with more than 25 years of start-up, executive and consulting experience. Prior to starting his consulting practice in 2015, Dan was Executive Director of the U.S. Green Building Council – Northern California Chapter. As its first employee, he led the organization to become one of the largest and most influential USGBC chapters in the country.
Previously, he was Executive Director of Groundspring.org, an online fundraising and communications provider, co-founder and CEO of OpNet, an organization that prepared low-income youth for careers in technology, and has consulted extensively in the business, nonprofit, and philanthropy sectors. He holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California – Berkeley and received his undergraduate degree in psychology and social science from San Francisco State University. Dan is passionate about sustainability and social equity. When not consulting or volunteering with Insight Garden Program, Dan enjoys working in his own garden, swimming and playing piano.
“It is hard to argue or deny the impact IGP has made and is making around the country. This, truly, is the beginning of a new era in prison reform.”
In addition to being IGP’s Board Chair, Will is the lead individual fundraiser for Insight Garden Program. As a veteran c-level executive and successful entrepreneur, Will’s career spans global advertising, media, measurement and analytics. He has founded, built, sold and managed global analytics companies that represent the benchmarks in the industry. Currently, Will is CEO of Informate Mobile Intelligence, Board Director for PushSpring, Inc. and Investor & Advisor to DataSnap.io.
Will is intimately familiar with raising capital, scaling growth and geographic expansion from his previous start-ups and c-level responsibilities at KISSmetrics, comScore, M:Metrics, Nielsen, Jupiter Media Metrix and AdRelevance. He applies that experience directly to Insight Garden Program. When Will is not raising capital and scaling companies, he can be found somewhere in the wilderness on the Pacific Crest Trail.
“This program engages me because it offers a sound path for connecting people in prison to themselves and to the communities to which they return — so essential for making the difficult transition to a crime-free life.”
Based on her many years of experience in criminal justice reform, Janet provides the IGP’s Board of Directors with ongoing strategic counsel. Janet also is an active board member of Root & Rebound (http://www.rootandrebound.org/), a California organization whose mission is to increase access to justice and opportunity for people in reentry from prison and jail, and to educate and empower those who support them. Before her retirement, she spent 20 years as Executive Director at the Delaware Center for Justice, which services at-risk youth, system-involved adults, and crime victims under the umbrella of a restorative justice philosophy.
“The beauty of IGP is its fundamental belief that a portion of our prison population will thrive when offered a restorative opportunity to connect passionately with nature…a remarkable intervention that helps them rediscover their worth as human beings who can connect peacefully with others.”
A trusted advisor to social enterprises and small businesses, Rich is the Senior Public Service Associate with the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. Recognizing the latent entrepreneurial talent of people in prison, Rich is currently developing a leadership program that will complement workforce development trainings for people transitioning out of prison. In his career, Rich has served as the founder and director of the Ohrenschall Center for Entrepreneurship at San Francisco State University and the Southern University Center for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Development. He earned his Ph.D. from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University and his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
“To witness the transformation and revelation that IGP participants experience when given the opportunity to connect with nature and reflect on their lives from an entirely new perspective is beyond inspiring.”
Devon Danz Preston has worked with Insight Garden Program as a grant writer and volunteer in San Quentin prison for the past two years. Before moving back to California in 2012, Devon served as an Environmental Program Officer for the Rhode Island Foundation, and as Executive Director of a non- profit that worked with local governments to balance preservation and economic development in rural New England. For over 20 years, Devon has trained and volunteered with in-prison programs, and with programs supporting victims of domestic violence. Devon holds a B.A. in Human Ecology from Connecticut College and an M.S. in Natural Resources Policy from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She currently serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster youth in Marin County.
“I started the program after 9/11 to restore my faith in humanity. It has time and time again. The possibilities for the transformation of the human heart are endless, as are the socio-economic impacts of our program.”
As part of her deep commitment to social and environmental justice (and her love of gardening), Beth founded the Insight Garden Program in 2002 – designed to transform lives through connection to nature. As a tireless advocate for prison reform, Beth is committed to positive and inclusive social change that supports healthy, connected communities and care for the natural world.
Beth featured in the book, Eco Amazons: 20 Women Who are Transforming the World by Dorka Keehn. She is also a recipient of the Hotchkiss School’s 2013 Community Service Award and has been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, the Washington Post, and Huffington Post. She sits on the American Correctional Association’s Clean and Green Committee, and is a board member of Bay Area Green Tours.
As a former strategic communications and organizational consultant, Beth has integrated years of experience developing, managing, and implementing social marketing and strategic communications campaigns with a background in organization development (OD) for public and private sector clients, and non-profits. She holds a M.S. in Organization Development from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University.