BOARD OF DIRECTORS
“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.
“Being a person who advocates for change, I recognized IGP’s ability to effect change with its proactive concepts — encouraging people to look within themselves and compare the systems of nature to the systems of humanity — and to find ways to apply that information in their lives. The program was an amazing experience!”
Marlin Jeffreys is an alumni of Insight Garden Program (IGP) and the impact on his life has been profound — helping him focus his efforts on recovery and rehabilitation and weeding out negative thoughts, behaviors and associates.
Marlin is currently employed as a Laborer in Local 304 (the Laborers’ International Union Of North America), the most progressive and fastest-growing union of construction workers, and one of the most diverse and effective unions representing public service employees. Marlin was a former program assistant at Rising Sun Energy Center in Berkeley CA, whose mission is to empower people to achieve economic sustainability for themselves and their communities and to place participants in a union apprenticeship upon completion. Other organizations that have assisted him in his journey home have also included Cala Taqueria in San Francisco and CalTrans.
In addition to his employment growth, he was involved in IGP’s CalEPA Environmental Justice grant to support the environmental stewardship of people who are formerly incarcerated — and was a presenter with IGP at the CalEPA grantee meeting in 2017. Since returning to his community, his life has been an adventure — he enjoys weight lifting, gardening, bike riding, comedy shows, and sporting events.
“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, 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 worked with Insight Garden Program as a grant writer and in-prison volunteer before joining the board in 2015. 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 25 years, Devon has trained and volunteered with in-prison programs, and with programs supporting victims of domestic violence. Devon holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Connecticut College and an M.S. in Environmental Policy from the School of the Environment at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She currently serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for youth living in foster care in Marin County.
“IGP stands out because it is rooted in humanity and the practice of treating all other humans with dignity and respect. Connecting with nature is so fundamental and every person deserves the opportunity to reach for the light in this world. Since learning about the work of IGP, I have been consistently amazed by the dedication and heart of the staff and the hard work and openness of participants – it is a true transformation happening in real-time. Very happy to support the work.”
Emilie Winfield first volunteered with IGP in 2017, assisting with the planning of the 15th-anniversary celebration, and joined the board in 2021. Emilie works to advance agricultural sustainability, motivated to find harmony between the environment and the people who manage the land. For 9 years, Emilie has managed small diversified farms, provided education and training in agroecology, and built partnerships to support local food systems and natural resource stewardship. She holds an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Management from UC Davis and a B.S. in Plant Sciences from UC Santa Cruz.
“The organization utilizes one of the basic fundamentals of human existence – our connection to nature – to counteract one of the most unnatural manifestations of American society – our criminal justice system. It’s a beautiful program.”
Vishal started working within prisons nearly twenty years ago through the Prison Creative Arts Project at a men’s facility in rural Michigan. That transformative experience led him to become a teacher and work in a variety of public and private sector capacities supporting education and opportunity for all. His interest in criminal justice led him to teach mathematics at San Quentin State prison through Mt. Tamalpais College (previously Prison University Project), support Five Keys charter school in developing an aquaponics program within a county jail, and join the board of the Prison Law Office where he helps oversee its reserve fund. He currently works at Handshake, helping to expand employment opportunities for recent college graduates. He holds a Masters in Education from the Broad Center, an MBA from the Haas School of Business, an MS in Teaching from Pace University, and a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan.