Our Leaders

Our Board

Comprised of leaders with expertise across a broad array of sectors, our board is a collection of generous, remarkable  human beings passionately dedicated to empowering system impacted people and transforming criminal justice rehabilitation as we know it

Manuel Ruiz, Board Chair

As board chair, Manuel is the leading voice for all of the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men served by this program. He ensures that Inside Circle stays mission focused and dedicated to realizing the founding vision of the late Founder Pat Nolan. An early member of the Men’s Support Group within New Folsom Prison, the origin of what is today Inside Circle, Manuel spent 14 years sitting in circle slowly growing into a facilitator, mentor, leader and curious student. Overall, Manuel served 21 years of a life sentence and is a powerful example of the transformative power of our work. 

Michael Dimock, Vice-Chair

Serving on the boards of the UCLA Law School’s Resnick Food Law and Policy Program, Farm to Pantry, the Wild Farm Alliance and Sonoma Academy, Michael brings brings a wealth of non-profit governance experience to our board. An organizer and thought leader on food and farming systems, Michael is head of Roots of Change, a project of the Public Health Institute. Author, Katrina Fried, and Photographer, Paul Mobley, feature Michael in their book, Everyday Heroes: 50 Americans Changing the World. Michael holds a BA in History with Honors at UCLA and a Masters in International Affairs at Columbia University.

Jeff Buenrostro, Treasurer

Jeff is Founder and COO of Metric Theory, a digital marketing company, and an instructor of Interpersonal Dynamics at Stanford University. Previously, Jeff was an investor on the founding teams of multiple companies. He now runs his own consulting practice, Engaged Management, guiding company cultures through transformation and complexity and generating optimal results by emphasizing social and emotional alignment. On the Board of Directors at Boys to Men and Cultivate the Karass, Jeff holds an MBA from Stanford and a BS in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt.

Will Harper, Secretary

Will Harper is a strategy consultant at the Trium Group, a consultancy at the intersection of strategy, human development and agile organization design, helping leaders and teams develop adaptive ways of thinking and working to accelerate growth. Will has led organizations as a startup COO and company founder and also worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company and The Ready. A Fulbright Scholar, Will holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA in Economics from the University of the South.

Andrew Blum, Board Member

Andrew serves as chair of our Strategic Advancement Committee. Leveraging 25 years of global consulting experience as CEO of The Trium Group, a leading consultancy, Andrew lends strategic guidance to the organization, connecting Inside Circle with leaders across industries and disciplines. A thought leader and consulting pioneer, Andrew has led breakthrough engagements at many of the world’s leading organizations. His mission is to change the world by changing the way business leaders think. Prior to founding Trium, Andrew served as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a BA in philosophy from Reed College.

Taylor Fogelquist, Board Member

Taylor is a startup COO whose operational expertise streamlines early-stage business operations most recently as General Manager at Monj Health. Prior to that he was Partner at ventureLab Growth Partners and COO of FanMouth Gaming. With more than twenty years of startup, non-profit and product development experience, Taylor’s expertise also includes event management, investor relations, client management, strategic planning, business development and partnerships. Taylor is actively involved in the ManKind Project and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Lewis & Clark College.

Christina Hollenback, Board Member

Winner of the prestigious POLLY award at just 27 for her work at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Christina became one of the youngest Executive Directors in US national politics organizing her generation. In 2014, she transitioned into Impact Investing and began working with those same frontline communities to build sustainable solutions as a core part of their strategies organizing for justice from Baltimore to Standing Rock.  Her investment fund grows visionary alternatives to the criminal justice system. Christina is the Founding Chair of the NEXUS Network’s Working Group Toward Equal Justice.

Brian O'Keefe, Board Member

Leveraging his extensive experience in financial services and management, Brian brings deep expertise in finance and strategy to the board. He is currently the chief investment officer at Parallel Advisors. Prior to Parallel, Brian served as CIO of a late-stage venture co-investment fund and logged over 10 years as managing director and vice president in investment banking focused on private capital formation. A former U.S. Army Officer, Brian holds an MBA from University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomechanics from Marquette University. 

Our Elder Council

For the benefit of future generations, this council exists on our board to protect the integrity of our work and ensure that the current knowledge, wisdom and tools are passed down to developing facilitators. The Elder Council provides ongoing facilitation training, mentorship and inspiration to Board and Staff. Lifetime Board Members, this council is comprised of those who have made significant and formative contributions to Inside Circle. They are dedicated to service, master facilitators and represent the spirit of our work.

Rob Allbee, Founder, Elder, Board Member

Rob is the founder of Inside Circle Foundation and provides mentorship to the next generation of facilitators. His lived experience as a formerly incarcerated man and his 20 plus years of work with the men of the Folsom Circle are a vital component of our expansion strategy to prisons beyond New Folsom and San Quentin State Prison. Rob spends much of his time inside prison, where his dedication and commitment are a daily inspiration. 

Bharataji Joplin, Elder, Board Member

Co-founder, President and lead facilitator of Dhyan Group, Bharataji specializes in all areas of human development including substance abuse, conflict resolution and crisis intervention. He holds a Counselors Certification in Anger Management, and serves as Center Director & Chief Operating Officer of The ManKind Project in Chicago; an internationally recognized men’s experiential training organization.  He is also a member and Chicago branch leader of Inward Journey/Underground Railroad. 

Dr. James McLeary, Elder, Board Member

James is a deeply experienced wisdom holder and expert facilitator whose leadership has been a critical force driving the growth and success of programs at both Folsom State Prison and San Quentin State Prison. He is the executive producer of the documentary, THE WORK, detailing Inside Circle’s program in Folsom Prison. He brings deep expertise in group process work and its application in varied settings. As a member of the Elder Council, James guides our vision for incarcerated and released men.

Bill Wich, Elder, Board Member

Bill Wich has been a full leader, Leader Body Chair and Curriculum Chair in the Mankind Project. He has helped develop numerous trainings including “Next Step,” the “H.E.R. Training”, and the “Mystic Warrior” workshops. As a highly skilled teacher and facilitator, Bill brings a powerful presence and a deep heartfelt compassion to the work. Over twenty years he has developed his own unique healing approach and theory of how the universe truly works. His mission is to co-create an enlightened culture through healing and communication.

Our Staff

Eldra Jackson III, Co-Executive Director

A writer and sought after public speaker on the topics of at-risk youth advocacy, effective criminal justice rehabilitation and turning around ‘toxic’ masculinity, Eldra brings clarity of purpose, mission focus, and inspiration to his role at Inside Circle. He was an inmate at New Folsom Prison when he found Inside Circle and began the inner personal journey that eventually led to his release in 2014 and his current leadership role. A living example of successful rehabilitation and re-entry, Eldra has dedicated his free time on the outside to serving at-risk youth, and acting as a facilitator, trainer, and mentor. 

Lisa Siglain Blum, Co-Executive Director

As co-executive director, Lisa is dedicated to serving Patrick Nolan’s founding vision and making our transformative work more widely available both inside and outside of prison. Prior to joining Inside Circle, Lisa worked in the consumer packaged goods industry translating consumer and sales data analytics into sound, executable marketing and retail strategy. She has also worked across the non-profit sector catalyzing and managing large volunteer teams, fundraising, and event planning. She is a facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie and holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.

Aaron Burris, Director of Business Development

A shining example of the power of our work, Aaron once believed he was going to die in prison living a life defined by strife, chaos, drugs, gangs, and violence. Inside Circle changed all of that, opening his heart in a new direction and supporting his transformation into the leader he is today. After serving 22 years of a life sentence, he is an entrepreneur, husband, father, youth advocate, and student. He is deeply dedicated to bringing the recovery and transformational healing that saved his life in prison to the world.