Our Leaders

Manuel Ruiz, Chair

As board chair, Manuel ensures that Inside Circle stays mission focused and dedicated to realizing the founding vision of the late 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. Since his release in 2012 he has realized professional success, returned to college, and continued his personal growth journey at The School for The Work of Byron Katie. 

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 (ROC), 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. He began his career in 1989 as a sales executive in Europe for agribusiness and in 1992 founded Ag Innovations Network to provide strategic planning for companies and governments seeking healthier food and agriculture. In 1996, he founded Slow Food Russian River and, from 2002 to 2007, he was Chairman of Slow Food USA and a member of Slow Food International’s board of directors. Michael earned a BA in History with Honors at UCLA and a Masters in International Affairs at Columbia University.

Jeff Buenrostro, Treasurer

Jeff Buenrostro is Founder and COO of Metric Theory, a digital marketing company, and an instructor of Interpersonal Dynamics at Stanford University. He works inside organizations to achieve effective experiences through social and emotional alignment and has guided company cultures through transformation and complexity generating optimal results. Previously, Jeff has been an investor on the founding team of multiple companies and continues to run his own consulting practice, Engaged Management. He is 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 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. He spent the early years of his career in Mexico City, where he first arrived as a Fulbright Scholar. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA in Economics from the University of the South.