Co-Founder & Executive Director
Diana began her work at San Quentin by volunteering with the California Reentry Program. It was there that she connected with Mr. Butler, who wanted to create a program to help inmates get jobs upon reentry. Diana discovered her own passion for the idea, created a curriculum, and began reaching out to potential employers. After 6 months of development, the Prison to Employment Connection Program was launched in the Fall of 2014. Diana brings her experience in non-profit development to her role as the Executive Director. As a Major Gifts Associate at the Environmental Defense Fund in New York City, she specialized in major donor fundraising and special events. She was also the Director of Development at the Head-Royce School in Oakland and successfully completed a $3.5 million dollar capital campaign. Most recently, Diana served as Director of Development and was responsible for major gifts and managing the grant writing, direct mail, special events and publications departments at the Coral Reef Alliance in San Francisco. Diana holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University in New York, and is a Certified Life Coach.
Prison to Employment Connection Co-Founder Thedo "Noble" Butler, recently went from being an inmate and inside facilitator to having to put his money where his mouth is. He was released from San Quentin State Prison In September 2018. During the time he has returned to the community, he has faced many challenges that tested his faith in the very process he preached. But now, Noble is gainfully employed with two companies; at a tech company and a non profit. He has taken the steps to being a productive, contributing member of the community and striving to embody the values that Prison to Employment Connection hopes to inspire in all its participants.
Gabrielle first became involved with Prison to Employment Connection while volunteering with the California Reentry Program. As a former probation officer and professional writer, Gabrielle now combines her interests in both criminal justice and writing as a Legal Assistant for The Law Offices of Elizabeth Grossman, a criminal defense law firm in Berkeley. She enjoys helping people navigate the criminal justice system and make positive changes in their lives. Gabrielle has a Bachelor's degree in English from Northern Illinois University and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW).
Lisa Trustin has been a vocational expert and career counselor in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 15 years. She volunteered for the Prison to Employment Connection program to use her understanding of people that navigate challenging life and work transitions to help men affected by crime and incarceration transform their lives through work. Lisa is honored to witness the deep transformation that they experience as a result of their commitment and hard work in the program. Lisa has a B.A., Business Administration, University of Colorado, an M.A. Career Development, JFK University, Pleasant Hill, and also serves on the scholarship committee for the Dipsea Race, Mill Valley, and volunteers at Halleck Creek Ranch, Nicasio.
CEO, Alameda County Director of the Center for Employment Opportunities
Lonnie Tuck is an innovative and visionary leader with over a decade of experience successfully promoting workforce programs across the San Francisco Bay Area. His focus on training and employment opportunities for some of the populations with barriers to employment, including ex-felons, minorities, disabled and veterans had elevated his work to become and industry standard and model. Lonnie is a results-driven individual with a passionate commitment to providing opportunities for disadvantaged job seekers. Lonnie’s track record of success is built on cultivating client, agency and stakeholder communications and support that is focused on anticipated challenges and strategic solutions. Lonnie currently serves as the Alameda County Director of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) in Oakland, CA. CEO is dedicated to providing immediate, effective and comprehensive services and opportunities to people with criminal backgrounds.
Prison to Employment Connection Graduate
Danny Thongsy is a graduate of Prison to Employment Connection and was released from San Quentin State Prison in December of 2016. At the age of 17, Danny was sentenced to life in prison and served 20 years before being found suitable for release at his initial Parole Board Hearing. While incarcerated, his transformed his life and made a commitment to positive change. He embarked on a path of redemption, personal growth and service by obtaining his GED, completing three certified vocational trades, and earning an AA Degree. In addition he participated in, and facilitated, numerous self-help groups and life skills programs and became involved in chapel groups and religious studies. Danny was involved in a program for youth offenders called Kids Creating Awareness Together (Kid CAT) and advocated for the passage of California bills SB9, SB260 and SB261, which gives juveniles, who were tried as adults, a chance for an early Youthful Offender parole Board Hearing. Since his release, Danny has continued to focus on criminal justice reform by working as a fellow at the Asian Law Caucus and Asian Prisoner Support Committee.
Chief Strategy Officer for Lifelong Medical Care
Julie Sinai, Chief Strategy Officer for Lifelong Medical Care, an East Bay Federally Qualified Heath Center, has over three decades in the non-profit and public sector working for social and economic justice, focusing on equity, community-well being, access to education and economic self-sufficiency. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, public policy, advocacy and building successful partnerships among community-based organizations, workforce and economic development agencies, educational institutions, and government. During the Welfare Reform era of the mid 1990’s Julie developed policy and programs in childcare and family support at a regional and national level. Following this work, Julie led Berkeley Unified School District’s School Linked Programs, forging collaborative efforts to bring medical, dental and behavioral health services into the schools. From 2003-2011, Julie was the policy advisor to the Mayor of Berkeley on health and social services, youth and education, workforce development, and job creation. As Chief of Staff, she advised the Mayor on regional, state and federal policy development and was the responsible for intra- and inter- governmental and media relations. Following her time in the Mayor’s Office, Julie spent four and a half years working for UC Berkeley and then the California Community College system facilitating inter-segmental, cross-sector collaboration to increase opportunities for young people and adults to obtain education and career training. Most recently, as Vice President of Policy and Regional Initiatives for the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), Julie was responsible for designing and implementing REDF’s policy agenda and a place-based regional strategy to grow job opportunities for people who have experienced homelessness, incarceration, substance use disorders and mental health challenges. Julie was born and raised in the Bay Area, received her B.A. in Community Service and Public Affairs at the University of Oregonand her Masters of Public Administration at University of San Francisco.
We have over forty PEC Partners who hire returning citizens.
They represent the following job sectors:
PEC Partners also include a dozen Support Service and Job Placement agencies to further assist participants in finding gainful employment.