Our Story

Several of our founders have been involved with Kairos Prison Ministry at RJ Donovan for a number of years. After reading Father Greg Boyle’s book, Tattoos on the Heart, and hearing Father Boyle speak to the inmates at RJ Donovan, we decided to research the need for a San Diego based nonprofit modeled after Father Boyle’s Homeboy Industries. Initial research indicated a definite need. Rise Up Industries is the resultant public benefit nonprofit that is focused on Gang Prevention, Gang Intervention and Post Detention Reentry.

Our Core Values

Rise Up Industries’ Core Values are the values that our founders and directors personally hold.  They are the values we expect our staff, volunteers and members to embrace.  They guide the formation of the environments we intend to create and maintain.  They are the values by which we will live and demonstrate to our members.  They are the values we intend to reinforce, which will assist our members in reaching their full potential.


We are each accountable for our choices, and recognize that our choices impact others as well.


We are honest with ourselves and with each other; our word is our bond.


We discover meaning and purpose in something greater than ourselves; we are in a positive relationship with God and each other.


We promote self-improvement through encouragement and education to build a sense of hope and self-worth.


We are a community of kinship focused on teamwork;  we are on this journey together.


We are resilient; it isn’t whether or not we fall  but that  we have the courage to Rise Up after the fall.

Our Approach

Our approach is one that recognizes the oneness between those served and those who serve. It is a sense of family, self-worth and belonging that is core to our program. It is our heartbeat and the very essence of the core values by which we live.

Our Philosophy

It is simple – we treat everyone the way that we want to be treated. We recognize people as individuals with unique gifts and talents and we push hard to make sure those qualities are brought to the forefront and nurtured for further development. We do not look backwards at mistakes or behaviors, we Rise Up to new challenges with a positive outlook and embrace plenty of support.


Supporters & Backers

Rise Up Industries (RUI) is a 501(c)(3) non profit, Incorporated 05/2013, EIN #80-0908912

“Congratulations! After review of your submitted business plan, budget and financial records, Mr. & Mrs. Caster are pleased to award a grant in the amount of $100,000!”

Caster Foundation

“Communities are harmed in so many ways as a result of gang activity. I applaud RUI’s focus to bring together the efforts of entire communities to change the beliefs of so many of our youth that there are no positive alternatives to gang life.”

Bishop Cirilo B. Flores

“RUI is correct in focusing on coordinating the efforts of the entire community in order to correct the conditions that lead our youth to believe that there are no positive alternatives to gang life. You have my full support and I wish you success in the programs you are implementing.”

Bonnie DumanisSan Diego County District Attorney

“It is noteworthy that Rise Up Industries will be modeling the proven elements of Father Greg Boyle’s Homeboy Industries program in Los Angeles and that RUI is part of the Homeboy Industries Network.”

Danell ScarboroughCity of San Diego Human Relations Commission

“Creating an environment of belonging, supportive services and a disciplined environment will be the foundation for a successful transition from gangs to productive members of society for your members.”

Joel TrambleyCity of San Diego Human Relations Commission

“You have our full support and we wish Rise Up Industries success in the programs you are implementing. We are confident these efforts will have a positive impact on many lives of the citizens within the City of San Diego.”

Susan Thomson-Tschirn– City of San Diego Human Relations Commission

“It is an honor to have Rise Up Industries as a member of the Global Homeboy Network. I’m grateful for the common concern that we share for marginalized members of our community whose lives have been negatively impacted by the intergenerational cycle of gang violence.” —Read his letter of support here.

Father Gregory BoyleExecutive Director, Homeboy Industries

“I am pleased to endorse the efforts of Rise Up Industries to assist men who are exiting incarceration with their challenges to re-enter society in a positive and productive manner. As you know, I have long been involved in prison ministry and, consequently I am impressed and encouraged by the mission and strategic plan of Rise Up Ministries.” —Read his letter of support here.

Bishop Robert BromBishop Emeritus of San Diego


Joe Gilbreath

Founding President

Joe Gilbreath retired as a Corps of Engineers Army Colonel in 2000. Throughout his 26 year career in the U.S. Army, he served in numerous leadership positions including; Commander, 31st Engineer Battalion; Director, Department of Combat Engineering, US Army Engineer School; Chief, Observer/Trainer Division, United States Atlantic Command; and Assistant Director of Civil Works, Headquarters US Army Corps of Engineers. Since retiring from active duty he has served in a number of construction related positions, including: Technical Director for Project Resource Inc; Program Manager for San Diego Habitat for Humanity; Construction Manager for PARSONS; and Vice President for Engineering for Nordic Construction. He holds BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from The Ohio State University and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College and the US Army War College.

Ross Provenzano

Director, Vice President

"I’ve learned from Kairos Prison ministry that these men are just like the rest of us...they just need some help to reaching their full potential..."

Ross is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Provenzano Resources, Inc. (PRI), a Specialty Retail consulting and management firm. PRI is currently the owner and manager of two multiple unit programs; in Santa Monica Promenade, as well as, the Denver International Airport, with 40 retail units.

Ross is the past president of Lava Enterprises, which utilized specialty retail carts and kiosks as a vehicle to market specialty candles throughout the United States and Europe. The company grew to over $15 million dollars in under four years.

Ross is also the President of Possiamo, Inc. a Commercial Real Estate Brokerage company in San Diego. He holds a California Real Estate Broker license, a California General Contractor’s license and has extensive background and knowledge in the commercial and residential development business.

Ross is the Chair of the Board of Directors of St. Augustine High School, and past Board member of the Mission Beach Town Council and TERI, Inc., a Southern California non-profit agency serving the developmentally disabled/Autistic community. He is also a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), The National Association of Realtors, Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors, An Honorary Editorial Board member for the Specialty Retail Report and is a past member of The Advisory Council of Kairos San Diego.

Gary Lynn

Director, Chief Financial Officer

Gary Lynn brings two decades of experience in the private sector and 28 years in the U.S. Navy with a heavy emphasis on financial management and accounting. Mr. Lynn most recently spent nine years as the Chief Financial Officer of the YWCA of San Diego County, where he was the primary contact with city, county, state and federal government grant and finance offices for the purpose of financial reporting, grant renewal budgets, and compliance monitoring. Prior to the YWCA, Mr. Lynn worked with the American Lung Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, preceded by eight years as the Director of Finance and Administration with United Way of San Diego County. At United Way he was responsible for all accounting, financial planning, budgeting, financial reporting, internal controls, investment management, banking relationships, contract administration, accounting systems, and an annual audit for the $22.5 million organization. As a Supply Corps officer in the U.S. Navy, from 1965 to 1993, Mr. Lynn served in various logistics, personnel management, and accounting/finance capacities. Mr. Lynn holds a Master of Science degree in Financial Management from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from San Diego State University. He is currently a Commissioner with the City of San Diego Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention.

Steve Spooner

Director and Secretary

Steve Spooner is a graduate of Northern Arizona University. In 1980 Steve founded Spooner’s Woodworking Inc., a family owned and operated manufacturer and subcontractor of architectural woodworking for commercial and institutional applications. In 1991 Steve co-founded Laser Art and Engraving.

Steve is also a founding member and past president of the San Diego Cabinet and Millwork Association and a current board member of Woodwork Institute. He also served for two years as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Whispering Winds Catholic Conference Center. Steve is active in several charitable organizations and is also involved with the Kairos International Prison Ministry that serves at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

Joshua Aguirre


Independent Contractor for Project A.W.A.R.E.

Steve Boyle


Retired School Administrator with the Cajon Valley Union School District

Delfina Centanni


Development Specialist, All for God

Joey Nunez Estrada Jr., Ph.D.


Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling and School Psychology, San Diego State University

Gilbert J. Gentile, SJ, LCSW


Roman Catholic Jesuit Priest, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Advisory Council

Dr. Ron Baza
Professor, University of San Diego and Southwestern College

Bishop Cornelius Bowser
Charity Apostolic Church

Dr. Derry Connolly
Founder and President, John Paul the Great Catholic University

Dr. Kenneth G. Gross M.D.
Skin Surgery Medical Group Inc.

Mr. Phillip Jelsma
Crosbie, Guner, Schiffman, Southard, Swanson

Mr. Steve Kim
University of Southern California

Mr. Barry LaForgia
Founder and Executive Director, International Relief Teams

Mr. Morad “Ronnie” Matingka
Branch Manager, US Bank Scripps Poway Parkway Branch

Ms. Lynn Sharpe-Underwood
Adjunct Professor, Criminal Justice Systems Depart, Alliance International University

Mr. Blaise J. Subbiondo
Founder, E-Tap, Inc

Mr. Raymond Uzeta
President and Chief Executive Officer, Chicano Federation of San Diego County

Deacon Jim Vargas
President and Chief Executive Officer, Father Joe’s Villages

Deacon Jim Walsh
Assistant Director, Office of Social Ministry, The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego

RISE UP Responsibility Integrity Spirituality Empowerment Unity Perserverance