White Collar Week with Jeff Grant
It’s the Isolation that Destroys Us. The Solution is in Community.
Podcast Ep. 29, Guests: David Israel & Spencer Oberg
Today on the podcast we have David Israel and Spencer Oberg, two successful entrepreneurs who both served time in prison. You might know them by their international vegan cheese company, GOOD PLANeT FOODS, or by their justice-centric media company, Unincarcerated.
In this episode we certainly go into David and Spencer’s incredible backstories. But more, we learn the nuts and bolts of how to be entrepreneurial and succeed after prison, the hard work it takes, how to analyze your strengths and weaknesses, and how to get past your shame to find your passion and authenticity.
So, coming up, The Entrepreneurs. David Israel and Spencer Oberg. On White Collar Week. I hope you will join us. – Jeff
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If you have a friend, family member, colleague or client with a white collar justice issue, please forward this post; they can reach us anytime – day or night! Our contact info: https://prisonist.org/contact-us.
Guests on this Episode:
Spencer is the Founder & CEO of Unincarcerated Productions and EVP at GOOD PLANeT Foods. A successful entrepreneur and passionate impact leader, Spencer stays active in both business and non-profit communities. He is an accomplished public speaker with a TED Talk under his belt, an educator who has created and hosted entrepreneurship seminars and events, and a passionate podcast host. Spencer also spent a total of 8 years in prison. His experience with the criminal justice system taught him that we have much to learn about how to successfully deal with crime and other social issues and from this he developed a passion for informing public opinion on criminal justice reform. Today
David is the Founder & CEO of GOOD PLANeT Foods, the fastest growing Plant-Based cheese company in the US. He’s a serial entrepreneur who started his journey into the business world at the age of 19, and since then has started, run, and sold many successful enterprises. One of these was Pawn X-Change. David took a tired industry and introduced an innovative business model that grew this company to a large and successful chain of 45 stores in a relatively short period of time. Due to unfortunate actions taken by others, and after a 7 year legal battle, David ultimately decided to spend 4 years in prison so that he and his family could find closure. During this time, he wrote a business plan that was launched after his return home and became a very successful international business. Most importantly, through this experience his perspective on incarcerated individuals and the re-entry process was forever changed. Since then he has worked to provide opportunities for success for men and women transitioning out of prison.
You can find all episodes of our podcast “White Collar Week with Jeff Grant” on our website prisonist.org, our Facebook page, Podbean, YouTube (video), SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
Info on SBA PPP & EIDL Loan Fraud:
Entrepreneur’s #4 Most Viewed Article of 2020: I Went to Prison for SBA Loan Fraud – 7 Things to Know When Taking COVID-19 Relief Money: by Jeff Grant, J.D., M.Div.. Link to article here.
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Steal Money from the Feds? First, Meet Jeff Grant, an Ex-Con who Committed Loan Fraud, by Erin Arvedlund: Link to article here.
Clara CFO Smolinski YouTube: Thinking About PPP Fraud?: Hannah Smolinski Interviews Jeff Grant About Going to Prison for SBA Loan Fraud. Sponsored by Upside Financial. Link to article and YouTube video here.
CFO Dive: After Serving Time, Fraudster Cautions Against PPP, Other Emergency Loans, by Robert Freedman. Link to article here.
Taxgirl Podcast: Jeff Grant talks Desperation and Loans in a Time of Crisis with Kelly Phillips Erb on Her Podcast. Link to article and podcast here.
Business Talk with Jim Campbell: Jeff Grant Talks with Jim About Going to Prison for SBA Loan Fraud and What to Know When Taking Coronavirus Relief Money, Biz Talk Radio Network, Broadcast from 1490 AM WGCH Greenwich, CT. Listen on YouTube here.
Babz Rawls Ivy Show: Babz Rawls Ivy & Jeff Grant Talk SBA / PPP Loan Fraud and 7 Things to Know Before You Take Coronavirus Relief Money, WNHH 103.5 FM New Haven. Watch on YouTube here.
White Collar Week with Jeff Grant, Podcast Ep. 21: All Things SBA, PPP & EIDL, with Guest: Hannah Smolinski, CPA, Virtual CFO: Link here.
White Collar Week with Jeff Grant, Podcast Episode 09: Small Business Edition, with Guest Kelly Phillips Erb. Link here.
Louis Reed/Babz Rawls Ivy PSA:
Some very kind words from my dear friends Louis L. Reed and Babz Rawls Ivy in this brief PSA. Thank you Louis and Babz! – Jeff
Link here to Podcast Ep. 29, Guests: The Entrepreneurs, David Israel & Spencer Oberg
Link here to Podcast Ep. 28, Guests: The Investigators, Kelly Paxton & Brian Willingham
Link here to Podcast Ep. 27, The Addicted Lawyer, Guest: Brian Cuban
Link here to Podcast Ep. 26, Oppression & Identity, Guests: Jaco & Leslie Theron
Link here to Podcast Ep. 25, Ex-Philadelphia D.A., Seth Williams, Part Two
Link here to Podcast Ep. 24, Ex-Philadelphia D.A., Seth Williams, Part One
Link here to Podcast Ep. 23, The Vanishing Trial, Robert Katzberg
Link here to Podcast Ep. 22: The Goddess, with Guest: Babz Rawls Ivy
Link here to Podcast Ep. 21: All Things SBA, PPP & EIDL, with Guest: Hannah Smolinski, CPA, Virtual CFO
Link here to Podcast Ep. 20: Reinventing Yourself After Prison, with Guests: Glenn E. Martin & Richard Bronson
Link here to Podcast Ep. 19: Insider Trading Charges Dismissed, with Guest: Richard Lee
Link here to Podcast Ep. 18: Is Your Life a Movie? The Producers, with Guests: Lydia B. Smith, Bethany Jones & Will Nix
Link here to Podcast Ep. 17: #TruthHeals, Systemic Abuse & Institutional Reform with Guest: Vanessa Osage, feat. Guest Co-Host Chloe Coppola
Link here to Podcast Ep. 16: Politicians, Prison & Penitence, with Guest: Bridgeport, CT Mayor Joseph Ganim
Link here to Podcast Ep. 15: A Brave Talk About Suicide, with Guests Bob Flanagan, Elizabeth Kelley, & Meredith Atwood
Link here to Podcast Ep. 14: Recovery & Neighborhood, with Guest: TNP’s Tom Scott
Link here to Podcast Ep. 13: Everything but Bridgegate, with Guest: Bill Baroni
Link here to Podcast Ep. 12: The Truth Tellers, with Guests: Holli Coulman & Larry Levine
Link here to Podcast Ep. 11: Blank Canvas, with Guest: Craig Stanland
Link here to Podcast Ep. 10: The Ministers, with Guests: Father Joe Ciccone & Father Rix Thorsell
Link here to Podcast Ep. 09: Small Business Edition, with Guest: Taxgirl Kelly Phillips Erb
Link here to Podcast Ep. 08: The Academics, with Guests: Cathryn Lavery, Jessica Henry, Jay Kennedy & Erin Harbinson
Link here to Podcast Ep. 07: White Collar Wives. with Guests: Lynn Springer, Cassie Monaco & Julie Bennett. Special Guest: Skylar Cluett
Link here to Podcast Ep. 06: Madoff Talks, with Guest: Jim Campbell
Link here to Podcast Ep. 05: Trauma and Healing when Mom goes to Prison, with Guests: Jacqueline Polverari and Her Daughters, Alexa & Maria
Link here to Podcast Ep. 04: One-on-One with Tipper X, with Guest: Tom Hardin
Link here to Podcast Ep. 03: Compassionate Lawyering, with Guests: Chris Poulos, Corey Brinson, Bob Herbst & George Hritz
Link here to Podcast Ep. 02: Substance Abuse & Recovery During COVID-19, with Guests: Trevor Shevin & Joshua Cagney
Link here to Podcast Ep. 01: An Evening with Our White Collar Support Group, with Guests: 16 Members of Our White Collar Support Group
Link here to Podcast Ep. 00: White Collar Week with Jeff Grant: What is White Collar Week?
What is the White Collar Justice Community?
Welcome to White Collar Week with Jeff Grant, a podcast serving the white collar justice community. It’s the isolation that destroys us. The solution is in community.
If you are interested in this podcast, then you are probably already a member of the white collar justice community – even if you don’t quite know it yet. Our community is certainly made up of people being prosecuted, or who have already been prosecuted, for white collar crimes. But it is also made up of the spouses, children and families of those prosecuted for white collar crimes – these are the first victims of white collar crime. And the community also consists of the other victims, both direct and indirect, and those in the wider white collar ecosystem like friends, colleagues, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, law enforcement, academics, researchers. Investigators, mitigation experts, corrections officers, parole & probation officers, reentry professionals, mental health care professionals, drug and alcohol counselors – and ministers, chaplains and advocates for criminal and social justice reform. The list goes on and on…
Our mission is to introduce you to other members of the white collar justice community, to hear their very personal stories, and hopefully gain a broader perspective of what this is really all about. Maybe this will inspire some deeper thoughts and introspection? Maybe it will inspire some empathy and compassion for people you might otherwise resent or dismiss? And maybe it will help lift us all out of our own isolation and into community, so we can learn to live again in the sunshine of the spirit.
Along the way, I’ll share with you some of the things I’ve learned in my own journey from successful lawyer, to prescription opioid addict, white collar crime, suicide attempt, disbarment, destruction of my marriage, and the almost 14 months I served in a Federal prison. And also my recovery, love story I share with my wife Lynn Springer, after prison earning a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, pastoring in an inner city church in Bridgeport CT, and then co-founding with Lynn in Greenwich CT, Progressive Prison Ministries, the world’s first ministry serving the white collar justice community. It’s been quite a ride, but I firmly believe that the best is yet to come.
So I invite you to come along with me as we experience something new, and bold, and different – a podcast that serves the entire white collar justice community. I hope you will join me.
Rev. Jeff Grant, J.D., M.Div. (he, him, his)
Co-founder, Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc., Greenwich CT & Nationwide
Co-host, The Criminal Justice Insider Podcast
Host, White Collar Week
Mailing: P.O. Box 1, Woodbury, CT 06798
Donations (501c3): http://bit.ly/donate35T9kMZ
Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/jeff-grant-woodbury-ct/731344
not a prison coach, not a prison consultant
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Host: Jeff Grant, J.D., M.Div.
Production: Chloe Coppola
Audio Engineering: George Antonios: https://georgeantonios.com
Video Engineering: Todd Nixon
Art Direction: Greyskye Marketing, LLC: https://greyskye.com
It’s the Isolation that Destroys Us. The Solution is in Community.
Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is the world’s first ministry supporting the white collar justice community. Founded by husband and wife, Jeff Grant and Lynn Springer in Greenwich CT in 2012, we incorporated as a nonprofit in Connecticut in 2014, and received 501(c)(3) status in 2015. Jeff has over three decades of experience in crisis management, business, law (former), reentry, recovery (clean & sober 17+ years), and executive and religious leadership. As Jeff was incarcerated for a white-collar crime he committed in 2001, he and Lynn have a first-hand perspective on the trials and tribulations that white-collar families have to endure as they navigate the criminal justice system and life beyond.
Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is nonsectarian, serving those of all faiths, or no faith whatsoever. To date we have helped over three hundred fifty (350) individuals, and their families, to accept responsibility for their actions and to acknowledge the pain they have caused to others. In accordance with our commitment to restorative justice, we counsel our members to make amends as a first step in changing their lives and moving towards a new spiritual way of living centered on hope, care, compassion, tolerance, empathy and service to others. Our team has grown to over ten people, most with advanced degrees, all of whom are currently volunteering their time and resources.
Progressive Prison Ministries’ goal is to provide spiritual solutions and emotional support to those who are feeling alone, isolated, and hopeless. We have found that these individuals are suffering from a void but are stuck, and don’t know what to do about it. Our objective is to help them find a path to a healthy, spirit-filled place on the other side of what may seem like insurmountable problems. Many of those we counsel are in a place where their previous lives have come to an end due to their transgressions. In many cases their legal problems have led to divorce, estrangement from their children, families, friends and support communities, and loss of a career. The toll this takes on individuals and families is emotionally devastating. White-collar crimes are often precipitated by other issues in the offenders’ lives such as alcohol or drug abuse, and/or a physical or mental illness that lead to financial issues that overwhelms their ability to be present for themselves and their families and cause poor decision making. We recognize that life often presents us with such circumstances, sometimes which lead us to make mistakes in violation of the law.
All conversations and communications between our ordained ministry, and licensed clinical relationships, and those we serve fall under state privilege laws. This is one reason that attorneys often allow and encourage their clients to maintain relationships with us while in active prosecution or litigation situations.
If you, a friend, family member, colleague or client are suffering from a white collar criminal justice issue or are experiencing some other traumatic or life-altering event, and would like to find a path to a healthy, spirit-filled place on the other side of what seems like insurmountable problems, please contact us to schedule an initial call or appointment.
Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved, Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc.,