Founder & Executive Director
Chris Burroughs is the green thumb behind the nonprofit. His goal is to teach students how to farm in harmony with nature, using organic practices to heal the environment. Chris is taking a unique approach to sustainable food systems through local farming and environmental conservations. He believes in helping rehabilitate the formerly incarcerated while helping to save us all from the collapse of commercial agriculture that has turned into a chemical frenzy.
Chair of the Board
Mr. Willson is the retired President & CEO of ITF Pharma, Inc., an affiliate of Italfarmaco, S.p.A., a family-owned pharmaceutical company with operations in over 40 countries around the world. He was previously one of the founders of Hsiri Therapeutics, a start-up developer of novel antibiotics based on discoveries from the laboratories of Dr. Marvin Miller at the University of Notre Dame and of Ranedis Therapeutics, another start-up developer of drugs for rare and neglected diseases. Mr. Willson remains non-executive Chair of both companies.
Director of Operations & Board Member
Bryce's roots are from New Orleans, but he has been transplanted to beautiful San Diego. The first plant he grew was a sunflower in 2017, and it planted a seed of fascination and wonder in him that has been growing into a new life path. Bryce realized growing plants gives him deep joy, and he has joined Garden 31 to help share that joy with the rest of the world.
Treasurer & Board Member
A San Diegan, Kristine is a staff accountant for EDCO Waste & Recycling Services where she working with the State of California to help decrease trash in our landfills. The new green waste/food waste program helps increase diversion with our Anaerobic Digester located in Escondido. She grew up composting and recycling and her pet peeves are wasting food, littering, and not recycling when possible. Now, she has a passion for educating others on ways to reuse our resources and not waste.
Carly Bertrand, Ph.D.
Recorder & Board Member
Dr. Carly Offidani-Bertrand is an assistant professor of Human Development at California State University San Marcos, whose work focuses on health and inequality. In working as an educator and advocate for health among communities in Chicago, Phoenix and San Diego she has been involved in many community and urban farming initiatives. She has also worked in mitigation and advocacy for undocumented families and incarcerated juveniles. She is very often accompanied by her cat, Penny, who loves to travel.
Mikiel Askia Toure
Mikiel Askia Toure has spent nearly 25 years in his career committed to the service in people’s personal and professional advancement, through the foundational work of Character Mastery. In 1997, Mikiel volunteered for 7 years with a non-profit that mentored high school students, and facilitated programs designed to address bias, bigotry and racism. Mikiel has owned the responsibility to empower others to think and feel positively, for clear effective planning and accurate navigation in life.
Edward Pohlert, Ph.D.
Edward Pohlert is a lifetime educator spanning eight colleges and universities in California for the past 40 years. Edward has devoted his career to educational equity and inspiring students and their families to value education as a journey to self-empowerment. As a first-generation college student, he has attained educational success as a cultural psychologist utilizing his life narrative and community role models that always stressed authenticity before status. His commitment is to grow Garden 31's organizational resiliency and restorative justice focus
Ariel is a public health professional with expertise in equitable food systems. She has multiple years of experience working directly and behind the scenes on increasing access to healthy foods. She also has knowledge in public health’s relationship to active transportation, land use, and other development-related areas of concern. She has worked with a diverse array of community members, professionals, and government agencies and has an inherent commitment to improving public health, especially in underserved neighborhoods.
Academic and Equity counselor at MiraCosta College who works with marginalized populations to ensure access to and success in higher education. He is also a coordinator for the Umoja Program and a Regional Coordinator for the Statewide Umoja Community. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University and a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Counseling and Guidance from Point Loma Nazarene University and is passionate about cultivating equitable change in our communities.
Matthew is a self-described "transformed Juvenile lifer who made a lot of bad choices." Through his transformation journey, Michael became passionate about giving back to his community. He seeks to share what others have taught him in hopes it will create a safe place for others to heal. He enjoys engaging in restorative practices, transformation, and positive programming and is passionate about building better communities. Today, he sees the value in communities, humanity, and our world.
Administrative Assistant & Social Media Manager
Jasmine is a recent graduate of Arizona State University where she studied Interdisciplinary Studies, Psychology, and Film & Media Studies. A performer at heart, Jasmine has been a part of the colorguard community for 14 years and has performed at world championships, Disneyland, the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, in films, and more. This love for performance led her to discover another passion for working with, educating, and uplifting children which she has been doing at Vista Murrieta High School as a colorguard coach for 8 years. Jasmine is excited to be a small part of Garden 31’s education of students and disadvantaged community members and to continue to explore social media and it’s impact on how we learn and perceive the world.