Governing Board

Governing Board

Patrick is the Manager of Conservation and Efficiencies at California American Water, overseeing all of the company’s conservation and public outreach programs throughout California. Its parent company, American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the United States. Patrick has been working for California American Water since 2004.

Patrick Pilz


Jan served as Water Conservation Manager for Otay Water District where, as manager for program development, she chaired the task force that led to the founding of The Water Conservation Garden. Jan managed the operations of The Garden from 1991 until retiring in 2001. She has three degrees in Horticulture from Cuyamaca College and is a volunteer instructor of landscaping at The Garden.

Jan Tubiolo

Vice President

Chris is the CEO and founder of BigFish Consulting, a client centric business designed to partner with companies looking for revenue growth and evolving business development strategies. His concepts help educate business owners, executives and sales teams on how to achieve strategic revenue objectives in today’s accelerative and collaborative business environment. Chris and BigFish Consulting are proud longtime stewards of the environment and committed to making a positive impact within the local community.

Along with his wife Stacey, Chris is also the co-founder and co-owner of Dog-Sok™, a local company devoted to quality of life for dogs. For Chris and Stacey, passion is a way of life, as caring for those around them and making the world a little bit better through personal and business pursuits—care for their labrador, Mulligan, is how the idea for Dog-Sok™ formed.

Chris Coughlan


Dr. Jessica Robinson holds an Associate Degree from Cuyamaca College, a bachelor’s in social work, a Master of Administrative Social Work, and an Educational Doctorate from San Diego State University. Dr. Robinson has over 20 years of achievement in higher education with a focus on student success for disproportionately impacted/historically marginalized populations. Most recently, Dr. Robinson served as the Vice President of Student Services at Cuyamaca College before serving as the college’s Interim President, a position she currently holds.

Dr. Jessica Robinson, MSW.

Cuyamaca College Interim President

Liza started with Union Bank four years ago and has eight years of banking experience. In 2022, Liza was promoted to Branch Manager at the Euclid & Federal office. Liza has a degree in Business Administration focusing on management, and holds several securities licenses. 

Liza is passionate about giving back to her community and wants to be remembered as someone who made the world a nicer place than it is now. 

Liza Alia

Tom is owner of Backflow Services of La Mesa and has taught plumbing and backflow prevention technology at numerous community colleges. He has held leadership positions with the American Waterworks Association and the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce. Tom is an active volunteer with the San Diego Model A Club and Stand Up for Kids teen homeless shelter.

Tom Allingham

Dr. Michael W. Hager has been in the museum profession since graduating from Grinnell College in 1965. Dr. Hager earned a B.A. in Biology from Grinnell College and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Wyoming. His academic specialty is paleontology and his administrative specialty is Strategic Planning and Development. He has been President & CEO of the San Diego Natural History Museum for 25 years, retiring on June 30, 2016. He is also the Executive Producer of “Ocean Oasis”, a film about Baja California filmed in IMAX and “A Reef Reborn”, a film about the restoration of Cabo Pulmo in Baja California, filmed in 3D. He is married to Denise and has two grown children and four grandchildren.

Michael Hager

Cheryl is a retired educator, business owner, and former director of the Heritage of the Americas Museum in El Cajon. She has served on the boards of Historic Highway 80 Foundation, Rancho San Diego/Jamul Chamber of Commerce, and Grossmont College Foundation. She was recognized as Rotarian of the Year in 2007 and 2012 for the Rancho San Diego Rotary.

Cheryl Minshew

Pablo Francisco Morales (1981) is originally from Mexico City currently living and working in San Diego, CA. Francisco is a multimedia artist. He creates music, sound and multimedia installations, interventions and performances to immerse the audience in the symbols, poetics, and contradictions of everyday life. Francisco employs technology as a tool for his creations. His work has been presented throughout the world, specifically across México, the United States, Europe and South America.Francisco is the current Gallery Director at The FRONT Arte & Cultura, binational art gallery in San Ysidro California, where he curates art exhibitions, workshops and performances. He is also an educator, leading the art youth training

Francisco Morales

Edward Woodruff (Board Member 2022) is a dedicated public servant and friend to the East County community. He brings with him a wealth of experience in leadership, school administration, and community planning. Ed dedicated 30 years with La Mesa Spring Valley School District, he held the position of Vice Principal with Rolando and La Presa Elementary Schools. He represented Special Education at the district level, and was the Speech Pathologist for elementary and junior high students. Ed has had a seat on the Spring Valley Planning Group for over two decades, served a year as Vice Chair, and continues to advise the County Board of Supervisors regarding projects happening in Spring Valley. He also contributes by participating in volunteer cleanups of portions of the 94 freeway.

Ed has been part of The Garden family since 2013. He was President of the Volunteer Docent Corps for four years, and is currently team leader of the Children’s Team, member of Dirty Docents, and serves on the Development and Facilities Committees and annual Strategic Planning group. Ed received the Dorcas Utter Award for exceptional volunteer service in 2021, and officially joined the Board of Directors in 2022.  

Edward Woodruff

Ex Officio Members

Jennifer Pillsbury

Executive Director

Mark Robak

JPA Designate (2023)

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