Mitch SilversteinChapter Manager
Julia Chunn-HeerPolicy Manager
Kaily WakefieldPolicy Coordinator
Gabriela TorresClean Border Water Now Policy Coordinator
Mitch is a native Californian with a love for all things ocean, wave & beach-related. As an activist, he strives to raise awareness of how our everyday choices affect the ocean & planet, and advocates for sensible environmental policy at a local level. His ultimate goal is to see good environmental stewardship become mainstream, even “cool.” Mitch previously led the Rise Above Plastics committee, where he helped achieve several policy victories and expanded the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. He also served as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee before being hired on as staff. As Chapter Manager, Mitch’s #1 priority is empowering volunteers to protect what they love. When not fighting the good fight, Mitch likes to surf, paddle, roller skate, and hang out with his niece. He’s also a big sci-fi nerd, but don’t tell anyone!
Julia is a graduate of UCLA, and has been working with the Surfrider Foundation since 2007, including a venture as the General Manager of Surfrider Australia. She grew up surfing in San Diego, giving her a passion to protect the coastline for future generations.
Kaily joined Surfrider San Diego as the Chapter’s Policy Coordinator in 2019, having previously been a Surfrider Foundation Legal Intern from 2015 through 2016 with the O‘ahu Chapter and Headquarters respectively. From beach clean-ups to legislative hearings and everything in between, she enjoys nearly all aspects of grass roots organizing and community advocacy. Originally from San Diego, Kaily graduated from the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law in 2017 and holds certificates in Environmental and Native Hawaii law in addition to her Juris Doctor degree. When not advocating for coastal policies, Kaily loves surfing, beach combing, and spending time with her family.
Gabriela M. Torres is a native of San Diego.
Gabriela received a B.S. in International Business from the University of San Francisco, an undergraduate institution that focuses heavily on social justice and community. She graduated from California Western School of law and spent her first years out of law school working for a dispute resolution firm in Madrid, Spain working primarily on commercial matters before various arbitration tribunals in Madrid, London, Geneva and New York. She then moved to London where she opened a boutique practice and continued to focus on dispute resolution before completing a Masters of Law in International Environmental Law and Sustainability at Kingston University London where she graduated with the highest distinction. She wrote her dissertation on the impact of CEQA on California’s environment.
Gabriela is an attorney with a focus on environmental protection.
In September 2017, Gabriela joined Surfrider Foundation San Diego to work on the policy aspects of the No Border Sewage Program. Gabriela has played a significant role in raising awareness of the severity of the crisis at the US/Mexico border, advocating for clean water with key policy makers and creating positive change in both Southern California and Baja communities.
Gabriela is fluent in Spanish.