Meet the dedicated leaders who lend their expertise and guidance to our cause. Learn about the minds shaping our strategies, driving innovation, and championing the values that define Escalera.

Bryson is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, OPM 27, Executive Education, and is president and founder of Garbett Homes, which has built more than 3,500 homes and apartments in 25 communities in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Missouri, and Mexico over the past 30 years. As the principal founder and trustee of Escalera, Bryson has over twelve years of development experience in Mexico. Bryson sits on several boards, including Habitat for Humanity and is a former member of the Utah House of Representatives. He pioneered building affordable green homes in Utah, received a Green Business award in 2010.
Bryson Garbett
Founder, Executive Committee, Board Treasurer
Jan leads several local and international children’s and women’s organizations. As founder and director of EPIK, she works to use collective impact to empower a deliberate digital generation of children. With Families United Toward Universal Respect (F.U.T.U.R.E.), she organized training for Iraqi women in Utah, Washington DC, and Sulaimaniya (Iraq) to advance the cause of women and families in war recovery efforts.
Jan Garbett
Founder, Development Committee Chair
Cody is a native of the Wasatch Front and grew up in Draper. In 2004, he founded Salt Lake Excavating Inc. with his father Peter and brother Kevin. Cody now lives in Highland with his wife Christie and four children; Seth, Brekyn, Crew and London. He learned to speak Spanish while he worked as a missionary in Argentina for two years. Cody met Bryson Garbett in 2008 and developed a great working relationship with Garbett Homes in building communities. Through Bryson, Escalera Foundation has become a focus of SLEs philanthropic outlet.
Cody Larkin
Development Committee
Pilar has lived most of her life in San Cristobal de las Casas. She has experience in the business sector, and since her arrival, she has been involved in social causes in Chiapas. She was president of an organization focused on educational issues, Pequeño Sol A.C. Also, she collaborated with an NGO providing women’s credits to stimulate economic activities. Pilar believes that some of the causes of poverty are the lack of opportunities and discipline, so she focuses her commitment and responsibility on supporting the educational sector to alleviate these issues.
Pilar Garcia Quintana
Development Committee
Patricia Velasco started her career as a teacher of hearing impaired children in Mexico City. She received her Masters from McGill University and her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was the founder and director of La Casa de la Ciencia in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, an institution that provided staff development in the areas of literacy and science education in indigenous communities. In Mexico City, Patricia was a faculty member at the University of the Americas. She taught hearing impaired children and supervised student teachers at Orientación Infantil de Rehabilitación Audiológica (OIRA); the clinic attached to the university. After moving to New York City, she first worked for the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she was also a member of its faculty. Currently, Patricia is Assistant Professor of Education at Queens College, CUNY where she coordinates the Bilingual Education Program and directs the Bilingual Common Core Initiative, a project sponsored by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED).
Patricia Velasco
Programs Committee

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