by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Samantha Gleaton Photography

Getting Lives Back on Track

faces_kristian1MG Kristian is quick to acknowledge that we, as humans, all make mistakes. But living by her mom’s axiom, “There but by the grace of God go I,” she has a perspective that looks past the poor decisions and into the possibilities of the future. As a board member for Second Chance and a human resources professional, this Carlsbad resident is helping people to get their lives back on track.

“We can all think back to moments when we did stupid things or took crazy risks and thankfully for most of us it didn’t impact our lives forever. But for some it does,” MG acknowledged. This is where Second Chance steps in. The nonprofit organization, she explained, “creates opportunities for people to transform their own lives through programs that provide job readiness and life skills training, job placement, behavioral health and prisoner re-entry services, as well as relapse prevention and sober-living housing for adults and youth in need.”

MG’s personal experience helps to inform her role on the board. “I’ve always been of the opinion that if I can be successful, anyone can – and I wanted to have the opportunity to share the secrets of my success. Coming from a working class family where the girls were not encouraged to pursue professional careers, I managed to figure out how to break through,” she acknowledged. Today, in addition to her board commitment at Second Chance, MG works as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Mitchell International in San Diego.


Name: MG Kristian
Community: Carlsbad
Family: Married to Bill Payne; two children – Stephen and Melissa
Hobbies: Second Chance, planning and hosting dinner parties, gardening, interior design, golf, and swimming
Favorite Places in Carlsbad: Rancho Carrillo trails, driving along Carlsbad Blvd., Pelly’s Fish Market, Tip Top Meats, Linda’s Gifts, the Carlsbad Flower Fields


faces_kristian2MG and her husband Bill, both native New Yorkers, relocated to Carlsbad 10 years ago. The area’s beaches, coastal breezes, resorts, trail system, and fresh produce were all a major appeal. As amateur chefs, they enjoy the availability of fresh local ingredients and love hosting dinner parties with well-thought-out wine and food pairings.

According to MG, Second Chance will be hosting their own event on Oct. 17 at Qualcomm Hall. The event will feature Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, and will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The money raised will benefit Second Chance and ensure year-round support for adults and youth to create self-sufficiency and, ultimately, a better future. “What we do is restore lives, strengthen communities, and put people back to work. It’s hard work, and it is extremely rewarding,” she acknowledged. For more information visit www.secondchanceprogram.org.