10.10.10 Cities 2017 Prospective CEOs

Marisa Bangash

Marisa Bangash

Prospective CEO

New York, NY

Marisa Bangash is a digital media executive who has led the development, growth, and scale of early to mid-stage companies. After working at large media and data companies such as Viacom and Nielsen, she assumed C-level and leadership positions within venture-funded content and agency enterprises, serving as the principal operations executive, and managing corporate responsibilities including raising capital and facilitating acquisitions. Focused on both short-term goals and long-term strategic vision, she has steered companies to achieve multimillion dollar revenue growth and partnerships with global blue chip media and technology brands.

Brooke Cheishvili

Brooke Cheishvili

Prospective CEO

Denver, CO

Brooke Cheishvili is a Denver-based entrepreneur, whose early background in economic development marketing inspired a passion for cities. After representing entrepreneurial cities like Denver, Charlotte, Cincinnati and Louisville, Brooke began hiring tech talent for growing companies and eventually became a founder or early employee in several early-stage tech startups. She is thrilled to bring her experience in B2B, B2C and marketplace applications to 10.10.10 Cities and looks forward to tackling some wicked problems. Brooke is a graduate of Colorado State University.

Robert Coombs

Robert Coombs

Prospective CEO

Brooklyn, NY

For a dozen years, Robert Coombs has built and led exceptional web, communications, operations, and government relations divisions in companies trying to change the world. He’s worked on initiatives that were featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and TIME Magazine.

Fusing econometric models, change management, and public campaigns, he has led teams that have saved states billions of dollars in operating costs, while managing corporate branding, internal and external communications, and business strategy. Some of those teams have been recognized nationwide for the “most comprehensive reforms in a generation.”

Pari Esfandiari

Pari Esfandiari

Prospective CEO

Canoga Park, CA

Pari Esfandiari is a serial entrepreneur and Internet pioneer. Her extensive international background includes leadership, advisory, and investment positions with organizations and corporations in Europe, China, the Middle East and the United States. She has worked across diverse industries ranging from communications, gaming and e-commerce to sustainability and real estate development. Her social enterprise offers cross-border/discipline collaborative journalism to champion women entrepreneurship. It is showcased by UNESCO and supported by Google Foundation. Her articles are published and translated worldwide.

She has a doctorate from Oxford Brookes University in sustainability business and is a qualified city planner and architect.

Ari Kaufman

Ari Kaufman

Prospective CEO

Denver, CO

Ari Kaufman successfully identifies and pivots businesses towards underserved or non-dominated market opportunities. He has led digital media startups, turn-arounds, and early-stage growth companies for 20 years and has made a career out of successfully anticipating the future of digital marketing technology. Ari has been involved in multiple projects that have included raising capital and achieving successful exits that maximize shareholder value, including two initial public offerings (IPO). His visionary leadership is complimented by his ability to attract and hire strong teams that execute.

Ari has led digital media startups, turn-arounds, and early-stage growth companies for 20 years and has made a career out of successfully anticipating the future of digital marketing technology.

Ari has been involved in multiple projects that have included successful exits and creating maximum shareholder value. His most recent exit was Placeable, a PE-backed management-backed corporate carve-out.

As Chief Strategy Officer, he led PrecisionIR’s IPO on the London Stock Exchange. As founder, he successfully sold the interactive lead-generating advertising firm ThinkAcquisition to a global strategic agency. In 2012 Ari engineered the management buy-out of Placeable with the financial support of a private equity investment partner and most recently sold that company to a strategic acquirer.

As General Manager for LookSmart he managed the paid search platform responsible for $250 million in revenue. As the President of InfoNow-LocationInsight, he automated local search management. He introduced first-party ad serving while at MatchLogic and as a founder of Zacks.com, he pioneered the online advertising industry with the explosive growth of the first fully ad-supported web site in 1996.

Erin Little

Erin Little

Prospective CEO

Lee’s Summit, MO

Erin Little currently serves as the Interim Executive Director for Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network, a Harvard- incubated healthcare organization, where she has served on the Board of Directors since 2014. Prior to this Erin founded, Sucre Blue, a Bangalore- based social enterprise focused around NCD treatment access in the developing world.

Her background is in social investing serving as fellow in Mumbai with LGT Venture Philanthropy and Founder of CHICAGO+Acumen, as well as serving on the board of MUMBAI+Acumen. Erin is an International Diabetes Federation “Young Leaders in Diabetes” representing both America and India in the World Diabetes Congress.

Erin also served CoFounder of Portapure, a Chicago- based water purification startup, and has been an active advisor to hundreds of startups all over the world. She is an official Kansas City BBQ judge, an Arsenal fan, and remains closely tied to her graffiti roots.

Lina Pakrosnyte

Lina Pakrosnyte

Prospective CEO

Chicago, IL

Lina Pakrosnyte is an attorney and a serial entrepreneur. She’s a founder and CEO of Urban Leash, Inc., an on-demand pet care platform. in 2015, Urban Leash was one of ten companies selected to be part of the Techstars accelerator program in Chicago. Lina is a member of Economy of Now Forum, and participates on various panels on the sharing economy and marketplace companies. She also mentors new entrepreneurs through the Founders Institute.

Lina has a law degree from The John Marshall Law School and B.A. from Bradley University. Prior to starting her entrepreneurial career, she worked as an attorney practicing civil and corporate litigation.

Michael Schultz

Michael Schultz

Prospective CEO

Monument, CO

Michael G. Schultz is a consumer-packaged goods and technology entrepreneur with over 25 years’ experience specializing in strategic and tactical business development principals.  

Currently Mr. Schultz is the Managing Partner for MGSS Holdings, LLC, a food and beverage CPG consulting company. He and his team help companies in the Healthier-for-You market segment “cross the chasm” to growth and gain increased market share. Prior to founding MGSS Holdings, Mr. Schultz was President and CEO of Sedulous Foods Inc., and established the Schultz’s Gourmet brand of condiments, seasonings and snacks in the natural, conventional and club warehouse channels across the country.

Through much of his career Mr. Schultz has held senior and executive level management positions in sales and business development that required hands on team building to deliver robust growth expectations. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin; Bachelor of Sciences Degrees in Business and Communications.

Piers Wells

Piers Wells

Prospective CEO

Chicago, IL

Mr. Wells is an experienced digital technology entrepreneur and strategist. Most recently, Mr. Wells founded, scaled, and successfully exited Digital H2O, an award winning big data and predictive analytics company focused on developing software for the end-to-end management of water in energy production. Previous to Digital H2O, Mr. Wells led corporate strategy for Tendril, a smart-grid analytics company based in Boulder, CO. Mr. Wells also spent over a decade as strategy consultant in Booz & Company’s technology strategy practice.

Ben Wright

Ben Wright

Prospective CEO

Boulder, CO

Ben Wright is an impact entrepreneur who has founded six companies in the real estate, economic development, and tourism sectors. He has held roles as a founder, sales leader, marketing leader, and product leader.

Ben is focused on and passionate about the problems that cities and their residents face in the global economy.  These problems include growth, decline, talent attraction, sustainable development, and income inequality, to name a few.  Since 2001, Ben has advised and built products for customers for nearly 500 cities, states and regions in six countries.

Before becoming a founder and entrepreneur, Ben held positions in economic development, management consulting, and investment banking.  He currently sits on the board of two companies he founded, Atlas Advertising and Community Systems. He currently sits on the boards of two non profit organizations:  The International Economic Development Council in Washington, DC and Denver Civic Ventures, an arm of the Downtown Denver Partnership.  He is a frequent speaker on technology innovation, urbanization, marketing, and more.  

Ben is a graduate of Stanford University in California with a degree in quantitative economics, with emphasis on urban studies.  Ben lives in Boulder, CO, with his wife and three adventurous daughters.  He has finished three triathlons, and to do so learned to swim for distance for the first time at age 40.