Meet The Team

 

Ben Brooks

Founder & CEO

Ben was born a business man. Favorite store as a child, Office Depot. From dog kennels to call centers, or spy planes to rental cars his career has been a delicious mix of intense experiences (kinda like him!). He unexpectedly let go of his long-held aspirations to climb the corporate ladder and instead has chosen to fly his own plane. 

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

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Amy Shade

Director of Product & Delivery

Amy’s wheelhouse is getting things done. Throughout her career, Amy has been the "Indiana Jones" of project managers, blocking and tackling the day to day to carry projects across the finish line. When she’s not working on PILOT, Amy is the manager of one very chaotic but fun household as wife and mom to two very energetic kids and one doting husband. 

Benjamin Peryer

Marketing Manager

If Amy’s the “Indiana Jones” of project managers, then Benjamin’s the “Lara Croft.” After launching a career at Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, Benjamin relocated to Denver to manage communication strategies for startups. If you're ever in one of Denver’s breweries and see him on his laptop surrounded by post-its, say hi. 

LinkedInTwitter | Instagram

 

David Delgado

Product Manager

David's craft is product design, but his curiosities stray far further. Hailing from Miami, but having lived in France and China, he has a passion for culture and how people make meaning of the world around them and brings this cross-cultural empathy into his design work. David’s passion for a thoughtful and aesthetically pleasing world led him to user experience design via digital marketing and other disciplines. He’s on a mission to wield the power of design to build purposeful brands and empower people. He also enjoys the occasional yoga class and sci-fi film.

Rachel Crice

Administrative Manager

Rachel is a Jill of all trades and an operational, to-do list avenger. A recent transplant to Colorado, Rachel joins the PILOT team after years of creating a specific, mashup career in growing and assisting with startups and small businesses across the U.S. When she's not working, you can find her writing, nose deep in a book, behind a camera or spending time with her family and fur baby. 

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Kut Akdogan

Strategist

Kut is a founding partner at Newton Three, which invests in and builds ventures in physical and human industries like medtech, manufacturing and AI. He's founded hardware and software companies like HERO Health, has consulted for Fortune 100 companies at Bain, and in general likes building robots.

 
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Mary Connelly

Growth Partner

Mary’s experience as a revenue generator is varied, and has taken on several incarnations, including but not exclusive to NYC street vendor, head bartender, canine swim therapy entrepreneur, Associate Publisher of several renowned publications, and sales head for digital start-ups. Mary enjoys the art of persuasion, as long as the product is inspired. A life-long New Yorker, who enjoys reading, writing and red wine, Mary resides in Brooklyn Heights with her spouse and family of four-leggeds.

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Lauren Hoffman

Growth Partner

Lauren loves the art of business and obsesses over the composition of core tenants to strategically drive a business to reach its goals.  She’s blended this discipline with a side of hustle to build her own business and grow existing big and small businesses in the past. Lauren thrives on making connections, understanding the needs of customers and businesses and creatively solving problems. When not working, you can find her on the yoga mat, a concert or an art gallery where she’s drawing inspiration for her next project.

 
 

Meet the Founder

 
 
 

Meet Our Advisors & Advocates

Thanks to the following advisors and advocates for their role in making PILOT smarter and stronger.

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Melanie Altarescu

Melanie is an independent creative marketing consultant based in New York and an award-winning team leader with a passion for creating cultures of creativity and innovation. She’s currently managing brand partnerships for Artsy and @aguynamedpatrick. 

About MelanieTwitter

Sue Brooks

Sue's natural curiosity, creativity and concern for others made 23 years as a career counselor a perfect fit. Sharing her experience and knowledge with Ben has been an unexpected and delightful journey. These days she's all in whether it's hanging with her family, playing 'swat and giggle' tennis, or wandering the globe. 

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Seth Caplan

Seth Caplan is a New York based commercial photographer specializing in lifestyle and interiors. He also works as a museum educator with school programs at the Guggenheim Museum. 

About Seth

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Marcia Conner

Marcia has advised leaders in some of the world’s largest organizations. Marcia Conner is a former corporate executive who now dedicates her time to reinventing a vibrant healthy world. Described as a “blank page systems architect,” she works closely with big-vision leaders, impact entrepreneurs, and unreasonable thinkers, ready to use their superpowers for good.

About Marcia

 
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Matt Corker

Matt Corker is the co-founder of The Corker Co – a consultancy dedicated to crafting people strategies that put the heartbeat into business's’ bottom line. He holds an MBA from the Copenhagen Business School, is a certified yoga teacher and author, and has been studying leadership development theory since he could first read.

About MattThe Corker Company | Twitter

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Lisa Cousins

Lisa is Director of Strategy for Stash Rewards, a fast growing startup guest loyalty program for leading boutique hotels around the world. Previously she worked in Disney's park development and strategy group, after graduating from Harvard Business School. She met Ben while working at Oliver Wyman as a management consultant. 

About Lisa

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Arianna Orland

Arianna is an experienced design leader, strategist, and educator with deep experience in creative direction, design. As an entrepreneur herself, she advises some of the world's most progressive tech companies like Instagram and Twitter and was previously an executive at Zynga Global Brand and Publishing.

About Arianna

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Tony Osborn

Tony is a Vice President in the Employee Communications Practice at MSL Group, one or the world's largest PR firms, owned by Publicis Groupe. Tony helps leading companies like PayPal, BMW, Citibank, and Eli Lilly engage and motivate their employees through effective communications strategies. 

About Tony

 
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Chris Rovzar

Chris is Global Luxury Editor for Bloomberg Pursuits, a hub for lifestyle news and luxury reviews covering food, wine, travel, fashion, cars, real estate, art, gadgets, wine and cocktails.

About ChrisBloomberg Pursuits

Joshua Smith

Joshua is a Manhattan based interior designer and founder of Joshua Smith Inc. His designs are clean, classic and edited often grounded in tradition while incorporating modern elements. 

About Joshua | Joshua Smith Inc.

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Joshua Spiegel

Joshua J. Spiegel, Esq., is an attorney and co-founder of Horzepa Spiegel & Associates, P.C., a boutique law firm specializing in business services for entrepreneurs, start-ups and early stage companies. Joshua has extensive experience in areas including, corporate transactional matters, employment matters, and the protection and monetization of intellectual property.

About Joshua

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Kevin Stanton

Kevin is a creative strategist cultural researcher driven by an innate curiosity and understanding of emerging consumer culture, technology and media practices. Kevin helps clients identify challenges, leverage innovation and implement comprehensive branding strategies to achieve meaningful results.

About Kevin

 
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Taren Sterry

Taren Sterry is an executive coach specializing in helping leaders find their "Big Time" and being able to share that through effective presentation and communication skills as a leader. Her clients span many industries and represent elite companies in both the Fortune 500 and high growth startups. On top of that, she's a fantastic improv coach!

About Taren

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Kevin Teague

Kevin is a New York-based award-winning designer whose practice focuses on the unique potentials that exist within every site, every client, and every program to make something extraordinary. Kevin is the owner of 1Goodi, a graphic design and branding service committed to helping clients with professional graphic design, branding and marketing needs. 

About Kevin1Goodi

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Matt Woodruff

Matt is an Associate Strategy Director at Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world's preminant advertising agencies. He helps drive social media strategy for their largest account, IBM. Matt's experience in digital marketing through social media for many major consumer brands has him on the pulse of what's next in advertising.

About Matt

Timothy Youngs

Tim is a graphic designer in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in early stage brand development and print design with a clean and modern style.

About TimTimothyYoungs.com