Propeller Industries

Introducing Propeller Industries’ New Executive Leadership Team

Picture of Chris Fenster

Chris Fenster

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

December 21, 2022

As you may know, Propeller Industries teamed up with Newlight Partners in July 2020 to ensure we had the resources and experience to execute our vision for the future. That vision starts with world-class service delivery to the highest-potential, venture-stage companies in the U.S.  

Our industry is massively fragmented and dominated by CFO-turned-entrepreneur founders, like me. None of us has built a tech-enabled services firm to scale before, but after Propeller’s nearly 15 years of growth, it was clear to us that any firm that hopes to stand out from the crowd will need to invest in the same kind of professionalization that we aim to deliver to our emerging-company founders.  

That is why our top priority for 2022 was to invest in our leadership. So as we close out the year, I’m excited to introduce our new executive team. Each of these individuals comes to us with extraordinary experience in areas critical to our future success, and I’m confident that we have the horsepower to continue to deliver industry-leading outcomes to our clients and their stakeholders. 

Here’s a brief intro to the new team: 

Dave Cox

EVP & Chief Operating Officer

Dave is leading improvements to the quality and consistency of our service delivery, ensuring that every client has an outstanding client experience.  

“I’m focused on improving our effectiveness and efficiency as a tech-enabled services organization.  Doing both ensures clients get a consistent, streamlined service experience, and enables our continued leadership in this space.” 

Dave has spent the last 20 years in professional services, from management consulting at McKinsey to leading Fortune 500 technology consulting teams and PE-backed service organizations.  

Elizabeth Ganss

EVP & Chief Financial Officer

Liz has stepped up our investments in the development of infrastructure and talent. She is laser-focused on delivering unparalleled excellence to our clients. 

“I started my career at Deloitte, where I learned the value and importance of strategic client relationships from an industry leader. Propeller’s scale and experience enables us to invest more strategically than any competitor into next-generation service delivery.” 

Liz has over 30 years of experience in accounting and finance, including a deep knowledge of culture and organizational change from leadership roles at companies such as Anticimex, Sterling, and Hertz, where she was instrumental in advancing company acquisitions.

Yazhi Smith

SVP & Chief Information Officer

Today, every great professional services firm needs to be heavily tech-enabled. Yazhi and her team have made significant investments to upgrade our ability to safeguard your data and assets while building proprietary data warehousing, analytics and benchmarking services.  

“Technology investment is so much more than an expense item – it’s a force multiplier to help Propeller drive our clients’ success. As part of the Propeller team, I am focused on building systems to extract insights from data and advancing opportunities to improve the client experience.” 

Yazhi has over 20 years of global experience in digital transformation and value creation through technology enablement. She has held engineering and technology leadership roles at IBM, Rackspace and Vista Equity Partners. 

Leslie Ferrier

SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer

Leslie unites the innovation and creativity of our team members with our standards of disciplined performance. She is building a talent runway to take us to the next level even as our client base grows. At the same time, she is building a foundation for future service offerings related to human resources management.  

 “My job is to source experts who can help clients build their financial success. Just as entrepreneurs conduct due diligence for their business, I ensure we do right by our people.” 

Leslie brings 30 years of experience in strategic, results-driven human resources leadership including coaching and training. She has held leadership roles in hospitality at Hilton and in entrepreneurial ventures such as TxVia and Momofuku.  

I don’t think anyone fully understands what firms like ours are ultimately capable of delivering to our customers with the right talent and technology in place, but I could not be more excited to show you over the coming years.  

I’d love to share more about our plans for 2023 and beyond. Please reach out if you’d like to set up time to talk in the new year

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