Encantos Snags Former Girl Scouts of America CEO

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Encantos Snags Former Girl Scouts of America CEO

Culver City-based Encantos, a children's book-publisher turned digital education startup, has brought on a former Girl Scouts of America CEO as its chief impact officer.

Anna Maria Chávez was the first woman of color to head the Girl Scouts and was, most recently, the executive director and CEO of the National School Boards Association. She will helm Encantos' strategic partnerships, corporate and public affairs and community impact activities.

Encantos promotes play-based learning through its digital subscriptions and stories.

Chávez has also been named president of Encantos' newly formed philanthropic arm, Encantos.org. The nonprofit entity will focus on advancing research and implementation around learning 21st-century skills like financial literacy, STEM and resiliency.

"I just saw during the pandemic how we really have been failing our children when it comes to ensuring a digital connection and their ability to learn by using technology," Chávez said.

The former Clinton administration staffer and aide to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano calls her new gig a "capstone to my career."

"What I bring to Encantos is 25 years of experience of understanding impact on certain populations, specifically children and underserved populations," she said.

Chávez led the NSBA, a nonprofit that represents 51 million public school students, through the heart of the global pandemic. The experience underscored to her the importance of modernizing and supplementing traditional education.

"She is an icon in the education and Latino community," said Encantos CEO Steven Wolfe Pereira. "To get someone of her caliber is a huge win for us."

Wolfe Pereira — who is a vocal advocate for diverse leaders — formed the nonprofit to advance research, provide assistance to underserved communities and close education gaps.

"There is a dearth of research and investment that is being done in 21st-century skills," he said.


Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

Read moreShow less

How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success

Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

Read moreShow less