Lisa Diaz

Managing Partner

Lisa is the Managing Partner and Founder of Turf Advisory. She provides public and private sector clients with strategic and tactical advice on designing, financing and managing next-generation infrastructure to build smarter cities. Lisa is responsible for business development and oversees partnerships with AWS Marketplace, Rubicon Global, The Trust for Public Land, Philips Lighting, Bronx Pro, Save the Sound among others. She curates innovative and pragmatic technology-powered solutions working with clients to market their services to both the public and the private sectors. Lisa identifies opportunities to leverage Smart Cities Technologies to maximize the quality and efficiency of projects.


Lisa is a Regional Plan Association (RPA) board member and the Smart Infrastructure Executive-in-Residence at the Baker Program in Real Estate, Cornell University; Guest Lecturer, Cornell Tech. She is a Committee Chair for Westchester Climate Crisis Taskforce, on the Steering Committee of NY Blue Tech and a member of the Smart Cities NY Advisory Board. She is a member of the NYCSBS MWBE Construction Mentorship Program and is a member of the Women’s Builders Council. 


Previously, Lisa was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs where she managed key firmwide relationships among global hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and large mutual fund complexes. She ran the Communications, Media and Telecoms (CME) sector sales team and was involved in both the pitching and execution of a multitude of transactions across a broad range of industry groups including infrastructure.

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Lisette Ruch

Head of Operations & Deployment

Lisette has a diverse background – entrepreneur and start-up founder in the infrastructure management space, business operations structure and execution specialist, officer in the US Air Force, licensed CPA, and published author.  


Lisette founded PRETECT to take the world of infrastructure diagnostics into the future by integrating IoT technology into facility management and help operators ensure reliability. After selling this venture, she decided to focus on helping other start-ups scale their businesses effectively and efficiently. Graduating from Georgetown University with a dual degree in Accounting and Finance, Lisette has worked for two of the largest global professional services firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG. She then created her own specialty consulting firm advising clients as diverse as public companies, not-for-profits, and start-ups. She specializes in managing and implementing business operational structure in start-ups and small businesses, strategic analysis, process design and implementation, internal controls, due diligence, and change management.


Bharath Satheesh

Product Manager, Innovation

Bharath has operated across a number of product and engineering roles, most recently at Apple, where he worked on Face ID and Sidewalk Labs by Alphabet, where he worked on the development of a new smart city in Toronto. He’s also helped several seed and Series-A founders with product positioning and go-to-market strategy across social, infratech, and finance. He has a MSc from Cornell Tech (where he met Lisa Diaz) and an BSc from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Xavier Smith

Head Infrastructure Investments

Xavier oversees the evaluation and selection of infrastructure investments. He is the founder Structurevest Infrastructure Fund. He has 20 years of experience including Sector Head for Global Industrials at Calypso Capital Management,  MD at Guggenheim Global Trading, Investment Director at Centre Asset Management covering  global select equities, Executive Director at Goldman Sachs, London. Equity Analyst covering industrials and technology sectors. MBA Wharton University of Pennsylvania, BA Tulane University, CFA. Xavier was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs Asset Management in London, England. At Goldman Sachs, he was an Equity Analyst covering the Consumer Products, Healthcare, Industrials, and Technology sectors. 

Roger Begelman

General Counsel and COO

Roger is Chief Operation Officer and General Counsel. He spearheads operations management, executes compliance procedures and advises on legal matters. Previously, Roger was a Managing Director and co-chief compliance officer of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. He was the primary liaison with new regulators (Federal Reserve Board of NY, Department of Financial Services) for bank compliance reviews. He was responsible for firmwide development of compliance strategy, policy, and systems for global control rooms, regulatory reporting, and surveillance systems.

Christopher Fine

Technologist in Residence

Christopher is our Technologist in Residence. In this role, he evaluates the viability of technology solutions and assesses their appeal to the enterprise customer.  Chris leverages his extensive tech and business background, including 29 years of engineering, IT, and financial work for Goldman Sachs, to provide pragmatic advice. He serves as a mentor for Turf's entrepreneurs and is an advisor for TechStars’ startup accelerators. Some of his areas of technology and business expertise include technology strategy, go-to-market, technology integration, product development, enterprise technology, AI, cyber and physical security systems, communication and collaboration systems, end-user technology, and Internet of Things (IoT).

Neil Portus

Principal - CFO & Financial Advisory

Neil leads our CFO & Financial Advisory Services practice. He is a CFO for growth companies and a former equity analyst at Goldman Sachs in NY. At Goldman Sachs, Neil helped lead numerous transactions including Zipcar's $1.1 billion IPO. He was also an equity analyst at Barclays Capital & Lehman Brothers and began his career at a boutique investment bank where he helped lead 15 advisories (M&A, bankruptcy, restructuring, fairness opinion & valuation analyses) and financing (high yield & mezzanine) transactions totaling $1.3 billion. He built his operational skills both as a startup founder and as the CFO of an East Africa-focused impact investment firm.

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Maddy Faul

Analyst & Research Assistant

Maddy joined Turf Advisory in 2019 as an Analyst and Research Assistant. She is currently a rising senior at Stanford University majoring in Urban Planning, and primarily assists in the production and publication of consulting reviews. The scope of her work includes performing research, among other tasks, on behalf of multinational clients on subjects within the urban environment, such as smart infrastructure opportunities or other potential target markets. She also assists with audits of client market messaging, executing evaluations of marketing materials and client presentations. As an analyst, she gathers, documents and analyzes macroeconomic trends related to the future of cities and the opportunities there in.