Ariel is currently Director of Digital at Art Media Holdings as well as Senior Product Manager at Brant Publications, two holding companies owned by Peter Brant, where he leads the digital departments for all magazines including Interview Magazine, Art in America, ARTnews, Modern Magazine, and The Magazine Antiques. Since 2010, Ariel has been a NYC-based product strategist, entrepreneur and nonprofit innovator. He is focused on developing and launching innovative digital enterprises (both for-profit and hybrid for/non-profit) across the media, science, technology, and entertainment industries. He also continues to serve as a product, technology, finance, & Hollywood consultant serving Fortune 1000, Start-ups, and SMBs, including for the past five years as a co-producer and lead talent strategist for the annual Digitas NewFront in NYC.
In 2010, he co-founded and was Executive Director of the Play4Change Lab, a producer of video games designed to help solve social issues (“games-for-change”, “serious games”). The Play4Change Lab produced a health game targeting childhood obesity in partnership with the UC Davis School of Education and Foods for Health Institute — which has been funded with a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
In 2004, he co-founded and led for six years The Hollywood Hill, an entertainment industry membership trade association connecting innovators and their projects in science, technology, and social issues (e.g., Elon Musk) with Hollywood professionals in the film, television, music, and gaming industries. With a founding Advisory Board including Academy award-winning film producers Lawrence Bender (An Inconvenient Truth, Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds) and Mike Medavoy (over 300 films), media magnate Arianna Huffington, and collaborators such as Wired Magazine, the organization has produced over 100 events and 4 conferences and supported a wide variety of social projects. In 2010, Ariel also co-founded Armchair Revolutionary, an Internet platform combining crowdfunding, gaming, and education to crowdsource activities supporting innovative social projects.
Prior to co-founding and heading up The Hollywood Hill, Ariel worked at United Talent Agency (UTA), one of the premier Hollywood talent agencies, where he trained under the co-head of the motion picture literary department and assisted in the representation of more than a dozen A-list directors such as Chris Nolan (Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins), and Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor). Prior to that position, he trained under other top agents in the motion picture literary and indy film packaging division, assisting in the representation of dozens of A-list writers, directors, actors, and producers including Alan Ball (writer of American Beauty, creator of Six Feet Under and True Blood) and Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can, Rush Hour 2).
Before moving to Los Angeles, he worked as an e-commerce specialist at Internet venture capital firm CMGi, moving on to assist in the expansion of the Experience Design division of Internet consulting firm Zefer, Inc. in Boston. Preceding his work in the Internet, he was co-owner of a product design & consulting firm, Tiles & Christiansen, Ltd., managing clients such as Barney's NY, Four Seasons Hotels and Donna Karan Home Fashions.
He attended Clark University where he studied International Economies, and attended high school at North Carolina School of the Arts (at North Carolina University) where he trained as a ballet dancer under the direction of Duncan Noble of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
He is a Member of the Board of Advisors for the University of California (Davis) School of Education.