Meet The Best Places Team
Thanks for visiting our website. For over thirty years Bert Sperling has been analyzing data about people and places, and rating them for major publications. Our goal is to provide you with a new level of accurate and up-to-date information, in a useful and entertaining format.
BERT SPERLING, Founder and CEO
Crowned the “King of Lists” by the New York Times, demographic expert and three-time author Bert Sperling has been helping Americans find their best place to live since 1985. His free-to-use website bestplaces.net gets two million visitors each month and is the premier resource for information and data on places. His research and data has been referenced on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Simpsons, and Good Morning America, among others.
Sperling was born in Brooklyn and has lived in Florida, California, Alaska, and, most currently, Oregon. He's also toured the U.S. by car several times, most recently in 2015 when he documented his travels on YouTube. He's consulted cities across the country on how they can improve their quality of life and business health. Sperling is a graduate of Oregon State University and recently received their esteemed Weatherford Award for outstanding alumni.
BERTRAND SPERLING, Chief Operating Officer
Bertrand Sperling is the COO of Sperling’s Best Places. He heads the company’s daily operations and oversees its research, content, and product development. Bertrand is the son of the company’s founder and CEO, Bert Sperling. While Bertrand has been an essential component of the company’s executive team for eight years, research and data analysis of cities and places has been running through his blood since he was a boy.
Prior to officially joining the Best Places team, Bertrand worked with the William Morris Endeavor (WME Entertainment) agency, contributing to the motion picture literary and television departments. Bertrand holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Dartmouth College.
AL OLSEN, Chief Technology Officer
Al is an engineer (in typical succinct engineer style, this is all Al wanted us to write).
Al started his career in technology over 20 years ago. He is originally from Montana and was an awesome wrestler in his youth. When he isn’t being an engineer or making sure our servers are up and running he is busy raising his 7 kids, collecting rocks, and making jewelry. Al holds a B.A. in Information Systems from Brigham Young University.
MICHAEL T. KEHOE, Chief Revenue Officer
He’s been called a “business Swiss army knife” by the CEO of a Venture Capital fund and “the Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur” by The Dean of George Mason University’s business school. Currently Mike is the Managing Partner of a digital marketing agency, an angel investor and advisor to a diverse group of companies. He is passionate about making data usable to the masses.
He has partnered with Bert Sperling and Best Places for over 15 years in several different ventures. When he is not working, Mike is a youth football coach, and raises puppies who will become service dogs.
DANNA BRIDGES, Creative Director / UX & Design
Designer by heart, Danna started her career over 20 years ago in advertising. Her path led her to the Best Places team, where she works to create web experiences that people can enjoy during their time on the Best Places website. Avid kayaker and music enthusiast.
Background: Front-End Developer, Graphic Design, UX Design
NICK ARNOLD, Data Analyst / Web Cartographer
Nick is, above all else, a Geographer. As a youngster, he explored the world through Cartography and would often recite the Capitals and largest cities of each State. As a young teenager, alongside his family and a crop of young collegiate Geographers, he spent a month of each spring Storm chasing in the Great Plains. His interest in Geography carried straight through his studies and into his career as an expert in geographic data and mapping. His work at BestPlaces combines modern Computing and traditional Geography.
Background: Cartography, GIS, Web Development
TED SPERLING, Social Media and Content Manager
Ted Sperling is the Social Media and Content Manager for Sperling’s Best Places. With a degree in American Studies from Cornell University, Ted is uniquely positioned to analyze data and provide insight on U.S. places and cities. He contributes valuable research and articles for the Sperling Best Places website and manages the company’s social media platforms.
Prior to joining the Sperling’s Best Places team, Ted worked in the entertainment industry for over ten years, with stints at Lionsgate and the network shows Boston Legal and Running Wilde. He is also a comedy writer and performer, known for the upcoming feature film Where's The Money and the viral web series Online Daters. He considers himself a superfan of both The Simpsons and Bruce Springsteen and is the proud owner of a 1968 Dodge Charger, which neither runs nor drives.
JASON STOYLES, Mobile Developer
The day when Jason first learned that anyone can create content and instantly share it with the world, he embraced the possibilities and never looked back. It was around the summer 1996 when Jason began learning HTML and teaching himself how to code. Since then he has never stopped learning and now embraces the many possibilities offered through various web and mobile technologies. He even works with local start-ups and universities from time to time to help others learn how to better leverage these technologies.
As someone who loves to travel and find great new places to visit, and maybe even live some day, Jason is passionate about helping others do the same. As part of the Best Places team, his efforts focus on putting the best data about the best places in our pockets, wherever we go with our mobile devices.
Background: Web and Mobile Developer, Entrepreneur, Traveler