Chris Esparza, raised in San Jose, now lives in San Jose’s Naglee Park neighborhood with his wife Pilar Agüero-Esparza and their child Olivia. Chris started working in the entertainment industry in 1985 and opened the his own venue The Ajax Lounge in 1991, a renowned jazz bar, café, and performing arts space in the nocturnal history of San Jose. He then started Smart Design in 1995, a design company specializing in graphic and furniture design, in a 14,000 sq. ft. warehouse on Martha Street. Smart Design converting the remaining space into San Jose’s first artist/small business incubator. Following these endeavors, Chris opened up an international café and jazz bar, Fuel 44 in late 1997. Chris then ventured on his own with what seemed like a natural progression – Giant Creative Services, a marketing, event design and performing arts resource agency, with such clients as San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, Villa Montalvo, and the renowned Stanford Jazz Festival, Giant was off to a great start. In 1999 he co-founded the volunteer civic entrepreneur group Circa 2000. Returning to small business in 2005, Chris opened the Naglee Park Garage, a neighborhood bistro in the downtown/SJSU area and in 2008 took on The San Jose Woman’s Club’s Landmark Ballroom for public and private events. Currently as San Jose Arts commissioner and producer of San Jose’s live music festival Left Coast Live.