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ABOUT

Bartle Wells Associates

BWA is a public finance consulting firm with over 50 years of experience providing independent, expert financial advice to public agencies throughout California and the western United States. Our firm was established in 1964 and is owned and managed by its principal consultants. We specialize in three interrelated services: utility rate and fee studies, strategic financial planning, and project financing.

BWA has successfully advised over 500 public agencies – from small utility districts serving rural communities to large cities, counties, and regional agencies. We have the experience and expertise to evaluate all types of financial issues faced by local governments and to recommend the best and most-practical solutions.

BWA is a charter member of the National Association of Municipal Advisors and preferred provider of the California Rural Water Association. Our lead consultants are Certified Independent Professional Municipal Advisors with industry-leading expertise in the areas of utility rates and public finance.

Meet Our Team

Bartle Wells has a highly-qualified professional staff. Our principal consultants have been with the firm from 15 to over 25 years. BWA staff members have professional experience and education in finance, civil engineering, public administration, urban planning, and economics.

Douglas Dove, PE, CIPMA

President

Douglas Dove is a principal consultant with over 20 years of municipal finance and project management experience. He specializes in strategic financial planning, bond marketing, and utility rate setting. He has worked for a wide variety of public agencies and developed financing plans to support virtually all types of public works programs. Since joining BWA in 1990, Doug has secured billions of dollars of capital funding for public agencies through the issuance of municipal bonds and procurement of federal and state grants and loans. He is a Certified Independent Professional Municipal Advisor.

Education
M.S., Civil Engineering - University of California, Berkeley
B.S., Civil Engineering - Drexel University

Alex Handlers, MPA, CIPMA

Principal

Alex Handlers is a principal of BWA with expertise in the areas of utility rates, strategic financial planning, and project financing. He has consulted for over 100 cities and special districts from all areas of California. He has extensive experience developing long-term financial plans, conservation-oriented rate structures, and development impact fees. As an independent financial advisor, he has helped public agencies secure over $2 billion in financing via bonds, COPs, bank loans, lines of credit, and various state and federal grant and loan programs. He is a Certified Independent Professional Municipal Advisor.

Education
M.P.A. - University of Washington, Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society
B.A. - Lehigh University

Michael DeGroot

Financial Analyst III

Michael DeGroot is a Financial Analyst III with BWA. He helps public agencies develop equitable utility rate structures, financial plans, and development impact fees. He has significant experience developing drought surcharges to encourage water conservation, while complying with Proposition 218 and changing industry standards.

Education
B.S., Business Administration – U.C. Berkeley Walter A. Haas School of Business, Berkeley, CA

Erik Helgeson

Financial Analyst III

Erik Helgeson is a Financial Analyst III with BWA. Erik brings a wealth of financial knowledge and a creative analysis approach to projects, with a background in assisting municipalities with financial plans and pricing models.

Education
M.B.A. – University of Colorado
B.S., Business Administration – Gonzaga University

Abigail Seaman

Financial Analyst

Abigail Seaman holds a BA in Economics from the University of California, Davis.

Education
B.A., Economics - U.C. Davis

Chrissie Love

Office Administrator

Chrissie Love is BWA’s Office Administrator. She manages BWA’s office and also provides assistance on financial consulting assignments.

Education
B.A., State University of New York, College at Cortland

Tom Gaffney, PE, CIPMA

Principal Emeritus

Tom Gaffney is a principal emeritus of the firm. He directed projects involving more than 300 separate agencies in California and five other western states.

Education
M.B.A., Finance - University of California, Berkeley
B.S., Civil Engineering - University of California, Berkeley
Civil Engineering - University of Notre Dame

Reed Schmidt, CIPMA

Principal Emeritus

Reed Schmidt is a principal emeritus of the firm. He directed more than 150 projects for cities, counties, and special districts in the areas of public works financing, public utility pricing and valuation, and energy planning.

Education
M.A., Economics - University of Houston
B.A., Economics, magna cum laude - University of Houston

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WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY

"For more than a decade West Valley Sanitation District
has utilized the knowledge and expertise of BWA for
everything from long range financial planning, including
rate and fee studies, to assistance with bond sales and
Proposition 218 notification. BWA staff has provided
excellent client service and timely response every time
we have needed their help and we anticipate maintaining
our relationship for many years to come."

Bob Reid
Former General Manager
West Valley Sanitation District of Santa Clara County

"Placerville’s rate study took several twists and turns
due to ratepayer demands. Bartle Wells did a
phenomenal job adapting its analysis to the changes
in the study assumptions which ultimately lead to the
successful passage of the new water and wastewater rates."

Dave Warren Finance Director
City of Placerville, California

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SLOGAN ABOUT CLIENTS APPEARS HERE

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SLOGAN ABOUT CASE STUDIES APPEARS HERE

Review Case Studies

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We TAKE PRIDE IN OUR COMMUNITY

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BWA Firm History

BWA Co-Founders: Richard Bartle & Ed Wells

Bartle Wells Associates was founded in 1964 by Richard Bartle and Ed Wells, who left their positions as partners in the securities firm Stone & Youngberg to form the first independent municipal finance consulting firm on the West Coast. For over 50 years, BWA has carried on its founders’ vision of providing independent and objective advice to help public agencies meet their financial challenges. To date, BWA has advised over 500 cities and special districts throughout California and the Western United States, developed over 2,000 financial plans and utility rate studies, and helped public agencies secure over $5 billion in debt financing. Some of our historical milestones include:

1964 BWA was founded and establishes its headquarters in San Francisco, California.
1969 BWA serves as financial advisor for the first competitive sale of lease revenue bonds in the Unites States.
1974 BWA assists the State Water Resources Control Board in developing Revenue Program Guidelines for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Financing Program.
1983 BWA serves as financial advisor for the first competitive sale of Certificates of Participation in California.
1984 BWA secures reduced electricity rates for most California public agencies.
1989 BWA is a founding member of the National Association of Independent Public Finance Advisors (NAIPFA), established to promote high professional and ethical standards in the public finance industry.
1993 BWA serves as financial advisor for the first senior-subordinated assessment bond sale in the United States.
2001 BWA moves from its headquarters in San Francisco to its current offices in Berkeley, California.
2003 BWA serves as financial advisor for the first sanitary district purchase of a private water company in California.
2005 BWA coordinates the first competitively sold water/sewer revenue bond pool in California which ultimately helps over 25 cities and special districts obtain low-cost financing for infrastructure projects.
2010 BWA serves its 500th client.
2015 NAIPFA is renamed the National Association of Municipal Advisors (NAMA) to better represent the range of professionals regulated by the new Municipal Advisor Rule established in 2014 pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

IN MEMORIAM

Ed Wells (1923 – 2015) passed away peacefully on February 7, 2015 surrounded by family at his home of more than 50 years in Portola Valley, California. He was a pioneer in municipal finance, civil engineer, Stanford University graduate with an advanced degree from the University of California, World War II Army veteran, and civic volunteer. Ed co-founded Bartle Wells Associates in 1964 and later served as a founding member of the National Association of Independent Public Finance Advisors. Read more…