About Us

William (Bill) Chiat

Mr. Chiat is Dean and founder of the California State Association of Counties Institute for Excellence in County Government and President of Alta Mesa Group, LLC. Bill’s expertise spans over 40 years in local and state governments. He served as County Executive Officer of Napa County and Director of Organizational Effectiveness in Santa Barbara County. Bill held executive positions in city and special district governments, including several regional agencies and joint power authorities. At the state level, he served as Executive Director of the Arizona Governor’s Office for Excellence in Government and led the state’s executive education program, and as executive director of the California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions.

Bill provides organizational development, executive development and facilitation services with local governments throughout the West, and is a Lecturer in the University of California-Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy executive programs.

Bill has a B.S. from the University of Minnesota, a M.S. from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has research and taught a wide range of courses in public agency leadership, organizational resiliency and agility, board governance, and operations.

James S. Gladfelter, CPA

Mr. Gladfelter provides financial and business management services to community not-for-profit agencies and small family-owned wineries and wine consulting firms. He specializes in not-for-profit and wine industry finances and compliance.

Previously Jim served as the Director of Finance for Westcoast Children’s Clinic. This non-profit community based organization provides psychological services for youth under contracts from several counties and other agencies. Mr. Gladfelter has also served as Chief Financial Officer for Assisted Home Recovery, Inc., a in-home health care firm, and Ransco Industries.

Jim is a Certified Public Accountant in California. He has a Masters of Business Taxation and a Bachelor of Science in Business, Accounting, both from the University of Minnesota.