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About Bearing Advisors

Bearing Advisors is a group of seasoned professionals with broad and deep experience in the municipal market space. We have extensive knowledge of local, state, and federal governments, and nonprofit organizations serving state and local governments. We understand how to market, sell, and manage value-added products and services that are offered to local governments and how to work with association partners to promote these services and use them effectively to benefit the association.

Key stakeholders (municipal partners, municipal prospects, National League of Cities leaders, state municipal league leaders, and staff) know us as trusted professionals who understand their cultures and needs. Our advice, based on each of our decades of experience, helps companies looking to sell into the government space increase revenues, make connections, streamline and simplify operations, and avoid political missteps.

What We Do

We work with businesses that are seeking to provide innovative, value-added products and services to the local government market segment. We utilize our knowledge, relationships, and experience in the commercial, non-profit, and public sectors to assist our clients in accelerating their sales efforts and providing insights into local government purchasing decisions.

We help communities reduce costs, find new sources of revenue, and operate more effectively. We help our clients become trusted partners within the local government market space.

Our Team

Brad Carmichael headshot
Senior Director

Brad Carmichael

Brad has over 40 years of professional experience in financial management, operations, and business development working for Consolidated Natural Gas and Dominion Resources. For 13 years, Brad was a principal and Vice President of Business Development at Utility Service Partners (USP). Brad was responsible for developing and overseeing USP’s strategic Partnerships as well as developing and managing USP’s highly successful business development model.

Brad’s commitment and leadership in honesty and integrity were recognized when USP was awarded the prestigious Torch Award for “Marketplace Ethics” by the Better Business Bureau in 2013.

  • Managing & Founding Member, Mountaineer Capital Partners (2016 – Present)
  • Vice President & Principal, Utility Service Partners (2003 – 2016)
  • Developed USP’s Back Office Organization
  • Developed USP’s IT Infrastructure to support Business Development
  • Integrated USP’s CRM with Back Office Systems
  • Six Sigma Black Belt
  • Accredited in AIM Change Management Methodology
Mike Conduff headshot
Senior Director

Mike Conduff

Mike has over 40 years of leadership, management and governance experience. He is also a charter graduate of the Carver Policy Governance® Academy and is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Policy Governance® Association. Mike’s clients have included the International City/County Management Association, The National League of Cities Leadership Training Institute, The NLC University, The National Committee on Planned Giving, The Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, The Community Associations Institute, The Republic of the Marshall Islands, and many cities, associations, and other non-profit and for-profit corporations.

In addition to serving the International City/County Management Association as their Special Liaison for Governance, Mike is a Fellow of the prestigious National Academy of Public Administration. He has been honored by ICMA with their most significant honor – The Distinguished Service Award. He has also been awarded the TCMA Mentoring Award in memory of Gary Gwyn, the Award for Career Development in Memory of L. P. (Perry) Cookingham from ICMA, and the very meaningful Joy Sansom Mentor Award from the Urban Management Assistants of North Texas for his commitment to helping others achieve their potential. The Center for Digital Government has awarded Mike their coveted “Best of Texas Visionary Award.”

Mike is active in a number of professional and civic organizations. He is a full member and Past President of the Texas City Management Association. He was one of the very first credentialed members of the International City/County Management Association, and served on its International Executive Board. He also served six years on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Association of City/County Management, holding all of the statewide offices including President of the Association. He is a Past President of the Kansas Engineering Society; a charter member of the Board of Directors of the Kansas Entrepreneurial Center, and a past member of the Board of Directors of the League of Kansas Municipalities. Mr. Conduff is fully credentialed by the International City/County Management Association and is licensed as a Professional Engineer and a Registered Land Surveyor in the State of Kansas (retired status), and served eight years on the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions, twice as Chairman of the Engineering Section and twice as Chairman of the Full Board. He also served four years on the Kansas Water Authority.

  • BSCE University of New Hampshire (Cum Laude)
  • MBA Pittsburg State
  • ICMA-CM
  • ICMA Special Liaison for Governance National Academy of Public
  • Administration Fellow
  • National Academy of Best Selling Authors
  • Member of Who’s Who Worldwide
  • Best of Texas 2004 Visionary Award
  • Past Chair of the Board of the International Policy Governance® Association
  • Past Regional Vice-President for ICMA
  • Past President of TCMA
  • Past President of KACM
  • Past Chair of the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions
  • Past Board Member of the Kansas Water Authority
  • Past Board Chair of United Way
  • 2006 TCMA Mentoring Award in memory of Gary Gwyn
  • Joy Sansom Mentor Award from the Urban Management Assistants of North Texas
  • The National League of Cities Leadership Training Institute
Jim Hunt headshot
Senior Director

Jim Hunt

Jim served as President of the National League of Cities in 2005, and was selected as the 2006 “Municipal Leader of the Year” by American City & County Magazine. Jim also led the National League of Cities Partnership for Inclusive Communities, a nationwide program to promote inclusivity in America’s cities.

Jim previously served on the World Council of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) in Barcelona, Spain and on the Board of Directors of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition in Washington, DC. He also served as Vice President of his local Habitat for Humanity chapter and traveled to Poland and Hungary to build homes for needy families. He has been inducted into the West Virginia Municipal League Hall of Fame and received the Municipal League’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, the West Virginia Municipal League honored Jim by renaming the Lifetime Achievement Award as the “Jim Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award.”

  • Distinguished Mountaineer, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (2013)
  • West Virginia Municipal League Hall of Fame, West Virginia Municipal League (2012)
  • Civil Rights Award, West Virginia Human Rights Council
  • Key to the City of Selma, Alabama
  • President’s Award, National League of Cities (2012)
  • Municipal Official of the Year, American City & County Magazine (2006)
  • Citizen of the Year, Harrison County Chamber of Commerce (2006)
  • Councilmember for the City of Clarksburg, West Virginia (1985 – 1991)
  • Mayor of the City of Clarksburg, West Virginia (1991 – 1993)
  • Past President of the West Virginia Municipal League (1995)
  • Board of Directors for the West Virginia Municipal League (20 years)
  • Board of Directors for the National League of Cities
  • President of the National League of Cities (2006)
  • Member of the World Council and Executive Committee of the United Cities and Local Governments
Mike Madden headshot
Senior Director

Mike Madden

After having served over 20 years with the Florida League of Cities, Mike left his position as the Managing Director or Public Risk Services in 2009. He subsequently joined Utility Service Partners and became its Vice President of U.S. Markets in the Business Development group.

Mike is a highly experienced business management executive and strategist with success in building, aligning, and restructuring organizations to achieve profitability. He is skilled in assessing challenges and transforming creative ideas into effective solutions and has a track record of guiding corporate start-ups and turnaround operations. Mike leverages business acumen, financial expertise, analytical skills, and sales/marketing savvy to forge productive working relationships with key decision makers to deliver strong bottom-line results.

  • Bachelor’s in Finance Florida State University
  • Bachelor’s in Marketing Florida Atlantic University
  • Vice President, Business Development, HomeServe USA (2016-2018)
  • General Manager, Business Development, Utility Service Partners (2011-2016)
  • Managing Director, Florida Municipal Insurance Trust (Florida League of Cities (2000-2009)
  • Director, Financial Services, Florida League of Cities (1994-2000)
  • Executive Director, Florida Government Finance Officers Association
Phil Riley headshot
Managing Director

Phil Riley

Phil has over 40 years of professional experience in financial management, operations, strategic planning, marketing, and P/L responsibility working as a senior executive for Consolidated Natural Gas and Dominion Resources.

For 13 years, Phil was a principal and CEO of Utility Service Partners, a private equity backed residential utility service line warranty business that pioneered Public/Private Partnerships with over 350 municipalities/cities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In 2013, Utility Service Partners received the prestigious Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for “Marketplace Ethics”.

  • Managing & Founding Member, Mountaineer Capital Partners (2016-Present)
  • President, CEO, Principal and Board Member, Utility Service Partners (2003-2016)
  • Sr. Vice President & General Manager, CNG Retail/Dominion Retail (1998-2002)
  • Vice President, Integrated Marketing, CNG Energy Services (1997-1998)
  • Member of Board of Directors, Eyewitness Surveillance (2013-2016)
  • Member of Board of Directors, West Virginia Education Alliance (2002)
  • Member of Board of Dominion Resource Foundation (2001-2002)
  • Over 30 Years of B2C, B2B, and B2G sales and marketing experience
Cathy Spain headshot
Senior Director

Cathy Spain

Cathy is an economist with over 40 years’ experience working with local government officials nationwide while employed in the government and nonprofit sectors. Her areas of specialization are government finance, risk management, intergovernmental relations and association management. She has extensive experience managing large projects, developing strategic partnerships, marketing programs, and developing coalitions.

Cathy began her career as an economist with the New York Department of Labor and later with the New York Assembly Ways and Means Committee. She has also worked for the Government Finance Officers Association, Public Risk Database Project and the National League of Cities in senior executive positions overseeing government relations, research, membership and program development, state chapter relations, international programs, constituency groups, corporate relations, and media relations.

  • B.A. Social Studies Education, The University at Albany, NY
  • M.A. Economics, The University at Albany, NY
  • Director at the National League of Cities (2003-2011)
  • Executive Director of the Public Risk Database Project (1997-2003)
  • Director at the Government Finance Officers Association (1977-1997)
  • Member of National Fire Protection Association Technical Committees 1710 and 1730 (2007 to 2017)
  • Recipient of the 100 Leading Women Award by Business Insurance Magazine (2000)
  • Treasurer of the Public Risk Database Project Board (1996-1997)
    Member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Nominating Committee (1991)
  • Recipient of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts Industry Award (1994)
  • Recognized as an Influential Intergovernmental “Player” In Washington D.C. by the “Washington Almanac” (1992)
  • Recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal in Public Finance by the National Association of Bond Lawyers (1986)
  • Named Volunteer of the Year, Village of Oakland Mills, Columbia, MD (2015)
Tabitha Riley headshot
Operations Director

Tabitha Riley

Tabitha brings Bearing Advisors the benefit of her background and experience in editing, quality control, and financial modeling. Tabitha began her work at Utility Service Partners (USP) in the accounting area focusing on payment processing and later developed and built USP’s financial model for investment evaluation. From there, she joined the marketing group and supported USP’s direct mail marketing efforts.

As USP’s market reach grew, Tabitha was charged with implementing a comprehensive quality assurance program for all external marketing communications that adhered to all internal policies, was error free, and met all partner and regulatory guidelines.

Tabitha is also a Member of Mountaineer Capital Partners, LLC, a privately held business focused on co-investments with private equity firms in companies that have municipal facing products and services.

Tabitha graduated Cum Laude from Fairmont State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.