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Our team of lobbyists are innately connected to the people, the processes and the shifting political winds in and around the State Capitol.

Do we fight hard for our clients? Absolutely. But we also provide them with forward-thinking strategic counsel to avoid those costly fights tomorrow.

Unlike most firms, we aren’t tied to the formulas and platforms of yesterday. We pride ourselves on developing innovative and creative solutions that lead to success for our clients.

When you work with QW&H you work with a team of diverse, competitive, strong and committed individuals. All brought together to create an energy and broad expertise unmatched in the industry. Not only do we understand the most complex and demanding issues facing our clients — we have lived them.

  • DAVID QUINTANA
    DAVID QUINTANA
    PARTNER
  • MARK WATTS
    MARK WATTS
    PARTNER
  • AUDRA HARTMANN
    AUDRA HARTMANN
    PARTNER
  • BILL BARNABY SR.
    BILL BARNABY SR.
    PARTNER
  • BILL BARNABY JR.
    BILL BARNABY JR.
    PARTNER
  • SEAN HENSCHEL
    SEAN HENSCHEL
    PARTNER
  • MELANIE CUEVAS
    MELANIE CUEVAS
    MANAGING DIRECTOR
  • KARA CROSS
    KARA CROSS
    PRINCIPAL
  • CAITY MAPLE
    CAITY MAPLE
    PRINCIPAL

DAVID QUINTANA
PARTNER

As a partner of Quintana, Watts & Hartmann, David Quintana’s professional history spans over 15 years in and around the Capitol. With extensive expertise in a wide range of issue areas, Mr. Quintana provides clients with strategy development, policy analysis, relationship-building, campaign consulting, and unparalleled direct lobbying services.  Mr. Quintana’s reach extends into numerous sectors, including high-tech/social media, finance, energy, education, health and business districts and gaming.

A graduate of UC Davis and the Boston College School of Law, Mr. Quintana has a comprehensive understanding of both politics and policy. He has the unique ability to combine his political connections with policy knowledge to deliver results for his clients. This is why whenever there is a big fight brewing in the political arena, David Quintana is brought in to generate results.

In 2017, for the eighth year in a row, Capitol Weekly named Mr. Quintana one of the Capitol’s Top 100 “Major Players” in their annual list. In December of 2016 he was also featured in Sacramento Magazine as one of the key power players in state politics. In September of 2015, Mr. Quintana was a featured speaker on the Politics versus Policy Panel for the 2015 Health Care Conference. Mr. Quintana was also a featured speaker annually for the Leadership California Institute’s Candidate Forum where he advises incoming legislative candidates on politics and lobbying as part of the Sacramento Decision Makers panel.

In addition, Mr. Quintana has been featured on Comcast NewsMakers to discuss numerous topics of interest in California politics. Local and national news organizations frequently turn to Mr. Quintana for his opinions and perspectives on politics and policy in California. Quoted and used as a resource by every major news source on the West Coast, David Quintana is a highly sought-after voice on the innerworkings and battles in Sacramento.

MARK WATTS
PARTNER

Mark Watts has served as a leading transportation advocate since 1999 and has managed advocacy and consulting services that specializes in transportation, energy project funding, and project implementation. Watts has served in a variety of capacities in state government and the private sector as a lobbyist as well.

In 1996, Mr. Watts served as the Chief of Staff for Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle spearheading the management of the California State Assembly.  This role involved management of several hundred Assembly staffers, management of the Assembly floor calendar, the policy and fiscal committee structure, and overall staffing.

Previously, Mr. Watts was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to serve as Undersecretary for Transportationfor the Business, Transportation & Agency in May 1994 with oversight responsibility for the California Department of Transportation, the California Highway Patrol, and the California Transportation Commission.

From 1988 to 1990 he served as Staff Directorfor the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means and as lead staff for the Budget Subcommittee on Transportation in California’s State Capitol.

Other experience includes: Various management staff positions at Caltrans from 1975 through 1985; Principal Consultant for the Assembly Ways and Means Committee; associate at a leading legislative advocacy firm from 1990 through 1994; and for a brief six-month period in 1995,

Watts served as Co-Chief Administrative Officer of the Assembly Rules Committee during the historic power-sharing arrangement between Republican Leader Brulte and Speaker Brown. Finally, Mr. Watts was co-Chair of Governor Schwarzenegger’s $20 billion transportation bond program known as Proposition 1B on the November 2006 General Election ballot, advising on campaign strategy and transportation program and policy issues.

AUDRA HARTMANN
PARTNER

Audra Hartmann specializes in providing strategic advice and advocacy on energy, natural resources, climate, and water policy. She brings a wealth of political and policy expertise to the field of government relations and lobbying, having worked in and with the California Legislature and state and local governments for the last 26 years.  Prior to founding Quintana, Watts & Hartmann, Audra was a principal with Smith, Watts & Hartmann, a Sacramento consulting and government relations firm.

Audra is known for having a deep understanding of energy and climate policy. Her experience in the field comes from having worked in-house for major energy companies such as NextEra Energy Resources, Dynegy, LS Power, and Duke Energy North America, representing the companies in several Western states, including: California, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming.  While representing these companies, Audra helped them navigate the state’s energy crisis; played a major role in the enactment of California’s Renewable Portfolio Standards legislation; was instrumental in the passage of key tax benefits legislation for renewable energy; defeated legislative attempts to impose additional visibility standards for new and existing meteorological (met) towers; and worked to modify rules on once-through cooling that impacted newer combined cycle power plants.

As a partner with Quintana, Watts & Hartmann, Audra represents clients before the California Legislature, the Governor, and state agencies such as the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission, California Air Resources Board, and California State Water Resources Control Board. Her work includes providing clients with advocacy, strategy and the latest information on energy and climate developments in California. Audra is one of the few consultants that provides advocacy and strategic advice on legislation and regulatory proceedings.

Before starting her career in the private sector, Audra held key staff positions in the California State Senate and was appointed by former Governor Pete Wilson to serve as Legislative Liaison to the California Public Utilities Commission, where she worked on energy, water, and telecommunications issues.

BILL BARNABY SR.
PARTNER

One of California’s preeminent experts on healthcare law and politics, Bill Sr. was the Chief Consultant for the state Senate’s Health Committee during the time Medi-Cal and other important healthcare laws were being written. Attracted to politics by the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy, Bill Sr. served on the Capitol Hill staff of a Congressman representing the Sacramento area. Returning to Sacramento due to family illness, he was a Consultant to the Assembly Ways & Means Committee, then Chief Consultant to the Assembly Education Committee, before moving to the state Senate. There, he served as Chief Consultant/Staff Director for the Senate Health & Welfare Committee. At the same time, he did political/election consulting, and helped produce the election-night coverage for Channel 10 (KXTV) in Sacramento. Bill Sr. also was appointed to Sacramento County Planning Commission, elected Chair during his last year of service.

In 1976 Bill Sr. was the first attorney hired as a lobbyist by the California Medical Association (CMA). In 1978 he formed his own lobbying firm and was initially retained by Ross Perot/Electronic Data Systems, contracted with CMA, developed a clientele with a focus on health issues, with forays into insurance, transportation, education, retail business and other issue areas.

Bill Sr. holds an Associate of Arts degree from Sacramento City College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Davis, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He has been admitted to practice law before the state and federal courts of California since 1974 and registered as a lobbyist since 1976.

BILL BARNABY JR.
PARTNER

Raised around politics since his father worked on Capitol Hill, Bill Jr. volunteered in political campaigns at an early age. After completing his undergraduate studies, he joined the firm full time in the early 1990s. Bill Jr. has developed policy expertise in many areas, represented a wide variety of client interests, and served as executive director to an association client of the firm from 2000 to 2008.

Bill Jr. holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from St. Mary’s College, a Juris Doctor degree from Lincoln Law School, and a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento. Bill Jr. is a graduate of the City of Sacramento Management Academy, has been registered as a lobbyist since 1990, admitted to practice law before the state and federal courts in California since 2000, and licensed as a California insurance agent/broker since 2010.

SEAN HENSCHEL
PARTNER

Prior to joining as a partner at QW&H, Sean founded his own firm: Henschel Governmental Affairs.  He has represented a wide range of clients, including Alta Motors, Amazon.com, American Medical Response, the California Responsible Recycling Alliance, Graphic Packaging International, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.  Most recently, Sean served as initiative proponent to California’s Proposition 11 (Nov.2018).  This leading role for one of the highest operating budgets of the California General Election resulted in a twenty-point victory for Sean and his client’s campaign team.

Sean Henschel began his career among the ranks of Capitol legislative staff.  Bringing almost twenty years of service in California state and county and city government, Sean has held management roles in the California State Senate and Assembly.  He has served as Chief of Staff to multiple members and as a senior consultant to Select Legislative Policy Committees. He has also worked in chief director roles for numerous political campaign offices, overseeing targeted voter outreach, registration data analysis, and large-scale advertising for all media platforms.

Sean has a proven ability to take legislation from concept to law; writing legislation to satisfy the needs of his clients and providing key testimony leading to its passage or intervening to change legislation that may have a negative impact.  With over 50 bills signed into law to his credit, Sean has delivered successful outcomes at all levels of government while maintaining positive working relationships across partisan lines.  He offers a commitment to give an absolute best effort with a firm devotion to success without forfeiting integrity.

Over the years, Sean has been invited to share his government expertise in front of numerous organizations.  He was recently named as the first Distinguished Speaker of 2018 for the Besant Hill School in Ojai, Ca.  Prior to that, he served as guest lecturer at the University of California Davis’s graduate course on Public Policy.  Having done his undergraduate work at Loyola Marymount University, Sean competed at the highest levels of Collegiate Parliamentary Debate earning rare entry into the National Championship Tournament in four consecutive years.

Sean lives with his wife and two sons just outside Sacramento.  When not walking the halls of the State Capitol, he can be found at the ballpark as an Elk Grove Youth Baseball coach or hiking a trail with his son’s Cub Scout Pack

MELANIE CUEVAS
MANAGING DIRECTOR

As the Managing Director of Quintana, Watts & Hartmann, Melanie Cuevas covers a wide breadth of high-profile issues, representing clients in legislative, regulatory, and political arenas, and providing each client with strategy development, policy analysis, relationship building, and direct lobbying services.

Ms. Cuevas has proven to be impactful in the State Budget process, an arena that few lobbyists venture into. When the Legislature eliminated funding for victims of human trafficking, Ms. Cuevas was the sole lobbyist in a difficult but ultimately successful effort to reinstate $10 million to the Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Fund, which administers competitive grants to 21 nonprofit organizations across California that specialize in human trafficking casework.

Prior to lobbying the Legislature, Ms. Cuevas served as a Legislative Aide in both the California State Senate and Assembly. She staffed an array of legislative proposals and policy areas, including the Governor’s Military Council, aerospace and military defense, veterans’ affairs, banking and finance, public safety, and arts and entertainment. In addition to the successful passage of Legislation, her achievements include partnering with the Microsoft Corporation to implement a STEM education program at K12 schools and membership on the California Aerospace Week planning committee.

Preceding her work in the Legislature, Ms. Cuevas worked in news media, serving as Editor to Dandelion Magazine, which caters to families living with special needs. Dandelion won prestigious PMA awards for Overall Writing and General Excellence during Ms. Cuevas’ tenure with the magazine.

Ms. Cuevas graduated with a degree in journalism and marketing from San Francisco State University where she was a member of the co-ed cheerleading team. She has coached cheerleading and dance teams, and spent four years dancing professionally, including two years with the Oakland Raiderettes, an internationally recognized public relations team, where she participated in philanthropic events, performances, community workshops, and media appearances on the local, national, and international levels.

This well-rounded work history allows Ms. Cuevas to seamlessly adapt to both her clients’ needs and the evolving and diverse

KARA CROSS
PRINCIPAL

Ms. Cross brings over 20 years of experience in government relations and legal work for virtually every aspect of the insurance industry.

Prior to joining Quintana, Watts & Hartman, Ms. Cross served as a legislative and regulatory advocate, and General Counsel, for the Personal Insurance Federation of California, a major insurance state trade association. Prior to that, she spent five years in-house for the California Dental Association, and 10 years in-house for State Farm Insurance government relations..

These years as both an advocate and counsel for two of the largest trade associations in California, and advocate and counsel for the nation’s largest personal lines insurer, provided her with not just an in depth understanding of the insurance industry and it many nuances, but also with state-regulated industries and the corporate world, in general.

The California wildfires of 2017 prompted a barrage of legislation relating to insurance and wildfire risk.  Ms. Cross was instrumental in leading the successful, industry-wide response to all 15 of the bills that were introduced that year.  Ms. Cross was also intricately involved in the legislative battle over the utilities’ liability and she served on the Governor’s Tree Mortality Task Force.  In 2013, Ms. Cross led the industry efforts in requiring companies such as Uber and Lyft to maintain insurance for their drivers.

Ms. Cross earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in Political Science/Public Service from the University of California Davis, and her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the University of San Francisco, School of Law.

Not just driven to succeed, she is driven to be the best in every endeavor she undertakes.  She has run 13 marathons, three in Boston. She continues to cycle and box.

CAITY MAPLE
PRINCIPAL

Caity is a Principal and Lobbyist for Quintana, Watts & Hartmann managing nearly 20 clients from a variety of sectors including cannabis, technology, animal welfare, and education. She represents clients in committee hearings and throughout the legislative process. In 2018, Caity successfully lobbied for cannabis delivery across California, as well as a ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

Prior to joining Quintana, Watts & Hartmann, Caity lobbied for The Quintana Cruz Company and Gonzalez, Quintana, Hunter, & Cruz after doing research and project management for the nonprofit California Forward. Prior to that she worked in the state Legislature.

During her time at California Forward, Caity managed a large research project funded by the James Irvine Foundation to assess how elections are funded nationwide and within California. She produced a 60-page report to inform policymakers on a new path forward for California’s elections, and spoke on this research at conferences across the state. She also provided expert testimony to the Joint Senate Elections and Budget Committees.

Caity is also a community advocate in her spare time. She has previously been the Vice President and Fundraising Director for the Fem Dems of Sacramento and a Gubernatorial Appointee to the 52nd Agricultural District. She is a Commissioner for the Ann Land & Bertha Henschel Memorial Funds Commission, a founding board member to the nonprofit WomenUp and to the UC Davis Capitol Alumni Group, and is a contributing editor for Sacramentality.com. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Davis.