Ed B

Ed B

Centrist Project Founding Member
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Tell us about yourself: who you are, where you're from, etc.

The Bothell resident, who currently works at Saint Martin’s University as the Vice President of Finance, General Counsel and Assistant Professor of Business, focusing on Finance and Law, joined the University during the spring 2016 semester. Ed brings more than 20 years of turnaround management, financial and executive management experience to Saint Martin’s and has managed a broad range of financial roles — from leading and managing accounting and finance teams, audit preparation, management and design, bookkeeping and tax preparation, risk management, underwriting and modeling functions of a large consumer credit debt buyer to equity structured finance commitments, as well as overseeing multiple audits for PCI DSS compliance and SAS 70 certification.

Additionally, Ed is the Managing Director and co-Founder of Clarity Energy Consulting, LLC. Clarity Energy Consulting, delivers strategic comprehensive supply and demand energy risk management solutions. The Clarity team provides time tested, innovative, bottom-line focused results for under-served mid-market sectors across industry verticals. Ed focuses on structured finance, sales and general management, legal and compliance consulting services for both Clarity and its Clients.

Before joining Saint Martin’s University, Barton worked with small and mid-sized businesses, providing consulting on financial operations and transactions structuring with CFO Selections in Bellevue, Washington. Prior to CFO Selections, Barton was president and chief operating officer of G2 Web Services. As the head of G2 Web Services, he was responsible for managing the performance of the company and corporate strategy. Barton oversaw all facets of the G2 business, including sales, marketing, finance, technology and the delivery of exemplary client service and support. Prior to becoming president, Barton led G2’s finance, legal and human resources teams as vice president of finance, where he worked on multi-national tax and accounting issues, advanced financial modeling, banking relationships, purchase accounting, and tax and compliance reporting.

Barton has also served as CFO and then as president and chief executive officer at B-Line, LLC, a leading purchaser of consumer bankrupt accounts. At B-Line, he oversaw the underwriting and purchase of more than $45 billion worth of bankruptcy receivables, grew their client base of top-tier U.S. banks by 65 percent and managed the development of an integrated, multivariate, risk-scoring model for underwriting loan portfolios. Additionally, as CFO, he led multiple rounds of private equity investment in the company and secured nearly $1 billion in structured financing with lenders around the globe.

As chief financial officer at private-equity backed Lone Star Steakhouse, he restructured corporate finances to successfully lead the company through a financial crisis, including multi-site sale-leaseback transactions, development and evaluation of profitability metrics for four-wall restaurant performance, and inventory controls and standard costing models.

Before moving to Seattle, he held a number of financial consulting roles, including multi-state tax preparation, professional services financial management, and project management and process design. Ed also served as an Army engineer officer, which sparked his passion for operational efficiency.

Active in his community, Barton served as a City of Mill Creek Planning Commissioner for 5 years, as an elected member of the Snohomish County Charter Review Commission, and as a member of the Snohomish County Historical Preservation Commission. He also served on the Board of Managers for the Northshore YMCA, and as Treasurer for the Skyview Junior High School PTSA. He also ran for the Washington State Legislature in 2014, and was endorsed by the Seattle Times.

Ed earned a Juris Doctor from Northwestern California University, a Master in Business Administration from Syracuse University Martin Whitman School of Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance & accounting from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master Certificate in Six Sigma from Villanova University, and is currently studying for an LL.M. in Legal Theory and History at the University of London.

An attorney licensed to practice in the State of California, the Federal Courts in the Southern District of California and as House Counsel in Washington State, he is also a Washington State licensed certified public accountant, a chartered financial analyst since 1998 and is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute. Ed is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Bar Association, the Energy Bar Association, The Environmental Law Institute, the Turnaround Management Association, and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

What does being a "Centrist" mean to you, and why did you get involved?

Pragmatism - looking for a middle way that recognizes that there are many ways to solve a problem. Listening to all sides, understanding the issues, focusing on a constitutionally proper and inclusive problem solving process is the best way to really help our country and our communities.

What is a policy issue you are passionate about and why?

Fiscal moderation and economic development - with these issues under control in a pragmatic way, we will see economic growth which will benefit everyone.

How do you think we can unite our country and fix our politics?

Through constructive conflict and discourse, searching for pragmatic solutions and moderation in policies.

Anything else you'd like to add?

While I've been a Reagan Republican since I could vote, we need a more pragmatic approach than the current parties are willing to provide. The system is designed to favor both incumbent officials and the current two-party structure. Centrism transcends party - and you could be a D, R or I and still be centrist...but it is getting harder to be active in the party and maintain that centrist position.