Our Team

The California Capitol Connection

Senior Partner
Paul Gladfelty

Paul Gladfelty is a senior partner in The Apex Group. His government relations experience spans three decades having represented the interests of numerous corporations and trade associations on issues affecting California business. Mr. Gladfelty started his lobbying career in the 1970s representing the Service Employees International Union. After serving a short stint with organized labor, he transitioned to the employer community, representing the California Manufacturer’s Association.

Mr. Gladfelty spent almost a decade honing his skills as a lobbyist representing the manufacturing community, and rose to the rank of Vice President and Chief Lobbyist for what is now called the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. Also during that time, Mr. Gladfelty founded “Californians for Compensation Reform,” a broad based coalition of employers, local governments and insurance companies formed to improve the state’s workers’ compensation system.

In 1984, Mr. Gladfelty established Gladfelty Government Relations, and a few years later formed The Apex Group with his partner Dave Ackerman. Since that time, Mr. Gladfelty has successfully defended countless assaults on the business community, and has established himself as an extremely reputable, straight-talking lobbyist representing his clients on a wide variety of issues.

In 1986, Mr. Gladfelty established a successful legislative advocacy and consulting firm under Gladfelty Government Relations. As an independent contractor, Mr. Gladfelty has represented the interests of many Fortune 500 companies on a wide range of issues including environmental quality, energy, healthcare, construction law, land use, insurance and labor law.

Mr. Gladfelty’s educational credentials include a JD from McGeorge School of Law, and a BA in government from CSU, Sacramento. He is also a member of the Institute of Governmental Advocates.

Felipe Fuentes

Felipe Fuentes is a partner with The Apex Group.  He is a proven and tested leader with nearly twenty years of experience in various capacities with both state and local government.

Felipe most recently served as a member of the Los Angeles City Council. Elected in 2013, he chaired the Energy & Environment Committee, overseeing the Los Angeles Sanitation Bureau and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. He is the author of the LADWP governance reform ballot measure which will be placed before the voters in November, 2016.

In 2007, Felipe was elected in a special election to the California State Assembly where he chaired the Utilities & Commerce, Revenue & Taxation and Appropriations Committees.  He authored and influenced policy decisions in the Legislature spanning every aspect of state government.

Prior to running for the Assembly, Felipe was staff to the Mayor and Council President of Los Angeles. Working in both the legislative and executive branches of local government has given him the education and experience to be successful in public and governmental affairs. He served as Deputy Mayor to Mayor Hahn and Chief of Staff to Councilmember Alex Padilla. Felipe’s early work as staff in the second largest U.S. city allowed him to establish a wide network of allies, operatives and experts across California.

Through his career, Felipe has worked on scores of candidate and issue campaigns. He has a reputation for a “hands on” approach to campaign work, and is literate in polling, media, communications and focus group methodology.

In addition to Felipe’s governmental experience, he has an MBA from the Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University, and holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Bret Gladfelty

Bret Gladfelty is an Associate of The Apex Group as a governmental advocate specializing in technology, finance and tax related issues.

Bret started his advocacy role in 2012 working as an innovation analyst and advocate for Innovation State. He published several white papers promoting the benefits of doubling California’s research and development tax credit (RDC) and streamlining federal compliance for RDC sunset dates. This idea was first introduced into the California State Legislature in 2013. AB 653 (Perez) introduced the concept of doubling the R&D tax credit along with several other concepts for promoting innovation policy as a single package entitled the “California Innovation Jobs Act.”

In 2016, Bret drafted legislation to create the implementation of a state operated digital identity program for California residents. This was introduced as AB 1296 (Quirk-Silva), which would require the Secretary of Government Operations to appoint 10 people to serve as the members of the task force. The bill would require the task force to study the development of an e-identity program within California and to report its findings to the Legislature.

Prior to joining The Apex Group in 2017, Bret co-founded “,” a public benefit corporation, focused on creating the first “Issues and Solutions” civic tech platform to help local leaders identify issues through community voting and create a dialog regarding possible solutions to community driven issues.

Bret is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a Bachelors of Science in Finance and with Minors in Philosophy and Economics in 2011.