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Learn about the MWD Financing Team at The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Mr. Smalls was appointed in March 2021 to the position of Manager of Treasury and Debt Management in the Office of the CFO. In this role, Mr. Smalls leads a team responsible for cash management, investment portfolio management, treasury operations, debt issuance and management, property tax program management, and administration of the District's Procurement Card (P-Card) program. Mr. Smalls has had a 30-year career in municipal finance as a municipal advisor, state agency executive director, and wholesale/investment banker. Before Metropolitan, Mr. Smalls served as head of California Public Finance at several large and boutique investment banking firms. Mr. Smalls was a generalist banker, assisting with municipal infrastructure bond financing of over $20 billion as lead or co-senior manager and over $160 billion as co-manager. Mr. Smalls previously worked in the public sector as Executive Director of the California Pollution Control Financing Authority, an appointed position by the California State Treasurer. Mr. Smalls also served as Assistant Vice President/Deputy Director of Policy, Research & Planning for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. Mr. Smalls began his professional career as a municipal advisor with Public Financial Management, where he served a broad array of municipal clients, including cities, counties, special districts, transportation agencies, and toll road agencies throughout California. Mr. Smalls is an alumnus of CORO’s Leadership Southern California leadership development program and has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies cum laude from Harvard College.
Ms. Kasaine is responsible for directing Metropolitan’s financial activities, including accounting and financial reporting, debt issuance and management, financial planning and strategy, managing Metropolitan’s investment portfolio, budget administration, financial analysis, financial systems management, and developing rates and charges. In addition, she is responsible for human resources, administrative services, Board Administration, risk management, and business continuity activities. Before joining Metropolitan in August 2019, Ms. Kasaine worked at the City of Oakland for 25 years, holding various leadership positions, notably as the city’s Finance Director/Treasurer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Dominican University in San Rafael, California and a master’s degree in public health from Loma Linda University.
Adam Benson is the group manager of finance for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He is responsible for directing Metropolitan’s financial activities, including accounting and financial reporting; debt issuance and management; planning and strategy; risk management; management of Metropolitan’s investment portfolio; budget administration; financial analysis; financial systems; development of rate and charges; and business continuity.
Prior to joining Metropolitan in April 2023, Benson was the budget administrator and finance director/treasurer with the city of Oakland, where he oversaw the city’s multi-billion dollar operating and capital budget and directed all activities of the finance department, including treasury, revenue, controller and budget. He has 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, providing strategic financial, budgetary and workforce consulting services.
Benson earned his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor’s degree in political science from George Washington University. Benson is also a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist through the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plan.
Mr. van den Berg directs the preparation and tracking of Metropolitan’s $4B Biennial Budget including the operating and capital budgets, long-range financial projections, developing water rates and charges and revenue projections to fund the operating and capital budgets and recommends adjustments as necessary to meet long and short term financial objectives. In addition, Mr. van den Berg coordinates financial activities and operations with other departments in support of Metropolitan’s major initiatives. Mr. van den Berg has 24 years of experience working at Metropolitan for both Planning & Resources and the Office of the CFO. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University.
Bernadette Robertson is the first female Controller at Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She is responsible for maintaining Metropolitan’s official accounting records, cash control and accounting services related to vendor, payroll and other payments. She is also responsible for developing and maintaining accounting guidelines and policies for accurate and timely financial reporting as well as accounting for all assets, liabilities, revenues and expenditures.
Prior to joining Metropolitan, Bernadette worked as an auditor performing audits of organizations in various industries. She also held various accounting and financal positions at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, American Express Financial Advisors and California Pizza Kitchen.
Bernadette earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Woodbury University and is a certified public accountant.