Professional Qualifications

Karen Wendell began working at our firm in 1995.  She holds a B.A. degree from Carleton College and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University and graduated from Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts.  Early in her career, she studied at and graduated from the Institute for Paralegal Training and was also a Certified Management Consultant.

She became Chairman and Treasurer of our firm in 1998, upon the death of her father, our firm’s founder, David T. Wendell.  She is now Chief Executive Officer and Treasurer.  Prior to joining our firm, she was the Chief Financial Officer of a regional stock brokerage firm.  Her experience also includes investment banking.  She was a management consultant at the “Big 8” accounting firm Arthur Young & Company and then at Ernst & Young, after the acquisition by Ernst & Whinney.  She started her career at State Street Bank & Trust Co., first in the Estates and Trust Department and later in Trust Administration.

She is a member of the CFA Society Boston, the Boston Economic Club, the York Harbor Reading Room, the Portsmouth Yacht Club and the Cumberland Club in Portland, Maine.  She is a former Trustee of Strawbery Banke Museum and a past President and past Senior Director of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth and a past Assistant District Governor and past Group Study Exchange Chair of Rotary International’s District 7780.

Karen and her husband live in Dover on the Piscataqua River with their rescue dog, who returned the favor in July 2011 when she woke them up in the middle of the night, saving them from a massive fire.  Karen is an avid reader of biographies, history and philosophy and both she and her husband enjoy boating and gardening and are long-time automotive enthusiasts.  Before the fire, they raced her 2003 SVT Mustang Cobra and his 1999 SVT Lightning pickup truck at various autocross and on-track events on the East Coast.  Now they enjoy showing their classic 1965 Mustang Fastback (vintage burgundy) around New England.

William H.L. Mitchell (“Ledge”) joined our firm in 2011 upon the retirement of the last of his partners at Johnston Reid & Mitchell (“JR&M”), an investment counseling firm they established in 1985. Prior to founding JR&M, Ledge was a Vice President at David L. Babson & Company in Boston, Massachusetts and before that, a Vice President in the Trust Department at State Street Bank & Trust Company.

He is a 1962 graduate of Trinity College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. He served three years as an officer in the Naval Reserves, two aboard the USS Little Rock (CLG-4). In his final year of active duty he was assigned to a special task force convened by the Secretary of the Navy.  Ledge is a 40+ year member of the CFA Society Boston. He served as a Board member of the York (Maine) Hospital and chaired its Investment Committee. He is currently Treasurer of the York Country Club and sits on the Executive Committee.  He is a member and past President of The Fly Casters of Boston and a long-time member of The Anglers’ Club of New York.  He became Chairman of our company in 2017.

Reid V. Smith, CFA rejoined David Wendell Associates as a Senior Vice President in 2023, following an earlier, nine-year stint at the firm.  Reid’s role includes security analysis and portfolio management, disciplines in which he has 25 years of experience.  Prior to returning to David Wendell, Reid worked for seven years as a Portfolio Manager at R.M. Davis, Inc., and earlier career experience includes portfolio management at TD Bank, and institutional defined contribution retirement plan services at Scudder, Stevens & Clark.

Reid grew up in New Jersey, and migrated to the Boston area after graduating with a B.A. from Middlebury College in Vermont.  He now lives in southern New Hampshire, where he and his wife have raised three daughters.  Reid is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a member of the CFA Society Maine.  He serves on the Board of Directors and the finance committee at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH.  Outside of work, Reid enjoys getting outdoors and hiking, fishing, rowing and skiing.

Neil G. Bleicken joined our firm in 2016 and is now Senior Vice President.  His responsibilities include security analysis and portfolio management and he has almost 20 years of experience as a professional investor.  Neil was most recently a portfolio manager at Harvest Capital Management and Ropes & Gray and prior to those positions was an equity analyst for 15 years at two institutional investment firms and a regional brokerage firm.  He earned his B.A. from Georgetown University and his M.B.A. from Duke University.

Neil lives in Exeter, New Hampshire with his wife, their two young sons, and their two exceptionally good natured Italian Spinoni.  He believes in civic engagement and public service and has volunteered twice at Grand Canyon National Park, served at the White House on the National Security Council Staff, and currently serves on the Exeter Elementary School Board.  He also is a member of the CFA Society Boston.

Anne F. Farris joined our firm in 2008 and is now Senior Vice President of Operations.  She received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Towson University.  Prior to joining our firm, Anne spent ten years employed by Regulatory Compliance where she was Series 27 registered and served as Financial and Operations Principal for several broker dealers.  She also conducted anti-money laundering audits, responded to FINRA and SEC inquiries and provided compliance consulting to broker dealers.  Anne’s experience also includes six years as a business systems analyst in both the insurance and technology industries and seven years in public accounting.  In addition to collaborating on compliance issues, she maintains our portfolio management system and oversees portfolio transactions, invoicing and the production of client reports.  Anne became Vice President of Operations in 2018.

Anne resides in Derry, New Hampshire with her husband and has three grown children.  In her spare time she enjoys cooking, crafts and is an avid New England sports fan — much to the dismay of her family in Baltimore!

Lorrie L. Maker joined our firm in 2015 as Operations Assistant.  Lorrie brings over 30 years of administrative experience and served our country as a U.S. Marine.  She has a diverse background in areas such as seafood sales, town tax accounting, payroll and funding account management, and is eager to learn more about the financial services industry.  Lorrie resides in Newfields, New Hampshire with her husband Kenny, another U.S. Marine veteran, and her cat.  She has one grown daughter, Sarah, who resides in Kentucky.  Lorrie enjoys gardening, mountain biking, hiking and target shooting.

Laura Zabkar joined in 2016 as an Administrative Assistant.  Laura has over 25 years of Administrative and Program Assistant experience at Dover High School, Measured Progress and Liberty Mutual as well as a great deal of experience in the hospitality industry.  Laura graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Communication and an English minor.  She is a life-long resident of Dover where she lives with her husband.