Chuck Coughlin is CEO and President of HighGround, Inc. He founded the Company 25 years ago as a political consulting firm specializing in campaign management.  Today, the firm has a full palate of public affairs professionals from lobbying, communication, public opinion polling, social media and campaign management. Coughlin is a five-time winner as Arizona’s “Best Political…

Chief Operating Officer

Douglas Cole is HighGround’s Chief Operating Officer.  He joined the firm in 1998 after serving as a top staffer in the Arizona House of Representatives, Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Fife Symington, Press Secretary to Congressman John Rhodes III and staff assistant to Congressman John McCain.  While Cole has been a key participant in many…

Senior Vice President - Research & Strategy

Paul Bentz, Senior Vice President ‐ Research & Strategy, specializes in public opinion surveys and is three-time winner of “Best Pollster” by the Arizona Capitol Times.  He has nearly two decades of experience in strategy, messaging, and campaign management. Mr. Bentz has performed survey research for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, school districts, business organizations,…

Senior Vice President - Governmental Affairs

Scott A. Smith, Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs, has nearly 30 years of experience working in and around state government and on policy and legislative matters at the Arizona State Legislature.  Scott has been nominated as the “Best Lobbyist” by the Arizona Capitol Times and is a recipient of the AZ Tax Research Good…

Public Affairs Consulting - General Counsel Emeritus

Patrick J. Cunningham brings 32 years of public sector experience to public affairs consulting at HighGround, and he specializes in the natural resource and water policy arena. Patrick was Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality from 2003 through 2009, and worked for 12 years in the Arizona AG’s office as Chief Counsel, of…

Senior Government Affairs Executive

Jessica Blazina, Senior Government Affairs Executive, has more than 20 years of experience working in local and state government in Arizona.  She is the latest addition to the the HighGround lobbying team – bringing capacity and assisting the firm in developing deeper relationships and improving client services for new and existing clients. She has worked…

Account Executive - Social Media & Public Relations

Barrett Coughlin, Account Executive – Social Media & Public Relations, serves as HighGround’s liaison between the firm’s longstanding reputation and the new digital realm of politics, exemplifying the importance of a multipronged approach to both social media and traditional forms of PR. Ms. Coughlin has a distinctive capacity to employ the art of influence by…

Account Executive

Pat Barrett, Account Executive, has worked as a political consultant and government affairs specialist across the state since 2012. Pat’s work has helped elect candidates at nearly every level of government, pushed government relation projects across Arizona, and earned national awards. His experience has also built strong connections to Democratic leaders and labor unions, manifested…

Office Manager

Robyne Richards has 14 years of legislative experience. At the state legislature, she worked directly with members of both chambers in the areas of commerce, natural resources and military. Ms. Richards is responsible for managing the office and supporting team members in government affairs. She is actively involved in local fundraising efforts and serves on…

Chief Encouragement Officer (CEO) & Relaxation Coordinator

Hamilton, Chief Encouragement Officer (CEO) & Relaxation Coordinator, joined HighGround in December of 2017.  Prior to joining the team, Ham served as a young “adopt don’t shop” advocate as part of Almost There Foster Care.