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…

Senior Vice President -Governmental Affairs

Nick Ponder, Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs, has nearly two decades of experience working in state and local governments in Arizona and New York City.  Mr. Ponder has been nominated for “Best Lobbyist Under 40” and “Best Government Lobbyist” by the Arizona Capitol Times. Prior to joining HighGround, Nick served as Legislative Director for…

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…

Senior Account Executive - Social Media & Public Relations

Barrett Coughlin, Senior 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…

Account Executive

Keeley Gibbs, Account Executive, brings her unique background in design, web development, and programming to support HighGround’s public affairs and government affairs clients.  Prior to joining the team, Ms. Gibbs worked as a government relations specialist at the Arizona State Legislature where she studied the legislative process and worked closely with legislators on behalf of…

Account Executive

Rex Bartlett, Account Executive, joins HighGround to work on projects to serve one of his biggest passions – the State of Arizona. Born and raised in Pinal County, he has a deep knowledge and respect for the agricultural and rich rural heritage of Central Arizona. Having studied Political Science and Communications at Boise State University…

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…