Highwood Capital

McCray is the Chief Executive Officer of Highwood Capital, LLC, with extensive experience and knowledge in National Fundraising/Development, being heavily involved with development for political, business and non-profit entities - consulting for/or previously for significant non-profits such as the PGA Tour and its First Tee and Birdies for the Brave non-profits, the Washington Caps & Wizards, the Bipartisan Policy Center (Majority Leaders Bob Dole & Tom Daschle’s non-profit), the Eno Transportation Center, the Washington-Ireland Program, Thanks-USA – veterans non-profit, the American Tort Reform Association, a healthcare non-profit aimed to lower defensive medicine, the Monique Burr Foundation – an anti-bullying non-profit focused on empowering children and teachers, along with hosting an event for Pope Benedict, XVI during his U.S. visit.

Further, McCray actively advises or has advised numerous U.S. Senators, Governors, presidential campaigns, national coalitions, and corporations in the business and political arenas, including Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Jon Huntsman, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Crapo (R-I.D), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Bob Bennett (R-UT), John McCain (R-AZ), among many other statewide politicians and candidates.

Previously, McCray served as the Deputy National Finance Director for John McCain’s presidential campaign, where he actively managed a 50-state finance strategy. Prior to a brief stint at the National Republican Senatorial Committee running the major donor program, McCray served on the Senior Staff of U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) as General Counsel and as a Strategic Advisor for the Senator’s re-election campaign. McCray actively advised the Senator on legislative strategy and served as a principal liaison to industry groups. McCray developed deep connections with the majority of the Republican Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Senators, and he established significant contacts nationally with industries across the board. McCray has set historic fundraising records in Montana, Kansas, Utah and North Dakota.

Before working for Senator Burns, McCray practiced corporate law in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the international law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP and in Washington, D.C. at the law firm of Dow Lohnes & Albertson, PLLC in the areas of Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity/Finance - advising senior corporate executives, management teams and boards of directors on corporate governance, acquisition guidance, and private equity and venture capital financing arrangements.

Hailing originally from a cattle ranch in Geyser, Montana, McCray attended Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, where he obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Communications, with Highest Honors. While at MSU, Jim served as MSU’s Student body President and the President of the Montana Associated Students, representing all public universities in Montana and actively worked with the Montana Board of Regents, the State Legislature and Montana Governor Marc Racicot.

In addition, McCray founded the MSU Leadership Institute - an institute dedicated to helping students develop leadership, management and communication skills to effectively enable them to succeed in their personal and professional endeavors. McCray chaired the National Advisory Board from 2000-2005. The MSU Leadership Institute continues to thrive today, with an active leadership and development program and brings in renowned world leaders such as the former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Lech Walesa and Maya Angelou. After college, McCray attended Vanderbilt University School of Law, in Nashville, Tennessee, graduating with his Doctor of Jurisprudence in May, 2000. While at Vanderbilt, McCray served as Managing Editor for and was published in the Vanderbilt Law Review.

McCray presently serves as the Vice Chairman of St. Vincent Hospital’s Foundation Board, a Trustee of Vanderbilt University Law School’s National Advisory Board of Advisors; and Chairman of the National Advisory Board to the Dog Tag Brewing Foundation, dedicated to helping military families nationwide.

Brad Wilson joined Highwood Capital, LLC in June of 2012. Brad brings to Highwood Capital, nearly ten years of political strategy and fundraising experience, as well as an intimate knowledge of Capitol Hill. Prior to joining Highwood Capital, Brad served as the State Director for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) for eight years. In that role, he served as the main liaison between the State Of Alabama and Washington, D.C., along with running Sen. Shelby’s successful 2010 re-election campaign.

Brad has served as the Special Advisor for Congressional Affairs for the Delta Regional Authority, an eight state regional economic development agency comprising of eight states including Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. At DRA, Brad oversaw all federal government relations and greatly expanded the agency’s profile both in the region, as well as on Capitol Hill, by expanding the agency’s budget and involvement with over six federal agencies.

Brad previously served as Political Director for the Alabama Republican Party during the 2004 Election, where he orchestrated an unprecedented sweep of Republican seats on all levels of the ballot. Brad is a 2004 graduate of The University of Alabama, where he served as the President of the Interfraternity Council, as well as the Jason’s Men’s Honorary. Brad was born and raised in Dothan, AL.

Since joining Highwood Capital, LLC, Brad has worked with and consulted on a wide variety of clients, including The Eno Center for Transportation, a neutral, nonpartisan, transportation based think tank, The PGA Tour’s veteran’s outreach project, Birdies for the Brave, Congressman Connie Mack’s campaign for the U.S. Senate and U.S. Sen. John Hoeven from North Dakota.

Alex joined Highwood Capital, as an Associate, in May of 2016. He is currently active with PGA of America and its charitable initiatives – PGA REACH, the Bipartisan Policy Center, ENO Center for Transportation, Montana U.S. Senator Steve Daines, along with Virginia State Senator Jill Vogel, who is running for Lieutenant Governor. Further, Alex serves an integral role in working directly with Highwood Capital’s CEO in directing and executing strategy and business development for the firm.

Separate from Highwood Capital, Alex manages, integrates and executes the social media platform for the Great Northern Brewery & Blackstar Draft House, located in Whitefish, Montana. Working with the two General Partners, Alex also assists in real estate development of Hungry Horse Capital Partners, a 92-acre land development located close to the entrance of Glacier National Park.

Prior to joining Highwood Capital, Alex worked on Capitol Hill for U.S. Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, the only Seal Team 6 Commander to presently serve in the U.S. Congress. As part of his staff, Alex worked directly with the Chief of Staff and interacted daily with Montana constituents, researching about local and national legislative issues.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Alex grew up and went to high school in Whitefish, Montana. Alex received his Bachelor of Arts in Business, with a focus in Finance, from the University of San Diego. He enjoys playing soccer, golf, skiing, and spending time on Whitefish Lake.

Michael Stevenson is a Managing Principal for the Bannack Group. He has over 20 years of experience in building and leading high performing teams across multiple industries. A visionary leader and strategist, Stevenson has served the nonprofit industry as chief executive, development executive, front line fundraiser, and campaign strategist.

Stevenson also serves as a Vice President and Senior Systems Methodologist for Highwood Capital – a national political, business, and 501(c)(4) nonprofit consulting firm headquartered in Washington D.C. He oversees the development and delivery of data analytics and business intelligence services to clients engaged in national political, non-profit, or private campaign activities.

Prior to joining Highwood Capital and forming the Bannack Group, Stevenson served as the President and CEO of the Montana State University Alumni Foundation which experienced unprecedented growth and transformation during his tenure. In seven years, his team grew from 15 to 90 employees, the organization’s net assets increased nearly 60%, and annual fundraising levels more than quadrupled – all despite the challenges of two economic downturns. In 2011 and 2014, respectively, the foundation team secured two historic gifts of $25 million and $50 million in support of the university. Stevenson also oversaw the successful merger of the Montana State University Alumni Association and Montana State University Foundation, as well as the launch of the Montana State University Innovation Campus.

When describing his leadership style GALLUP® writes, “[He] has the ability to peer into the future and see what is possible, to think about all the factors that might affect a situation, and to figure out how all the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.”

Stevenson grew up on his family’s cattle ranch in the Judith Basin and is the great-grandson of Montana homesteaders. In his youth, Stevenson served as a national FFA officer – becoming one of only two Montanans to serve the National FFA Organization in this capacity since the mid 1950's. Today, he continues to serve these youth organizations as a volunteer and was elected to the Board of Directors of the Montana 4-H Foundation in July 2014.

Stevenson is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics and earned a M.S. in International Studies, summa cum laude. He is a Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society inductee and an alumnus of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity.

Preston Kerr joined Highwood Capital, LLC in May of 2014. Preston brings to Highwood Capital, five years of political strategy, legislative relations and fundraising experience, as well as an intimate knowledge of Capitol Hill.

Preston began his career in D.C. by serving as an aide in multiple roles to U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). He worked on both political and legislative affairs in the Senator’s personal office and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). Following the Senate, Preston rounded out his Hill experience by assisting U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) while he chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Rules Committee. He has also held internships in the offices of U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Wiley Rein, LLP and Ernst & Young.

Since joining Highwood Capital, Preston has worked on a diverse variety of clients including the PGA Foundation, Big Game Forever and Monumental Sports & Entertainment (Washington Capitals and Wizards). Further, Preston has advised and played integral parts on consulting teams for statewide U.S. Senate campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Montana.

Preston earned his Bachelor of Arts from Furman University, with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Business Administration. During his time at Furman, he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order. Preston grew up in Dallas, Texas and graduated from Highland Park High School.