The Markham Group Team
Paul Neaville, Partner
Paul brings extensive political experience at the international, national and local levels and heads the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He has built and utilized grassroots coalitions for clients from the courthouse to the White House, and he has earned a formidable reputation by formulating political strategy and building local coalitions in numerous states across the country.
Paul is also one of the premier event architects in the nation.
Getting his start working for Clinton/Gore ’96 and Gore 2000, he still does presidential advance when he finds the time. Building events for non-profits and organizations, Paul helps them think through all the details, from communicating their message on camera, to managing show flow.
A native of Rogers, Arkansas, Paul received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Arkansas and a master’s in Public Administration from Syracuse University. When he isn’t working, he debates whether to convert from blackberry to iPhone and leads rigorous trainings, teaching his kids Evie and Cal how to “call the hogs.”
Greg Hale, Partner
Greg excels at maximizing public relations opportunities and creating world-class events for political, corporate, and non-profit clients at the local, state, national, and international levels. Whether launching a gubernatorial campaign, or coordinating part of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first visit to the United States, Greg delivers events with impact.
Greg gained invaluable experience working in communications, scheduling and advance for the Clinton Administration. He has worked on four presidential campaigns, most recently serving as Trip Director for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign. In 2006, he directed the Arkansas Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign, resulting in victories straight down the ballot for Arkansas Democrats. Greg has also organized multiple events to raise awareness and support for the internationally recognized ONE Campaign, including a series of high-level delegation trips to Africa. In addition, Greg has managed events and advance operations for corporate clients, including the Discovery Channel and Ford Motor Company.
The DeQueen, Arkansas, native has strong roots in South Arkansas, where he’s a third-generation cattle farmer. In 2009, Governor Mike Beebe appointed Greg to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission.
Greg lives in Little Rock with his wife, Mica, and stepson, Eli. He has a Political Science degree from the University of Arkansas.
Robert McLarty, Partner
Learning firsthand from then-Governor Bill Clinton in the 1980s, McLarty became a student of political strategy. Those early experiences have helped guide and shape McLarty throughought his political career, which spans almost 20 years here in the United States and in over 15 countries worldwide.
With four U.S. presidential campaigns under his belt, McLarty returned to Arkansas in 2003 and focused his attention on the political climate in his home state. That included directing a winning strategy that garnered over 70% percent for then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Since 2004, McLarty has worked on over 100 campaigns across Arkansas and the rest of the country. From urban areas in the Northeast, to Delta states in the traditional South, McLarty’s fingerprints are visible. However, his efforts do not stop at the U.S. borders. McLarty recently helped rebrand a struggling Presidential campaign in Tbilisi, Georgia, by introducing retail politics, thus helping President Mikheil Saakashvili win a seven-person race without a runoff.
From winning big city mayoral races without a runoff, to building a sporting venue, to changing the form of government, McLarty has helped shape the state of affairs throughout Arkansas. McLarty’s work has included campaigns for President, Congress, Parliament, the state legislature and local economic development efforts across Arkansas and the United States. His most recent work includes wins with the Little Rock Sales Tax (55%) – an effort that hadn’t been successful in over 20 years, and economic development issue campaigns in Jefferson County (67%), West Memphis (77%) and Newport (75%). McLarty also helped pass the measures to build Dickey Stephens Baseball Park, change the form of government in Little Rock in 2007, and to overwhelmingly pass games of skill at Southland Greyhound Park.
Overall, McLarty has directly consulted on over 100 races in Arkansas, with a winning percentage of 76%. He currently serves as a featured political analyst for Arkansas politics, contributing periodically to the Southern Political Report, Politico, The Hill, Congressional Quarterly, and the St. Petersburg Times.
McLarty earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Arkansas. Robert is married to Jessie McLarty. Together they have one daughter, Allie Jane.
Ben Thielemier, Associate
Ben Thielemier has enjoyed great success on a variety of fronts as part of the MG team. He’s worked on more than 50 local campaigns across the state, from his home turf of Northeast Arkansas, to the Ozarks in the West. Ben has shown versatility, running the firm’s direct mail program (overseeing production of hundreds of thousands of pieces of mail), having run field campaign and grassroots community outreach (leading dozens of paid and volunteer workers), and having worked press relations and social media (generating numerous press reports and engaging people online). As the firm’s longest-serving associate, he has achieved successful results for a multitude of clients in political, non-profit, and corporate sectors.
Prior to joining the firm, Ben worked for Michigan Clean Water Action, traveled as part of Hillary Clinton’s presidential primary campaign advance staff, and interned for the Arkansas General Assembly. Raised on a farm in Pocahontas, Arkansas, Ben received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.
Bruce Sinclair, Associate
Bruce developed his experience in direct voter contact, targeting and finance while working for campaigns and political committees across the South. In 2010, Bruce served as Director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas Coordinated Campaign operation that served to re-elect Governor Mike Beebe – the only contested Democratic constitutional officer to win reelection in the southern United States that year. In 2008, he served as GOTV Director for Barack Obama’s Campaign for Change in New Mexico. He previously worked as the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, as well as consultant for strategic planning in Arkansas for the Democratic Governors Association. In 2006, he was the Deputy Director for Arkansas Victory 2006, where he developed field and targeting strategies that resulted in a clean sweep of all Constitutional offices in the state of Arkansas, led by Governor Mike Beebe, and picking up three seats in the Arkansas House of Representatives. In 2005, Bruce directed the field program for Virginia Victory 2005, the campaign to elect Tim Kaine, Governor of Virginia.
Bruce holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University and received his undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. He is the Director of Political Affairs, focusing on political, non-profit and corporate clients and is based out of the office in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Rigg, Associate
Sarah Rigg splits her time between planning logistics for Markham Group’s nationwide events and developing fundraising strategy for our local political clients. Sarah’s versatility and attentive customer service skills are an asset to our political, corporate, and non-profit clients. Her fundraising experience stems from work as finance manager in the winning campaign for Arkansas Attorney General, as well as managing statewide fundraising and event logistics in the 2010 race for lieutenant governor.
Sarah started with Markham Group in 2009 as an intern, and since coming on full-time in 2010, has served in diverse positions throughout the company.
Sarah is a native of North Little Rock and attended Hendrix College in Conway, earning a degree in International Relations and Economics. She is currently a candidate for a Juris Doctorate degree at the William H. Bowen School of Law.
Abigail Kate Reaves, Associate
Abbie is Markham Group’s resident CPA and bookkeeper. She started her career at a local CPA firm after graduating college in 1996. In the Spring of 2000, she made the move to specialize in tax.
Abbie joined Markham Group in January 2012, where she no longer has to work a tax season – ever again.
Abbie attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where, she earned her Bachelor’s degree. She is a Little Rock native.
Jason Chung, Associate
Jason contributes valuable national and international campaign experience. He worked as a full-time national advance staffer in President (then-Senator) Obama’s general election campaign for president and for nearly a year before that in that same capacity for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. He also served as a campaign consultant in the 2009 Romanian presidential election. As a researcher for the Library of Congress’ Federal Research Division, he researched and authored a variety of comprehensive reports on key socioeconomic and geological subjects, including a series on shipping and port security throughout the developing world. Jason also interned with the Democratic National Committee within their technology department assisting the team there with micro-targeting research and voter pattern modeling. Based in our Washington DC office, Jason has a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in History from Virginia Tech.
Maria is the Markham Group’s data expert when it comes to tracking and handling nationwide events while also managing the DC office. Her expertise in research and strategic project management is an asset for our political, non-profit, and corporate clients. Before working for the Markham Group, Maria worked at the Missouri School Boards’ Association, analyzing strategic plans, writing procedure manuals, and managing fundraisers for the organization.
Maria graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in International Studies. Her dual degree allowed her to study abroad in Alicante, Spain where she perfected her Spanish language while learning about commerce in the EU. Maria was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and is an avid Blues fan.
Matt Giobbi is a ten-year veteran of working in the political campaign, non-profit and association world. He specializes in creating, implementing, and supervising earned media and communications opportunities. Matt has worked extensively with the Markham Group since 2006, including trip directing the “Operation Free” national tour, which was selected as Best Public Affairs Campaign at the 2011 Reed Awards by Campaigns and Elections magazine.
As a veteran of five Presidential campaigns, five US Senate races and three gubernatorial contests, Matt knows how to quickly and seamlessly integrate with partnering organizations and groups. In addition to working around the country for Obama for America Hillary Clinton for President and the DNC, Matt was the Senior National Advance Lead for John Edwards for President. He has also played key roles in the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge’s event with Service Nation in Los Angeles in 2011, Michelle Obama’s MissionServe launch event in 2009, and the US Chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair initiative.
Matt is based out of the Washingon, DC office where he lives with his wife Alicia and their dog Molly. He has his B.S. in Political Science and Business Administration from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.