WHO WE ARE
Adrian Hemond: Partner & CEO
Adrian Hemond is a seasoned political professional with a broad range of experience and expertise. A former political science instructor at Saginaw Valley State University, Hemond served as a lobbyist with Governmental Consultant Services, Inc (GCSI) from 2007 to 2012, specializing in appropriations, local government, regulatory affairs, and procurement.
Prior to GCSI, Hemond was lead staff to the Michigan House Appropriations Committee under then Chairman Rep. George Cushingberry, Jr. (D-Detroit), as well as staff to State Rep. Marsha Cheeks (D-Detroit). He is also a former account executive with Energy Systems Group (ESG), an energy performance contractor. Most recently, Hemond was Chief of Staff to the Michigan House Democratic Leader. Hemond holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Michigan State University, both in political science. In his spare time he is an avid traveler and reader of history, as well as a middling basketball player. Born in Detroit, he resides in Mason with his wife.
Dan McMaster: Partner & Chairman
Dan McMaster is the former director of the Michigan House Republican Campaign Committee and accomplished the objective of retaining majority in 2012 following a twenty seat pick up and winning of majority in 2010. With nearly 20 years of campaign and legislative experience, he has worked for both the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives, along with serving as political director for Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, and with the Michigan Bankers MIBank PAC.
As a local GOP activist, he has served on the Fourth Congressional Executive Committee, as chair of the Shiawassee County Republican Party, and also as county campaign chair for Bush/Cheney 2004 and McCain/Palin 2008. A graduate of Central Michigan University and St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge, England, he holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, history, and military science along with graduate work in defense and strategic studies.
McMaster currently resides in Owosso’s historic district with his wife and two sons. In his spare time, he is an active outdoorsman and works on the family farm in Clinton County, where his ancestral roots date to before the American Civil War.
Joshua Pugh: Director of Communication Strategy
An experienced writer, researcher, online media practitioner and field organizer, Josh has worked on electoral and issue campaigns at the local, state and national level. He has done extensive earned media work, speaking on the record and writing op-eds and press releases for the Michigan Democratic Party, Progress Michigan, the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art and dozens of clients and partners, as well as under his own name.
As a Field Organizer with Obama for America in 2008, Josh successfully led a voter registration and outreach campaign that delivered Gratiot County to the Democratic candidate for President for just the second time since the Civil War. Most recently he was Director of Communication at the Michigan Democratic Party, where he directed communication strategy for a broad coordinated campaign, managed earned, paid and digital media programs, and worked hard to promote the Democratic brand throughout Michigan.
In his spare time Josh volunteers on the Steering Committee for the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art, guiding fundraising and PR strategy and directing a team of volunteers for three major summer events in Lansing. Josh lives in Lansing’s Old Town neighborhood, and is passionate about the Detroit Lions, online campaign tools, strong cities, and the Oxford Comma.
Brian Began: Elections & Research Director
Brian Began comes to Grassroots Midwest from the Michigan House Republican Caucus, where he and McMaster led the redistricting effort following the 2010 decennial census, as well as assisting Republican State Representatives and candidates in meeting voter/constituent contact goals. Brian is known to insiders as a top researcher, data manager, and voter contact coordinator. In addition to his work with the Michigan House Republicans, he has done policy and quantitative research for the Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University from 2009-2010, and the Michigan Republican Party from 2007-2008.
Prior to his stint with the Michigan Republican Party, Brian was a researcher with the House Republican Campaign Committee, where he specialized in opposition research and messaging research from 2003-2005. Brian also has extensive experience with recalls, special elections and primary races. In his free time, he enjoys fishing and attending sporting events, especially to watch his beloved Michigan State University Spartans. He resides in DeWitt.
Seth Burroughs: Outreach Coordinator
Seth Burroughs is an experienced field director with an extensive background working in electoral politics at the local, state, and national level. He spent the past four years running field operations in Missouri, Virginia, Florida, New York, and Texas. Prior to his work in electoral politics, Seth worked as a policy staffer in Washington, DC, where he focused on labor, education, telecommunications, and the federal budget.
Seth holds a B.A. in communications from Michigan State University and is also a graduate of the University of Montana, with a B.A. in political science. He recently moved back to Michigan after having spent the previous decade in Washington, DC.
In his spare time, Seth is a music and film nerd who spends too much time in movie theaters.
Steve Heikkinen: Communications & Marketing Strategist
Steve Heikkinen is an accomplished media relations specialist with nearly a decade of professional experience behind the scenes of Michigan’s state government, serving in both partisan and nonpartisan roles. Known for his talents as a communicator since he began with the Michigan House of Representatives in 2007, Steve has spent the majority of his career managing and advising on countless key legislative and political communications for members of the House Republican caucus. His subsequent work in private sector insurance honed his focus on results and personal service, both of which he now leverages to the benefit of Grassroots Midwest’s growing clientele.
An MSU Spartan and Metro Detroit native with roots in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Steve is passionate about the welfare of his home state and its residents. His reputation as a engaging political mind is coupled with a deep respect for individuals and the relationships necessary for success.
When he’s not waxing philosophical about the issues of the day, Steve enjoys pop culture, spending time with his loved ones, useless trivia, and black coffee.