President – Andrew Kovalcin
1st Vice President – Matthew Wise
Secretary – Michael Brairton
Treasurer – Chris May
VP of Membership – Brian Calabrese
VP of Fundraising – Phil Hoon
At-Large Board Member – Graham Hill
At Large Board Member – Chris Timmerman
At Large Board Member – Dennis Kirk
Chapter Advisor – Ben Cassidy
Andrew Kovalcin is a seasoned public affairs professional with over fifteen years of experience managing political, regulatory, and legislative issues for his clients which include fortune 500 companies. He currently serves as the principal of Advanced Advocacy, an independent advocacy and public affairs firm.
His diverse set of skills and experience come from his blend of work in Congress, agencies and trade associations and with state legislatures. Kovalcin has managed global coalitions, built national & international strategic alliance networks, acted as a national spokesperson and designed and implemented multifaceted issue advocacy campaigns. He has extensive experience engaging, organizing, and activating advocacy organizations, think tanks, academics, policy experts, and grassroots leaders.
As a passionate hunter, Andrew appreciates diverse hunting experiences while remaining dedicated to protecting the right to hunt and to promoting wildlife conservation worldwide.
Kovalcin attended North Carolina State University and currently resides on Capitol Hill.
Matt Wise grew up hunting the swamps and pine woods of South Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Mississippi, Matt moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as a Congressional Aide in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Matt currently works as a lobbyist whose duties include representing the rights of gun owners and sportsmen in America. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and their two small children.
Secretary – Michael Brairton
A native of Pittsford, NY, Michael A. Brairton grew up in the outdoors on the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario. He currently serves as the Senior Director of Government Relations for PSEG, a diversified energy company headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. His passion for the outdoors includes hunting, fishing, shooting sports or any other activities that allows him to be outdoors with family and friends. Michael is a life member of the NRA, and a member of SCI and Ducks Unlimited. He earned a BA in History from the University of Maryland University College. He resides in Arlington, VA with his wife and 2 kids.
Treasurer – Chris May
Chris May grew up in South Louisiana, where he became an avid outdoorsman while exploring the woods, swamps, and bayous that offered a myriad of opportunities to hone his skills as a hunter and conservation enthusiast. His love for the outdoors was a factor in his decision to attend The University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS. During his time in Oxford, Chris was able to access some of the best hunting land in America from the rolling hills of North Mississippi to the legendary Mississippi Delta waterways. Chris currently serves as President of CM Solutions, LLC, a CFO Outsourcing, business management, and compliance firm based in Washington, D.C. and is actively involved in the community as a D.C. Chair of Maverick PAC, Board Member of NextGen Project Hope, and a Board Member of Indomitus Capital, LLP. Chris is perpetually ready to explore more of what the great outdoors has to offer.
Vice President of Membership – Brian Calabrese
Brian Calabrese is from Syracuse, NY and grew up hunting and fishing in the Finger Lakes region. He currently serves as a lobbyist at the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. Prior to NRA, Brian worked for several years in the U.S. Senate and later completed his law degree. He is a member of SCI, National Sportsman Association of VA, and life member of the NRA. Brian attended the University of Delaware and Widener Law School, and he currently resides with his wife Stefanie in Alexandria, VA.
Vice President of Fundraising – Phil Hoon
Phil serves as the Vice-President of Capitol 6 Advisors. He advises a diverse group of clients, ranging from leading outdoor brands to renewable energy startups. Phil began his D.C. career in the political campaign office of then-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Following the campaign, he served as the Senior Director of Corporate Relations at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. For nearly a decade he managed the Foundation’s sponsorships, which included corporate, foundation and individual contributors both in and out of the outdoor space.
At-Large Board Member – Graham Hill
Graham Hill is a founding member and past president of the Washington Metro Chapter of SCI. A native Texan, Graham began hunting and shooting as a child – a passion he currently is sharing with his three sons as they learn to shoot and hunt. During his 25 years in Washington, Graham has served Members of the House and Senate, and as senior Congressional staff for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. Graham was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate to the National Council for Disability (NCD). At the NCD, Graham advocated for mobility impaired hunting and shooting, an effort he continues today on a national level with the NRA, FCSA and other organizations. He is a 3-Gun and Shotgun competitor, a life member of NRA, SCI, FCSA, TSRA and NYSRPA. He serves as President of the Fifty Caliber Institute (FCI), and on the Board of FCI, NRA and the GUDC.
At-Large Board Member – Chris Timmerman
Christopher Timmerman is a Manager of Government Affairs at Boston Scientific. In his role, Chris advocates on behalf of the company on Capitol Hill, oversees the company PAC program (BSC PAC), and manages BSC’s grassroots efforts. Prior to joining BSC, he worked in campaign finance, raising funds for Senators, Representatives, Governors, and a candidate for President. He got his start in D.C. during the 2008 election cycle at the NRSC after graduating from Emory University. A lifelong sportsman, Chris grew up in South Dakota hunting pheasants, waterfowl, and deer.
At-Large Board Member – Dennis Kirk
SHOOTING SPORTS/HUNTING/CONSERVATION/ related: NRA (Endowment), SCI (Life and three regional chapters), Rowland Ward Guild of Field Sportsmen (Life), Hunters for the Hungry, Conservation and Waterway, Ducks Unlimited, etc.
Frequent Volunteer at Fairfax Rod & Gun Club (Past General Counsel attorney for Club and Foundation): Boy Scouts events and training, Cleanup Days, prior club Security Committee service, Doe culling efforts, Sighting in Days, and introduction of many hundreds of first-time shooters brought into shorts shooting using club facilities with my own equipment and supplies of firearms and ammo, sponsored many new members over the years. Member since the 1990s.
DENNIS DEAN KIRK, Attorney at Law, Litigation in Administrative Agencies, State and Federal Courts in law firm with presence in Virginia and DC that provides corporate and individual; and, private sector Inspector General and regulatory compliance service, with legal and management/leadership support for operational programs, as well as personnel and systems safety, hotline, and compliance and ethics programs, so that they are effectively monitored and overseen. Develop and execute solutions for employment, labor relations, policies, practices, business process reengineering, Lean Six Sigma special operations, efficient cost-saving reorganizations, and enterprises supporting entrepreneurial capitalism, physical and institutional infrastructure, and national security interests of the US and its allies. (Lead Counsel in US DC Circuit on Iran-Contra and filed client statement in Office of Independent Counsel Report; US Air Force; Wed Tech; and Pentagon Ill Wind government investigations, among others).
MEMBER (2021), Department of Justice Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR (2020), EMPLOYEE SERVICES DIVISION, OPM, (Washington, DC). Supervised Seven Senior Executive Service Centers and 160+ federal employees on all US Government policy on federal employment matters. Worked directly with the key OPM Leadership, SES, and staff elements in OPM, Employee Services, Accountability and Workforce Programs areas, including critical Inter-agencies task forces like the Labor Relations Group, providing substantial contributions to executing workplace environment concepts, conferences, evaluations, analysis of papers and continuously striving to make major shifts in approaches and possibilities in employee-management relations to improve the federal employee workforce experiences and performance, deploying creative ideas and suggesting key targets for innovations on how to excel in difficult labor circumstances, meeting OPM objectives and program goals, prioritizing for better delivery of employee services, and achieving resulting paradigms exceeding the President’s Management Agenda goals, rendering outstanding performance. Demonstrated commitment to improve collaboration, transparency, and communication among OPM leadership to make better, more efficient decisions; actively engaged in Agency activities and efforts that go beyond the executive’s normal program responsibilities; contributed to corporate initiatives that help further important mission priorities and strategic goals.
ASSOCIATE GENERAL COUNSEL, USARMY. Advised Senior Army and DoD Leaders in all Commands; OGC Senior Ethics and Senior Environmental Counsel.
Benjamin J. Cassidy currently serves as Safari Club International’s Director of Government Affairs. In his role, he oversee SCI’s Government Relations, Legal Advocacy and International Affairs Departments. Cassidy joined SCI from the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he served as Senior Deputy Director for the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs and as Senior Policy Advisor for Water and Science. Previously, he worked for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action and the National Republican Congressional Committee. He has served SCI in volunteer positions at the chapter level.