Trey J. Blocker, the Founder of Stalwart Strategies, is a native Texan with more than 20 years of political, legislative and legal experience. He represents various clients, ranging from small trade associations to Fortune 100 companies, with issues before the Texas Legislature and state agencies. Subject matters cover the spectrum – from healthcare to taxation to oil & gas and beyond. He also serves as an ethics advisor to elected officials and candidates from both political parties, corporations, and PACs, helping them maintain compliance with the state’s complex campaign finance and legislative ethics laws.
Blocker began his journey in politics as an intern for the Governor of Texas in 1995. In a very short time, he literally worked his way from the mailroom to the executive suite where he assisted the Governor with daily tasks. Blocker then served as the legislative director for several members of the Texas House of Representatives, and then Chief of Staff / General Counsel for a prominent state senator. After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Blocker joined one of Texas’ top law firms as a litigator, lobbyist, and ethics attorney. His litigation practice focused on eminent domain and land use matters, drawing on experience representing both condemners and landowners to ensure his clients received the best possible representation in this highly specialized field.
Blocker’s political experience includes working on several Texas House races and successfully managing a race for an open Texas Senate seat covering 36 counties. It was during this time Blocker began advising candidates on campaign finance law. He now has over 15 years of experience representing clients before the Texas Ethics Commission, forming and operating political action committees, and providing general guidance on ethics compliance issues.
Drew DeBerry has nearly 20 years of experience at the highest levels of public policy development and implementation. He has dedicated his years of service to developing a wealth of knowledge and relationships that complement the growing range of clients at Stalwart Strategies.
DeBerry served on Governor Greg Abbott’s senior staff for the first three years of his term as governor, most recently serving as Director of Budget and Policy, and as Policy Director prior to that. In those roles, DeBerry worked closely with executive agency commissioners, directors, and staff, as well as legislative offices, on all aspects of the state budget and programs throughout state government.
Prior to working for Governor Abbott, DeBerry was the Deputy Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture under then-Commissioner Todd Staples. This position followed several years in Washington, D.C., serving under President George W. Bush as the White House Liaison and Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S.D.A. He began his career working in the legislative arena as a staff member in the Texas State Senate.
Throughout his extensive public service career, DeBerry has also worked on state and national political campaigns to develop grassroots coalitions and help direct overall campaign strategy.
A graduate of Texas Tech University, Drew is the father of three outstanding and talented children and has served on the boards of directors of numerous charitable organizations raising funds for youth development and education.
Gregory J. Macksood has over 13 years of experience advising clients on a broad range of issues in Texas and beyond. He has served as a trusted advisor to a wide range of clients including Fortune 100 corporations, state trade associations and seed capital pre-revenue startups in developing political, legislative, media and grassroots engagement strategies throughout the country.
Greg attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he received his B.A. in Political Science. After graduation, he split time between Columbus, Ohio and Washington D.C. working for a national public affairs/government relations firm where he focused on healthcare, tax policy, and natural resources.
Prior to joining Stalwart Strategies, Inc., Greg directed the government relations efforts in Texas for one of the nation’s largest energy companies. During this time, he served on numerous boards and in leadership positions at several trade associations, learning how to navigate different political climates across Texas and effectively advocate for the energy sector.
In addition to his deep legislative relationships across both sides of the aisle, Greg also has extensive experience representing interests before Texas regulatory agencies on issues including water, transportation, eminent domain, air, land use and minerals. His intimate knowledge of agency procedures makes him an effective advocate for his clients.
Greg’s political experience includes managing a statewide ballot initiative, creating issue advocacy coalitions and implementing media communications strategies.
Carolyn Merchan Saegert has almost 20 years of legislative, agency, and legal experience, with an emphasis on state tax policy. Carolyn possesses an insider's view of the legislative process. She has held notable positions in the Senate and House leading to significant and lasting relationships with leadership and members. Additionally, Carolyn also has experience in the private sector representing corporations and state trade associations in matters including taxation, financial services, data security, and property and business regulations.
Prior to joining Stalwart Strategies, Carolyn returned to the legislature to serve as Fiscal and Tax Counsel for the Lieutenant Governor for the 2019 legislative session. She provided guidance and strategy on all revenue related initiatives and legislation including significant work on the budget and school finance. Her work over two sessions with the Lieutenant Governor’s office helped with the passage of Senate Bill 2, the Texas Property Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, the legislature’s recent school finance reforms contained within House Bill 3, and the 2015 $3.8 billion property and franchise tax cuts. In that capacity Carolyn worked closely with the leadership of both chambers of the legislature, the Governor’s office and state agencies. She has also traveled statewide with the Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief, meeting with stakeholders with the purpose of reforming the property tax system.
Carolyn began her legislative career in 2000 as the Director for the House Committee on Ways and Means. She held that position under Chairmen of both political parties for five legislative sessions. In that capacity Carolyn personally drafted, negotiated, and facilitated passage of major tax reforms and the advancement of complex legislation. With this experience, Carolyn has acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience of the House rules and committee process and how to use those for the benefit of her clients.
In addition to her work with the legislature, Carolyn has practiced corporate, regulatory, and criminal law, including an appellate practice with the Office of the Attorney General. She is licensed to practice in the State of Texas and has practiced in all Federal Districts in Texas and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Carolyn and her fellow attorney husband love to travel and spend time outdoors with their two teenage boys. She also is an active volunteer at Redeemer Lutheran Church and at the boy’s high school.
Our extensive relationships at all levels of state government allow us to work with members from both parties to develop creative solutions to complex problems. As the reach of government continues to grow, so does its ability to affect you, your industry and your livelihood. Our job is to convincingly educate policy makers about your issues and concerns.
Effective legislative strategies begin during the election cycle, not the beginning of the legislative session. Our team of political strategists and consultants will help you identify candidates who share your values and help them win.
Want to engage in a referendum or ballot initiative? Our strategists will assist you with messaging, polling, and grassroots outreach to achieve your desired outcome.
The days of winning legislative and political battles with shoe leather and one-pagers is over. A winning strategy in our rapidly changing world requires the use of targeted social media campaigns to create effective coalitions and inspire educated action. Our team is on the cutting edge of these evolving technologies and utilizes them effectively on your behalf.
Our attorneys advise elected officials, political action committees, associations, and corporations to ensure compliance with the state’s intricate campaign finance and ethics laws. The public expects its elected officials and those involved in public policy to adhere to the highest standards of ethical behavior. We help achieve that goal.