About Us

David McMahan grew up in politics.  He moved with his family to Washington D.C. at the age of 7, when his father took a position on the Appalachian Regional Commission and later served as a member of U.S. Senator Howard Baker’s staff. As a young man, David worked on Capitol Hill as a U.S. Senate page and as an intern in Senator Baker’s office.  There, David developed an understanding and appreciation for how government works.

McMahan has turned that early interest in politics into a career of government relations and has built McMahan Winstead into the top ranked firm in Tennessee.

McMahan is experienced in all facets of government relations and has lobbied every department in state government on a variety of issues.  He has gained a reputation as a timeless negotiator and cunning strategist.  McMahan has been successful while representing very tough positions, in times where the odds were against controversial issues.

McMahan has a reputation of being tough, hardworking, fair and honest.  McMahan’s deep knowledge of government workings and contagious personality has led nearly every major newspaper and news publication in Tennessee to call him the “top lobbyist on Capitol Hill” at one time or another. In fact, he is one of the only lobbyists consistently ranked by Business TN Magazine as one of the top 100 most powerful people in the State, where he is in good company with the likes of Senator Bill Frist, Martha Ingram, Fred Smith, Pitt Hyde and others.

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Beth Winstead joined McMahan Winstead in December 1996. After leaving her law practice in 1986, Beth held many positions in Governor Ned McWherter’s administration, including Field Director for his first Congressional district campaign, Special Assistant to the Governor for Boards and Commissions and was a member of McWherter’s legislative team.

In 1990, Beth became the Executive Assistant to the Bureau of Environment in the new Department of Environment and Conservation. In that position, she assisted with legislation and had oversight responsibilities of ten divisions within the Bureau. Winstead was also the Commissioner’s representative on the Solid Waste Control Board, Air Pollution Control Board, Underground Storage Tank Board and Water Quality Control Board.

In 1995, Beth was appointed as the Assistant Chief Clerk of the Tennessee House of Representatives. She then joined the staff of Mayor Phil Bredesen as his chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill where she was instrumental in bringing the Tennessee Titans NFL team to Tennessee. She also served as a member of his legislative team representing the Mayor’s office before the Metro Council.

Beth received her A.A. from St. Mary’s Junior College in Raleigh, North Carolina and her B.S. in Business Administration magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She has her J.D. from the Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law, University of Memphis. She is a member of the Amercian Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, and was a founding member and current board member of the Tennessee Lobbyists Association. She is married to Kurt and they have two daughters, Bridget and Mary Hannah.

The contacts Beth has made across the state are strong and diverse. Her lobbying skills are well respected by every legislator in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Anna M. Richardson joined McMahan Winstead in 2011. Richardson is a licensed attorney with a degree from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis.

Anna was introduced to the Tennessee General Assembly in 2003 when she served as an intern for Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris. The internship program prompted an addiction to the legislative process which resulted in a constant desire to return to the push and pull of Capitol Hill.

Anna promptly returned to Nashville after completing law school in 2008. Anna served as a member of the Senate staff for the Tennessee General Assembly, where she most notably held the position of Executive Assistant for Policy and Research in the office of Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Jamie Woodson. She also served as the Research Analyst for the Senate Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee under Chairman Jack Johnson.

As a member of the Senate staff, Anna worked on major pieces of legislation in the areas of Telecommunications, Workers Compensation and Insurance Regulation. In her role as the Executive Assistant for Policy and Research she worked with closely with Speaker Pro Tempore Woodson and Governor Haslam’s staff on significant education policy reform initiatives, including revisions to Tennessee’s charter school law and tenure reform.

During law school, Anna held several leadership positions. Anna was a member of the Editorial Board of the Tennessee Journal of Practice and Procedure, she also served as the Phi Alpha Delta, McKellar Chapter President. Anna was also awarded an academic scholarship for her work as a Research Assistant, where she focused on Copyright law, Products Liability and Worker’s Compensation. She is the author of Informed Patients go Homeo Happy: Applying the Doctrine of Informed Consent to Homeopathic Practitioners, 34 Ohio N.U. L. Rev 593 (2008).

Anna and her husband Chris live in East Nashville.

Caroline Straight joined McMahan Winstead in November, 2012.  Caroline is a licensed attorney, having earned her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in May 2012.

Caroline grew up in Knoxville, TN and is a 2009 graduate of The University of the South, Sewanee, with a B.A. in Political Science.  While at Sewanee, Caroline was a member of the Order of Gownsmen Honor Society and spent a semester abroad in Sewanee’s European Studies Program.  She was active in the Big People for Little People program and she continues to mentor today with a little sister, Kheeli, through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program in Knoxville.  During college, Caroline also worked on Senator Doug Overbey’s 2008 campaign, which sparked her interest in Tennessee government and politics.

While in law school, Caroline served as a student attorney working in the College’s Wills and Estates Clinic, serving low income clients with estate planning needs.  She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association and the Nashville Bar Association.