Mike Buttry

Managing Director

Mike has a deep background in education technology, agriculture technology, corporate strategy, early-stage growth investing, government affairs and public relations. As Vice President for Public Affairs and Strategy at Capella Education Company, Mike was engaged in multiple aspects of Capella’s nearly $2 billion merger with Strayer Education, Co. Prior to coming to Cherry Tree, Mike worked on creating innovative student loan solutions as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Whiteboard Advisors, a Washington D.C.-based strategy firm focused on the education sector. Mike has been a frequent speaker on developing trends in higher education and workforce development. He has been a mentor for the Techstars Workforce Development Accelerator and in addition to making his own angel investments he is a limited partner in Bread and Butter Ventures and Dundee Ventures. Mike’s previous experience includes working at Chief-of-Staff to then U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel and serving as Managing Director of CLS, a public affairs firm in Washington, D.C. He received his BA from Creighton University.


  • Education Technology
  • Ag Tech
  • Minnesota Businesses
  • Strategy Implementation
  • Public Relations and Government Affairs

Prior Experience

  • Vice President for Public Affairs and Strategy, Capella Education Company
  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Whiteboard Advisors
  • Managing Director, Chlopak, Leonard & Schecter
  • Chief-of-Staff, U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel


  • BS in Political Science, Creighton University
  • Executive Education in Strategic Marketing, Wharton at University of Pennsylvania
  • Humphrey Policy Fellows, University of Minnesota

Board Positions

  • Capella University
  • Angel Foundation (Chair)
  • Public Affairs Council
  • Shank Institute for Innovation in Education


  • Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal 40 under 40, 2014

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.