Our Team

Max Knapp

Co-Founder / Financial Advisor

Hello.  My name is Max Knapp, and I am proud to call the Mountain State home.  I started Blackbear Capital because of my desire to act as a fiduciary – always putting our clients first as opposed to the myriad of stakeholders at a public company. As an entrepreneur myself, I can relate to our clients in a unique way, and I have a strong appreciation for an independent, employee-owned firm. I understand that clients value competence and independent, conflict-free advice, not sales experience.  My entire career has been spent in the world of finance, and I look forward to using my unique skillset to provide families with top tier advice.

Outside of work, I enjoy playing an active role in the community engaging in volunteer organizations as well as the growing entrepreneurship community throughout West Virginia. I also enjoy spending time with my wife, Kylie, and young son, Dexter, travelling and hiking local trails as well as spending time on the golf course. I am an avid sports fan and can often be found cheering on the Mountaineers.


  • B.S in Accounting, West Virginia Wesleyan College
    (Buckhannon, WV)
  • M.S. in Finance, Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

Preston Whitney

Co-Founder / Financial Advisor

Hello, I’m Preston, co-founder of Blackbear Capital. I’m a 2010 graduate of Ripley High School and a 2014 graduate of Marshall University. I majored in finance and business and spent some extra time in Huntington to get a Masters in Business Administration.

I’ve been working in the financial services industry since I graduated from college. The past several years have taught me that working in this industry can be very stressful, but also very rewarding. I also learned early on in my career that diversification is the most important part of investment management. I use stocks, bonds, cds, mutual funds, etfs, private funds, and annuities to help clients reach their goals. I spend the majority of my time researching and looking for the best income producing investment vehicles available.

Outside of Blackbear Capital, I enjoy spending time with my family, playing sports, going to sporting events, and church. I am married to Whitney Whitney and we have a son named Davis. We live in Evans, WV.


  • BBA in Finance, Marshall University (Huntington, WV)
  • Master of Business Administration, Marshall University (Huntington, WV)