McRae TerrAssault 2

Whiskey 5 – ADS Ventures

This is the first of a new feature on SSD called “Whiskey 5” for the five “Ws”. It asks “Who, What, Where, When, & Why” of industry leaders. It is intended to give you a more in-depth look at the individuals and firms that make our industry unique. We have found that these basic 5 questions are the most basic keys to understanding. We hope you enjoy this first installment featuring ADS Ventures.


ADS Ventures is an independent government relations, public policy and business development firm with offices in Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, DC.

Our mission is helping companies and institutions, large and small, understand how public policy decisions can impact their business. We leverage subject matter experience and deep knowledge of government process to help clients identify strategic growth opportunities, form critical partnerships with Legislative and Administration stakeholders and manage the risks inherent with a constantly changing political landscape.


ADS Ventures was founded in 1993 by a former Member of the US House of Representatives, Chet Atkins and his colleague Alan D. Solomont (“ADS”), the current US Ambassador to Spain. The Firm has grown consistently since then into a full service bi-partisan consulting firm. David Costello, the former Business Manager for Malden Mills Industries (now Polartec, LLC) joined ADS Ventures in 2003 and has been responsible for developing the firms’ defense practice.

In 2010, Gen. David McKiernan (USA-Ret.) and Vice Admiral Barry Costello (USN-Ret.) joined the ADS Ventures team to provide clients with strategic counsel on issues of defense, homeland security and crisis management. The ADS Ventures team is comprised of public policy, business development and communications specialists with deep knowledge of Capitol Hill and the Defense industry.

The ADS Ventures team has a strong track record of helping companies grow their business in the warfighter protection and tactical equipment industry, by working closely with manufacturers and distributors across the supply chain with an emphasis on incorporating real world feedback from end users.

In short, our job is to understand the increasingly complex structure of legislative policy and Department of Defense acquisition procedure and apply that knowledge to help our clients identify and seize opportunities.


ADS Ventures was formed in 1993. In 2003, Managing Director David Costello joined ADS Ventures after having served as Business Manager for Malden Mills Industries (presently Polartec, LLC). Gen. McKiernan and V.Adm. Costello joined the firm in 2010. ADS Ventures opened its Washington, DC office in 2011.


ADS Ventures is based in Boston, MA. The firm now also has an office and a permanent presence in Washington, DC.

ADS Ventures represents companies from across the country and has a deep understanding of the issues they face when trying to compete in the domestic manufacturing sector. We work to build coalitions, forge partnerships across sectors and amongst competitors, and leverage developments in public policy to their benefit. ADS Ventures specializes in business development strategies that include:

• Public policy strategy development and execution.
• Federal and state government relations.
• Product Development.
• Coalition building and grassroots advocacy.
• Strategic communications.


ADS Ventures is proud of the role it plays in raising awareness of warfighter needs on Capitol Hill and working to improve the environment for domestic manufacturers. It is a constant challenge to compete for the resources necessary to develop and field mission-critical equipment for US service members. This situation will become more difficult, as the Department of Defense and the federal government in general look for ways to create efficiencies and save money. Budgets will be scrutinized and resources will be constrained. There is a significant risk that without the necessary levels of awareness in Congress, programs for tactical equipment and warfighter clothing could be underfunded or ignored amidst the clamor to sustain much costlier weapons and vehicle platforms.

The industry our clients occupy is a fragmented industry made up of many small companies that dedicate their hard work and innovation to support the evolving needs of the warfighter. ADS Ventures has great respect for the entrepreneurs and workers who choose to do their business here in the United States and choose, despite the many challenges, to build them for the protection of American service members.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.