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Posts Tagged ‘ADS Ventures’

Ian Manzano Joins ADS Ventures’ Federal Government Relations Team

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Manzano Joins Boston-based Government Relations Firm Following Seven Years on Capitol Hill

September 26, 2016 – Boston, MA – The Boston-based government relations firm ADS Ventures today announced Capitol Hill veteran Ian Manzano has joined its federal government relations team.

Ian comes to ADS Ventures as Associate Vice President, Federal Affairs, after working in the U.S. House of Representatives for over seven years. During his time in the House, Ian served as Legislative Director for former Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, R-IA 3, who sat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. Most recently, Ian worked for another House appropriator, Florida Congressman David Jolly, R-FL 13, as his Senior Policy Advisor, managing the Congressman’s appropriations portfolio. Ian has extensive experience in the federal legislative and regulatory processes, and has developed a broad and deep professional network from working with associations, businesses, congressional offices, and federal agencies while on Capitol Hill.

Ian’s issue portfolio has focused on appropriations, banking and financial services, healthcare, housing and community development, national security, tax and trade, and veterans affairs. He holds a degree in International Business from the George Washington University.

“We’re thrilled to have Ian join the ADS Ventures team,” said ADS Ventures CEO Chet Atkins. “Unlike many government relations firms, the ADS team does not simply rely on contacts or a single-issue focus to develop strategies for our clients. We work to separate ourselves as experts in the process and practices of the government. Ian brings a wealth of experience in the field that will help our team develop and execute these strategies in a strong, bi-partisan manner.”

Ian joins a growing federal affairs team at ADS Ventures managed by Liesl Grebenstein. Liesl came to ADS following several years in Washington, DC, where she worked on Capitol Hill and in the government and public affairs arena. She now serves as the firm’s Vice President, Federal Relations, splitting her time between the Boston, MA and Washington, DC offices, and various state capitols in which the firm conducts multi-state work to support its clients. The federal affairs team is supported by George Gomes, ADS Ventures’ Associate Vice President, Research & Policy. A skilled researcher, George works to identify new opportunities for clients, provide public policy analysis and assist with drafting legislation and regulatory comments.

Also part of ADS Ventures’ federal affairs teams are senior advisors General David McKiernan (USA-RET), who provides strategic counsel to clients on matters related to defense and homeland security policy, Dan Pellegrom, who brings 30 years of global health policy to the team, and Jim Segel, who most recently served as Special Counsel to former-Congressman Barney Frank, D-MA 4, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2007-2011.

ADS Ventures also maintains a growing Massachusetts practice, managed by Emily Kowtoniuk and supported by Savannah Kelleher. Prior to joining the ADS team, Emily served as a Chief of Staff in the Massachusetts State Senate, with extensive experience on the Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets. Savannah came to ADS from the government affairs team at DISH Network, where she was responsible for educating Members of Congress, State Legislators, and their respective staff, on issues relevant to the company and the Pay-TV industry.

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WPRC Web Site Wins National Award after ADS Ventures-led Redesign

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

The Web Marketing Association announced today that, the recently launched homepage of the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition, has won its 2012 Award for Outstanding Achievement for Web Development in the Non-Profit Standard of Excellence category. Liesl Grebenstein and Matt Sparkes of ADS Ventures teamed with the design group at BlueLuna of Waltham, MA to develop the aesthetics, content and interface of the new and vastly improved WPRC site. The ADS team initiated the re-design in an effort to provide the WPRC with a more user friendly and dynamic portal as part of a broader marketing and member development program. Congratulations to the BlueLuna team for this outstanding recognition.

For more information the Web Marketing Association 2012 award recipients visit

A.D.S. Ventures And The 132 Group Announce New Strategic Partnership

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

A.D.S. Ventures, a public policy, communications and business development firm based in Boston, MA and Washington, D.C., has announced a strategic partnership with the 132 Group, a Virginia Beach based defense consulting group that opens new channels to market for clients, identifies key suppliers, and brings new products to the field.

I’m very familiar with both companies and they have a lot to offer on their own. I’m actually excited to see how this new partnership will benefit industry. You are combining the experience of A.D.S. Ventures specializing in legislative and business engagement with technical expertise of the 132 Group. For companies looking to engage the market in new ways this is a dynamite combination.

A.D.S. Ventures and the 132 Group will leverage their unique skill sets for current and prospective clients, giving them access to new services, and assisting them on virtually every aspect of the product development, funding and market fielding process. Together, they can help companies with product testing, end-user feedback, solicitation responses, grant opportunities, public-private partnerships, business introductions, public policy analysis, coalition building, strategic communications plans and will have spokesperson capabilities available if appropriate. This unique model draws upon the existing strengths, backgrounds and reputations of both organizations.

“It’s a truly unique model that brings together the best of what our companies offer. In a tight economy with uncertain defense budgets, our clients need consultants who understand every aspect of their business and can be fully integrated as part of their team if they hope to develop new technologies, and leverage DoD, federal, state and most importantly, end-user support,” said Chet Atkins, Founder and President of A.D.S. Ventures.

“Our work is complimentary, and this partnership enhances the offering we present to clients within this space. Our goal of providing top quality services to companies working with federal agencies and the DoD remains at the forefront and will only be strengthened by this relationship.” said the 132 Group Founder and President, Bill Jarvis. “Beyond that, it helps us all to better understand the dynamics and challenges clients are facing. I look forward to working with the A.D.S. Ventures team to bring great companies into new markets and get top-quality products into the field. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to a new and very productive relationship.”

The 132 Group was founded in 2011 by Bill Jarvis, a former member of the US Special Operations Community, with the goal of increasing capabilities for our men and women in uniform and enhancing opportunities for those industry partners striving to better serve them. The company helps clients navigate through Department of Defense (DoD) product testing, development and contracting protocols, and utilizes an extensive network of specialized former end-users to ultimately field technologies prioritized by various service branches with the DoD.

A.D.S. Ventures was founded in 1993 by former Congressman Chet Atkins. While in office, Chet was actively engaged in working with DoD to support the needs of soldiers and professional users through investment in improved equipment and uniforms. Over the last 20 years, A.D.S. Ventures has developed a core public policy, communications and business development competency in the fields of domestic manufacturing, personal protective equipment, uniforms and technologies for the DoD, as well as other federal agencies.

“This joint effort will make the value proposition for A.D.S. Ventures and the 132 Group that much stronger,” said Spokewoman for A.D.S. Ventures, Alissa Southworth. “It will enable us to assist in nearly every significant stage of a company’s process as they work to integrate a technology into the field.”

Whiskey 5 – ADS Ventures

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

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.

Admiral Barry Costello Joins ADS Ventures as Senior Policy Advisor

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

ADS Ventures, a government relations, business development and strategic communications firm based in Boston and Washington, D.C., announced yesterday that Vice Admiral (retired) Barry Costello former Commander THIRD Fleet and past Chief of Legislative Affairs, has joined the firm as Senior Policy Advisor. Admiral Costello will provide strategic advice and counsel to ADS Ventures clients on policy matters, with a focus on Department of Defense and Congress.

Vice Admiral Costello completed 34 years of military service in June 2007 which included command of all West Coast Navy Forces as Commander THIRD Fleet, responsibility for all aspects of coordination with the Congress and Navy leadership as Chief of Legislative Affairs, leadership of all Surface Naval forces in the Persian Gulf in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and strategic advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as Deputy Director for Strategy and Policy.

He attended the College of Naval Command and Staff where he was selected as honor graduate, graduating “With Distinction,” and earned a master’s of arts degree in Foreign Affairs. Additionally, he has participated in the National Security program at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and attended Albany Law School, where he earned a Juris Doctor degree and is currently a member of the New York State Bar.

“We are truly honored that Admiral Costello has chosen to join ADS Ventures and apply his unique insight and experience into the needs of our clients,” said Chet Atkins, founding partner of ADS Ventures. “His unique knowledge of strategic planning, global initiatives and vast experience advising government at the highest levels will provide unparalleled guidance to the ADS Ventures Team.”

“I have spent the last 40 years working to better defend and protect our nation, and honor our most precious treasure – our men and women in uniform,” said Vice Admiral Costello. “In my work with ADS Ventures, I hope to draw upon these experiences to help ensure that we continue to design, improve, procure and field the top-notch equipment and gear needed to ensure the safety and mission readiness of those who serve our country.”

“Over the last 10 years ADS Ventures has grown in capacity and scope in efforts to better serve our clients and those who our clients protect – our troops. Excellence in this unique space necessitates guidance and insight from those who truly understand the specific needs of our armed forces and the ever-evolving challenges that they continue to encounter,” said ADS Ventures Managing Director, David Costello. “We are very excited to have Admiral Costello as a trusted advisor to our firm and believe that his expertise in this area will vastly benefit the hard work of our clients.”

Vice Admiral Costello’s personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal for service with the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff while crafting the Unified Command Plan and the Nuclear Posture Review. Additionally, his leadership of CTF-55 during Operation Iraqi Freedom was acknowledged by the United Kingdom with the Honorary Award of Commander of the most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

General David McKiernan Joins ADS Ventures as Senior Policy Advisor

Monday, September 20th, 2010

PRESS RELEASEFormer Commander of US and International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan will advise the government relations firm on public affairs issues

ADS Ventures, a government relations, business development and strategic communications firm based in Boston today announced that Four-Star General David McKiernan (US Army, Ret.), former commander of all U.S. and International Security Assistance forces in Afghanistan, has joined the firm as a Senior Policy Advisor. General McKiernan will work with existing and future ADS Ventures clients to enhance their understanding of defense requirements and provide counsel on legislative and policy priorities.

ADS Ventures (ADS) is a government relations, business development and strategic communications firm that provides consulting services to a range of corporate and non-profit clients, including organizations in the Soldier personal equipment and protection industry, educational institutions, scientific research organizations, and companies investing in groundbreaking energy and transportation efforts. ADS helps its clients understand how policy decisions impact their business and forms critical partnerships with key policymakers at the state and federal levels to create opportunities for growth.

General McKiernan completed 37 years of military service in August 2009, following his tenure as Commander of all American and International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan. Prior to holding that position, General McKiernan served as Commander of the US 3rd Army and the Coalition Forces Land Component Command, consisting of 160,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that attacked into Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein from power. He has also served as Commander of all US Army forces in Europe (2005-2008) where he led all US Army engagements and activities in Europe, Russia and Africa. Prior to this role, he was the Deputy Commander of US Forces Command where he was responsible for all continental US Army forces. He also served as the Army G3 in Washington, DC, and as the Commanding General, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX.

Gen. McKiernan received his ROTC commission in 1972, and his operational experiences spanned from platoon to large joint and multinational formations, interagency and international political-military coordination, including personal interaction with two Presidents, Members of Congress, senior Administration officials, and foreign heads of state.

“General McKiernan represents all the best qualities of a public servant. We are honored by his decision to join the ADS team,” said Chet Atkins, founding partner of ADS Ventures. “We have tremendous respect for his years of leadership and for the genuine concern he has shown those under his command during their time in uniform and during their transition back into civilian life. For a decade, ADS has represented organizations that work to improve education, advance scientific innovation and enhance the greater good both in the U.S. and abroad. I am confident that General McKiernan’s expertise will be an invaluable resource as we work to advance our clients’ goals.”

“Throughout my career as a Soldier, I have always strived to be a leader focused on mission accomplishment and taking care of our Nation’s most precious resource – its men and women serving in uniform,” said General McKiernan. “My work with ADS Ventures will allow me to continue this effort by counseling organizations dedicated to developing and procuring vital gear for those who serve our country as well as for those striving to increase scientific research and educational opportunities. I very much look forward to working with ADS Ventures’ unique set of clients and applying my experience to businesses and non-profit organizations that are committed to quality and innovation.”

“Over the last 10 years, ADS Ventures has partnered with some of the most innovative companies in the United States to grow their capabilities to meet the changing needs of those who serve our country,” said ADS Ventures Managing Director, David Costello. “In the General’s long and distinguished career as a Soldier’s Soldier, he has advised Presidents, Members of Congress, senior diplomats and foreign leaders on strategic, diplomatic and agency specific issues. Now, he will provide unparalleled advice and expertise to ADS Ventures’ clients on issues that are of great concern to him, including the ongoing effort to best outfit and protect our Soldiers. We are very much looking forward to working closely with General McKiernan to help further advance this good work.”