The Vectre Corporation
The Vectre Corporation was established in 1989 as a subsidiary of the Virginia law firm of Hazel & Thomas, P.C., with offices in Northern Virginia and Richmond, to provide necessary, highly-specialized non-legal services in the area of government relations. Hazel & Thomas merged with ReedSmith LLP in 1999. The firm has grown to the point that today it is widely acknowledged for its expertise and communication abilities by federal, state and local government officials as one of its leading government relations resources.
In 1992, The Vectre Corporation expanded its range of services when it became the Virginia member of The Advocacy Group (TAG), an international network of law and government relations firms providing advocacy services at State Capitols throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. In 1995, The Vectre Corporation became an independent firm, owned by members of its Board of Directors.
Today, The Vectre Corporation is headquartered at 707 East Main Street, an easy walk from the Virginia’s Capitol Square. The firm includes six full-time professional government affairs advocates with more than eight decades of cumulative experience. The Vectre Corporation has expanded by opening an office in Northern Virginia.
Vectre's areas of special expertise involve both traditional lobbying as well as grassroots and grass-tops lobbying. Vectre brings to any project strong experience in winning legislative battles on behalf of diverse corporate interests.
H. BENSON DENDY III serves as President of The Vectre Corporation and a member of its Board of Directors. As a senior staff member for two Virginia Governors, he has held positions as diverse as Secretary of the Commonwealth, Secretary to the Governor's Cabinet, and Special Assistant to the Governor. He began his career in state government in 1978, as a legislative assistant to the Lieutenant Governor. Over the course of seven legislative sessions, he advocated for two Governors' agendas in the General Assembly. He served on transition committees for Virginia Governors Mark Warner and Terry McAuliffe.
In 2016, Dendy was appointed to the Board of Visitors of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he currently serves as Vice Rector. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Containerization & Intermodal Institute. In 2002, he was appointed by Governor Mark Warner to the Council on the Southern Community of the Southern Growth Policies Board.
Dendy has been appointed and reappointed to the Board of Trustees of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a state agency, by six Virginia Governors of both parties. He served as Chairman for nine years and is currently Chairman Emeritus. In 2003, he was appointed by the United States Secretary of the Interior to the Federal Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission and served as the Federal Commission's Vice Chairman. From 2013 – 2020, Dendy served on the Executive Committee of the American Evolution 2019 Commemoration which highlighted the 400th anniversary of key historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence our world today. These events were the anniversary of the first representative assembly in the New World, the arrival of the first recorded African slaves to English North America, the arrival of the first English women in significant numbers and the first official English Thanksgiving.
He served on the Board of Trustees of the Valentine Richmond History Center for 14 years and is a former director of the Virginia YMCA and the Maymont Foundation. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, a core grantee of the United States Department of State that conducts international exchange programs for young governmental leaders. He is a member of the Honorary Council to the St. George's Foundation in Bermuda. Dendy also has extensive experience in helping international corporations develop business in this country.
Dendy graduated from the University of Richmond, magna cum laude, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. A member of Second Presbyterian Church, Dendy serves as an elder. He and his late wife, Stacey, had three children. The family enjoys skiing at Wintergreen and spending time in the summer at Virginia Beach.
He has served as Chairman of The Advocacy Group, the premier municipal, state, federal and international government and public affairs organization in the world and currently serves on its board of directors. Dendy was one of the first 24 government relations professionals nationwide to complete the State Government Affairs Council Professional Certification Program in 2012 and currently has completed the Council’s silver level program for advanced certification.
PHIL F. ABRAHAM, an owner of The Vectre Corporation and a member of its Board of Directors since 1995, Abraham is General Counsel and Secretary-Treasurer of the corporation. Abraham has been active in Virginia government since 1979, and has worked with Ben Dendy in a variety of public and private sector capacities for more than 30 years. Their collaborations include jointly working for two Governors and a host of private sector clients. Abraham was a founding member of the Virginia Code Commission's Administrative Law Advisory Committee and is a past Chairman of the Administrative Law Section of the Virginia Bar Association.
Abraham currently serves on the Executive Board of VIRGINIAforever, a coalition of businesses, environmental organizations and outdoor enthusiasts that advocates for increased government funding for water quality improvement and land conservation across the Commonwealth. Abraham is a former chairman of the Virginia Recycling Markets Development Council, a state commission, first appointed by Governor Jim Gilmore and reappointed by Governor Mark Warner. Abraham also served as a member of the Board of Governors of Temple Beth El, and as the Chairman of the Temple Beth El Foundation. Abraham graduated from Kenyon College in 1979, received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1989 and is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
RICHARD GROSSMAN serves as the Manager of State Government Affairs and Grassroots Strategies and is an owner of The Vectre Corporation and a member of its Board of Directors. Grossman joined The Vectre Corporation shortly after working on a 1994 U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia. Since then, Grossman has lobbied members of the General Assembly and the Executive Branch on issues affecting the pharmaceutical and health care industries, education, and budget-related issues. Grossman actively monitors many pending legislative and regulatory issues before the General Assembly and various state regulatory agencies to provide in-depth analysis of possible impact on our clients' initiatives. He specializes in developing programs to generate grassroots efforts on behalf of Vectre's clients by identifying and organizing sources of support for the clients' strategic goals.
A graduate of the University of Georgia in Political Science, Grossman is an active community volunteer in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. For over a decade, he served as the Chairman of the Government/Legislative Committee of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of Jewish Family Services, the Board of Trustees of the Barksdale Theatre and the Board of Managers of Congregation Beth Ahabah.
M. DAVID SKILES serves as the Director of Northern Virginia Client Services, an owner of The Vectre Corporation and a member of its Board of Directors. Previously, he worked for a D.C.-based government affairs firm and Skiles' involvement in political and civic activities has allowed him to build relationships with elected officials and business leaders in Northern Virginia. He has worked on a number of federal, state and local political campaigns. In 2010, he was unanimously confirmed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to serve on the Fairfax County Airports Advisory Committee. In 2013, Skiles was appointed by former Governor Robert F. McDonnell to an unexpired term on the Board of the Library of Virginia and in 2014 was reappointed to a full five-year term on the Board by Governor Terry McAuliffe. Skiles currently serves on the Board's Executive Committee.
In 2016, Skiles was appointed to the Dulles Suburban Center Advisory Group by Supervisor Kathy Smyth. This group was established to consider updating land use recommendations for the Dulles Suburban Center. Skiles also serves on the Resources and Logistics Committee for the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation's 2019 Commemoration. Skiles is an active member of the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, where he serves on the Board of Directors and as treasurer for the Political Action Committee (NOVABizPAC). He is also a member of the Chamber's Policy Committee. In addition to his political and business activities, Skiles is active in his community as a member of the Free Masons, where he attends Potomac #5 Lodge in Georgetown. He is also a member of the Civil Air Patrol and is attached to the Fairfax Squadron of the National Capital Wing.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Skiles is a graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, PA, and serves as Outreach Chairman for the George Washington Regiment of the its alumni association. He is also a graduate of George Mason University, where he majored in Government & International politics and the University of Virginia's Sorensen Political Leaders Program.
CHRISTOPHER J. WHYTE serves as Government Affairs Manager and is an owner of The Vectre Corporation and a member of its Board of Directors. Whyte joined Vectre in 2002 after six years of working in the Governor's Office for Governor Jim Gilmore and Governor George Allen. During his time in the Governor's Office he served as a senior staff member to Governor Gilmore and a special assistant in the administration of Governor Allen.
Whyte utilizes this vast experience to develop winning approaches for both business development and procurement opportunities. He has provided numerous successful policy solutions for clients in the areas of privacy and public records legislation, telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, higher education, tax policy, budget-related issues, public safety matters, information technology policy and information technology procurement. He has also uses these skill sets to advance clients' efforts in relationship building and economic development matters. Whyte also maintains contacts at the federal level through relationships with Virginia's Congressional delegation. A native of Philadelphia and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington with a degree in Political Science, he continues to remain active in Republican politics in Virginia.