Former congressmen launch California-based firm

LOS ANGELES: Former House Democratic Whip Tony Coelho (D-CA) and former Republican House Appropriations Chairman on Energy & Water Ron Packard (R-CA) launched a national public affairs and PR firm called Vectis Strategies on Tuesday.

LOS ANGELES: Former House Democratic Whip Tony Coelho (D-CA) and former Republican House Appropriations Chairman on Energy & Water Ron Packard (R-CA) launched a national public affairs and PR firm called Vectis Strategies on Tuesday.

The California-based firm will have offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego, as well as a Washington DC office on K Street. Vectis is the Latin word for “leverage.”

The firm will specialize in PR, government affairs on the federal, state, and local levels, as well as business development. Vectis will represent the interests of public and private corporations, entrepreneurial start-ups, non-profits, philanthropic foundations, and local agencies.

The firm's practice areas are being led by political veterans with high-level connections. For instance, Dan Caprio, former chief privacy officer and deputy assistant secretary for technology policy at the US Department of Commerce under President George W. Bush, will lead its privacy and cyber security practice.

The firm will largely focus on public affairs, with PR taking a secondary, though still important, focus, said David Herbst, co-founder and partner. He is a former SVP and GM at MWW.

He feels that the firm has a unique value offering for potential clients.

“I think because of the split in Washington, there is a great deal of comfort [amongst potential clients] because we reflect that on our staff,” he said.

The firm will have eight staffers at launch. It expects to announce client wins in the coming weeks, Herbst said.

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