Foy Public Affairs Group is a New Jersey government relations firm which was founded a decade ago by Dennis Rivell and named in honor of his late uncles, Tom and Joe Foy. Both were well known in state political circles, Tom as a member of the General Assembly and Senate, and Joe as Mayor of Burlington Township and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard.
The firm initially focused on “agency lobbying,” dealing primarily with the Executive Branch and its various departments, helping to guide clients dealing with matters at the state, county and local levels while also informing clients of activities in the Legislative branch. As the firm grew and matured, it moved into a more active role in dealing with legislative and regulatory affairs for its clients, shifting to advocacy in supporting, amending or opposing proposed legislation and regulations. While growing into this advocacy role, Dennis persuaded his mentor, Clark Martin, who is known as one of the best legislative lobbyists ever to walk the halls of Trenton, to come out of retirement.
Clark began his government relations career in 1974 when he was hired by Joe Katz, New Jersey’s first contract lobbyist. It was an exciting time to work in Trenton with the Legislature exponentially expanding its nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services by adding committee staffers, researchers and analysts. Clark developed an abiding respect for the point – counterpoint activity of the legislative process and eventually he co-founded what became the state’s largest public affairs firm. A graduate of The Citadel and the University of Southern California, he is an Air Force combat veteran of the Vietnam War. Following Active Duty he served six years in the Air Force Reserve and 23 years in the Air National Guard. His final office was Commander of the N. J. Air National Guard, from which he retired as a Major General.
Dennis began his political career in high school as aide to his uncle, State Senator Tom Foy and as a volunteer working on and running political campaigns in Burlington County. It was an opportunity to “learn by listening.” Following college Dennis had a brief stint in the insurance world and then moved to banking. Dennis eventually found his way back into state government when the bank he worked for was purchased by Sallie Mae. State Treasurer Jimmy DiEluterio then offered Dennis the opportunity to work as a program analyst in the Department’s Office of Management and Budget, where he mastered the complexities of the state budget and finance as the budget liaison to the departments of Transportation and Labor. He eventually transferred to the Motor Vehicles Commission and became its chief of staff and chief financial officer overseeing some 3,600 employees with revenues in excess of $1 billion and budgets north of $350 million. Of the many successes that Dennis was part of at NJMVC, he will tell you his favorite was bringing the average agency customer wait-time down from 3.5 hours to 20 minutes. He left the public sector in 2006 and after working as a business consultant for a number of years, he founded the Foy Public Affairs Group.
Brigid is the firm’s Director of Program Management and Administration. She acts as point of contact among the team, clients and external partners, and manages social media, information flow, calendars and meeting preparations. Brigid left the world of academia six years ago where she was an assistant professor at the University of Utah and Utah State University and moved back east to be close to family. With this move, she decided to take on a remote role with CBRE as a Program Manager. Brigid brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her years of working with CBRE, where she helped direct a 200-person program, managing Fleet Administration and Technology Development. She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University and the University of Utah.
An affiliate of the firm, Enrico G. (Henry) Savelli has spent more than 30 years in public procurement. He retired in 2001 as Assistant Director of the Treasury Department, Division of Purchase and Property where he managed the Purchase Bureau, the organization that awards state contracts. He maintains personal contacts with many agencies of state government as well as purchasing directors/agents at all levels of government.