MEET OUR TEAM.
TONY SIMON, PARTNER
Tony Simon began his political career fifteen years ago as the Political Director for a US Congressman and later as the Field Director to the Senate Minority Caucus in Georgia. Over the next four years he played a central role in helping Republicans reach a majority status in both the Senate and House earning the title of Executive Director to the Senate Majority Caucus and later Deputy Chief of Staff to the House Speakers Office.
Following his work in Georgia Simon has served as a consultant to numerous legislative campaigns, state parties and as a member of National Finance Committee to the Republican Governors Association.
As the founder of ConnectSouth Public Affairs, Simon has helped lead the company’s growth efforts into a national model for comprehensive, ethical government affairs work.
Tony currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Jessica, their two daughters and son, and is an active member of Christ Covenant Church.
PAUL BENNECKE, PARTNER
Paul’s experience reaches across all fifty states having worked with governors, legislative caucuses, party committees, federal candidates, Super PACs, ballot initiatives, Fortune 1000 companies, and not-for-profit organizations. Paul has managed over $500 million in political and issue advocacy and has directed and/or consulted for more than 80 successful campaigns.
Paul is a Partner at ConnectSouth, a multi-state public affairs firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. ConnectSouth represents a variety of Fortune 1000 companies, associations, municipalities, and not-for-profit organizations.
Paul recently completed four successful years as Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association. During his tenure, Republicans captured a historic high thirty-four states and raised a record $280 million. Throughout his career, Paul has helped elect sixty-one governors and served governors in 43 of the 50 states.
From 2007-2010, Paul served the Republican Governors Association (RGA) as Deputy Executive Director and Political Director where he managed RGA’s political operations including candidate recruitment, independent expenditures and candidate-committee coordination.
From 2001-2006, Paul served as Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party and Political Director for former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s successful gubernatorial campaign. He would later lead his cousin’s 2014 U.S. Senate race, David Perdue, who successfully became Georgia’s junior senator.
Paul is married to Jen Englert Bennecke who served as a special assistant to Georgia’s First Lady, ran a state agency for two governors, and now serves and/or advises on numerous charitable boards and ballot initiatives. They reside in Atlanta with their three boys: Barron (age 7), Nate (age 2) and Jackson (age 1).
BO MOORE, PARTNER
Bo Moore focuses on complex regulatory affairs and procurement issues in the State of Georgia and Southeast. He has worked on legislative affairs issues in Georgia for more than 20 years. Prior to joining ConnectSouth, Bo led the State Government Affairs practice at McKenna, Long and Aldridge, now Dentons, in Atlanta for almost 12 years. He has managed regulatory solutions for clients, such as DuPont, Southwest Airlines, Ford Motor Company; the Atlanta Falcons, Southwire, Xerox, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Cisco, CA, Nextera Energy, Georgia Aquarium, Georgia-Pacific, Northside Hospital and IGT, just to name a few. He regularly represents numerous Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, healthcare companies, trade associations, technology companies and other businesses that interact with State governments on a regular basis. He currently serves on the Republican Governor’s Association National Finance Committee and remains active in Georgia political and business circles.
Bo was a member of U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell’s staff and served as Political Director for Coverdell’s campaign and political activities. He also served as a key strategist for Senator Phil Gramm’s Presidential campaign that was co-chaired by Senator Coverdell.
Bo is a graduate of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Bo currently resides in Atlanta with his wife Leah and two children Tripp and Lillie. He is an active member in Northside Methodist Church, GA Chamber of Commerce, Lovett True Blue Leadership Georgia (2006) and Piedmont Driving Club.
EDENS DAVIS, PARTNER
Edens Davis has strong issue-area expertise in economic development, transportation, natural resources, and health care policy and is a trusted advisor to key decision-makers across the state of Georgia. He utilizes his rare combination of extensive background in strategic and grassroots campaigns and actual public policy development and implementation to successfully achieve the diverse needs of his clients.
Edens has held a variety of positions over nearly a decade in Georgia politics. He began his career as a young political staffer for Former USDA Secretary and Current USG chancellor Sonny Perdue’s successful re-election campaign as Governor. He used that experience as a springboard to work with the Republican Governors Association on races across the country. In 2010, he became a key member of then-Congressman Nathan Deal’s gubernatorial campaign. Upon Gov. Deal’s election to office, Davis served on the transition team and he served as a senior policy advisor for Gov. Deal, overseeing critical issues areas such as natural resources, transportation, economic development and agriculture. During his time in the Governor’s Office, Davis developed policy, helped shepherd bills through the legislative process and became a trusted liaison for agency heads in those respective policy areas.
Edens graduated from Emory University with a bachelor of arts in Political Science. He and his wife, Kirsten and their sons are active at Capital City Club, Peachtree Presbyterian Church, and several other charitable organizations in Atlanta. When he is not influencing policy makers across the country, he enjoys hunting and fishing on his family’s pecan orchard in middle Georgia.
BOB TRAMMELL, SENIOR ADVISOR
Bob Trammell is the former Minority Leader of the Georgia State House. First elected in 2014, Bob served three terms in the State House. He succeeded Stacey Abrams as Democratic Leader in his second term and, he served in that capacity through the end of 2020. During his tenure as Minority Leader, the House Democratic Caucus flipped a total of 19 state house seats, increasing the net number of Democratic seats in the State House by 15, from 62 to 77 members.
In addition to his role with Connect South, Bob practices law at The Trammell Firm which he founded in 2003 in his hometown of Luthersville. Trammell also served as County Attorney for Meriwether County for four years prior to serving in the State House providing him with a detailed and practical understanding of how local government works.
Bob is a 1996 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia, majoring in English and Political Science. He obtained his law degree from The University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1999. Before returning home to practice, he started his legal career as a law clerk in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and subsequently practiced law at King & Spalding before starting his own firm in 2003.
Bob and his wife Jenny reside in Luthersville with their three children, Mary, Virginia, and Bob.
HAMPTON MILLS, ASSOCIATE
Hampton Mills is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Hampton is a
graduate of the University of Alabama, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He has worked on
numerous state and federal campaigns, including some of the nation’s most targeted Senate races. Prior to
joining ConnectSouth, Hampton was most recently Political Director for the Georgia GOP and the Field
Director for a national political action committee. He also previously worked at the capitol for Arc3
Communications. Hampton currently resides in Atlanta and is a parishioner at the Cathedral of Christ the King. He enjoys hiking, hunting, and fly fishing in his spare time, as well as spending time with his fiancé, Erin, and their dog, Sadie.
TREY MOORE, PARTNER, TENNESSEE
An experienced attorney and lobbyist, Trey has advocated on behalf of corporate clients and associations for more than 12 years in Tennessee. Before joining ConnectSouth, Trey operated his own government affairs firm in Nashville. Prior to that Trey served as Senior Public Policy Counsel at one of Nashville’s largest law firms, as Vice President of Government Relations at Fortune 1000 behavioral healthcare provider headquartered in Tennessee, and as a lobbyist for the state’s largest health insurer.
Trey’s policy and lobbying experience is broad and deep. He has significant experience in legislative and regulatory issues confronting entities in health care, energy, utilities, distilled spirits, financial services, and local government.
Trey escapes the halls of the Capitol for the golf course when given the chance. A native of Gallatin, Tennessee and a graduate of Sewanee, Trey now resides in Nashville with his wife, Mary, and their daughter.
APRIL BYRD, PARTNER, NORTH CAROLINA
April possesses a strong business background through her work in various private sector industries. She has 13 years of experience consulting on state and federal political campaigns and 8 years of experience working on an array of policy issues dealing with everything from behavioral health policy to sports wagering.
April represents clients in both North and South Carolina with interests ranging from support for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to developing a smart regulatory framework for the industrial hemp industry. Through her experience in the private sector coupled with her extensive campagin experience, April is able to leverage her vast network of contacts within legislative bodies and government agencies to best serve the needs of her clients.
April attended the University of Georgia and has a BA in Economics. April is active in her community as a board member of the Lake Norman YMCA, member of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, and supporter of various charity organizations throughout the state, who provide support for women & children in crisis situations. April spends as much of her free time as possible in the great outdoors with her yellow labrador Faith and her boyfriend Jay either visiting National Parks, on her favorite waterfall trails in NC, the coast of NC & SC, or enjoying the pontoon on Lake Norman.
DODIE RENFER, PARTNER, NORTH CAROLINA
In 1996, Dodie was given the opportunity to return home to North Carolina after accepting the role of Scheduler for Richard Vinroot as part of his campaign team for Governor. Over the next seven years, she broadened her experience by working alongside policy experts at the John Locke Foundation, assisting victims of violent crimes as part of the Wake County District Attorney’s staff, and developing the E.A. Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders during her tenure as Vice-President of the North Carolina Center for Citizenship, Enterprise and Government.
Between 2005-2013, Dodie worked for some of the top elected officials and political organizations in North Carolina, including state Senator Fred Smith, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (during his tenure as NC House Speaker), Congressman David Rouzer and Congressman George Holding. She also served as Political Director for the North Carolina Republican Party during the pivotal 2010 election cycle that saw the GOP regain majorities in both the NC House and Senate for the first time in over 100 years.
In 2013, Dodie joined Cansler Collaborative Resources (CCR), a consulting firm founded by former NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Lanier Cansler, as liaison to the NC General Assembly. In 2018, she left CCR to join the government relations practice at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in Raleigh, where she served as Senior Government Relations Consultant until late 2022.
Dodie earned her B.A. in Political Science from Mars Hill University outside of Asheville, NC and M.A. in Political Management, with a concentration in Campaign Management, from The George Washington University – Graduate School of Political Management in Washington, D.C. She serves on the Board of the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership (IOPL) and is a member of Hayes Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh.