MEET THE TEAM.
Founder and Chairman
Principal and General Counsel
Message from Advantus Strategies Founder and Chairman, Bud Oakey
Advantus Strategies was founded more than 20 years ago to help organizations and businesses work more closely and effectively with Virginia government. Our company and our team has grown since Advantus was founded. Our professional team has always focused on delivering sustained client successes. As Advantus looks ahead, we are working with great flexibility, leveraging today’s technology to work more closely and successfully with all levels of government. As you look to your future in Virginia, I trust that Advantus can be a valued part of your team.
Senior Director, Government Relations
Government Relations Associate
Laura Bateman, Legislative Strategy Consultant
Laura works closely with Advantus staff to craft legislative strategies for our clients. Her experience and expertise working with and on behalf of local governments, utilities, and the energy industry makes her an invaluable member of the Advantus team.
Laura’s record in legislative and issues management includes leadership in the successful effort to draft legislation allowing the expansion of alternative fuel vehicles, and allowing the use of HOV lanes by clean special fuels. In addition, Laura was appointed by two Governors to serve as the first representative from the natural gas industry on the Virginia Coal and Energy Commission. Advancing her energy industry experience, Laura was elected twice to serve as president of the Virginia Oil and Gas Association by its Board. She is also the former Chair of the Virginia Underground Utility Protection Service.
A native of Newport News, Virginia, Laura is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and also attended the Wharton Executive Development Program in Philadelphia. She lives in the Fan District in Richmond, where she is involved in several business and civic organizations.
Kathy Burcher, Senior Director of Government Relations
Kathy joined Advantus Strategies in early 2022, bringing extensive public policy and lobbying experience she gained working in the Governor’s cabinet and leading Government Relations for Virginia’s largest public education advocacy organization. She is considered an expert in appropriations and state budget development, public finance, public education, Medicaid, and retirement system matters.
Before joining Advantus Strategies, Kathy served as Deputy Secretary of Education for Governor Ralph Northam. While in that position, she led efforts to expand Virginia’s STEM education and CTE programs and to improve special education services provided through the Children’s Services Act.
Prior to her cabinet appointment, Kathy directed legislative activities at various education-focused associations. Highly regarded by this network, she has helped bridge partisan divides and facilitate the passage of important legislation and regulatory outcomes to achieve the associations’ objectives. Kathy’s collective experience and strong relationships have made her uniquely qualified to meet the legislative advocacy and business development needs for many of Advantus’ private and public sector clients.
Kathy has a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from James Madison University and a master’s degree in Education and Human Development from the George Washington University. She began her career working with Special Education students in Fairfax County and currently lives in Henrico County.
Robert G. Crockett, President and Managing Director
Robert currently serves as President and Managing Director of Advantus Strategies. As a senior member of the team, he provides business consulting services to private and public corporations and municipalities at all levels of government including local, state and federal. His background in natural resources and the environment, business and manufacturing and economic development allow Advantus clients to benefit from his broad knowledge and experience.
Robert worked for almost two decades for Westvaco, now WestRock, a paper and packaging company. There his focus was on the development and operational success of the company’s global manufacturing operations. Additionally, he served as Director of Westvaco’s government affairs for its U.S. operations and as Director of the company’s global communications network during the merger of Westvaco and Mead Corporations.
Robert has served as Board chair of a number of non-profit organizations, including the United Way, YMCA and is very active in Virginia's Special Olympics program. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, he is married and has two adult sons. When not in Richmond Robert can be found at his family's home on the Chesapeake Bay.
R. Ronald Jordan, Managing Director
Ron joined Advantus Strategies in 2002 bringing extensive policy, program, and budget experience gained during nearly 30 years in state and local government that includes positions as a long-time senior staff member of the Virginia House of Delegates Appropriations Committee and in the governor’s cabinet. His specific areas of expertise include appropriations, finance, education, Medicaid, public safety and retirement system matters.
Ron has a broad network of contacts and a sophisticated understanding of the procedural and political context of state government policy and operating practices. His experience in turning ideas into action has been instrumental in bringing diverse groups together to solve problems and successfully implement new programs.
Ron holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a Master’s in Public Administration from Auburn University and has done additional post-graduate work at the University of Alabama. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at VCU, teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He is a graduate of the Virginia Executive Institute (VEI) and served as President of the VEI Alumni Association.
Judy Marchand Hampton, Business Services Strategy Consultant
Judy comes to Advantus after a career spent in public and private sector IT management and delivery. She has served in executive roles for state agencies, the private sector, and higher education institutions. Judy’s career has covered diverse sectors, including technology governance, service delivery, strategic planning, IT investment management, contract management, and enterprise systems. As a member of the Advantus team, Judy helps clients advance from vision to value through strategy, planning, and implementation.
Prior to joining Advantus, Judy was Executive Director of Virginia’s Information Technology Agency (VITA), where she directed a broad program of customer-related technology delivery offerings. She headed VITA’s project management office (PMO), providing governance over Commonwealth technology projects and procurements, and founded VITA’s Innovation Program. Judy also served as Chief Information Officer for several colleges & universities, where she directed all aspects of university’s technology services, and systems.
Judy attended Harvard University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Southern University. She has served on numerous advisory boards and councils, and is a graduate of the Virginia Executive Institute. As a native of Louisiana, Judy enjoys good food and good times with her daughter, family and friends.
Daniel G. "Bud" Oakey, Founder and Chairman
Bud has extraordinary experience assisting and growing strategic business relationships with local, state and federal governments. As the company's founder, he is also well versed in crisis public relations and influencing public policy issues impacting clients. Bud has been an active participant in numerous transportation projects and economic development projects over the last 20 years in Virginia and in other states.
With extensive experience including serving as Louisiana Press Secretary for President George Bush's 1988 election campaign, Bud was also a member of Virginia Governor James S. Gilmore, III's transition team. Bud has represented business interests before the Virginia General Assembly since 1989. He is an appointed member of several Advisory Committees of the Joint Commission on Science and Technology including Technology in Transportation, Topics in Law and Technology, Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA), and the Uniform Electronic Technology Act (UETA) and Privacy.
A native of Roanoke, Bud attended Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Georgia, and Purdue University Calumet. He has two grown daughters and two grandchildren.
Craig Whitham, Vice President Business Services
Craig provides consulting services, expertise and guidance to clients through the Advantus Business Services group. He has 15 years of federal and state government experience having previously worked for the U.S. House of Representatives and at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Before joining Advantus, Craig served as a Senior Appropriations Advisor to former Representative Frank Wolf, managing his priorities for transportation projects and other Virginia initiatives in the House of Representatives. While serving at the Virginia DMV, Craig worked extensively with Virginia legislators and state agencies on a wide range of legislation, projects and initiatives.
The Richmond native holds a Bachelor of Science from Elon University in North Carolina, and a Masters Degree from George Mason University. In Craig’s free time he likes to play golf and volunteer on the board of the Richmond Elon Alumni Board. He and his wife, Christina, reside in Henrico County.
John Paul "JP" Woodley, Principal Environmental and Energy Practice Group
When JP came to Advantus, he brought unique insights and abilities developed in service at the highest levels of Federal and State Government. His practice at Advantus covers natural resource and environmental matters, with a specific focus on waterways and water resources.
Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, responsible for the civil works functions of the Department of the Army. Under JP's leadership, the Corps improved its business processes and project cost estimating processes. He improved the Corps’ nationwide permits regulation and issued a new joint Corps-EPA regulation governing wetlands mitigation activity.
JP’s work in the federal government came after years of leadership in Virginia, where he served as Deputy Attorney General of Virginia for Government Operations, and then as Secretary of Natural Resources for Virginia. He had overall responsibility for all environmental protection and permitting, outdoor recreation and open space management, inland and marine fisheries, and historic resources in the Commonwealth.
JP holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington & Lee University and a Juris Doctor from Washington & Lee School of Law. He has been honored with the U. S. Army Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service among other accolades.