Company

More than a decade of experience as a contractor to Industry, the US federal government, states and local agencies.

Incorporated in 1998, the Seneca Group is a business consulting firm serving public and private clients in the global transportation industry. We offer a unique combination of hands-on operating experience, an expert understanding of transportation law and financing and significant experience in relating business issues to the governmental process.

We have specific expertise in the areas where the public and private sectors intersect, such as with government-funded projects. We have prepared and analyzed applications for federal grants and loans up to several hundred million dollars in value. The firm has performed financial and benefit-cost analyses for a range of transportation project types. Many of our projects have involved different aspects of policy development and regulatory compliance. Our firm has a niche expertise in rolling stock, with a specialty in motive power propulsion systems and controls. We have participated in research and pilot projects in the areas of sensors, propulsion and energy efficiency. Seneca has also performed traditional market assessments for firms in the railway operations and supply sectors, and supported companies’ product development, market entry and acquisition strategies.

Seneca has more than a decade of experience as a contractor to the US federal government, states, and local agencies. Internationally we have worked for both individual foreign governments and multilateral organizations.

Seneca has a sister company, Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell, LLC, a leading Washington government relations and advocacy firm that has been in business for more than 30 years.

Our Team

Seneca’s expert professional consultants have extensive hands-on experience in roles such as executive management, accounting and finance, marketing, engineering, and government affairs. They have supported acquisitions and restructuring, helped develop new railway technology, and negotiated commercial contracts, mergers, and acquisitions. They have gained this experience while working for a diverse array of transportation systems around the world. Seneca’s experienced analysts and project managers support these expert consultants. Our firm can assemble multi-disciplinary teams on short notice, capable of addressing a very wide range of engagements.

David Tennent, P.E.

David Tennent, P.E.

President

Dave Tennent joined Seneca in 2015. He has 35 years of experience in the railroad industry. His career encompasses assignments with railroad companies, rolling stock manufacturers, government financial institutions, public transportation authorities, and international state-owned railways as well as owning and running his own small engineering and manufacturing firm. This has provided him with a unique understanding of the technical and managerial issues associated with the procurement, design, maintenance, and operation of railway rolling stock and the role of government entities in this sector of the industry.

In addition to a stable sequence of technical and engineering assignments, Mr. Tennent has participated in a range of business advisory projects. These included assisting the Egyptian National Railways in a locomotive procurement, developing a locomotive fleet and maintenance plan for the State Railways of Azerbaijan, assisting a major domestic locomotive manufacturer in the development and structure of their engineering department as well as providing direction with their major transit contracts, and coordinating the activities between the train operating companies and the Australian Rail Track Corporation for the Lockheed Martin positive train control system being developed in Australia. Mr. Tennent He is an experienced grant writer who has helped clients secure $52 million in federal funds for rail capital projects across four separate awards. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA).

Prior to joining the Seneca Group, Mr. Tennent was the President and founder of Diesel Power and Controls, a fifteen-employee firm designing and manufacturing electrical control systems for locomotives, transit cars, and railroad work equipment. Mr. Tennent’s customers included Amtrak, New York State Department of Transportation, New York City Transit Authority, Toronto Transit Commission, and others. During this time he performed numerous consulting assignments including locomotive procurement for the Panama Canal Commission, privatization of locomotive maintenance for the State Railways of Thailand, and a positive train control feasibility study for the Romanian National Railways. In the earlier part of his career, Mr. Tennent served as Assistant Superintendent – Locomotive with the Norfolk Southern Railway where he was responsible for 210 locomotives and 115 employees at the Bellevue, Ohio locomotive shop. Following his work with Norfolk Southern, Mr. Tennent was also Vice President – Manufacturing for Republic Locomotive and was responsible for the operation of the company and its 150 employees.

He holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

richard sherman

richard sherman

Project Director/Senior Analyst

Richard Sherman has been with Seneca and its affiliated companies since 1999. His areas of expertise include transportation sector government relations, project management and transport analyses. He has several years of experience preparing applications for federal assistance for infrastructure capital projects including through the U.S. DOT’s TIGER/BUILD, CMAQ, INFRA, Small Shipyard and CRISI grant programs, as well as the Railway Rehabilitation and Improvement Finance (RRIF) loan program. He has helped clients secure more than $43 million in grant funding  across nine separate government awards. He has performed several regulatory and contract compliance support engagements for transport sector clients, including helping them meet federal Buy America requirements. 

He has performed several scoping and due diligence projects for U.S. government-financed international trade promotion activities in different infrastructure sectors. He served as a team member on overseas projects involving organizational and financial restructuring of railway and natural resource enterprises. He has carried out several market assessment projects for transportation industry suppliers. 

As a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, he led a tactical psychological operations team in Baghdad, Iraq in 2006-07.

He holds a B.A. in international affairs from the George Washington University, as well as a masters degree in public policy and a graduate certificate in Spanish translation from American University.