Our Team at Benchmark Strategies  

Benchmark Strategies is a Boston-based public affairs firm led by Patrick Bench. Benchmark Strategies provides strategic counsel and public affairs services to international and domestic businesses, large corporations, small businesses and non-profits. Benchmark clients include: multi-national corporations, foreign governments, Massachusetts companies, trade associations, and technology start-ups.


Benchmark Strategies specializes in economic development and strategic growth opportunities for companies looking to expand their business locally or globally.

            Meet Our Team 

Patrick Bench


Patrick Bench is the Founder of Benchmark Strategies.  In this role, he provides public affairs and lobbying counsel to clients in Massachusetts. Bench specializes in economic development and procurement advisory services. Prior to launching Benchmark Strategies Patrick served for five years as a Vice President of Public Affairs at Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications.


Prior to Rasky Baerlein, Patrick served for five years in economic development roles in the Romney and Patrick Administration primarily as the Director of Business Development for the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI). During Patrick's tenure at MOITI, Patrick managed an $800M foreign invesment pipeline and collaborated with over 60 foreign companies to open their North American Offices in Massachusetts. In his role, Patrick facilitated bilateral economic partnerships with more than 50 countries.  


Earlier in his career, Patrick held positions at John Kerry for President as a National Advance Staffer, and at PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a Mutual Funds Pricing Analyst.

Patrick served as the Chairman of the WorldBoston Consul General Reception with Keynote Speaker Former Ambassador to United Nations Susan Rice. Patrick currently serces in Board of Directors Leadership positions on WorldBoston, Commonwealth Child Care, and the Boston Irish Association. 

Patrick has been recognized as US 40 under 40 by Irish Echo and is a American Young Political Leaders Fellow.


Patrick is a Bachelors of Political Science graduate from Providence College with a Masters of Public Administration from Suffolk University. He lives with his wife and daughter in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Aaron Saunders

Senior Vice President 


Aaron Saunders serves as the firm’s Vice President of Public Affairs, focusing on the legislative, regulatory, and municipal needs of clients. 

Before joining Benchmark, Saunders served as Senior Manager of Government & Community Relations for Comcast, preceded by six years as Chief of Staff to Senator Gale Candaras.


In his role as Chief of Staff, as well as a selectman in the Town of Ludlow for eight years, Saunders provided legislative, budgetary, and regulatory guidance on a wide array of issues and projects.

Joe Rull

Senior Vice President 


Joseph Rull is a seasoned political and operations advisor with nearly two decades of experience at all levels of government. He began his career as a liaison with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, advancing to become a Special Assistant to the late Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Rull also worked for the Massachusetts Port Authority and the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, before serving as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance for Governor Deval Patrick’s administration.

Rull has advised on a number of political campaigns, ranging from municipal to federal government positions, including: Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Governor Deval Patrick, Lt. Governor Tim Murray, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey, Congressman Stephen Lynch, and City Councilor Bill Linehan, among others.

Rull served as the Field and Political Director for Martin J. Walsh’s successful run for Mayor of Boston. He was a key advisor in the transition from the departing Menino Administration, and then joined the Walsh Administration in January 2014 when Mayor Walsh appointed him Chief of Operations for the City of Boston. In this role, Rull was responsible for the development and maintenance of relationships, procedures, and strategic operations necessary to implement the Mayor’s goals for his administration. He also supervised the Property and Construction Management Department as well as the Mayor’s Offices of Neighborhood Services, Intergovernmental Relations, Human Resources and Health Benefits, and the Retirement Board.

In January 2015, Joseph Rull was named the Chief Administrative Officer for the Boston 2024 Partnership, the organization seeking to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games to Boston. Following the closure of the Boston 2024 Olympic bid, Rull founded MJR Consulting in August of 2015, a full-service general consulting firm specializing in government relations, permitting and licensing, and political strategy.

Nicole Herendeen

Senior Public Affairs Associate

Nicole serves as a Senior Public Affairs Associate at Benchmark Strategies. Over the past year, she has been building a career in political communications and public affairs, leading the firm’s Massachusetts public policy reporting practice.


Nicole has experienced the political system on a local level through relevant internships, such as in the Office of Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-5). Here, she researched legislation for the Member and legislative staff, including immigration, cybercrime and education issues, federal laws such as No Child Left Behind Act, federal agencies (e.g., EPA), and nonprofits (e.g., ICANN). Nicole has also served as an intern in the Rhode Island State House with Representative Robert E. Craven, where she assisted in research and review of legislation, oversaw the passage of Representative Craven’s revenge porn and sextortion legislation by the House of Representatives, and attended bill hearings and meeting sessions for the House Committee on Judiciary.


Nicole is a proud graduate of Providence College, where she received a degree in Political Science and English and completed the Liberal Arts Honors Program. She grew up in the Boston area, originally from Melrose, Massachusetts.

© 2014 by Benchmark Strategies