About Us


Rising Tide Associates is a boutique public affairs firm that uniquely integrates government affairs, business development, and public relations services into strategies that lead to business growth. Rising Tide has a remarkably successful track record of delivering strategic counsel, marketing advice, policy direction, legislative drafting, outreach planning, and media relations efforts to our clients. Distinctively different than a traditional government relations practice, we apply our decades of experience of creative business development to build long-term business opportunities that deliver measurable results.


David Costello – Principal:

David Costello brings more than 20 years of marketing and external affairs experience to his work developing federal, state and commercial business opportunities for corporate and non-profit clients. He has delivered consistent, measurable results to a broad spectrum of companies, from start-up organizations to multi-national publicly traded corporations.

David founded Rising Tide Associates after a decade of successful leadership as Managing Director of a Boston and Washington D.C. based public affairs firm. David has applied his expertise to clients in the defense, association management, manufacturing, non-profit, and outdoor industries, developing new products, creating new channels to markets, growing organizations and gaining them gain entree to significant  new business opportunities. As a registered federal lobbyist, David interacts regularly with key administrative and legislative offices for Appropriations , Armed Services, Small Business and Homeland Security and has long-standing relationships with program managers at military development labs across the country.

In 2009, David co-founded the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) www.warriorprotection.net, a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization. David grew the WPRC from original concept to a robust membership consisting of more than 34 leading companies in the organizational clothing and personal protective equipment space. David led the effort to educate Congress on the need for sustained, base budget funding for the critical clothing and equipment that protects America’s men and women in uniform
. He created the WPRC brand architecture, led the development of all government relations, business development, marketing, and public relations efforts of the coalition. Through his advocacy efforts, the WPRC successfully achieved supporting congressional language in the Fiscal Year 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 National Defense Authorization Acts.

Prior to founding the WPRC, David had co-founded the GEN III Coalition, an American textile industry advocacy organization. The GEN III Coalition had a primary objective of ensuring full funding for the Army’s new Extended Cold Weather Clothing System-Generation III. This industry advocacy effort resulted in the complete funding of $1.2 billion towards the fulfillment of the 5-year GEN III contract, an advocacy effort that has had a positive impact on the combat efficacy of the deployed soldier as well as on the health of the U.S. textile industry.

David has co-authored more than a dozen U.S. patents in the area of advanced materials. He holds a B.S. degree from the University of New Hampshire and is active on the Boards of the Appalachian Mountain Club, The Conservation Alliance and The Trustees of Reservations. Through his pro bono efforts he has advocated for the protection of public lands throughout the Northeast.


Dan Sadowski-Director of Public Affairs:

Dan has returned to the Northeast after over seven years in Washington, DC developing government relations strategies at the federal, state, and local levels. Dan brings over a decade of experience in the government relations and public affairs industry.

Most recently, Dan served as Director of Congressional Affairs for a 6,500 member, $31 billion specialty automotive industry trade association. As their primary legislative advocate, Dan developed a program through which members of Congress toured member manufacturing facilities and learned firsthand the economic impact of businesses in their home districts. This successful program was credited with building strong, lasting relationships between members of Congress and member company executives.

Through Dan’s efforts, the association drafted, introduced, and advocated for industry-specific legislation on behalf of small business manufacturers. In addition, he worked closely with members of the House Armed Services Committee to secure language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) providing a shared land use solution between recreation enthusiasts and the military. Dan also annually secured a special U.S. Senate Resolution declaring the second Friday in July as “Collector Car Appreciation Day” in the United States. Dan has a diverse network of contacts with key committee leaders in Armed Services, Energy and Commerce, Small Business, and Science & Technology.

Earlier in his career, Dan was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs as the liaison between U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao and the nation’s Governors, Mayors, and local elected officials. He was instrumental in developing and communicating Administration policy to partners across all levels of government. He began his career as an aide to New York State Governor George E. Pataki and Lieutenant Governor Mary O. Donohue. Dan has been an active participant in national politics and has served as an advisor to several national, state, and local campaigns.

Dan is a native of Stony Point, New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Stonehill College in North Easton, MA where he serves on the Joseph W. Martin Institute for Law and Society Board of Advisors.


Susan Mercurio-Manager of Operations:

Susan Mercurio brings a wide range of business skills to Rising Tide, having worked and managed a diverse group of companies over the past 25 years. Her experience includes 8 years in the banking industry as branch and operations manager, owner and operator of two successful retail businesses, and serving on the Board of Directors for various non-profit organizations. Susan currently serves as Treasurer of the North Shore Jazz Project. She attended Merrimac College and holds a degree in Business Management. Susan enjoys music, art, and fishing.



Vice Admiral Barry M. Costello – Senior Policy Advisor:

Vice Adm. (Ret.) Barry M. Costello, a native of Vermont, attended Holy Cross College and was commissioned an ensign through the NROTC Program in 1973. He reported as Commander, 3rd Fleet, in May 2005 following a tour as the Navy’s Chief of Legislative Affairs, and retired from military service in June 2007.

His sea tours include: navigator in USS Brownson (DD 868); weapons officer in USS Whipple (FF 1062); operations officer of Destroyer Squadron 5; executive officer in USS Harry W. Hill (DD 986); commanding officer in USS Elliot (DD 967); assistant chief of staff for operations, 3rd Fleet; Commander, Destroyer Squadron 23; Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group 1, Constellation Strike Group Commander, and Commander Task Force 55 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Vice Adm. Costello attended Albany Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor, and he is a member of the New York State Bar. He also attended the College of Naval Command and Staff where he was selected as honor graduate, graduating With Distinction, and earned a Master of Arts degree in Foreign Affairs.

He has participated in the National Security program at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Vice Adm. Costello’s primary shore assignments included Joint Planner in the Operational and Interoperability Directorate (J7), the Joint Staff; Principal Deputy for Senate Liaison in the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs; and Deputy Director for Strategy and Policy (J5), the Joint Staff.