Dee Workman Benedict

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Dee Workman Benedict 2013

Dee Workman Benedict is an American-born international economic and political consultant. She is a creator of strategic plans for multiple U.S. Presidential and Congressional candidates; heads of Fortune 500 Companies; numerous not-for-profit organizations; and others.

Early life[edit]

Benedict was born in the Lowcountry of South Carolina in the small town of Walterboro. Her family moved to Columbia, South Carolina, where her father, W D Workman, Jr.., was a journalist, author, and a pioneer in the development of the 20th-century South Carolina Republican Party.[1] He carried his party's banner as a candidate for the United States Senate in 1962, the first time a Republican had run for statewide office since Reconstruction, and for the governorship in 1982.[2] He lost to Democrats Olin D. Johnston and Richard Riley, respectively. Benedict's mother, Rhea Thomas Workman, was a Full Professor of English at Columbia College (South Carolina), and was only the third female to attain a PhD in English at the University of South Carolina.[3] She was SC Mother of the Year in 1988.[4] Benedict's grandmother, Ruth Thomas, taught at Walterboro High School and founded the "Future Teachers of America" there in 1935.[5] Benedict has one brother, Bill Workman, a retired economic development consultant who served from 1983 to 1995 as the Mayor of Greenville, South Carolina.

Benedict attended public school until leaving in the tenth grade to enter Columbia College at age fifteen. She graduated from Columbia College with honors with a BA in English at age 18, making her the youngest college graduate in the state at that time.[6] She then attended UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina for a year's study toward a master's degree in American Literature, completing her coursework and thesis at age nineteen.

In 1964, Benedict left graduate school to work directly for a senior U.S. senator in Washington, D.C.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Dee's first marriage relocated her to Long Island, New York, and from that union she has one daughter, Eaddy Mays, an American film and television actor. Benedict also assumed legal custody of an at-risk teen girl and raised her as a second daughter until her graduation from college. From her daughter, Eaddy Mays, Benedict has three grandchildren.

While living and working in New York City, Benedict married Robert "Bob" Haymes,[8] notable as the composer of the Great American Songbook hit, "That's All". Haymes composed numerous other songs, and appeared in several movies in the 1940s and 1950s with Edward G. Robinson, Abbott and Costello,[9] and others. Haymes was the younger brother of actor/singer Dick Haymes.[10] In 1986, shortly after Benedict and Haymes were married, Haymes was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She moved her family back to South Carolina. In 1989, her husband died.

In 1997, Benedict married Lloyd H. Benedict, former partner and Director of Johnson and Higgins, later incorporated into Marsh McLennan Insurance.[11]

Career and political life[edit]

Beginning in her teenage years, Benedict worked across all levels of government, from local elections to reporting directly to presidential candidates, including Steve Forbes[12] and Mitt Romney.[13] Benedict was also a delegate to three National Republican Conventions.

Benedict worked in New York as District Representative for Congressman Angelo Roncallo (R-NY).[14] Mobil Corporation hired her during the height of the Arab Oil Embargo. At Mobil Oil, over the course of thirteen years, Benedict served in various capacities and represented Mobil's interests to politicians across state, national and international levels. Benedict reported directly to the President of Mobil, William P. Tavoulareas, and members of and as Director of International Political Risk Analysis. She created and executed legislative initiatives of great sensitivity to further Mobil's objectives with the U.S. Congress.

Working closely with then-Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, John C. West, Benedict developed political support for and appreciation of the widespread economic impact of the US relationship with Saudi Arabia, which averted a crisis that would have been detrimental to U.S. interests.[15] This project necessitated a two-week stay in the U.S. Embassy Compound in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, consulting with Ambassador West and several members of the Saudi Royal Family. In a brief time of respite during the intense negotiations, Benedict became one of the few women who have driven a vehicle in that country. Benedict was responsible for political risk management in multiple countries where Mobil Oil had significant financial assets. These responsibilities also resulted in repeated travel to and interaction with top government officials and business leaders in Nigeria, Indonesia, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and various other countries.

Benedict left Mobil Oil and formed a private consultancy company, Valkyrie Enterprises, while maintaining Mobil Oil as a client. Soon thereafter, Benedict and Prescott Bush, older brother of U.S. President George H. W. Bush, began a business partnership and were retained by multiple mid-sized US companies. Benedict and Bush introduced these companies into emerging countries, as geopolitical forces reshaped Eastern European and Chinese receptivity to Western interests and investments. The Benedict/Bush partnership resulted in numerous international contracts for their clients.[16]

During this period, The National Strategy Information Center (NSIC) [17] invited Benedict to serve on its Advisory Council. Benedict was closely engaged with NSIC's goals of promoting national security issues.

Professional life[edit]

Benedict continued her consultancy from SC and developed an additional strong capability in Central and South America. Her work on behalf of a variety of clients resumed in Eastern Europe and China. She reported to three Heads of State: Romania, Cyprus, and Guatemala on in-depth projects relating to internal and external issues of some sensitivity for those countries. Shortly after her husband's death, Benedict made several trips to Belgrade and Geneva with Muhammad Ali to meet with top officials in the governments of Switzerland and Yugoslavia.

On her first trip to Guatemala, she took a client on for flyover of a proposed oil drilling site in the high-altitude jungle area 200 miles from Guatemala City. However, their twin-engine aircraft was hit more than fifty times by small arms fire, with one through-and-through bullet strike in the wing from a high-caliber rifle. The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing at a remote Guatemalan Army outpost. This incident, perpetrated by narcotrafficante insurgents in a sector previously designated as "pacified" by the Guatemalan government, made national headlines in-country and was cited a few days later in the peace talks being held at the time in Mexico City.[18]

Benedict, however, continued traveling extensively to other Central and South American countries as well as East European countries where political and physical instability abounded. She spent time in negotiations with an eclectic mixture of Third World elected and private sector leaders, often in conditions of considerable risk and complexities not encountered in developed countries, developing a unique skill set and the ability to perform at a high level under great pressures and in various environments.

Current[edit]

Benedict is a Founding Partner and Director of Unlimited Power, Ltd., a manufacturer of custom electronic components and the BakUP, a portable solar generator. She is also owner of Point of Contact, LLC, a distribution management company for BakUP.

She is a partner in PA2050, a private economic development company headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina.

In 2005, Benedict founded and is President of the Greenville Scottish Games, also known as Gallabrae, which is recognized as one of the premiere Scottish Games in the World, attended by British royalty, members of the Scottish peerage, high-ranking military leaders from the US and Scotland, prominent authors, state and federal elected officials, Miss America 2010, and 25,000+ visitors.[19] The annual Gallabrae celebration comprises a series of events and has become a major, international tourism destination.

Benedict serves on the Board of Directors of the Bon Secour Wellness Arena, a 16,000 seat venue in Greenville, South Carolina.

Benedict served on the South Carolina Educational Oversight Committee.[20]

Benedict served on the Board of the Palmetto Family Council.

Benedict served as co-director of "Benediction," a not-for-profit organization she and her husband founded and financed which provided services for the people of the LowCountry of South Carolina, which in a recent interview she stated, "The LowCountry is the home I left, but I will always treasure."

References[edit]

  1. ^ "South Carolina Political Collections, University Libraries, University of South Carolina".
  2. ^ http://library.sc.edu/file/380
  3. ^ http://digitalcommons.winthrop.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1028&context=retrospect
  4. ^ "The Index-Journal from Greenwood, South Carolina · Page 9". Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Around Walterboro, page 62, author: Sherry J. Cawley Arcadia Publishing, Oct 16, 1998
  6. ^ "Columbia College Bulletin, October 1963
  7. ^ September 19, 1965 The High Point Enterprise from High Point, North Carolina · Page 16
  8. ^ "Robert William Haymes, Composer, 65". The New York Times. 30 January 1989.
  9. ^ "Amazon.com: Abbott and Costello in Hollywood: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Frances Rafferty, Bob Stanton: Amazon Digital Services, Inc".
  10. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0371376/bio
  11. ^ http://greenvillejournal.com/at-home-magazine.html "athome IN THE UPSTATE"; by Lyndia Dishman; ppg 56-65
  12. ^ "Without Buchanan, Forbes Aims to Be GOP's Mr. Right". latimes.
  13. ^ "This Year, Voters Focus More on a Man Than on His Religion". The New York Times. 19 January 2012.
  14. ^ "Newsday Magazine" Long Island, NY, January 23, 1977 by Al Cohn
  15. ^ "Letter to Dee Workman".
  16. ^ The China Sea: The American Stake in Its Future by Harold C. Hinton; Transaction publishers. https://books.google.com/books?id=T0BEzIXcpawC&dq=Dee+Workman+and+Prescott+Bush&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  17. ^ "National Strategy Information Center".
  18. ^ "Siglo Veintiuno" August 4, 1992
  19. ^ "Scottish Games bring highland flavor to Upstate". The Greenville News. 18 May 2015.
  20. ^ https://www.columbiasc.edu/files/pdf/columns_Spring_summer2007.pdf