VESF Founder, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director – William Morgan “Billy” Benton
Over the past several years, William Morgan “Billy” Benton, a lifelong outdoorsman and avid Virginia historian, has spent countless hours with watermen, biologists, politicians, civic, structural and landscape engineers researching and developing proactive, sustainable solutions to help save the environment he has always held dear – the shorelines and communities of the Chesapeake Bay.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Bill Benton, Billy has helped establish and create methods to effectively restore the habitat in which the oyster, a keystone species, could thrive.
Bill Benton is memorialized in a permanent man-made non-harvestable oyster reef. The memorial reef is seeded with diploid oysters that work every day to restore the Chesapeake. Using his father’s example as a model, Billy has expanded on the vision by developing several honorarial programs to encourage donors to support the environmental mission of VESF: the “Living Memorial Oyster Reefs”; the “Permanent Environmental Tribute to Life”; the “For The Life of our Loved Ones” and “For The Life of The Bay” programs.
In 2015, Benton began his efforts by starting a 501(c)(3) organization called the Virginia Ecological Solutions Foundation (VESF). VESF is dedicated to restoring the Chesapeake Bay by repopulating the oyster. VESF offers the general public a way to contribute to the health of the Chesapeake Bay through more personal, thoughtful and meaningful programs and initiatives.
Billy is the owner of Fox and Hound Reality, a property management company in Aiken South Carolina.
Formerly, Billy was President of Baruch Defense Consulting, Inc. supporting government contractors. Founded in 1982, the company has represented international oil companies and aerospace firms. Benton was Publisher from 1982 – 2000 of the Defense Automated Bidders Service, a daily state ff the art bidders service. Benton earned a B.S. in Public and Community Service, from NOVA South Eastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 1977