Leadership Team

Our leadership team is dedicated to melding lessons learned in industry (McDonell & Skeens) with current best practices taught in academia (Dr. Hunter) to help companies have a long lasting positive impact on their organizational effectiveness.



H. K. (Howie) McDonell – Co-Founder

Howie co-founded the SkeensMcDonell™ Consulting Group and is currently leading the firm's Leadership Training Practice and is on the delivery team for the Program Assessment and Project Management Training Practices.

Before retiring as an executive from Alcatel-Lucent in 2012, Howie and his project management teams led global R&D projects which introduced the 2G, 3G, and 4G-LTE Wireless technologies to Alcatel-Lucent's wireless infrastructure customers world wide. He was on the faculty for Lucent's New Managers Workshop and led various Program Assessment teams. He is very pleased to be able to share lessons learned from those endeavors (and smaller projects) with SMCG's clients.

Howie has been a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and holds an MS in Computer Science from the University of Arizona and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.



bill skeensBill Skeens – Co-Founder

Bill co-founded the SkeensMcDonell™ Consulting Group and is currently leading the firm's Program Assessment Practice and is on the delivery team for the Leadership Training Practice.

Bill served as an Executive with Alcatel-Lucent and Motorola Mobility, where he managed large teams located in the United States, Europe, and Korea. These teams developed large complex infrastructure and consumer products for wireless telecommunication customers. Prior to co-founding SkeensMcDonell™ he was the founder of Skeens Consulting which provided Business Development consulting for small companies. During his career Bill often served as a guest speaker in managerial training courses and led several assessment teams.

Bill holds an MS in Computer Science from Northwestern University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University.



jane hunterJane Hunter, Ph.D., PMP – Partner

Dr. Hunter is the Chief of Learning Solutions with SkeensMcDonellTM Consulting Group and an Associate Research Social Scientist with the Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW) at the University of Arizona. Formerly, she was the Director of Engineering Education Enrichment Programs and the Associate Director of the Engineering Management Program in the College of Engineering at the UA where she taught classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Previous to joining the University, she worked for a variety of companies, including IBM and Anaquest, in engineering, sales and management positions.

Jane holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, MS in Engineering Management and Ph.D. in Higher Education. She is a Project Management Institute (PMI) certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and teaches the Project Management Certificate Program through the UA Outreach College. She is an active member of the Professional Development and Continuing Education (PDCE) committee for the American Society of Engineering Management (ASEM).



Fred GabbardFred Gabbard – Partner

Fred started his career at Motorola in the Cellular Infrastructure Division. Within Motorola, Fred worked in various roles including Systems Engineer and Core Engineering manager for one of the first CDMA networks. He later served as the Vice President of the Sprint and Alltel Communications account teams.

He completed his Motorola career managing worldwide Product Management for all wireless technologies. His next opportunity was to manage a turnaround of a large product development organization at WMS Gaming as the Senior Vice President of Engineering, increasing efficiency by more than 30% while improving on time delivery of products 4-fold. Fred's most recent role was as the Chief Operating Officer of a privately held producer of specialty fitness equipment.

Fred has an Executive MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.