MYM Episode 77 Joe McDonnell copy

77: Investing in Success – with Joe McDonnell

In this episode, Gene Moran interviews Joe McDonnell, the President and CEO of Howell Laboratories, Inc., a well-established company that has been supplying equipment to the US Navy and US Coast Guard since 1964.


Howell Labs is an employee-owned company through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). This unique ownership model creates a culture where everyone is motivated to make decisions that benefit the company. Collaborative committees have been formed to involve employees in important initiatives, fostering a sense of ownership and camaraderie.

Joe shares insights on the company’s mission to expand their offerings and get their products specified for every ship class in the Navy. He delves into the challenges of navigating the complex world of government contracts, the shrinking supplier base in the defense industry, and the importance of experience and expertise in guiding the next generation of professionals.

Join us as we explore how Joe McDonnell guides Howell Labs as they continue to make their move in the ever-evolving defense industry.

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01:15 – 08:34 Right place at the right time – becoming the CEO.

08:35 – 18:44 Everyone that works here owns the company.

18:45 – 26:14 Nothing comes quick and easy with the federal government.

16:10 – 23:29 Creating transformation in people’s lives.

26:15 – 31:47 Continuing to look for opportunities to supply the Navy.

Your Move

  • Get all the resources from this episode at
  • Connect with Joe McDonnell here.
  • Learn all about Howell Laboratories here.

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Gene Moran

Gene spent nearly 25 years in uniform, serving in six ships and more than ten duty stations, and visiting over 50 countries serving as a US Navy Surface Warfare Officer and retiring as a Captain. In corporate, he led legislative affairs for a large international defense company from the Washington, DC office. In doing so, Gene gained a detailed understanding of the defense industrial base and supply chains of myriad platforms, systems and capabilities. Then in 2013, he took the leap to start his own business, Capitol Integration. Since then Gene has helped scores of companies improve their federal positions.

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