Our Team – Group50 Consultants

Our Team – Group50 Consultants

Group50 manufacturing & distribution consultants have significant operating backgrounds in many functional areas and industries. Meet some of our team:

Jim Gitney | CEO

is the CEO and Founder of Group50® and a member of the CompTIA Blockchain Advisory Council. He leads Group50’s practices in Strategic Execution and Manufacturing and Distribution. He has over 30 years experience in world class companies such as GE, Black & Decker, Sunbeam and Rain Bird and is considered a business and product strategy expert. His background includes running large operations in multiple facilities both in the US and abroad. Jim’s strength is working with boards, business owners and executives to develop business plans and effectively implement strategies that are focused on alignment, growth, improving productivity, significantly reducing cost and getting big projects done on time and on budget, anywhere in the world. He is a performance management expert and has written numerous articles on the subject. During his career, Jim has had multiple C-level assignments and his experience includes Executive Chairman, Board Member, CEO, business development, marketing/sales and operations. Jim’s background covers various industries including consumer and industrial products, the internet, government, aerospace, healthcare, professional services and high-tech.

He was instrumental in 7 operational restructuring and has routinely implemented business strategies that have delivered double digit improvements on both the top line and bottom line for his clients and operations he has managed. He was also instrumental in the integration of multiple acquisitions. He also was responsible for the restructuring and consolidation program for Sunbeam’s operational restructuring. His professional experience is complemented by a BSME from the University of Delaware and a MBA from Gannon University.

Shirish Néné

leads Group 50’s Digital and Information Technology Practice and brings 30 years of extensive industry experience and a reputation as a customer-focused executive blending business needs with technological innovation to deliver top line and bottom line results.  He is also a member of the CompTIA Blockchain Advisory Council. He has a successful track record leading Software Development, IT Operations, and Strategy Development Organizations.  Shirish’s background includes over 18 years with Verizon where he held leadership roles in a variety of large corporate initiatives ranging from cloud implementations, data center consolidations, data analytics, cyber-security, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and setting up global operations.  He has championed Lean Six Sigma reengineering efforts, that have more than halved process times.   He has a strong foundation in sound agile methodology, release, customer, and project management practices.  Shirish has successfully managed large infrastructure budgets in excess of $100M.   He has also worked with various US and international consulting practices and holds a Master’s in Physics and a Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India.

Renee LaBran

Renée LaBran has 25+ years of operating, strategic and financial experience in corporate and early-stage company settings, and in a range of industries that include internet / digital media, technology and consumer products. Having worked as a management consultant, an operating executive and a venture capitalist, she is able to help corporations to drive growth and innovation and to manage in the face of disruption from new technologies, changing consumer needs, and other key trends. In addition to strategy development, she is also experienced in M&A and financial management.

After starting her post-MBA career as a management consultant to Fortune 500 companies, Renée worked for Times Mirror / LA Times where in addition to managing over $300M in revenues, she co-founded two Internet start-ups backed by media companies. From Times Mirror, Renée moved into venture capital, investing in early stage technology companies, and providing growth capital to consumer products companies. She currently serves as a consultant / advisor and Board Director at Idealab and other companies. Ms. LaBran holds a degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.


Bruce is Group50’s subject matter expert in operations and human resources.  Bruce is a SPHR and brings a unique set of skills to the Group50 team. He combines global corporation expertise (Procter & Gamble) with the agility required in smaller fast paced organizations.  He brings leadership expertise in Manufacturing/ Operations, Supply Chain Management, Sales, Customer Service and Human Resources. He is a seasoned HR Executive who has been through ups and downs, growth and downsizing, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, worked for corporate giants and small entrepreneurial companies. He adds a significant amount of people knowledge to our Strategic Planning programs and is considered a subject matter expert in Organizational Development and Design, Talent Management processes, Human Resources Assessments, Audits, Mergers and Acquisitions as well as Integrations, Change Management and Cultural Development.


William (Jim) Shepherd

Jim brings over 34 years of manufacturing and project management experience to Group50 clients. He is considered a subject matter expert in supply chain, value stream mapping, value engineering, lean manufacturing and logistics. His recommendations reflect a breadth and depth developed during P&L leadership in aerospace, defense, automotive, medical devices and consumer products and has polished these skills as Principal and CEO of several consulting firms. Whether overseeing initial launch of satellites, or returning clients to profitability, Jim has a proven track record of partnering with client CEO’s and executive management staff to deliver significant ROI to Group50 clients.

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