Meet Our Staff

Walter J. McDonald, CMC

Walter J. McDonald, CMC - The McDonald Group, Inc.

Walter J. McDonald, CMC, is founder of The McDonald Group, Inc., a private consulting firm focusing on distributor operations improvement, marketing and business strategies, executive education and development. Walter is a highly respected material handling, construction equipment, mining equipment, fire apparatus, machine tool, GPS machine control, forestry equipment, heavy duty truck/trailer industries and industrial equipment dealer management seminar leader. In addition, he has worked on numerous business consulting engagements for manufacturers and distributors helping improve manufacturer distributor relations, distributor operations, market share and profitability. 

Walter has authored and created more than 60 articles, publications and workshop programs. His work is frequently seen in Construction Equipment Distribution, Successful Dealer, The MHEDA Journal and Material Handling Business. He has been a Guest Lecturer at the American Management Association, Humber College (Toronto), Associated Equipment Distributors, Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association, Equipment Manufacturers Institute, and the American Rental Association.  And, he specializes in customized in-company  dealer management development workshops .

Walter’s highly acclaimed eight-volume Master’s Program in Dealer Management is now available. Significant discounts available on individual titles and two popular sets .

Since 1975, Walter has conducted over 2,650 management seminars and workshops throughout North America, Europe and the Far East. His construction and forestry equipment industry clients include Caterpillar, Caterpillar Compact Equipment, Trimble/SITECH, Komatsu, Komatsu Indonesia, Volvo CE, CNH, Ditch Witch, Vermeer, Vermeer S.E. Asia, Vermeer Australia, Astec Underground, Ingersoll-Rand, JCB, LBX-Link Belt, Pettibone, Bobcat, Bobcat Europe, Bobcat Far East, Deere CE and Timberjack.

Material handling, heavy duty truck, fire apparatus and industrial equipment dealer management training clients include Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America (MCFA), Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift Europe (MCFE), PON North America, Hyster, Toyota Industrial Truck, Nissan/UniCarriers, Clark Equipment, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Freightliner, Mack Trucks, Volvo Trucks, Thermo-King, Pierce Fire Trucks, E-One Fire Trucks, Kohler Generator, Heil Trailer International, Elgin Sweeper, Schwarze Industries, Karcher Industrial Cleaning Equipment, Jacobsen-Textron and Valmont/Valley Irrigation, as well as numerous independent distributors.

Much of Walter and his team’s dealer management and operations development experience is captured in the McDonald Group Research Report,  The Manufacturer’s Guide to Distributor Development  . Please contact Walter for additional details.

Prior to his professional management-consulting career, Walter held several industrial sales, marketing and general management positions at the senior level including Vice President and General Manager of a $160 million electronics distribution company.

Walter received his Management Consultant Certification (CMC) from the Institute of Management Consultants in New York. He graduated Cum Laude from Louisiana State University, attended M.I.T.'s Sloan School of Management and pursued graduate studies in marketing and finance at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business and he is a Special Projects Consultant to the Boston Consulting Group. Walter is a veteran of the United States Navy.

Walter is happy to discuss any aspects of his publications and work with you. Just contact Walter at .

John M. Vandy

John M. Vandy - The McDonald Group, Inc Mr. Vandy successfully held executive positions with Private and Fortune 500 Corporations including GM through President/COO levels representing leading companies like CNH, Terex Corporation, Manitowoc Crane, Doosan Infracore, TAS Energy and GTherm, Inc. He has successfully leveraged industry knowledge on consulting assignments as President of The Vandy Group, Inc. and in association with The McDonald Group.

John contributed global sales and marketing expertise to a broad range of companies from start-ups through mature business operations. Acquisition, integration and restructuring skills have been demonstrated numerous times, while strategic planning and implementation are keys to a track record of success.  Building on a strong foundation in traditional capital goods/B2B businesses that reliably delivered support through multiple distribution channels on every continent insure value in addressing customer needs.

John was nominated to serve on the US Commercial Service’s District Export Council and is the Chairman of their Legislative Affairs Committee in Houston, serves on the Board of Directors of a Chinese Company, and is active in the professional organization - CEO Netweavers as Vice President of the Houston, Texas chapter. John graduated from Western Michigan University and holds degrees in Business and Economics.

James M. Wilson

Mr. Wilson brings to clients a career experience of 42 years with Caterpillar, Inc., and related companies in North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  In various senior positions, he directed Marketing Regions, Advertising and Marketing Programs, Corporate National Accounts and Dealer Development and Relations. He worked internationally in the areas of dealer appointments, best practices, and performance assessments and recognition.

Having worked closely with equipment dealers throughout his career, Jim understands both their challenges and opportunities. He also gained insight and perspective representing Caterpillar for eight years on the Roundtable on Distribution. The Roundtable consisted of twenty large multinational non-competing companies whose senior executives networked and shared best practices in distribution management.

Jim offers consulting and coaching expertise in many areas:

  • Strategic Pricing for Dealers/Distributors and OEMs: Offer proven strategic pricing algorithms that identify hidden opportunities from clients’ parts invoicing history. Properly implemented strategic parts pricing generates significant, sustainable incremental revenue and operating profit without jeopardizing relationships with customers.

  • Succession Planning for Dealers/Distributors: Help identify and weigh options, issues, special interests, skill sets, timelines, and development programs.

  • Strategic Compensation for Dealers/Distributors: Help assess compensation program alignment with the enterprise’s goals and objectives.

  • Dealer Excellence recognition programs for OEMs and Dealers/Distributors: Incorporate criteria that benefit and enhance performance, in line with the enterprise’s goals and objectives, while recognizing exceptional performance.

  • Managing Dealer/Distributor/OEM relationships: Help either type of client assess the quality of the relationship and then work to improve or end it.

  • Business Proposals for Dealers/Distributors to represent new product lines: Assess draft proposals or outlines and help ask the right questions and include the right elements that might favor a decision.

  • Management of strategic suppliers for Dealers/Distributors: Help assess the relationship and help identify what steps to take to preserve and improve it to gain competitive advantage.

Mr. Wilson holds a MBA from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and is active in a variety of church, arts and community non-profits in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Nick McGaughey, CPA

Dr. McGaughey provides research and consulting to manufacturers and distributors in a variety of industries. Specialization is business integration linking strategy, processes, people, information, and technology to improve performance in the context of competitive dynamics.  Assignments have included business strategy, corporate financial management, process reengineering and information systems, market analysis and revenue expansion, competitive evaluation and benchmarking, and executive education.  He has performed over 350 research and consulting assignments with services primarily delivered in North America, Asia, and Europe.

He has held management positions at Coopers & Lybrand and Grant Thornton, consulting positions at Booz-Allen & Hamilton and Stanford Research, engineering positions at Westinghouse Electric and AlliedSignal, and teaching appointments at University of San Francisco and University of Liverpool.  His educational background includes B.S. and M.S. in Engineering, M.B.A. and D.B.A. in Accounting, Ph.D. in Technology, Doctoral Specializations in Finance and Information Systems. Additionally, Dr. McGaughey is a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.). He has authored 68 publications and presentations.

Dr. McGaughey has extensive industrial and construction equipment experience and knowledge involving suppliers, manufacturers, and dealers. Clients have included Komatsu, Deere, Case, and Bobcat. Projects have included competitive investigations, business operations, channel assessments, financial strategies, and market research.