Press Release

GEI Consultants Hires Two Key Senior HR Professionals in Sacramento

January 15, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—January 15, 2015— GEI Consultants, Inc., one of the nation’s leading geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and ecological science and engineering firms, announced today that Sonja Atkins and Sequoia Howell have been hired to expand and enhance the firm’s corporate Human Resources department.

Sonja Atkins has assumed the key role of the Learning & Organizational Development (L&OD) Director, responsible for successfully executing organization-wide learning initiatives and other training related projects. She will manage and lead the assessment, design, delivery and effectiveness of learning programs across the organization to span a broad range of topics to include career development, performance management, individual capabilities, team development and effectiveness, and leadership development.

Ms. Atkins brings over 20 years of Adult Learning experience  to her new role. Prior to joining GEI, she held several key positions with Dignity Health Medical Foundation in Rancho Cordova, CA, including Human Resources Director and Leadership Development Consultant. At Dignity Health Medical Foundation, she also held the position of Learning & Development Manager, where she co-developed a system-wide (55,000 employee)new employee orientation program. Ms. Atkins also has experience as a Safe Kids Coordinator at Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Trauma Program, where she won multiple professional awards, and as a Health Educator at Sacramento County Department of Health & Human Services. Ms. Atkins holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development, with a Human Health Science Emphasis from the University of California at Davis.

Sequoia Howell has joined GEI as the firm’s Talent Acquisition Leader, responsible for reshaping our Talent Acquisition function while attracting and recruiting high caliber candidates to GEI. She will focus on the fulfillment of open positions with well-qualified candidates in alignment with talent needs as identified by GEI’s annual business objectives and strategic plan.

With over 10 years of Human Resources experience, Ms. Howell is an accomplished recruiter with full cycle national and international recruiting expertise in public and private sectors, including architecture, engineering, oil & gas, energy, environmental, and IT. She most recently worked as a Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant for a large, international public engineering firm, where she led and managed strategic executive searches and recruitment efforts for their Buildings + Places and Environment lines of business throughout North America. Prior to her work at the engineering firm, she was the Director of Human Resources at Pacific Lodge Youth Services, as well as the Director of Engineering Placement Services at Direct Link Recruiting, a firm providing niche focus recruiting services for over 15 sustainable national and international architecture and engineering firms. Ms. Howell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with an emphasis in Organizational Psychology, and a Human Resources Management (HRM) Certification from UCLA Extension School.

“I am looking forward to working with both Sonja and Sequoia in our newly expanded HR team,” says Julie Jennings Kale, Senior Vice President, Human Resources. “Having worked with Sonja for many years at Dignity Health Medical Foundation, I am confident she will successfully align our overall learning function throughout our 37 office locations to deliver an engaging employee learning experience.  In addition, Sequoia’s previous experience recruiting the top engineering talent in the country will help GEI achieve our goal of  continuing to grow our business and expand our services across the nation in 2016. Both women bring a wealth of experience and talent to their respective roles, and I expect they will be instrumental in helping GEI maintain our high performing client-focused culture through our future growth.”

About GEI: GEI’s multidisciplinary team of engineers, scientists, and planners deliver integrated water resources, environmental, ecological, geotechnical and waterfront engineering solutions to diverse clientele nationwide. The firm has provided a broad range of consulting and engineering services on over 50,000 projects in 50 states and 22 countries. For more information on GEI, please visit

Media Contact:

Leann Gebhardt

Marketing Communications Manager

400 Unicorn Park Drive

Woburn, MA 01801