senior partner and chief executive officer
Southwest Michigan First
Ron Kitchens’ focus is to lift up leaders by accelerating their impact, influence and well-being in career, family and community.
Ron is the senior partner and chief executive officer of Southwest Michigan First, an economic consulting firm, which has grown 20% annually under his leadership. In addition, Ron leads Consultant Connect, is the publisher of 269 MAGAZINE, board member of Impact Athletic, chairman of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and a Trustee of Western Michigan University.
Ron is the founder of the leadership conference Catalyst University and the co-founder of NEXT, an invitation-only leadership symposium for global economic development leaders.
Ron and his teams have been extensively featured in over 100 national and international media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, CBS, NBC, Fox, USA Today, Forbes, Fortune, The Economist and National Public Radio.
Southwest Michigan First is recognized as one of the Top 5 Best Places to Work in America by Outside Magazine, as well as a National Best & Brightest Company.
Ron is author/co-author of 3 books, including the bestseller Community Capitalism, and speaks globally on leadership, creating thriving multi-generational teams and community capitalism. He blogs and podcasts at ronkitchens.com and can be found on Twitter @ronkitchens.