Ron Kitchens, CEcD
Dog lover. Wine connoisseur. Makes a mean batch of gumbo.
Ron’s 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 compounded revenue at 20% annually during his 14 years as chief executive officer. In addition, Ron leads Consultant Connect, is the publisher of 269 MAGAZINE, a board member of Impact Athletic, the past chair 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. He previously served on the staff of U.S Senator John Danforth, and he was an elected Alderman at age 21.
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.
In 2018, Southwest Michigan First has been recognized by Best and Brightest Companies to Work For and Outside Magazine as the best place to work in America.
Ron is author/co-author of three books, including the bestsellers Uniquely You and Community Capitalism, and speaks globally on leadership; how to create thriving, engaged, multi-generational teams; and entrepreneurial cultures. His podcast is available at ronkitchens.com.
“The most powerful force for change is a job.”
– Ron Kitchens