Ron’s focus is to lift up leaders by accelerating their impact, influence and well-being in career, family and community.
Ron is senior partner and chief executive officer at Southwest Michigan First, an economic consulting firm, which has grown compounded revenue at 20% annually during his 15 years as chief executive officer. In addition, Ron leads Consultant Connect, oversees communications branded under 269 MAGAZINE and FIRST & 42, and is 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.
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 bestseller Community Capitalism and speaks globally on leadership, creating thriving, engaged, multi-generational teams and entrepreneurial cultures. His new book Uniquely You was released in 2019. He blogs and podcasts at ronkitchens.com and can be found on Twitter @ronkitchens. He blogs and podcasts at ronkitchens.com and can be found on Twitter @ronkitchens.
Ron speaks globally on leadership, creating thriving multi-generational teams and community capitalism.
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