WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Officials with the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce announced on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, that the Chamber Board has hired a new President & CEO.
Ron Kitchens, from Birmingham, Alabama, has been selected by the Wichita Falls Chamber Board as the new President & CEO of The Chamber.
While in Birmingham, Kitchens was the President & CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance, where he oversaw the organization’s transition and relaunch, including economic development, chamber of commerce, leadership programming, and equity and inclusion initiatives.
Kitchens will assume his new role with the Chamber on Monday, November 28, 2022.
The appointment comes around four months after the departure of former President & CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber Henry Florsheim, who resigned from his position after nearly a decade with the Chamber before relocating to Cedar Hill, Texas.
Kitchens said he is excited by the opportunity and confident in his abilities and experience to assume this leadership role, helping the vision and strategy with the Chamber leadership team, Board and Stakeholders to advance and lead the success of the Wichita Falls Region.
During his time with the Birmingham Business Alliance, Kitchens helped lead the way to create employment opportunities, optimized organizational revenue by 22%, relaunched the Chamber of Commerce and increased job announcements by 40%.
Previously, Kitchens was Senior Partner & CEO of Southwest Michigan First – Kalamazoo, Sturgis, and Three Rivers where he directed strategy, administration, and long-term success of privately financed economic development consulting business in seven counties of Southwest Michigan focusing on job growth, leadership development, and social change.
During this time, Kitchens generated $9.3 million in annual consolidated revenue in 2020, with annual revenue growth of 19% between 2005 and 2020.
Kitchens offers deep strengths in developing and managing boards and guiding start-up initiatives, providing overall direction, mentorship, and coaching to facilitate development victories.
Kitchens brings a proven track record in overseeing the steady growth of regional development efforts including Southwest Michigan First where it was consistently recognized as one of the Best Places to work in America.
Other accomplishments from Kitchen’s career include:
- Founder of Catalyst University, providing leadership and business training to more than 60,000 leaders from inception to ensure continuous process and performance improvements
- Co-Founder of Consultant Connect, the nation’s largest economic development consulting firm focusing on strategic marketing, relational development, and leadership growth.
- General Partner with the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund, where he Co-Launched and operated the nation’s largest community-based ventured fund (per the Financial Times), capitalizing at $85 million.