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Ron Kitchens

CEO, Southwest Michigan First

Kitchens, Ron-croppedRon Kitchens is CEO of the Southwest Michigan First Group of Companies, a cluster of privately funded economic development advisors who act as the catalyst for economic growth in Southwest Michigan. In this role, he leads Southwest Michigan First, Southwest Michigan Partnerships, Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund, Michigan Medical Device Accelerator, First Angels and the Catalyst Leadership Series.

Kitchens is a best-selling author whose works include “Community Capitalism: Lessons from Kalamazoo and Beyond” and is a nationally sought-after speaker to business and professional groups. In addition, Kitchens is a co-founder of the Engage Conference, a leadership symposium for global economic leaders, and serves on the boards of the Greg Jennings Foundation, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Southwest Michigan First, Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Collaborative Development Council, and Michigan State University.