Chris Kirch named President of Kitchell Contractors

Chris Kirch was recently named President of Kitchell Contractors Inc., taking the reins of one of the oldest commercial building contractors in the Southwest as it moves into a new era of leadership.

“We are experiencing unprecedented innovation and growth as it relates to how and what we build,” said Kitchell President & CEO Wendy Cohen. “As someone who has lived this industry since he started as a laborer on one of our hospital projects, Chris understands firsthand how to meet the challenges of increasingly complex projects while mobilizing teams to perform at the highest levels. I look forward to working alongside him as we chart a future that builds on our long legacy and uses innovation to bring our clients’ visions to life.”

Kirch has been with Kitchell since 2003 and since 2010 has been with the company’s Texas region, helping to grow the company’s footprint in the Austin and Houston markets. He began his journey with Kitchell as an intern while working toward his Construction Management degree from Northern Arizona University, moving through an entry-level Project Engineer position in Las Vegas to Operations Manager in Texas, where he most recently served as Texas Market Sector Executive. He is known as an accessible, supportive leader who is unwavering in his dedication to Kitchell’s projects, clients and employees. Chris is a founding board member of the Lean Institute of Houston and Vice President of Cyclist for a Cause, benefiting MS research.

Kirch is the second leadership appointment at Kitchell in recent weeks, following the appointment of Don Haase as the new President of Sacramento-based Kitchell CEM. The leadership changes are part of a strategic succession effort at the diverse company, which consists of four distinct operating companies: Kitchell Contractors Inc., Kitchell Capital Expenditure Managers (CEM), Kitchell Development Company and American Refrigeration Supplies. Through these companies, Kitchell provides a wide array of building services ranging from real estate development and program management and construction management to general contracting and facility management, as well as wholesale refrigeration and HVAC supplies.

Don Haase named President of Kitchell CEM

Don Haase was recently named President of Kitchell CEM, assuming leadership of the largest Construction Management firm in Sacramento and following in the footsteps of Wendy Cohen, who moved into the role of President & CEO of the Kitchell Corporation earlier this year.

“Don has more than 35 years of experience on the client and consulting side, which gives him a well-rounded perspective of how rapidly our industry is changing,” Cohen said. “I’ve seen firsthand how good he is at collaborating, leading and motivating, as well as his willingness to step in and get involved when the going gets tough. He’s the right person to lead CEM as we adapt innovative, forward-thinking practices to help our clients achieve their vision.”

Kitchell CEM is the largest Construction Management Firm in the Sacramento Business Journal as ranked by construction management revenue and is consistently listed among the top CM/PM firms nationally as ranked by Engineering News-Record. The company has more than 330 employees spanning California, Arizona, Utah, Iowa, Idaho and Texas.

During his career, Haase has worked as general contractor, construction manager, consultant and owner. He joined Kitchell in 2016 as a Project Director, gradually increasing his responsibilities and most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Operations. He has played an important role with several of Kitchell’s landmark projects and programs, including the Department of General Services Facilities Management Division.

Don is known for his proactive and collaborative leadership style, problem-solving skills, ability to facilitate consensus and deliver budget-constrained solutions. Prior to joining Kitchell, Haase was a Project Director with Vanir. He also served as a General Construction Manager with the San Juan Unified School District. Haase is a Certified Construction Manager and LEED-certified.

Sacramento-based Kitchell CEM provides program, project and construction management, engineering & architectural services and facilities management. The company offers expertise in corrections, education, renewable energy, performing arts, healthcare, and essential services. Kitchell consistently ranks in Engineering News-Record’s annual lists and is known as a best place to work in its markets with a significant employee base. The company’s corps of 1,000-plus employee-owners manage projects from main offices in California, Arizona and Texas. Learn more at