Careers in Construction Month: Nate Abel went from managing claims to managing construction

When Senior Field Engineer Nate Abel decided to leave the insurance industry, he was in pursuit of a second career, not just a job. He had been with a national insurance provider for 15 years and although he used to get a lot of joy out of his job, decided that the industry and culture wasn’t a good fit anymore. He was looking for a place where he could stay for a long time and contribute, because one too many process improvements and Six Sigma initiatives left him feeling unvalued and miserable.

Knowing that Nate was a concrete foreman before going into insurance, Project Director Aron Kirch, whose son was on Nate’s baseball team, had long pushed Nate to consider Kitchell. Many of Nate’s responsibilities – working with contractor estimates, reconciling, scheduling repairs for homeowners, etc. – transfer well to the role he has today.

“I dealt with customers and conflict every day – passing on good news and bad,” said Nate. “You learn to communicate well with others and solve problems, which are competencies I use on the job every day.”

Nate came to Kitchell in March 2021 and worked on the NOAH Medical Office Building for Honor Health. Now he works on the Phoenix Children’s Hospital 10th and 11th floor build-outs, working with trade partners, scheduling trades, addressing safety, quality and generally keeping the job flowing.

“I love what I’m doing now,” he said. “I love building things and the people I work with. Employee ownership adds a whole other dimension. People treat it as if it’s their own and take pride in their work.”

Aron also convinced Nate by promoting the future possibilities.

“You can achieve whatever you want at Kitchell if you’re willing to work for it,” he said. “You’ll get paid what you’re worth, there’s career growth, development and the culture is great. We’re a midsize construction company but we don’t have a corporate feel – we still have that contractor, down-to-earth culture. The Sid Carlisles and Mike Kings of the world – they’ve swung the hammer and they’ve lived it, so when they talk about how special this place is – it adds a whole new layer of depth to it.”

“Only certain people get to walk through the gate with a hard hat, and it’s special. Not everyone gets that,” he added.

Clearly Nate is in his happy place, managing construction instead of claims. Who do you know who would be a good fit at Kitchell?

View open jobs at

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Comment