There’s something to be said for those who ascend mountains for fun: gutsy. Those who do it to take a picture with a Kitchell logo’d banner: smart and gutsy.

Paul and Wilson mountaintop.jpg

Bearing the Kitchell name (literally and figuratively), KCI Senior Project Engineer Wilson Leech and Project Manager Paul Jackson recently conquered the highest peak in Southern California, Mt. San Gorgonio. During their one-day hike they gained more than 11,000 feet and traversed 17-plus miles of steeply dipping thrust faults (if you don’t know what that means, ask them).

Paul sleeping mountaintop.jpg

“It was a tough hike, but the views from the top and exhausted satisfaction at the end made it all worth it,” said Paul.

Wilson explained the mountain as a massive block of quartz monzonite, which sits atop an ancient platform of Precambrian gneissic rocks, providing spectacular views.

Wilson Leech mountaintop.jpg

Wilson and Paul are working on a project together at SDSU (and are also apparently novice geologists), and collaborated on the following quote to commemorate their achievement, adapted from Thomas W. Higginson:

“Great men Kitchell Employee-Owners are rarely isolated mountain peaks; they are summits of ranges.”

Indeed we are.

#KitchellGivesBack in a big way

Sam Kitchell was a man who believed doing good reaps rewards. During his lifetime he and his wife Betty gave time and money to dozens of nonprofits, ranging from the Desert Botanical Garden to the Arizona Kidney Foundation. He was a man of incredible energy and kindness. And in the name of the community spirit he espoused, Kitchell employees recently volunteered for a total of 27 community service projects throughout Arizona, California, Texas and Washington, representing more than 1,000 hours.

Kitchell’s inaugural Founder’s Day was Sept. 11, marking the day of Sam’s passing in 2006 and National Day of Service and Remembrance. In Sam’s name, teams of Kitchell employees (wearing an iconic Sam Kitchell insignia) hit the streets with their tools, time and energy and tackled efforts ranging from vegetable harvesting for food banks to school maintenance projects. Community projects took place starting Sept. 5 with the San Diego Food Bank and ending with a project 10 days later, painting rocks to spread joy on behalf of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Sacramento on Sept. 15. Some employees took time away from work, and others dedicated time on weekends.

Participation was not mandatory, but the all-volunteer effort resulted in 260 volunteers and 1,012 recorded hours. Kitchell donated $25 for every hour employees volunteered up to four hours per person. The total contributions over the 10 days were $17,150 for charitable organizations in Arizona, California, Texas and Washington. The organizations we supported throughout the campaign include:

UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge

San Diego Food Bank

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern California

Ranger Road Freedom Jump

Santa Barbara Food Bank

Honor Health Desert Mission Food Bank

Bright Beginnings Preschool

Assistance League of Phoenix Operation School Bell

Feed My Starving Children

UMOM New Day Shelter

Community First! Village Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento ReStore

Anaheim Cove Park Clean-Up

Rebuilding Together Houston

Eloise’s Cooking Pot Food Bank

Green Apple Day of Service at Chula Vista High School

MiraCosta College

Ben’s Bells

St. Mary’s Food Bank

Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

Sacramento Food Bank

San Luis Obispo Food Bank Coalition

Operation Care & Comfort

Folsom Cordova USD Adult Education Program

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention of Greater Sacramento