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

Hear from our Kitchell interns on National Intern Day

What’s a Kitchell internship like?


For most students, it begins in the summer with an on-campus immersion at either our Phoenix or Sacramento offices. There, the students hear from our Kitchell employee-owners from a wide range of areas and learn about the many facets of our work, including project estimating, virtual design/construction, project management, engineering studies, facilities conditions assessments and close-out processes. Our interns are then assigned to project teams, jobsites and offices where they apply their educational experience in a practical, real-world environment.

And the unprecedented heat in our Arizona, California and Texas markets hasn’t deterred them.

“The single most important thing I’ve learned since I’ve been with Kitchell is to be proactive and not reactive. Make sure you are looking ahead at the next sequence of construction or task and be planning how to get to that next activity successfully!” – Audey Yarbrough, Northern Arizona University

“It’s nice to find certain spots that are now unrecognizable because of how they’ve developed since I’ve gotten here. I think the most important thing I’ve learned is how involved the process to building parts of a project are and how amazing it is when everything connects, even if it’s just for a few walls or columns.” – Ronaldo Mendoza, UC Davis

“I am extremely blessed to be part this team. With the million questions I’ve had they are always more than happy to help me with anything. I have been able to witness what true teamwork is. Here I have learned how important it is to be honest, communicate and how to take responsibility. Before this I questioned if I were truly able to be in this business and now my confidence has boosted to a whole different level, and I give all the credit to this Austin Kitchell Team. They are super helpful and knowledgeable.” – Antonio Ponce, Texas State University

“Highlights throughout my internship would have to be watching the first/last structural beam placed on my project, seeing the pour of a concrete slab and conducting a tour for my fellow interns. Although it was just a simple tour, I surprised myself with the amount of knowledge I learned throughout the summer, and it gave me more confidence and reassurance that I will do great in this field even though I didn’t grow up in construction.” – Jessica Roth, Northern Arizona University

“I have learned so much about the nuances of construction that I could never have received in school. Construction is an interdisciplinary field – a project can only be completed through all its internal roles functioning as a composite unit.” – Jacob Risko, University of Arizona

“The highlight has been working on-site and seeing pre-development sites I’ve been working on. I’ve learned how in-depth and coordinated facilities conditions assessments are and how a project schedule is laid out.” – Jack Evans, Cal Poly SLO

“I’ve enjoyed being able to work on various jobsites and earning about the process and discussions that happen at the various stages of construction.” – Kyle Lee,  CSU Sacramento

“One of the biggest highlights of my internship is the trust I have received from my team, building my confidence and specifically how to professionally interact with client and trade partners in the field and office” – Morgan Donnelly, Northern Arizona University

The highlight that stands out the most for me is testing the controlled burn features at the Hayward Fire Training Center. Purposely setting things on fire – in a safe way – is always a blast. I’ve also learned that this is about managing people as well.” – Daniel Cervantes, San Jose State University

These are just a few of the 40 interns spending time at Kitchell jobsites and offices this summer. Some of our students are with us year-round, but the majority soak up as much as they can during their two- to three-month assignment. We are fortunate to have several former Kitchell interns among our corps of employee-owners today, including many in leadership roles!