Wendy Cohen named President of Kitchell CEM

Wendy Cohen was recently named President of Kitchell CEM, assuming leadership of the largest Construction Management firm in Sacramento.

“Since Wendy joined Kitchell she has impressed us with her ability to collaborate and lead,” said Kitchell Corporation CEO Jim Swanson. “She has grown our presence in California, mentored hundreds of industry professionals and demonstrates the potential of women in our industry to lead at the highest levels.”

Kitchell CEM is consistently listed as the largest Construction Management Firm in the Sacramento Business Journal as ranked by construction management revenue. The company has more than 300 employees spanning California, Arizona, Utah, Iowa, Indiana and Texas.

Cohen moves into the role vacated by longtime President Russ Fox as part of a planned transition. Fox will retire from Kitchell at year-end after 34 years with the company, the past 12 years in the role of President. She is the first female to be named president of one of Kitchell’s five operating companies in the company’s 70-year history.

During her 26-year career in the building industry, Cohen has worked as general contractor, construction manager, consultant and an owner. Her experience leading high-performance teams helped to grow Kitchell’s presence throughout California, including large building programs on behalf of UC San Diego, MiraCosta Community College District and the Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Works. She played an instrumental role in securing Kitchell’s work with the single-largest state building project in the history of Sacramento: the Richards Boulevard Office Complex. Kitchell is also managing the Department of General Services O Street Project and the Sacramento Community Center Theatre.

Cohen is a trusted advisor in the construction management field, facilitating numerous industry panels on collaborative business models for construction, the current status of the industry and how to be an owner of choice.

Cohen joined Kitchell in 2013 when the company wanted to grow its footprint in the Southern California market. With her native San Diego roots and experience as the Director of Facilities Planning and Construction with Palomar Health, she had healthcare expertise and a valuable client-side perspective. This helped establish a trusted rapport with clients and respect among her direct reports. She is a sought-out internal mentor for her ability to foster the development of up and coming leaders within Kitchell and continues to chart a successful path for women in the building industry.

Wendy Cohen named to San Diego’s Most Influential Women in Construction & Design


Wendy’s article appeared in a special section of the Feb. 25th issue of the San Diego Business Journal.

Our Southern California Vice President Wendy Cohen was recently named to the San Diego Business Journal’s List of the Most Influential Women in Construction & Design.

Article below:

Wendy Cohen is a rock star in the construction management field. That’s how one co-worker describes the Southern California regional V.P. of Kitchell. Project owners hire construction and program management companies to steer the process of entitlements, design, building, engineering and procurement. Cohen and her team are experts in this area for K-14 education, health care and municipal clients.

Her reputation as a strong mentor stems from her passion for creating high-performing teams within projects.

Her accomplishments over the past year included opening a Los Angeles office for Kitchell and securing a five-year contract with Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Works. In addition, she facilitated several high-performing teams for work at UC San Diego, notably the largest project in the campus’ history: the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood.

Prior to Kitchell, Cohen led the $1 billion Palomar Health program. It was a pivotal time in her career and established a foundation for the way she manages and directs people and projects.
Cohen’s infectious passion extends to her volunteer work and her outdoor pursuits. She has trekked rim-to-rim in the Grand Canyon with cancer survivors, and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.