Ron Kitchens

Economic Development Leader | Gibson Board of Advisors
Ron Kitchens


Ron Kitchens is an Economic Development Leader and entrepreneur. Driven by the belief that “the Greatest Force for Change is a Job,” Ron works collaboratively with partners and stakeholders across the Birmingham region to grow jobs and build a competitive and diverse economy. He has built a career in economic development centered around passion, leadership and work towards transforming and growing organizations and communities, one job at a time.

Along with being a bestselling author, in-demand speaker and podcaster, Ron is a true entrepreneur, founding and leading eight companies including Catalyst University, Consultant Connect and his first company, the Gas Shack, at age 19. Through his work as the General Partner of one of the nation’s largest community-based venture funds, Ron’s team invested more than $85 million in life science companies.

Prior to arriving at the Birmingham Business Alliance in February 2021, Ron served organizations in Michigan, Texas, and Missouri. His teams have been recognized by Outside, Inc. and The Wall Street Journal as one of the Best Places to Work in America. Both Fast Company and CoreNet Global recognized Ron’s team as global innovators.

A former City Councilman at age 21 for the City of Ozark, Missouri, Ron has also served on dozens of boards including the Board of Trustees of Western Michigan University and the Board of Gibson Insurance (South Bend, Indiana) and the Board of the International Economic Development Council, where he serves on the Race and Diversity Committee. He is a member of the Birmingham Rotary Club and joined the boards of Citizens Supervisory Commission, Newcomen Society, Alabama Germany Partnership and the Coalition for Regional Transportation.

Ron and his wife Lyn celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2021 and are the parents of Kelsey, an advertising executive in New York City. When not working, Ron enjoys quail hunting, boating, exploring new restaurants and his Labrador Retriever Finley.