New WF Chamber CEO ready to get started

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 6:43 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - A new face, but continued progression. This is what the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce is expecting with the hire of new President and CEO Ron Kitchens.

He is excited for what this opportunity brings to him with projects already in the works. He also has ideas of things he will be looking to bring to the table and with decades of experience, he believes the chamber and Wichita Falls will continue to thrive.

“I worked in Missouri with economic development and a little bit in city management,” Kitchens said. “I worked in Texas, in Corpus Christi. I spent 16 years in the Michigan area. Now I am here in Wichita Falls.”

Kitchens is excited for his new chapter in life as the President and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce. He said he loves the city and community and believes he has a head start on progress because of the projects the chamber already has underway.

“The community just went through Falls 2.0, an incredible visioning process that really gives us a roadmap to the future,” Kitchens said. “It is our job to build out strategies around those areas that are important for this organization and then execute on them in a multi-year effort.”

“There are projects that are in the works that Henry started or started after Henry left, before Mr. Kitchens got here so those will continue,” Chris Horgen, Wichita Falls public information officer, said. “What will happen now is we will get to know Mr. Kitchens a little better and really get to see where his direction is and where he wants to take the city.”

Kitchens said to be successful, you have to have a strong team around you and he believes he does.

“A lot of chambers have fallen into kind of old and moldy, and this is young and dynamic,” Kitchens said. “These are people passionate about their community who left incredible opportunities to come into this chamber and do amazing things.”

The city believes that their partnership with the chamber will continue to grow.

“We are excited,” Horgen said. “I know city officials that are on the 4A and 4B are very excited to see a new leader at the chamber. Henry was great, but we know Mr. Kitchens is going to do a great job as well. We are really looking forward to that continued relationship.”

Kitchens said that one of the first things he is going to do is go out into the community to meet and help businesses grow.

“The first of the year is really going to have to be about meeting new people and asking what are your needs, wants and desires,” Kitchens said. “We have incredible companies in this community that are growing and should be expanding even faster, but maybe they haven’t got the help they have needed in the past and we want to be there to support them.”

The 4A board will be holding their December meeting with the Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Dec. 15. This will be the first meeting Kitchens will be a part of.