Company History

Kitchell Corporation, an employee-owned company, was established in 1950 by Sam Kitchell. The company provided construction management and general contracting services in the Western United States. As the construction industry grew, Kitchell recognized the need for improved, flexible methods for meeting construction challenges. The firm’s innovations in management and its reliability in delivering projects on time and within – or under– budget soon earned a reputation for superior performance.

Having been in business for more than 60 years, Kitchell has proven its long-term stability and financial strength. Kitchell has achieved many milestones and continues to raise the bar for the entire construction industry.

To see a complete Kitchell history and timeline, please visit the About Kitchell page.

Meet Founder Sam Kitchell

Sam Kitchell hailed from Massachusetts, attended Amherst College, and served as a commander in the U.S Navy during World War II. After the war ended and he found himself out of a job when the pre-fab housing company he worked for went bankrupt, Kitchell decided that he needed a more stable position in the construction industry and relocated his growing family to Phoenix, Arizona. He worked for a local architecture firm as a supervisor of construction projects, and also as an estimator for a building contractor before meeting Phoenix businessman James B. Phillips, who had sold a business and was looking for a new investment. Kitchell convinced Phillips that the construction industry was a good place to invest, and the businessman provided $10,000 to begin a new company. The two partners incorporated Kitchell-Phillips Contractors, Inc. in January 1950.

For three months, no one in the company drew any salary. Kitchell worked as the firm’s estimator and his wife served as the company’s secretary. By the end of year, however, Kitchell-Phillips was contracted to build a number of Safeway retail stores and a few schools near the city of Phoenix, resulting in sales of $800,000. The two men were also aided by the onset of the Korean War. Kitchell-Phillips Contractors secured projects for the American military at Luke Air Force Base and the Yuma Army Test Station. The most important of these wartime contracts was the rehabilitation and improvement of the Tank Training Command. Located at Camp Irwin in the Mojave Desert in California, the size of the contract doubled to nearly $2 million by the end of 1952.