Successful CEO Empowers Business Leaders to Step out of the Box in ‘Uniquely You’

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 15, 2019 – Ron Kitchens, an entrepreneur who has consulted and coached thousands from small businesses to Fortune 500 CEOs, U.S. Senators to faith-based leaders, combines stories from his life journey with his acute business acumen to guide readers in unlocking the keys to their own success in his new book Uniquely You (Baker Books, May 21, 2019, ISBN 9780801093746).


While most business books offer quick fixes and look at the success of other people, Uniquely You shifts the focus to readers and the importance of embracing their own story and being themselves in order to find success as an authentic leader.


“We live in an era of quick fixes, instant gratification and the idea that there is a cookie-cutter formula to success,” said Kitchens, senior partner and CEO of Southwest Michigan First, which has been named one of the best places to work by the Wall Street Journal and Outside Magaine.  “That is not the case; everyone is different, our personalities are different, our learning styles, our experiences. If we were all created differently, why would our path to success and leadership styles be the same?”


Kitchens took an unconventional path to achieving business success and financial wealth. Born into poverty to teenage parents, Kitchens’ dad suffered from dyslexia, a trait Kitchens also inherited. But thanks to mentors in his life, Kitchens was able to commit himself to his education, graduating from college after eight long years.


In each chapter of the book, Kitchens shares stories of lessons he has learned throughout his life and explains how they are interwoven with real-life business practices that have helped him be the successful businessman he is today, like how a can of mandarin oranges found in a bag of groceries left at his house when he was a child, shaped how he welcomes new employees.

“When I was a child, we viewed mandarin oranges as a luxury, so for someone to give those to us, made me feel special and realize that I was not alone or forgotten,” said Kitchens. “To this day, I keep a can of them on my desk to not only remember that I am seen and where I came from but as a reminder to make sure my teams know that they are seen, heard and valuable. Every time we welcome a new employee, I leave a can on their desk. It’s my way of letting them know that as the head of this company I see them and value what they are bringing to the table.”


Whether a young professional about to join the workforce for the first time, a seasoned entrepreneur, or someone rejoining the workforce, Uniquely You will equip readers with the tools needed to find their own success their own way while encouraging them to embrace their past.


“The men and women I have the pleasure to work with believe that they are created to achieve greatness, but they are often exhausted, disenchanted and overwhelmed. The reason for this stems from our quick-fix culture. It seems that every book, podcast, and TED video promises a magic bullet, a get-rich-quick scheme, or the recipe for secret sauce,” Kitchens writes. “Here’s the good news: you already have what you need to succeed. Our stories possess the power to grow us into better leaders than we might otherwise become. Those who embrace their unique stories have unique success.”


Uniquely You releases May 21, 2019. For additional information, visit