February 12, 2015

Cheryl Kitchner spent 20 years working in architecture and design, knowing there was something pivotal awaiting her in her career. She found her niche in professional development, connecting people to their purpose and passion. 

Today, she joins HKS as Director of Professional Development. 

Kitchner has one goal in mind at HKS: create a place where people can flourish. By asking key questions such as, “What do you want to grow into in your career?” “What interests you?” and “What do you want for HKS?” she allows people to express their current and future goals – both professionally and personally. 

“I want to help you formalize your thoughts, dreams and aspirations for your career at HKS,” says Kitchner. “It’s key that I help you get where you want to be … to ignite your passion … while encouraging you to engage with HKS, each other and our clients. These goals aren’t just idealistic or unmeasured. They are concrete plans that, when achieved, help you attain your goals and enable you to flourish.” 

She is charged with four key firm-wide developmental goals:

  1. Create a professional development plan. This is the key ingredient of a successful career. At HKS, we want our people to set the north arrow on their career. The development plan will not only help them identify gaps in their skills and abilities but, most important, will identify when they can stretch and grow their current abilities and to design a rewarding and fulfilling career. The professional development plan will be aligned with the
    HKS strategic plan.
  2. Develop a robust learning and development plan. CEUs are important. As professionals, we need them. Also as professionals, we want to develop personally, to bring our bigger game to every engagement – to our projects, clients and team members.
  3. Implement a mentoring program. We all are aware how important tribal knowledge is to our company and to each of us growing our careers. The key is to pass that baton, enriching others with the 75-year legacy of knowledge and design.
  4. Further develop the whole architect. Every architectural firm promotes its design and delivery systems. We are asking ourselves, “How do we promote the outcome we want?” We're developing a beyond-architecture approach, a way of thinking that will be applied to our projects at every phase of design, development, implementation and evaluation.  

Kitchner is a leadership coach with more than 25 years in corporate leadership roles. Her background includes professional development training at Gensler, Working Wardrobes, Be Above Leadership and DEC Mentoring, in addition to owning a career and leadership coaching business. 

A Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, she focuses on NeuroLeadership, an emerging field of study connecting neurological science with the fields of leadership development, management training and change management. Kitchner graduated from FIDM Interior Design College with an Associate of Fine Arts degree. 

HKS, Inc. is a leading architectural design firm ranked among the top five architectural engineering firms, according to Building Design+Construction magazine. Since its founding in 1939, HKS has completed construction projects totaling more than $77 billion in more than 1,648 cities located in 84 countries. The firm operates from 26 offices worldwide. For more information, contact Trish Martineck at tmartineck@hksinc.com.

Tagged Cheryl Kitchner, Professional Development