Page 34 - December 7-20, 2022 “Wow… Those first 45 years went by pretty fast!” were Paul Campbell’s words as he formalized his retirement as CEO of KEPHART during his final shareholder’s meeting in October. Paul’s last day at KEPHART will be Dec. 30. Paul joined KEPHART as a project architect back in 1983 and has led the firm to tremen- dous success during his ten- ure. In the late 1990s, Paul was instrumental in KEPHART’s expansion from designing predominantly single-family for sale homes to designing large-scale multifamily com- munities. He led the design and planning of Crest at Lone Tree for Carmel Partners at I-25 and C-470, now Water- ford Lone Tree, which was one of KEPHART’s first multifam- ily projects to be awarded and recognized on a national scale. This project put KEPHART on the map and led the way for the firm to design over 1,000 multifamily communi- ties across the country and earn the reputation as a leader in multifamily design. In 2006, Paul acquired full ownership of the firm from Mike Kephart. Not long after, during the 2008 downturn, Paul’s leadership and exper- tise helped KEPHART endure through the extended volatil- ity of the Great Recession. He looks back on this time with gratitude for the strength of the team and their willingness to support one another where needed, minimizing layoffs and positioning KEPHART for future success. It was Paul’s experience working in construction that led him to shape the repu- tation KEPHART upholds for creating well-designed places for people to live, as well as providing thoughtful, constructible drawings. Paul spent his college summers just east of his alma matter, The University of Michigan, work- ing as a rough frame carpen- ter in Detroit. He worked on single-family homes and con- dominiums, eventually being put in charge of layout. As he transitioned to his first archi- tecture job, he recognized how his carpentry training trans- lated to the drafting table. The real details required for understanding how buildings come together and the impor- tance of their constructabil- ity are learned outside of the classroom. Paul made it his mission throughout his career for KEPHART to consistently deliver construction drawings that are second to none. “Paul and I have worked together for nearly 25 years,” said Ken Kiken, Owner of Milestone Development. “He has been the main rea- son for our success. From searching for ways to update our designs while maintain- ing simplicity and efficiency, Paul is the best architect I’ve crossed paths with in my 50 years of construction.” Paul’s early experience working with trade partners also shaped his understanding of how to effectively manage relationships. He has always prioritized investing time and care into getting to know each of KEPHART’s clients, under- standing their needs, and cre- ating solutions to optimize success. “Having worked with Paul Campbell and the team over at KEPHART for more than 20 years, I have seen the firm grow and evolve under Paul’s leadership,” said Jeff Wik- strom, Chief Development Officer of Evergreen. “KEPH- ART is my go-to architecture firm due to their understand- ing of how spaces live and their commitment to working as a partner with their clients. KEPHART is great at seeing the big picture and making recommendations to ensure the success of our communi- ties and that mindset and com- mitment began with Paul.” Paul extends the same level of care and consideration to the team at KEPHART. Nearly 10 years ago, he shared his plans to retire with the intent of leaving adequate time to thoroughly onboard and men- tor the next generation of lead- ership. Paul has spent the last decade strategically preparing for his departure and the con- tinued success of KEPHART. In 2016, Paul announced growth in the ownership of the company, promoting eight long-time associates at the firm to principals and compa- ny shareholders. Under Paul’s guidance, this new leadership team began making decisions for the firm, allowing Paul’s focus to shift from manag- ing day-to-day operations to training and mentoring staff. It was also at this time that KEPHART became an employee-owned company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) – a decision influenced by Paul’s belief in the power of collec- tive ownership and decision- making. As part of Paul’s continued succession planning, Bryce Hall was named President of KEPHART in 2019 and addi- tional Principals and Asso- ciate Principals have since been added. When asked about Paul’s retirement, Bryce said, “There’s no ques- tion his career has been an unqualified success. Paul has put his heart and soul into making KEPHART a thought- ful and dependable architec- ture and land planning firm, and a truly wonderful place to work. Though he will be greatly missed, his legacy will live on through KEPHART’s continued success on the solid foundation he has built.” As KEPHART approach- es the celebration of its 50th Anniversary in 2024, Paul is proud to see the strength and success of the team – a diverse group of more than 80 people working across the country. KEPHART has had incred- ible mentorship and leader- ship for the last 50 years and is well-positioned and excited to take on the next 50 thanks to the groundwork laid by Paul. As his successful career comes to an end, Paul is look- ing forward to welcoming a new chapter of life, driving his tractor along the beach of his home on Lake Michigan and spending time with his family. Paul’s lasting impact on KEPHART and his com- mitment to designing well- designed places for people to live, work and play will be felt by many for years to come. s Paul Campbell Retires from KEPHART after 45 Years PROFILE Campbell led the design and planning of Crest at Lone Tree for Carmel Partners at I-25 and C-470, now Waterford Lone Tree. ‘Paul has put his heart and soul into making KEPHART a thoughtful and dependable architecture and land planning firm, and a truly wonderful place to work.’ - Bryce Hall