On Friday, May 14th, we celebrated the retirement of Brend Richmond. It was incredibly hard to say farewell to someone who had played such an instrumental role in the success of our company. A simple “thank you” lacked the depth of emotion and sincere feelings of friendship and love we have for her. So as a way to honor our trusted friend and her celebrated career, we share her story with you. Her dedication and years of service to the company helped shape the success of Kissick Construction today.

Brenda’s distinguished career began in a small apartment “office” in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. The year was 1995 and Brenda joined the aspiring team of Pete Browne and the late Jim Kissick, possibly her two most cherished professional friends, as they took the first steps toward forming a new construction company. Brenda was the first employee of Kissick Construction and administrative guru for the company. Her entire accounts payable system fit in one accordion pleated file folder on the kitchen table. Their office was also the living room. It was an exciting time for the trio…and with the offer to help Pete with payroll while working late one Tuesday evening, she opened the door to allow Jim and Pete to focus on their work and their clients, which is exactly what they did.

The company began to grow, and so did their list of employees and clients. In turn, Brenda’s role with the company grew as well. From administrative duties to office management, from employee benefits to the development of an accounting department, her work and responsibilities grew with ever greater importance. With each new step, she humbly excelled.

But Brenda brought more to Kissick Construction than a solid work ethic and intuitive business acumen. She brought the rare ability to connect with every employee who entered the doors of Kissick Construction. She created an environment within the company where employees were nurtured and watched over–a family atmosphere where everyone felt a part of the team. She was attentive and involved in the needs of every employee, and took the time to really get to know each of them, not just at work, but on a personal level as well. Employees’ spouses and their children became part of her family, too, and she truly cared for them. In the early years, Brenda served as a second mom to Jim’s young sons who were often visitors to the office. And still today, they reserve a special place in their hearts for her.

“It’s not a company. It’s a family.”

Brenda Richmond

Brenda became an important link between the office and those working in the field. She understood the challenges field workers faced each day and made it her responsibility to ensure their needs were met. Oftentimes, she offered assistance not only to them but to their family as well. Brenda also recognized the importance of fostering good relationships with the company’s subcontractors. With both trust and loyalty, she cultivated a family of workers who truly appreciated working with Kissick Construction. When the economy grew uncertain or work became scarce, she would rally to keep the subcontractors working. She was an advocate for all of the employees and subcontractors who together made the Kissick Construction team click.

And with first-hand knowledge of growing a once small business from the ground up, Brenda made it a priority to engage and work with other small businesses in the city knowing how important it was to help them succeed as well. Aware and grateful to those individuals and companies who assisted Kissick Construction in the early years, Brenda chose to pay forward the success Kissick was afforded. Many of those first individuals and businesses she reached out to in the early years are still working with Kissick Construction today.

“To say Brenda was a valued employee does not even touch the surface for me. She has been a true partner in the growth of our company. There’s no way we can replace her, but we plan to build on what she has created here. We wish her the very best in her next chapter of life.”

Pete Browne

So thank you Brenda. For everything. As Vice President of Administration, you have become an accomplished and decorated woman in the construction industry, not only in Kansas City but in the Midwest as well. You have touched the lives of so many people and in so many positive ways and we are grateful. And now, we wish you immense happiness and joy in your retirement. We can only imagine how happy your family, especially your seven grandchildren, will be to spend more time with you. Enjoy this next chapter in your life. We’re certain you’ll be amazing at it, too!