KAI New Principal for Architecture & Engineering Ops

KAI Design is pleased to announce the promotion of Charles Keefer, AIA, NCARB, to Principal – Architecture & Engineering Operations.
In his new role, Keefer will assume responsibility for KAI’s day-to-day design and engineering operations and lead both departments’ vision, project-guidance and standards. KAI hired Keefer in October 2021 as a Senior Project Manager.
“Charles has been with KAI a short time, but has rapidly showcased his positive influence on clients, projects and colleagues. His background and personal portfolio bring diverse national expertise coupled with multi-discipline and multi-office operations,” said KAI Managing Partner Brad Simmons, FAIA. “Stepping into our A/E Operations role, Charles brings a new perspective and creative thinking to our Design & Engineering team as we continue to evolve our next firm growth plateau. Charles’s proven balance of design and technical delivery are raising the bar on our process and end-product.”
Keefer is a Licensed Architect in Missouri and ten additional states and has earned the National License Certificate for Architects (NCARB.)
Prior to KAI, Keefer served as Director of Architecture at Fisher Arnold in Memphis, Tennessee where he was tasked with implementing the company’s vision within the department and supervising the firm’s engineers, architects and support staff. With more than 20 years of experience, he has also held positions as Branch Manager, Head of Development & Chief Architect, and Project Architect at design firms in West Virginia and Philadelphia.
During the course of his career, Keefer had the opportunity to practice architecture in the heart of a nationally recognized section of Philadelphia working on historic restoration projects as well as extensive adaptive reuse projects focused on the community’s redevelopment. He also took on the role as the acting owner’s representative on a $35 million mixed-use development project, leading the project from its conceptual development through permitting and successful execution. The role gave Keefer the opportunity to execute a project from a developer/owner’s perspective and manage the challenges that many of his clients face with project execution.
“Creativity and problem-solving have certainly served me well throughout my life, and I found through my first design lab that I derived real passion and drive from being engaged in both. The opportunity each day to possibly meet with a client, walk on a construction site and design a solution to a complex challenge continues to excite and propel me in my career. I look forward to the new challenges that being a Principal at KAI brings me,” Keefer said.
Keefer has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Charleston in West Virginia and a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
He and his wife Elizabeth have two adopted daughters, Julia and Nora. Outside of work, he enjoys woodworking and exploring the outdoors through mountain biking, camping, fly fishing and traveling.
KAI Enterprises
KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. For more than 40 years, KAI has been instrumental in transforming communities through its expertise in residential, commercial, K-12, higher education, healthcare, science and technology, aviation, mobility, sports and entertainment, government, water and community-focused projects. KAI Enterprises is comprised of four distinct business units—KAI Design, KAI Engineering, KAI Build and KAI 360 Construction Services. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

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