Developing Relationships That Last
CORE Resources, Inc. helps make life easier for its clients and community
It’s hardly surprising that after 30 years, the company that brothers Paul and David Kitzmiller started isn’t exactly the same business it was when they first got to work in the Cincinnati area. After all, CORE Resources, Inc. (CORE), is a business that’s all about building and development. The Kitzmillers have done that not only for their clients, but for CORE as well.
The Kitzmillers and their team at CORE, a premier builder and developer of retail, office, restaurant, residential and health care facilities, have offered a range of high-quality services. The firm has maintained a detailed focus in three areas: construction, development and owner representation.
“We believe that by concentrating decades of experience into these services, we are able to provide our clients with comprehensive, aggressive and straightforward leadership from a project’s inception to occupancy—and beyond,” says Paul, CEO of CORE.
From a simple build-out of a retail shell or zoning transactions to overseeing the complete design-build process, CORE’s skilled and experienced professionals are ready to guide—and simplify—for clients.
“Real estate and construction projects are often the biggest investments a business will ever make,” Paul says. “Many are stepping into a process they’ve never done before. But we have, and we can help protect that investment by making the process smoother. CORE comes in as a quarterback and manages all the disciplines and connects the dots so that at the end, we’re handing the user a set of keys.”
The firm’s fine-tuned turnkey process helps manage everything from real estate transactions to furniture selection; CORE manages every step to make sure that its clients have a complete and cohesive project.
“There are many good architects, many good contractors, many good designers, but very few can do it all,” Paul says. “But CORE is all-encompassing and will manage the whole process.” And the CORE team will treat the project as if it were its own.
“Because my brother and I grew up on the development side, whether or not we own the project, we operate as if we do,” Paul says.
Through the decades, the company has transitioned and shifted focus areas on occasion, but the leadership has never wavered on its commitment to providing top-notch, brag-worthy service that turns first-time clients into loyal, repeat customers.
Today, nearly all of CORE’S contracts are from repeat and referred clients, Paul says, estimating that they drive 95% of business.
“We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships,” he says. “We don’t take that lightly. We have to earn that.” CORE earns it through its culture of excellence and putting customers first. “I can’t tell you the gratification of having someone give you complete trust, which isn’t to be taken lightly,” Paul says. “We take the responsibility seriously to execute an exceptional end product.”
Because of the many lasting relationships that CORE and Paul have fostered and built over the years, the company rarely bids on jobs. Rather, CORE is sought out and asked to get involved.
CORE has developed more than 250 projects for national and regional retailers—including Tide Cleaners, Advance Auto Parts, Tire Discounters, Family Dollar and Roto-Rooter—in developments dotted throughout the country, from California to Florida and Massachusetts to Texas. But the Cincinnati area is home, and the civic-minded company has always made giving back and serving its community a priority.
Not only has CORE helped build and develop structures in the area, it has played a role over the years with team members’ involvement in organizations and efforts including the Cincinnati, Anderson area and Over-the-Rhine chambers of commerce, the American Cancer Society, Saint Ursula Academy and more.
CORE was especially involved in the revitalization of the Over-the-Rhine community, a historic area first settled in the 19th century by immigrants that became overrun with crime and blight. Not only did it oversee work in the area, which is home to the country’s largest collection of Italianate architecture, for a time, CORE’s headquarters was in the neighborhood, which now boasts restaurants, bars, shops and more.
“To be involved in the transformation from what it was to what it is, a vibrant community, has been a highlight of our careers,” Paul says.
More than 20 years ago, inspired to act by close friends raising triplets with autism, Paul and his wife, Laura, helped launch IMPACT Autism. Today, the nonprofit continues its mission to change the world for people living with autism through life management solutions that help overcome the educational, emotional and social challenges of autism through each life stage.
Through a partnership with the University of Cincinnati, the group developed and funds IMPACT Innovation to give young adults with autism an opportunity to thrive in the safe environment of a university campus and to build communication, social and job skills.
Participants, who are 22 and older, develop skills through tasks that include making handcrafted dog bones, delivering coffee and landscaping the community.
IMPACT Innovation began when the nonprofit’s leaders responded to a call from state and federal governments to help boost community-integrated job opportunities. The program, though, focuses not only on employment, but also on health, wellness and lifelong learning.
Each year, IMPACT hosts a golf tournament, the Mayfield Golf Classic, and the team from CORE is heavily involved in pulling off the annual fundraiser.
“It’s changed our lives as a group to know and see the impact on the autistic community,” says CORE President Mike Willis. “To be involved is really touching.”
Consistency Through Transition
Building relationships with that community is perfectly in step with CORE’s broader mission of developing and maintaining long-lasting partnerships and clients, says Mike.
“Developing client relationships is truly a privilege,” he says. “Building lasting relationships reflects back on the fundamentals and culture of CORE.”
And while the president may have changed—Mike took over the role earlier this year—the mission has not. After 30 years of running the business and overseeing day-to-day operations, Paul stepped down from the role.
“We took a chance on Mike 23 years ago when we named him as a project superintendent for a development project. And, wow, did he perform,” Paul says, adding that since then Mike has been a vital component to the CORE team and accomplishments. “There is no one more capable of taking over sitting in the president’s chair than Mike.”
Mike took that seat just before the coronavirus pandemic. Statewide shelter-in-place orders and work-from-home scenarios marked his early days as president and helped expedite the handover, Paul says.
“I can be very hands-on, but with everyone working from home and having Mike lead them through, that has really accelerated the transition,” Paul says.
And though Paul is no longer serving as president, his presence is still very much felt as CEO. “I knew I had run the race of managing the day to day,” he says. “Now I’m focused on clients and developing business relationships and securing business for CORE.”
He’s also stepped back into residential projects as a way to “feed my creative side,” he says.
The residential projects, high-end housing builds that range from $1 million to $5 million, are a call back to the early days of CORE.
While CORE is committed whole-heartedly to all the projects it takes on, it’s the relationships that drive the decisions.
“Today, our focus isn’t necessarily the project, it’s the customers,” Paul says. “If we don’t feel it’s a great fit, we don’t take it on.”