CRB, a leading global provider of sustainable engineering, architecture, construction, and consulting solutions to the biopharmaceutical and food and beverage industries, announced the Board of Directors has named President Ryan Schroeder as chief executive officer. Schroeder succeeds CEO and CRB co-founder Jeff Biskup, who will remain on the Board of Directors and lead the board as executive chairman.
Schroeder joined CRB in 1987 as an architectural engineer, progressing in the company’s operations before becoming leader of CRB’s Midwest region in 2010. He was named President in 2017 and has led the company through unprecedented growth including its first $1 billion-plus revenue years in 2021 and 2022.
Under his tenure, CRB has become a pace-setting and preeminent provider of manufacturing facilities that deliver life-saving medicinal therapies and vaccines as well as many of the brand-name food, beverage and pet food products enjoyed by consumers. The company’s project portfolio includes numerous award-winning, large-scale biopharmaceutical and food and beverage projects, including many of the research and commercial production facilities that developed and deployed COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
While growing the company’s bottom line, Schroeder has overseen CRB’s impressive physical expansion. With an employee count nearing 1,800 — about a three-fold increase under Schroeder’s leadership — CRB now has 21 offices in North America and Europe, with additional openings planned in the coming years.
The company also announced formation of CRB Operations, a group uniting the company’s Regional Operations and Technical Operations teams into a single structure and led by new Chief Operating Officer Sam Kitchell.
Combining CRB’s regional and technical teams into a single reporting structure under Kitchell, who previously led the company’s Emerging Business Operations group, advances the company’s integration efforts and how CRB serves clients. His expertise and experience as both a CRB leader and former client uniquely position Kitchell to deliver on the company’s promise to clients: successful, innovative project delivery that consistently meets their business objectives, Schroeder said.
Before his promotion, Kitchell led CRB’s Emerging Business Operations team, which worked closely with the company’s growth incubator, the Growth Catalyst Program, to identify new initiatives and bring them to market. Chief Strategy Officer Bart Schubert, who created and managed the GCP from its inception in 2019, will assume Kitchell’s previous responsibilities.
Kitchell has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Before CRB, he served as group vice president of engineering for Shire (now Takeda), where he led the company’s global engineering team of more than 1,600 employees, overseeing engineering and validation operations at multiple manufacturing sites across seven countries and leading the corporate capital program. Before that, Kitchell held engineering Senior Director and Vice President roles at global biotech companies Baxalta and Baxter Healthcare.
“When I arrived at CRB in 2021, I was thrilled by the opportunity to design an EBO group that would develop our most promising business initiatives and prepare them for the marketplace,” Kitchell said. “Over more than two decades, as a client and now an employee, I’ve seen CRB’s entrepreneurial spirit and technical excellence unleashed on some of the world’s most urgent challenges. I’m humbled and honored to take this next step and continue working alongside Ryan and our talented corps of professionals in their critical work.”