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Albert Kahn Associates Appoints President Montague as First Female CEO of Firm

Kimberly Montague
Kimberly Montague
Alan Cobb
Alan Cobb
DETROIT, MI — In a field that is largely led by males in executive leadership roles, Albert Kahn Associates appoints its first female CEO to oversee the architectural, engineering, planning, design, and management firm. Kimberly Montague becomes only the 12th CEO in the firm’s nearly 130-year history and retains her title as President, as well.

“Kim is without a doubt the best person to assume the leadership role at Albert Kahn Associates,” COO Johannes Palm said. “She’s proven herself to be an exceptional architect, and her leadership is inspiring. She is truly passionate about the people with whom she works, and she knows how to motivate them to reach new levels of excellence.”

A graduate of the University of Michigan - Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Montague began her career in health care design at Albert Kahn Associates and further ignited her career globally while working as Architect for Planetree, the international health care consulting firm.

Montague has provided both domestic and international design industry leadership covering numerous fields. In a career that spans over 30 years and includes prior stints at Albert Kahn Associates and Herman Miller, she is known for her dedication to research, design-thinking, industry advocacy, and her numerous presentations and writings.

Retiring CEO Alan Cobb, who spent the last 10 years as President/CEO and Chairman of the Board, retains the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus and Principal. He also has his own personal take on his colleague’s promotion.

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“It’s impossible not to see Kim’s similarity to Albert Kahn in her approach,” he said. “Mr. Kahn was a true visionary. He revolutionized many different building types like automotive industrial, higher education, and health care through the invention of a 'Universal Space' infinitely flexible, along with advancing material technologies. But he was always holistic and people-oriented in his work. That’s Kim to a ‘T.’ I’m certain Mr. Kahn would be overjoyed by this announcement.”

As Cobb retires, he reflects on a 48-year career in architecture — with 47 of them spent at Albert Kahn Associates. During his tenure, Cobb created hundreds of projects, including Lear Corporation’s Corporate Campus, the Detroit Zoological Society’s Polk Penguin Conservation Center, Delta Dental of Michigan’s Corporate Office, Master Plan and Data Center, the Theater Master Plan for Detroit Opera House, Gleaners Community Food Bank’s Headquarters Complex and Storehouse of Hope Food Pantry, numerous projects for University of Michigan Health Systems including its Medical Campus Master Plan, and Huntington Place Conference and Exhibition Center for the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority. He is also known for more projects throughout the United States and around the globe.

“Alan dedicated his career to Albert Kahn Associates and to creating the kinds of sustainable facilities and environments for which we are known," Montague said. "His vision, guidance, and innovation spanned five decades of leadership here, and everything he did, he did with enormous talent, skill, grace, and respect for his colleagues. We owe him a tremendous amount of gratitude and our enduring thanks.”

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