“This merger with ai Design Group is an opportunity to combine experience, expand our geographic reach and share best practices to enhance the delivery of services to our clients nationwide,” says Brad Thomas, President and CEO of Progressive AE. “It also comes at a time when both of our firms are in a position of strength, allowing us to accelerate our momentum together.”
What’s new? Services, staff, markets
Progressive AE’s Charlotte office can now offer clients more services such as in-house engineering which before would have been handled by a separate firm. Fifty employees at the Charlotte office, on the top floor of the Chamber building in Uptown, combined with another 160in Grand Rapids means serious bench strength and talent pool. Together, they serve a total of 10 markets including community, healthcare, housing, industrial, learning, retail, senior living, sports, workplace and worship.
What remains the same? Local leadership, culture
Charlotte’s local leadership team of Principals Wes Jones, Kim Marks and Ryan Doherty remains the same. However, Jones now serves as Managing Principal of the Charlotte office and Marks is the firm-wide Workplace Practice Leader. “Our two firms are very much aligned, both culturally and strategically,” says Jones. “We’ve invested in the best talent, we share a client-centric approach based on relationships and customer service and we’re both highly committed to our local communities.”
What’s next? Pursuing business as a bigger and better firm
The past year spent finalizing the details of the merger has confirmed this is the right move, at the right time. The combined firm recently won two retail projects with a new client, through a joint effort highlighting the retail design team in Charlotte and extensive delivery capabilities in Grand Rapids. And, with Progressive AE’s industrial, workplace, and housing experience, combined with Charlotte’s continued development boom, you can bet these will be growth areas for the company in this region.
Growth by merger – it’s a good thing when it’s the right fit of people, culture, capabilities and vision.
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Cover photo: Pictured left to right: Progressive AE’s Wes Jones, Kim Marks and Ryan Doherty