GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Architecture and engineering firm Progressive AE is celebrating 60 years in business this month. The firm’s theme for the year is “A Year of Gratitude,” as the firm looks back on the partnerships and communities its had the chance to serve over 60 years.  

“We are proud to be part of Grand Rapids’ and now Charlotte’s vibrant architecture and engineering community for 60 years and counting,” said Brad Thomas, president and CEO. “Now working in 48 states, we have had the opportunity to work on some dynamic, complex, and impactful projects throughout our years in business. We’re grateful for the trust and opportunities we’ve been given and look forward to continuing to serve clients across the Midwest, Southeast, and nationally for many years to come.”

From modest beginnings of four original engineering partners in 1962 to more than 230 employees serving clients across the nation today, Progressive AE has always thrived on an entrepreneurial mindset. As an employee-owned business, Progressive AE’s workforce strives to represent the firm’s values of leadership, learning, trust, and diversity, all while working creatively, strategically, and collaboratively to serve clients and have fun doing it.  

The firm has led iconic projects throughout Grand Rapids, including the DeVos Place Convention Center and Performance Hall and John Ball Zoo’s Bissell Tree House. More than 20 years of professional collaborations with artists, sculptors, designers, and contractors at Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park have also been a highlight.

Progressive AE has received more than 100 design awards, including being recognized as the AIA Firm of the Year in Michigan multiple times with the most recent being in 2018, and Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2019. It has been ranked as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to work for in the nation. The firm is also a member of ONE Global Design, a network of entrepreneurial owner-led design firms in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and India. This partnership allows the firm affiliate status and the ability to practice throughout these regions.

In 2016, the firm merged with ai Design Group in Charlotte and continues to serve clients in that geographic market. One recently completed project is the Envision Charlotte Innovation Barn, which serves as ground zero for Circular Charlotte, a joint venture between Envision Charlotte and the City of Charlotte to transition the city to a circular economy. The Innovation Barn is home to several entrepreneurial businesses and zero-waste initiatives as well as community spaces for education. It is the first innovation center in the U.S. fully focused on transition to a circular economy. 

A community campaign, “60 Ways to Say Thank You,” is planned for Progressive AE employees to give back to their local communities in Grand Rapids and Charlotte each month of the year. The firm kicked off the campaign in April by participating in Earth Day through a tree-planting event in Charlotte and collecting 60 bags of trash from community parks and neighborhoods in Grand Rapids. Other scheduled events include a walk/bike/ride wellness charity drive in May, scheduled volunteer service days in June, and a school supply drive in August. For more information,