GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Architecture and engineering firm Progressive AE welcomes new board member, Dr. Cheryl Richards, CEO and Regional Dean of Northeastern University’s Charlotte Campus, to serve a three-year term. She joins seven other board members of the employee-owned company. Progressive AE’s Board of Directors sets the firm’s strategic direction and long-term goals. Based in Grand Rapids, MI, Progressive AE merged with Charlotte-based ai Design Group in 2016.

Dr. Richards is the CEO and Founding Regional Dean of Northeastern University-Charlotte in Charlotte, NC, and was the first regional executive for Northeastern University’s Global Network that now boasts campuses in Seattle, Silicon Valley and Toronto. Since its inception six years ago, the Charlotte campus has grown to offer more than 40 masters and doctoral degrees, accelerated bachelors, numerous graduate level certificates and non-credit programs.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Cheryl Richards to our Board of Directors,” said Bradley Thomas, President and CEO. “As a leader in her field, Dr. Richard’s unique blend of business
and academic background will help pilot the firm as we continue our growth and
leadership development. Additionally, with Progressive AE’s recent expansion in Charlotte, NC, we are bringing on board a well-known leader who can provide regional perspective and guidance.”

“New to the Charlotte region, Progressive AE is in the same position Northeastern was nearly seven years ago when it established a Charlotte campus, the first satellite location for the University outside of Boston, “said Richards. “As the newest member of the Progressive AE Board, I look forward to leveraging that experience to help the firm build both their brand and beneficial relationships.”

Richards possesses a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication, a master’s degree in Student Affairs, and a Ph.D. in Leadership. She has received numerous honors including Most Admired CEO, Smart CEO’s inaugural class of Charlotte’s top female CEOs, twice by the Mecklenburg Times as one of Charlotte’s 50 Most Influential Women and in 2014 was named Woman of the Year. The Charlotte Business Journal has recognized her as a 40 Under Forty leader and a Top 25 Women in Business. She has also served as a guest host for Carolina Business Review and featured speaker for BizWomen’s nationally aired webcast.

About Progressive AE
Progressive AE has provided innovative and sustainable architectural and engineering services for more than 55 years. The firm is guided by a fundamental and forward-thinking philosophy that design should drive organizational performance. Progressive AE’s workforce is a unique blend of creative people who think strategically, and strategic people who work creatively. The firm is privately held, employee-owned company with offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit