Brad Thomas PE

President and CEO


  • Bachelor of Engineering, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
  • Masters of Business Administration, Michigan State University


  • Professional Engineer in MI
  • Professional Engineer of Ontario

Brad is the president and CEO of Progressive AE, and is responsible for running all aspects of the business and setting strategy for growth – including national reach, diversification, mergers and acquisitions, recruiting top talent, and client leadership. During his 20 years as the president and CEO, the firm has seen significant revenue growth, an additional presence in the southeastern United States, the opening of a Detroit, MI office, and workplace resilience through the pandemic. Brad encourages and empowers employees to be creative and possess an entrepreneurial spirit.

As part of the firm’s 60+ year journey, Brad attributes success to deep community ties and a long history working on dynamic, complex, and impactful projects such as the DeVos Place Convention Center and Performance Hall, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Downtown Market Grand Rapids, John Ball Bissell Tree House, and The Rapid Laker Line Operations Center. Most recently, his engagement with Grand Action 2.0, the City of Grand Rapids, and the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA) is helping to bring a multimillion-dollar amphitheater to life. This is the first project kicking-off a large-scale redevelopment effort in Grand Rapids, MI, which Brad is actively involved in. He provides leadership to the firm’s clients through the strategy and project planning phases, with significant experience in organizing and leading multi-firm and multi-disciplinary teams. He has extensive experience in contract interpretation, administration and dispute resolution.

Brad currently serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the Grand Rapids Chamber and has held past board positions at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, and others.

In addition to his leadership for Progressive AE and in the local community, Brad serves on the executive committee for ONE Global Design – a network of 21 corporate architecture and design firms in the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, Singapore, and United Kingdom. Collectively, this international alliance has more than 1,600 design professionals.

He earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University. Brad has maintained his Professional Engineer license during his tenure as the president and CEO of Progressive AE.

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