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Merger creates minority-owned engineering powerhouse

Two prominent Chicago-based, African American-owned engineering companies have merged to create a fully integrated engineering and construction management consulting firm. Ardmore Associates and The Roderick Group have joined forces to become one of the largest minority-owned firms in Chicago and the region, as well as one of the top 20 largest engineering firms headquartered in Illinois.

ArdmoreRoderick logo RGBWith significantly expanded staff, resources and capabilities, the new firm, Ardmore Roderick, will draw from each other’s expertise to provide a more complete set of services for clients.

The merger of these two companies is a model for entrepreneurship and the disadvantaged- and minority-owned business enterprise programs in the city, county and state, which have helped these and other independently-owned firms gain access to major infrastructure projects.

Founded in 2003, Ardmore Associates has played a key role as engineering consultant on complex infrastructure, transportation and building projects – including the $6.6 billion, award-winning O’Hare Airport Modernization Program – and was recently selected to serve on the Obama Presidential Library project management team. Ardmore’s President and CEO, Cherryl Thomas, spent 30 years with the City of Chicago in a variety of departments and positions, including serving as its first woman Building Commissioner.

Led by Rashod R. Johnson, P.E., The Roderick Group has grown significantly from its five-person staff in 2011 to nearly 70 employees in 2017, and has supported a number of significant public works projects, including the CTA’s Red Purple Modernization Program, the Illinois Tollway’s Program Management Office (PMO) and the City of Chicago’s DIGGER system. Johnson is well known for his community service; he is on the board of directors for the YMCA of Greater Chicago as well as the South Side YMCA where he continues to inspire youth through his entrepreneurship.

“It is an absolute honor for me to join forces with Cherryl, a highly recognized trailblazer in this industry,” said Johnson. “We are eager to come together as one company and continue to carve out our path. Even though we’re now technically a ‘new’ player, our peers know us well and they trust our work.”

“Ardmore Roderick is a stronger, more diverse firm, able to offer a more complete set of services for our clients and new opportunities for our employees,” added Thomas. “I’ve come to know Rashod as a true maverick in the field of engineering and business. His vision and creativity have helped The Roderick Group become an important player in the region and I know it will help lead us in new directions, securing Ardmore Roderick’s place in this ever-expanding industry.”

The new firm of more than 150 employees will remain a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) partner to transportation agencies, public utilities and private clients while retaining capacity as sub-consultants to primes.

Both companies, headquartered in Chicago, plan to be under one roof by 2018 while also retaining Ardmore’s offices in Champaign, Illinois and Orlando, Florida.

Ardmore Roderick’s combined services include:

  • Transportation engineering
  • Construction management and inspection
  • Utilities design and construction management
  • Infrastructure program management
  • Land surveying and utility locating

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