SHW Group appoints Marjorie K. Simmons as CEO

April 08, 2011 |

Berkley, Mich., April 7, 2011 — SHW Group, one of the nation’s largest educational architecture and engineering firms, has expanded its leadership diversity with the appointment of Marjorie K. Simmons, CPA, LEED AP, as chief executive officer.

Simmons’ appointment to CEO makes SHW Group the only member of the American Institute of Architects’ Large Firm Roundtable to have a female CEO. The AIA Large Firm Roundtable is an organization of architecture and engineering firms designed to provide a forum for the discussion matters of mutual interest to large firms. Membership is limited to firms with a minimum of 150 total staff members and a minimum of 50 registered architects who are also members of the AIA.

“Margie’s commitment to education and belief in the changes it can make in people’s life is born of personal experience, and is a driving force behind her commitment to the goals of SHW Group,” said a statement by SHW Group’s Board of Directors. “Margie has a seasoned track record in demonstrating entrepreneurial determination as the CEO of her own successful firm. We are excited about the future of our firm and proud to have such an influential woman in the industry as our CEO.”

Simmons founded DSA Architects in 1998, which later merged with SHW Group in 2003. She is a seven-year board member, respected entrepreneur and managing principal of SHW Group’s Michigan office.

“It is a great honor to serve in the role of CEO and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to build on SHW Group’s success,” said Simmons.

During her time with SHW Group, Simmons has been instrumental in developing the firm into one of the nation’s largest educational architecture and engineering firms. She is responsible for launching SHW Group into the Texas higher education market, which has earned nearly $20 million in contracted revenue in the past six years and continues to grow. In addition, she helped establish the firm’s first successful full service in-house engineering studio and implement the firm’s Research and Benchmarking initiative to drive firm wide innovation, expand market share and increase revenue. Simmons also played a key role in establishing SHW Group in international markets, including Michigan State University’s Dubai campus and The University of Wollongong renovation in Dubai.

SHW Group’s Michigan office has established itself as a leader in both the Michigan K-12 and higher education markets, working with 100 percent of the universities in Michigan. And, despite a challenging economic environment in Detroit, the Michigan office has continued to grow with a 51 percent increase in revenue from 2009, making 2010 the best year in the history of the office.

Among her office's innovative design projects are Central Michigan University’s College of Education and Human Services, Schoolcraft College's Biomedical Technology Center, Michigan State University's Dubai campus and the medical school expansion at Wayne State University.

She received her Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University, and has studied marketing, labor relations, communications and management at Purdue University. She has also taught at the Detroit College of Business.

Simmons was awarded Ernst + Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year in Real Estate and Construction in 2002 and selected as one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ 40 leading business executives under the age of 40 in 1995.

She also demonstrates her commitment to education by volunteering her time and financial resources through endowments and board service at several universities. She is a volunteer reading tutor for Detroit Public Schools and serves on the External Advisory Board for the School of Education and Human Services at Oakland University.

About SHW Group

SHW Group is one of the nation's leading architecture, engineering and planning firms dedicated to the design of learning environments.  Founded in 1945, SHW Group's experience includes more than 4000 projects nationally and internationally. The firm has offices in Austin, Baltimore, Charlottesville, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, San Antonio and Washington, D.C. SHW Group is recognized for collaborating with educators, researchers and facility owners to consistently design innovative facilities that inspire students and support the missions of the clients SHW Group serves. For more information, please visit

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