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International Conference on Asphalt and Traffic

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The Deborah Sawyer Diversity Award
2018 Award Recipient


Cherryl Thomas

Chief Strategy Officer

Ardmore and Roderick


Ms. Thomas has over 40 years of experience, successfully directing, managing and administering various high-profile projects and budgets in the transportation and infrastructure fields.  Cherryl worked for the City of Chicago in the Departments of Public Works, Water, Aviation and Buildings, and as deputy Chief of Staff for Infrastructure in the Mayor's office.  Cherryl retired as Commissioner of Buildings for the City of Chicago to accept an appointment by President Clinton as Chairman of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board.  Upon completion of her term at the Railroad Retirement Board, Cherryl founded Ardmore Associates, where she served as President/CEO for the last 14 years.  In 2017, Ardmore Associates was acquired by The Roderick Group, and is now doing business as Ardmore Roderick, a full-service engineering firm.  Her role in the new company is Chief Strategy Officer. 


Cherryl Thomas has an Honorary PhD from Boston College, earned a Master's of Science in Physiology from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry from Marquette University. 


Cherryl is affiliated with the following organizations: Marquette University Emeritus Board of Directors, After School Matters - Life Director, Big Shoulders Fund Board, The Chicago Network Board, Lyric Opera Board, Polk Brothers Foundation Board, and Helen Brach Foundation Board.