Cannon Ranks in Top 30 Best Places to Work

The Pacific Coast Business Times recently recognized Cannon as one of the best places to work in the Central Coast of California. Pacific Coast Business Times is a weekly business journal of record serving Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties.

Cannon ranked among top businesses in the Tri Counties from Ventura to Paso Robles as one of the best firms with 35 employees or more. Each year, the publication reaches out to employees with a survey to collect nominations and determine the region’s best employers. Only individuals employed by the organization and based in the region may submit, and employees are limited to one survey submission.

To read the issue and see the full ranking, check out the web publication here.

Cannon’s President, Mike Cannon, had this to say about the company’s achievement: “I am so proud of this team. It is uplifting to see so many share such positivity about their teammates. It also speaks volumes that they took the time to participate in this program. We appreciate that the Pacific Coast Business Times puts this program together to give voice to employees – recognizing companies who make it a priority to build and invest in great culture and workplaces.”

The survey measured key factors, such as how effectively companies adapted to COVID-19 operations, their leadership strategies, and whether employees felt valued in their positions. A few employees shared what they enjoy most about working at Cannon with us:

“We’ve got a great group of talented people. And when you can take that group of people and use those talents to help our clients achieve their goals, it makes our job that much more enjoyable and worthwhile.”

“My favorite part about working at Cannon is the breadth of engineering knowledge at my disposal.”

“The variety of project types, opportunities to grow, and being part of such a large and diverse team.”

From movie nights and sunset hikes to the Cannon Coasters biking the length of the California Coastline, Cannon has made it a priority to engage their employees in team building. This year, as Cannon celebrates 45 years in business, they are also celebrating the people who contribute to Cannon’s status as a best place to work on the Central Coast. Thank you for participating in the survey!

APWA Honors City of Pismo Beach for New Pismo Beach Plaza

Every year in Spring, the Central Coast chapter of the American Public Works Association announces both their Project of the Year Awards and Professional of the Year Awards. This year, the City of Pismo Beach was honored with a Project of the Year award for the newly installed Pismo Beach Pier Plaza project. Cannon’s team led the materials testing, office engineering services, funding administration, and the construction management and inspection for this keystone project.

The recently constructed Pismo Beach Plaza project transformed the base of the historic Pismo Beach Pier into an attractive and functional public space, housing the new pedestrian plaza and parking lot. Upgrades included lighting along the perimeter seawall; cast-in-place concrete seating with decorative formwork and tile inlays of ocean scenes; showers and restrooms; colorful low impact development (LID) pavers; storm drain and sewer system improvements; and underground storm water detention storage and infiltration. A new parking lot, beach access structure, and a playground were also featured. The most striking addition to the plaza might be the free-standing “Pismo Beach” sign, an illuminated art installation with fiber glass letters, standing over 6 feet tall.

The completed Pismo Plaza has quickly become an iconic destination for tourists and locals alike. Charlie Gray, who acted as Cannon’s resident engineer on the project, had this to say: “I would like to thank Earth Systems Pacific and SWCA for assisting Cannon with the Materials Testing and Archaeological Monitoring on this project, and the City of Pismo Beach with trusting us with such an important project for them. I would especially like to thank Christine Kahn, our lead Construction Inspector for the project who was onsite everyday making sure the work was constructed per plan.” Congratulations to the City of Pismo Beach for this great success!

Anaheim’s New Stormwater System Becomes Award-Winning Project

Modjeska Park Underground Stormwater Detention and Infiltration System Project in Anaheim, CA, designed by Cannon of San Luis Obispo, CA, was recently honored two awards for its beneficial public contribution and engineering excellence.  

It was announced in November that the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Southern California Chapter named the system Project of the Year in its category. Additionally, the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) selected Cannon to receive an Honor Award for their annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition, to be celebrated at their virtual gala on February 4th, 2021.  

This state-of-the-art underground system solves local flooding issues for the residents of Anaheim by diverting and treating up to 182 acre-feet of urban runoff per year. The system is located underneath a 37,000 square-foot parking lot in Modjeska Park. As part of Orange County’s Stormwater Resource Plan, the modular concrete system also protects regional water quality by collecting, treating, and infiltrating urban runoff, thereby recharging the groundwater supply. The finished project is engineered with drywells which draw water to deeper, more favorable soils, facilitating groundwater recharge. It also features a custom-designed pre-treatment system with a trash capture device to prevent clogging. The beautified parking lot was refinished with permeable, interlocking concrete pavers to enhance water conveyance to the system, and upgraded to increase accessibility for those with disabilities. 

“This project has some unique features that aren’t just off the shelf. The custom-design was a group effort by Cannon, GHD, and the City of Anaheim,” said Gary Solsona, Cannon’s Project Manager and Principal Civil Engineer. “The main issue was an undersized storm drain, and the conventional fix would be a larger pipe. Our underground system is more environmentally sensitive and addresses water quality, recharge, and overall sustainability. I’m excited to see the difference it makes during the next large storm event.” 

The new system prevents flooding and damage to the roadway infrastructure and homeowners’ properties during storm events. By infiltrating the runoff, pollutants are naturally filtered into the soil, which replenishes the water table and reduces marine pollution. The underground structure does not impede park use or future park development. 

“It feels awesome to be recognized for our team’s dedication and hard work,” said Solsona. “I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished. A strong client, strong engineers, and strong construction manager all lead to a great project success.” 

Central Coast APWA Honors Arroyo Grande Creek Project

Cannon is pleased to accept the California Central Coast Chapter APWA 2019 Project of the Year Award in recognition of the Arroyo Grande Creek Waterway Management Project.  

According to the award’s criteria, “The Central Coast Chapter APWA Public Works Project of the Year Award was established to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the consulting engineer/architect, and the contractor who, working together, complete public works projects.” This award is recognizing teamwork and the successful products of those teams.  

The Arroyo Grande Creek Waterway Management Project, which is to be completed by the end of 2020, exemplifies the above description. To provide a seamless project outcome, the County, along with Cannon and Waterways Consulting, worked together to coordinate and secure funding for the project, gain appropriate permits, work with local and federal stakeholders, develop construction documents, and provide long-term management. These collaborative efforts between all parties balanced sensitive environmental considerations with protective measures to reduce potential flooding impacts on the landowners and residents who live within the reach of the watershed.  

In response to severe flooding, the Arroyo Grande Creek Watershed was initially constructed in 1961 by the USDA Soil Conservation Service and the Arroyo Grande Resource Conservation District. At this time, the project was funded with federal, state, and local funds, with the San Luis Obispo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (District) in charge of operating and maintaining the area. The main features of the project were a levee system and trapezoidal channel that confined Arroyo Grande Creek from its confluence with Los Berros Creek downstream to the Pacific Ocean. However, after another major flooding event in 2001, the County of San Luis Obispo initiated their efforts toward redesigning the Creek. 

John Evans, Cannon’s Principal Civil Engineer on the project, stated that “the environmental restrictions were a major problem for the County because they didn’t allow for proper maintenance to the vegetation, which contributed to the flooding problem.” 

The County of San Luis Obispo engaged Waterways Consulting to develop a design basis for preliminary plans to enhance the channel capacity and to provide a management program to keep the channel clear in the future. Design for the Arroyo Grande Creek Channel Waterway Management Program incorporated levee modifications and armoring, floodwalls, vegetation management, sediment removal, habitat enhancement, and other improvements necessary to protect the nearby residents of Oceano. 

Modifications to the lower three-mile reach of Arroyo Grande Creek were needed to increase the capacity of the creek and enhance flood protection up to a 10-year storm event. Other environmental benefits included enhancement of water quality conditions and the addition of a sensitive species habitat. The County selected Cannon to provide design engineering to finalize the construction documents. The Cannon team, including subconsultants Waterways and Yeh and Associates, worked closely with professionals that had assisted in the County’s decade-long effort to create and determine the design basis in which the preliminary plans for Creek enhancements were developed.  

“This project was an exercise in patience and determination, mostly due to the permitting requirements. It was a competitive process,” stated Evans. “It feels good to be recognized, first by the County, and now by the APWA for our capable, experienced team. Finally, after 20 years, we’ve achieved an overall strategy for a project that we can maintain moving forward.” 

Enterprise Generously Donates to Well Worth It

The Enterprise Holdings Foundation donated $2,500 toward Cannon’s Well Worth It Campaign in 2020. Cannon, in partnership with Charity:Water, has raised more than $130,000 over the last ten years to build 24 wells, fund a drilling rig, contribute to bio-sand filters, and boost hygiene education. The Enterprise Holdings Foundation has now been a supporter for four years running.

The Enterprise Holdings Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Enterprise Holdings, which, through its integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries and franchises, operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, fundraising events have been limited, and Cannon greatly appreciates the direct support of organizations and their partners, such as the Enterprise Holdings Foundation.

To make a charitable contribution please visit

To find out more about The Enterprise Holdings Foundation, visit their webpage by clicking here.

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