W. Harold Cannon Jr., president and co-founder of Cannon & Cannon Inc., has been appointed by Mayor Indya Kincannon as the City’s Director of Engineering.
“Harold is well-respected and accomplished, and he brings a great skillset, work ethic, love of community and team-building leadership style to the City,” Mayor Kincannon said.
Cannon is transitioning ownership of the Knoxville consulting engineering company he and his wife, Angie, started 24 years ago; Cannon & Cannon will soon be led by a group of its current employees. Cannon sees public service as a culmination of a career focused on building up Knoxville and helping to design many of its iconic landmarks.
“Ten years ago, Gov. Bill Haslam appointed me to the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission,” on which he served as a Commissioner and eventually as Chairman, Cannon said. “I really appreciated the opportunity to serve the public sector.
“When I was approached about the City Engineering Director position, my wife and I talked about it. We prayed about it. With the transition of the company to a new generation of owners, the timing seemed right.”
East Tennesseans can see Cannon & Cannon’s handiwork throughout the city and the region. The company was part of the teams that designed Suttree Landing Park and the Clinton Riverwalk; built on or did master plans for the University of Tennessee, Webb School of Knoxville, Christian Academy of Knoxville, and Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church campuses; and helped design numerous large industrial projects, such as the H.T. Hackney Distribution Center.
Cannon says one of his favorite projects was the Tennessean at World’s Fair Park, because it involved transitioning a vacant, obsolete and bland government office building into an elegant hotel and condominium development.
Harold Cannon was born in Nashville but moved to Knoxville with his family in 1974. He graduated from Farragut High School and then earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Tennessee in 1981. Angie Cannon is a native Knoxvillian.
Before starting Cannon & Cannon, he worked 15 years at Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon as a project manager and vice president.
Public service runs in the family. His father, Bill Cannon, was Chief Engineer for the team that designed the 1982 World’s Fair.
“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to give back – I do not say that lightly,” Cannon says.
Cannon begins as City Engineering Director on June 1. He replaces Jim Hagerman, who retired March 27 after more than eight years at the helm. Hagerman had experience with sustainability projects and had recently been named Engineer of the Year at the Tennessee Valley Authority before he joined the City.
“Jim Hagerman assembled a great staff,” Cannon said. “I want to continue to enable them to do great things, to continue to focus on sustainability, and to strengthen the relationship with the development community. Those are my marching orders.”