Created in partnership with XBE firms across the country, CannonDesign’s Inclusive Partner Program galvanizes people and companies to create mutually beneficial partnerships that deliver more impact across the design industry. It aims to go far beyond typical XBE programs—which are often focused on meeting a client or project-specific requirement—by creating deep-rooted relationships that maximize shared opportunities, foster greater equity, spark genuine collaboration and provide fulfilling experiences for all involved.
“As our team talked with XBE firm leaders, it became clear their best interests aren’t always prioritized in these types of programs,” said Juliet Rogers, president of Blue Cottage of CannonDesign. “From the start, our team has been focused on designing a program that builds strong and enduring relationships with partner firms. It’s not about checking a box. It’s about growing together and nourishing our industry and communities more deeply on every level.”
There are two pathways for businesses owned by BIPOC, women, persons with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+ individuals and other underrepresented groups to join CannonDesign’s Inclusive Partner Program:
- The CannonDesign Collective. The CannonDesign Collective is a virtual, 12-week journey focused on knowledge sharing, professional development and relationship building between participating firms and CannonDesign. It’s a two-way active learning experience, providing a mixture of peer-to-peer sessions and client insight roundtables that offer access to dynamic discussions and unique connections. Firms participating in our first cohort include: BranchPattern, Covalus, David Mason + Associates, Pathfinder Engineers & Architects, Faith Group, Lightwork, ReStl, Saiful Bouquet Structural Engineers, Second Service Partners, DTLS Landscape Architecture, site design group and M.E.P. Infrastructure Solutions.
- CannonDesign’s XBE Directory. CannonDesign’s XBE Directory is our go-to source when looking for partners to team up with on projects. To be added to our directory, firms need to meet basic requirements, including holding one of the following certifications: Minority or Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/ WBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOB), Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB), Disability-owned Business Enterprise (DIS), Small Business Enterprise (SBE) or LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE). Firms can sign-up by providing basic details here.
“Our Inclusive Partner Program has been a labor of love for nearly a year, and I’m thrilled it’s off and running,” added Cindy Bambini, the manager for the program and the business development leader for CannonDesign’s St. Louis office. “As a firm, we’re really working to launch DEI programs that move beyond ‘industry standard’ and truly lead an industry transformation. This program supercharges that effort. I look forward to the incredible opportunities ahead for CannonDesign and our XBE partners.”