November 18, 2020

Colleen McKenna Named Sports Business Journal Power Player

Sports Business Journal has named Colleen McKenna to its 2020 Power Players list, an annual prestigious group of the most important and influential figures in sport facility design and development.

At the forefront of sports design, Colleen leads CannonDesign’s Sports, Recreation and Wellness practice. Her diverse portfolio includes intercollegiate athletic facilities, college and university recreation centers, professional sports venues, wellness and community centers and International Games planning.


Colleen has served on the design teams of over 100 different sport and recreation facilities throughout the United States and Canada. She brings a remarkable, in-depth knowledge of functional planning requirements which helps her meet the diverse needs of her different clients and both competitive and recreational athletes. Current work includes facilities with the Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid, Boston College, UNC Charlotte and The College of Holy Cross.

In an online piece about her selection, Sports Business Journal shares how “Colleen sees sports and recreation being in the midst of a convergence, with facilities being designed and built to bring health, wellness and human performance together in a holistic and complementary way. A great example is the University of Maryland’s Cole Field House: it’s a football training facility with elite athletic and academic resources that is also surrounded by the a Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance, an orthopedic clinical treatment center, and an academy for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

The full list of 2020 Power Players is available online. Below are additional excerpts from Colleen’s associated Q+A.

Is there are business metric or achievement over the past year at CannonDesign that you and your team are particularly proud of or is notable?

We’re extremely proud to have designed over 50 award-winning sport and recreation facilities with recognition from IAKS, Athletic Business, NIRSA, the AIA and others in recent years. CannonDesign has also been named one of the Most Innovative Architecture Firms and a World Changing Company by Fast Company in recent years. Our unique focus on health and wellness has been a major catalyst for that recognition.

That said, CannonDesign is a Living-Centered Design firm, we really measure success in how we help create spaces where people flourish. So, design awards and square footages do matter, but it’s hearing from a client that a space has elevated the brand of a program, or getting images from weekend sporting events in facilities we’ve designed. This is what motivates our team more than any design award. It’s exciting to know that we’ve designed scores of facilities that are full each day of athletes and students working to become their absolute best.

When you hear or read the term power player vis-a-vis sports business and the world of design and development, what comes to mind?

We hope every time a professional or collegiate team decides they want to create a game-changing facility for their athletes, fans, staff, they think of CannonDesign. Being recognized as the design firm that can help organizations uncover opportunities they didn’t know existed and solve challenges with beautiful, effective, exciting new spaces, that kind of design firm is a power player.

Learn more about our Sports, Recreation and Wellness practice >