Columbia renames City Center parking deck for local leader

When the family of Peter J. Cannon drive down Taylor Street now, they will be greeted with a permanent reminder of how special their loved one was. Cannon was memorialized Friday with a dedication of the City Center parking lot at the corner of Taylor and Sumter streets in his honor.

Mayor Steve Benjamin and Peter J. Cannon's family unveil the new City Center parking deck faceplate on Taylor St.

Mayor Steve Benjamin and Peter J. Cannon’s family unveil the new City Center parking deck faceplate on Taylor St.

Notable attendees including Mayor Steve Benjamin, Matt Kennell of City Center Partnership and Tom Henry from the Reentry/HIS International.  They reflected on his influence on economic development in the county as well as his work in various ministries close to him.

“If not for Pete, there would be no incubator ,” said Joel Stevenson, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.

Stevenson spoke about Cannon’s work to create a business incubator near the campus that would attract start-ups and connect USC’s best students to build a community of entrepreneurs and create jobs. That idea became the USC Columbia Technology Incubator  program, and Stevenson — its former executive director — recalled Cannon’s visionary role.

“He was the quiet grandfather of the incubator,” he said.

Others also spoke of Cannon’s commitment to his faith and ministry, including the work he did for his ministry organization, HIS International. According to Henry, Cannon desired to connect all international students to God and to provided a ministry that offered practical resources to USC’s international student population while servicing their spiritual needs.

A guest who gave the invocation for the event remarked that Cannon “was like a Santa Claus,” a nod to his giving spirit.

Cannon’s family unveiled a photo of the faceplate, which will be placed on the east entrance of the parking facility.