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Our Founder

Cheri Melillo, Founder

Canstruction, Inc. was founded in 1992 by the late Cheri Melillo and her colleagues from the Society for Design Administration (SDA). Cheri was first inspired by the notion of Canstruction® through trial competitions held in Denver, CO and Seattle, WA. Cheri created a Canstruction chapter in New York and held the first official Canstruction Competition in New York, NY on November 13, 1993.

Cheri’s vision was to unite the design, engineering and construction industry through a unique and fun medium that would provide canned food to hunger relief organizations. The SDA championed the cause by encouraging their chapters throughout the United States to host a Canstruction event in their local community. 

In 2000, Cheri was made an Honorary Member of the AIA for her work in developing, marketing,  and promoting Canstruction. In 2009, on behalf of Canstruction, she accepted the Creativity of the  Mind Award from “The Odyssey of the Mind,” and a Public Service award from the Building  Owners and Managers Association (BOMA).

Cheri led Canstruction for 17 years as volunteer President and Executive Director before her passing in December 2009. 

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