2017 40 Under 40: Sara J. Schonour, LC, Associate IALD, IES, LEED AP BD+C, CDT; 33
Sara J. Schonour, LC, Associate IALD, IES, LEED AP BD+C, CDT; 33
Associate Vice President, Lighting Designer, CannonDesign, Boston
BS Architectural Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
Schonour is an associate vice president at CannonDesign in Boston and the leader of the firm’s Lighting Studio, which she helped build from the ground up. She joined the firm after graduating from Penn State University’s architectural engineering program in 2007; and has since designed the lighting for a wide range of project types across the firm’s 16 global offices. An active leader in the lighting community, Schonour serves on the board of the Designer’s Lighting Forum of New England (DLF-NE), has won a number of local and national awards for her design contributions, is a regular presenter at conferences and universities, and was honored as one of Building Design & Construction’s 40 Under 40. Schonour is a strong advocate for sustainable design and is well-versed in the role light can play in the realization of beautiful spaces that are also sensitive to the consumption of energy and natural resources. She also is motivated by building in a community sense. Shortly after moving to Boston in 2007, Schonour became actively involved with Horizons for Homeless Children as a Playspace volunteer. Each week she went to a local family shelter to spend time with kids whose parents were in difficult situations. More recently, she has played a similar role as a participant in ACE Mentor Program of America, which targets high school students interested in careers in the architecture, construction, and engineering industry. When Schonour is not lighting buildings, landscapes, and structures, you might find her lighting stages, singing, or both. After years of appreciation from the vantage point of an audience member, she began volunteering as a lighting designer and board operator for The Footlight Club, the country’s oldest continually operational community theater. Other personal interests include skiing, backpacking, puzzles, drawing, and sailing.