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Leadership Runs in the Family


The company has been lucky to have great leaders that take pride in the work we do and have the understanding that the combination of knowledge, integrity, the highest quality of work and attention to detail is the best way to achieve the goal of perfecting preservation. 

Even though John Canning founded the company over 45 years ago and is the driving force that has made the company the success it is today, there are three other extraordinary people that are currently and have been a key part in the journey to where the company is today and will be going in the future.  These other leaders include two of John’s three daughters, Jacqueline Canning Riccio and Dorothea Canning-Hennessey, along with his son-in-law David Riccio.

David Riccio

David is a Principal and President of the firm.  David joined John Canning & Co. in 1996. Since 1996 he has acquired a knowledge and thorough understanding of conserving and restoring architectural finishes. He began with the company as a decorative painter and, at the same time, began his apprenticeship for ornamental painting and decorating.

Over the course of three years, David spent 6,000 hours mastering the techniques, materials, and finishes employed by old world craftsmen. Since completing his apprenticeship in 1999, David continued to work hands-on to gain an even deeper knowledge of the various finishes and fabrics including plaster. He is skilled in all styles and types of the Decorative Arts, i.e., graining, marbling, stenciling, glazing, trompe l’oeil, gilding, fine art murals, historic finish analysis, field research, and documentation of original color schemes. He is also an experienced ornamental plasterer, skilled with all types of three-coat plaster systems as well as HPCS, Rhoplex plaster consolidation system (developed by Morgan Phillips), ornamental plaster mold making, casting, and installation. For the past 25+ years, David has directed some of the company’s most ambitious restoration and conservation projects across the US. The projects he has managed includes National Historic Landmark Buildings such as the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and projects that have required extensive peer review such as the Luzerne County Courthouse. He also has experience working in and managing higher education buildings and institutions such as U.S. Capital Building, Yale University, Harvard University, Williams College and MIT.

David’s ability to evaluate existing conditions, understand traditional installation methods, craftsmanship, and his proficiency as a project manager places him in a unique position within the preservation field.  With a passion for preservation and problem solving, he encourages open communication with the client and peer review by other preservation professionals to ensure all projects meet the quality craftsmanship employed by the original artisan. He is committed to the highest quality, least invasive, method of applied conservation and restoration techniques. David is a Professional Associate, American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and a Recognized Professional, Association of Preservation Technology (APT).

Dorothea Canning-Hennessey

Dorothea is a Principal and Vice President of the firm with over thirty years’ experience in all aspects of business operations and project management.  As one of the daughters of John, she found a way to be a vital part of the company with her talents.  From the earliest days in the forming of the Studio, she is the woman who works her magic in the background juggling multiple hats to keep things running smoothly. Her education in construction management and industrial technology has led to automating the company’s information systems taking advantage of the efficiencies provided by up-to-date technology for managing finances, compliance reporting, and overall customer service. She is responsible for the successful project administration of landmark restoration and conservation projects while upholding rigorous standards to bring all projects within budget and on schedule. She has been a vital force in making the company what it is today and where it will be in the future. 

Jacqueline Canning Riccio

As one of the daughters of John, Jackie became interested in the decorative arts at an early age and wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps.  Jackie learned the decorative arts from her father and through an apprenticeship for ornamental painting and decorating.  She is skilled in all periods of the decorative arts, i.e., graining, marbling, stenciling, glazing, trompe l’oeil, and gilding.

With over 30 years' experience in the field of historic paint decoration, Jacqueline uses her expertise to manage all the studio decorative art and design work and is a vital component in making sure we achieve our goal of perfecting preservation. Jackie is a talented decorative artist who has been key to the success of many projects over the years.  She formed part of the team responsible for the restoration of the Connecticut State Capitol, Rhode Island State Capitol, Pennsylvania State Capitol, the Michigan State Capitol and many other projects. Today, Jackie is responsible for studio Quality Control of all decoration and patterns produced in the Studio for on-site installations.  Jackie heads-up the Studios’ custom wallpaper manufacturing; working in various period styles from Egyptian to Victorian to Art Deco.

And we can’t forget… Sadie Canning

When it comes to the John Canning Company family leadership, we also need to mention Sadie, John’s wife.  Even though she recently retired from working at the company, when Sadie was a part of the company, she was a strong leader and a vital member in keeping the company running smoothly and successfully over the years. She is the great woman behind the namesake of the company and there is no doubt the company would not be where it is today without her.