Paula D. Cunningham is the State Director for AARP Michigan which has more than 1.4 million members. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, social welfare organization with a membership of nearly 38 million. They work to lead positive change and deliver value to all people 50+.
Prior to joining AARP Michigan, Paula D. Cunningham was the CEO of Capitol National Bank (CNB). CNB has been in the community for more than 32 years. She was the only African American woman in the country to be president of a majority owned bank.
Prior to joining Capitol National Bank Ms. Cunningham was the first woman to be President of Lansing Community College. Lansing Community College has more than 30,000 students and is the State’s 3 rd largest community college. As President of Lansing Community College, she successfully led a community millage campaign to generate an additional $9 million for the institution into perpetuity. Under her leadership, the college implemented a strategic planning process that resulted in five new buildings. The main building on the LCC campus was officially named the Paula D. Cunningham Administration Building in 2006. This is the only building named after a woman in downtown Lansing.
President Cunningham has also been a small business owner. She and her husband owned and managed an 18-hole golf course and she was the founder of an entrepreneurial academy for young people.
Paula Diane Cunningham’s dedication to education, small business and community have been recognized by many organizations. She has received numerous awards and recognition throughout her career, including being inducted in 2013 to the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, a former recipient of the prestigious Athena Award, featured in Ebony Magazine as a “Woman on the Move” and featured in Bridge Magazine as a woman who “Breaks Barriers”, as well as other featured articles.
Paula serves on numerous boards including, but not limited to Davenport University, McLaren Health Systems – Lansing, and she was the first African American female to Chair the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Board.
A favorite quote: “Only as high as you reach can you grow. Only as far as you seek can you go. Only as deep as you look can you see. Only as much as you dream can you be.” Karen Ravn