, AARP Michigan State Director and a pioneer in business and education in the Lansing community, will receive the Trailblazer Award from the Michigan Congressional Black Caucus on Friday, Sept.16, at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C.
Cunningham is among a group of distinguished Michigan business and political leaders to be honored during the Congressional Black Caucus 46th Annual Legislative Conference in the nation’s capital.
“The Michigan Congressional Black Caucus Host Committee is pleased to honor Paula D. Cunningham as its 2016 Trailblazer Award recipient,” said Tyrone D. Sanders Jr., chair of the Host Committee.
“From being the President of Lansing Community College, to the President and CEO of Capitol National Bank, and now AARP Michigan State Director, Cunningham’s career has been filled with trailblazing accomplishments. We salute Paula and her vast contributions to the Greater Lansing community and the State of Michigan.”
Cunningham, who was appointed State Director of AARP Michigan in June of 2015, spent 25 years at Lansing Community College, where she served as President from 2000-2006. 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.
She served for nine years as President and CEO of Capitol National Bank in Lansing, where she successfully led the bank through Michigan’s worst recession in 70 years.
Cunningham was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013 for her business and community service. She was the first female president of LCC and the first female president and CEO of Capitol National Bank, in addition to being the only African American female in the country to be president and CEO of a majority owned bank. Cunningham was also the first African American woman to chair the board of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Other Michigan Congressional Black Caucus honorees will include: U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow will receive the John Conyers, Jr. Public Service Award; Dr. Alma G. Stallworth will receive the inaugural Community Leadership Award; Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony will be presented the Champion of Justice Award; AT&T will receive the Distinguished Corporate Citizen Award; and Dr. Patricia Maryland will be presented the inaugural Chairman’s Pinnacle Award