Cultivating Women Leaders Speaker Series
The Olivet College Cultivating Women Leaders Speaker Series is a yearlong program aimed at helping students develop confidence and leadership skills through the work of strong, women role models. Speakers include premier women leaders from Michigan and around the country who focus on topics surrounding the obstacles and challenges that are ever-present in today’s communities and workplace. The events are geared toward providing personal and professional development that will help attendees become stronger leaders.
There is no cost to attend any event but registration is required. Events will be presented via Zoom.
Wednesday, Nov. 18
Paula D. Cunningham
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 national membership of nearly 38 million. They work to lead positive change and deliver value to all people ages 50+.
Prior to joining AARP Michigan, 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 CNB, Cunningham was also the first woman to be president of Lansing Community College (LCC). In that role, 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.
Cunningham’s dedication to education, small business and community has been recognized by many organizations. She has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout her career, including the 2016 Michigan Black Caucus Trailblazer Award, the prestigious Athena Award, being inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, featured in Ebony Magazine as a “Woman on the Move” and featured in Bridge Magazine as a woman who “Breaks Barriers.”
Cunningham serves on numerous boards including, but not limited to, Davenport University and McLaren Health Systems – Lansing, and she was the first African American female to chair the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Board.
Jamilia Johnson, Women’s Leadership Institute Coordinator and Recruiter