Paula Cunningham of AARP Michigan is our My Encore Years Crew Member. A distinguished community, business and education leader in Michigan for more than three decades, Paula was recently appointed State Director for AARP in Michigan.

As State Director, Cunningham is responsible for leading and directing the advocacy and community outreach work of AARP and its 1.4 million members in the state of Michigan.

Cunningham 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.

From 2006-2015 she served as president and CEO of Capitol National Bank in Lansing, where she successfully led the bank through Michigan’s worst recession in 70 years.

She was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013 for her business and community service. Cunningham is known as a pioneer. 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 female to chair the board of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Throughout her career, Cunningham has been actively involved with numerous community and governmental organizations, some of which include: Chair of the board of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce; Board of Trustees of Davenport University; Executive Committee of the McLaren Health Systems; Chair of the Michigan Association of United Ways; Executive Committee of the Michigan Nonprofit Association; founding member of MiQuest Board, and Co-chair of the Children’s Leadership Council of Michigan.

Find more great tips from AARP’s Paula Cunningham at My Encore Years