Caroline Cunningham Named Washington Business Journal “Women Who Mean Business” 2013 Award Recipient
Washington, D.C. (October 2, 2013) – The Washington Business Journal has recognized Caroline Cunningham, President of the Trust for the National Mall, as a “Women Who Mean Business” 2013 award recipient. The awards, which are in their 10th year, honor the region's most influential businesswomen across all industries and professions with a specific emphasis on women who have a strong record of innovation in their fields, made a difference in their communities, blazed a trail for others and are leaving a mark on the Washington area.
Ms. Cunningham is the founding president of the Trust for the National Mall, the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service (NPS) dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall. In six short years under Ms. Cunningham’s leadership, the Trust has gone from being a one-woman shop to a well-known and respected partner to the NPS, helping to chart the future of one of the most iconic landscapes in the world. Ms. Cunningham has created a team of 16 professionals and built a Board of Directors, a campaign infrastructure and a cadre of volunteer supporters.
“What a terrific honor and what a deserving recipient,” said Chip Akridge, Chairman of the Trust for the National Mall. “In an era of dwindling budget dollars, Caroline’s expertise in building successful public-private partnerships is driving our efforts to improve, preserve, and restore the National Mall. She is a true steward of the National Mall and it is due to her work and the efforts of the Trust staff and the National Park Service that this iconic park will continue to educate, engage and amaze generations for years to come.”
Under Ms. Cunningham’s leadership, the Trust for the National Mall has become a fundraising powerhouse. The start-up raised $250,000 in its first year and raised more than $20 million in 2012. Earlier this year, the Trust secured a $10 million multi-year gift from the Volkswagen Group of America to help further implement the restoration and necessary improvements to the National Mall. This pace-setting gift is paving the way for a new paradigm in public-private partnerships that can ensure the sustainability of treasured public spaces like the National Mall at a time when federal funding is increasingly unreliable.
Prior to joining the Trust, Ms. Cunningham was Vice President for Regional Partnerships for the Greater Washington Board of Trade where she was responsible for building regional partnerships and directing the Board’s Potomac Conference, a CEO-level leadership forum dedicated to improving the region's economic health and quality of life.
Previously, Ms. Cunningham served as Executive Director of the Collis-Warner Foundation, which focuses on programs to prevent child abuse and aid low-income children. Earlier in her career, Ms. Cunningham held numerous political fundraising leadership roles, including serving as National Finance Director for the Democratic Governors’ Association. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Ms. Cunningham sits on the boards of the City Parks Alliance and the National Park Friends Alliance, where she shares best practices from the National Mall with smaller parks across the country.
Ms. Cunningham will be celebrated along with the other winners at a reception on November 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington.
About the Trust for the National Mall
The Trust for the National Mall is the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall, while providing new educational and volunteer opportunities that connect the park’s 25 million annual visitors to the National Mall’s rich history. For more information on the Trust for the National Mall, please visit www.nationalmall.org.