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Toni Cunningham

President & CEO

Toni Cunningham is an accomplished leader, motivator, workforce development professional, speaker and coach. Throughout her career, Toni has provided coaching and counsel to numerous individuals and businesses seeking to achieve their next stage of growth. As the former Managing Director with Per Scholas, Toni provided the vision, operational, and executive leadership for the Columbus team. Prior to being named the President and CEO for the Godman Guild Association, Toni was named as the State Network Director – Ohio for Unite Us; a technology company that builds coordinated care networks of health and social service providers. A seasoned marketing and communications expert Toni’s career includes roles with the Columbus Urban League, American Electric Power, Founder and Principal at Image Anu, LLC. In addition to growing funding, investments, and stakeholders, Toni is a highly sought after conference speaker, presenter and workshop facilitator for organizations like Dress For Success, Women for Economic and Leadership Development, National Urban League, and Women In Tech.

As a life-long resident of Columbus, Ohio, Ms. Cunningham’s community and board involvement runs deep. Most recently: Chief of Police Advisory Panel, Mayor’s Recovery and Resiliency Committee, New Directions Career Center Board of Directors, Ohio Workforce Coalition Leadership Committee, Black Tech Columbus Co-Founder, Franklin County Tax Incentive Review Commission and American Association of Blacks in Energy. Committed to excellence and continuous learning, Toni earned her Master of Science in Marketing and Communication with Franklin University and Bachelor of Science from Ohio Dominican University. She’s also an Alumni of the African American Leadership Academy, as well as a 2019 American Express Leadership Academy Fellow.

Authentic and relatable, Toni is adamant about helping others accomplish their career goals. Her journey reflects what happens when, as she puts it, we find “work in roles that match our souls”. The many awards bestowed upon Toni substantiates her leadership, impact, and results. Including the naming of Per Scholas as one of Columbus Foundation’s Top 5 Nonprofits to Watch in 2018, Women for Economic Leadership and Development 2020 Honoree, BizTech Columbus Business First 2019 Executive of the Year, and Smart Business Magazine in 2018 Smart50; an honor which “recognizes the top executives of the 50 smartest companies in the Central Ohio region for their ability to effectively build and lead successful organizations.”
Toni is a leader who believes in helping people to achieve at their highest levels. She has coached numerous individuals in both their professional and personal journeys, which often resulted in career elevation and personal success. In addition, she has counseled business leaders and provided organizational strategies for businesses that resulted in both sustainability and growth. She truly believes in living out her purpose, which is “helping people get to next” in both their personal and professional lives.


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