Mike Cunningham Bio


Born and raised in Shelby County, Lakeland resident Mike Cunningham attended Treadwell High School and the University of Memphis. Raised in a family with strong Christian values, Mike attended Macon Road Presbyterian Church with his family and was heavily involved in its youth and outreach programs.  He learned the value of hard work at a young age. As a teenager, he was a Staff Member at the Ira Samelson’s Boy’s Club, leading programs and providing guidance to inner city youth. In 2001, he was honored with the citywide Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of Memphis Alumnus of the Year Award for “Serving by Example-Inspiring Young People to Realize Their Full Potential.” He also served on the Board of Directors for the Ira Samelson Club from 2002-2005.

While in college and working at the Boy’s Club, Mike began what is now a 35-year career with FedEx. There, he has held leadership roles in Training and Solutions and has received numerous awards for leadership, teamwork and results.  His responsibilities include long-term project and large budget event planning.

A self-starter and car enthusiast, in 1994, Mike turned a vision into reality by launching Classic Mustang Specialists, Inc., a classic car restoration business. He held the position of President and CEO, managing employees, payroll and operations until 2005, when he sold the business to focus on his family and his career at FedEx.

In his early years at FedEx, Mike met his wife, Terri with whom he celebrates 32 years of marriage this year. They are the parents to twin sons Matthew and Joshua and in-laws to Lauren and Brittany. Mike and his family have been active members of Bartlett United Methodist Church for 20 years.

Mike loves Lakeland. He has a deep passion for the city’s small-town feel. Alongside his parents 29 years ago, he and Terri sought to live in a place where they could enjoy a quiet life and raise their family. Because he cares about the community, Mike served as President of the Bolton Civic Association and was an active part of the creation of Bolton Park and also helped with issues concerning the Bolton community.

Mike has chosen to run for the position of Lakeland Mayor because:

  • He cares about ALL citizens and how spending city funds impacts EVERYONE.
  • He believes in growth, but at a pace that can be maintained.
  • He believes in the value of education and supports a school system that can serve Lakeland students successfully without subjecting our city to unreasonable financial debt.
  • He believes ALL citizens should have the right to voice their concerns freely and have the opportunity to vote on ALL matters that affect the City of Lakeland.
  • He believes serving the people does not mean serving one’s self.

When he’s not tinkering around on old cars or antiquing, you can likely find Mike on a tractor doing some hobby farming with his sons, but he’s never too busy to listen to YOU!

Mike would greatly appreciate your vote on Tuesday, November 6!