Monday, January 24, 2011

Whitworth alumna writes books about Christian female entrepreneurs

Whitworth alumna Diane Cunningham, '95, will release her second book, Inspired Women Succeed, on April 28. Cunningham is also the founder and president of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs.

Inspired Women Succeed, which is self-published, showcases the journey of 100 women entrepreneurs who found success on God's terms, Cunningham says.

"These women, like me, faced the challenges of entrepreneurship with courage and faith and are fulfilling their passion in life as successful Christian businesswomen," Cunningham says. "I chose the stories of women who best portray the inspiration and success of a Christian female entrepreneur."

Cunningham says she hopes readers come away with the inspiration and motivation needed to risk launching their own entrepreneurial dreams. Her first book, Dear Female Entrepreneur, My Friend, contains 31 advice-driven letters written directly to women entrepreneurs.

Last May, Cunningham founded the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. Membership is open to women entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others who have the desire to launch their entrepreneurial ventures.

"The NACWE was born out a passion to connect women who are ready to create, collaborate, and contribute to changing the world," Cunningham says. "We seek to unite under a common goal of helping one another to succeed and thrive in business. We are blessed to share in a common faith in Jesus Christ and yet know that we might each choose to worship in a different way."

Cunningham's work with the NACWE led to her being named by the Time Record News as one of the top 20 entrepreneurs under the age of 40 in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Cunningham's books may be purchased at http://www.dianecunningham.com/ and http://www.nacwe.org/.

At Whitworth, Cunningham received a bachelor's degree in interpersonal communication with minors in English and psychology. She returned to Whitworth to receive an M.Ed. in guidance and counseling for a church or agency setting.

During her undergraduate years, Cunningham served as a resident assistant in Baldwin-Jenkins, a photographer for The Whitworthian, and host of her own show on Whitworth's radio station, KWRS. As a graduate student, she worked at the YWCA for the Alternatives to Domestic Violence program.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.