Cunningham-Limp announces inaugural Community Builder Award winner: Kelly Dunham of Bay Area Transportation Authority

June 11th, 2024

Traverse City, Mich. — June 07, 2024 — Cunningham-Limp, a community-focused construction management firm in Traverse City, is pleased to announce the recipient of its inaugural Community Builder Award: Kelly Dunham, executive director at Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA). The award was established by Cunningham-Limp to spotlight and honor a leader or organization in the Grand Traverse region who has built, improved, or creatively utilized a space that has significantly enhanced their community.

Dunham has been with BATA since 2009. In her time there, she has had a transformational impact on the Grand Traverse region, namely with the innovative new BATA Operations Center, an in-progress development in partnership with Traverse City Housing Commission that will address some of the most critical needs in the community, including affordable housing, transportation accessibility, and childcare support. To help bring the vision to life, Dunham has secured state and federal grants totaling over $23 million and forged meaningful partnerships with community organizations to ensure transportation is accessible for all area residents. Additional details on the project can be found here.

Dunham was presented with the award at a ceremony held on June 6 at West Shore Bank’s Community Engagement Room. In addition to the recognition, Dunham received $2,500 from Cunningham-Limp to donate to a local nonprofit of her choosing. She selected Habitat for Humanity – Grand Traverse Region, a partner in the new transit-oriented development project.

“I’m honored to be selected to receive this inaugural award for helping lead a project that is essential to addressing two of the biggest challenges in our community – housing and transportation,” said Kelly Dunham, BATA Executive Director. “Congratulations to the other nominees and their outstanding projects that emphasize that we need to work together to establish positive outcomes and build better communities throughout Northern Michigan.”

Dunham was selected from a pool of 17 award finalists. Detailed information on each finalist’s community-focused leadership and successes can be found here.

Nominations were reviewed by a diverse panel of judges, each with a wide network and specific knowledge of community projects across Northwest Michigan, including:

  • Laura Galbraith – Executive Director at Venture North
  • Beth Friend – Township Supervisor at East Bay Charter Township
  • Doug DeYoung – Public Affairs Manager at Consumers Energy
  • Andy Cole – Senior Vice President, Northwest Region at Cunningham-Limp
  • Sakura Takano – Chief Executive Officer at Rotary Charities of Traverse City

“The goal of this award is to recognize the incredible leaders behind the many building projects that significantly enhance the communities across Northwest Michigan,” Andy Cole, Senior Vice President at Cunningham Limp, said. “To tackle some of our community’s most critical needs, Kelly was required to align partners around a bold vision, navigate a complex funding structure, and shepherd a large team forced to make thousands of difficult decisions in a constantly shifting landscape. Kelly exemplifies the grit, creativity, and leadership qualities required to bring such an important and impactful project to fruition, and we are very proud to present her with the first ever Cunningham-Limp Community Builder Award.”


About Cunningham-Limp

Celebrating 40 years of building better communities, Cunningham-Limp is a diversified real estate firm specializing in development, design, and construction led by a team of real estate experts, financial advisors, architects, engineers, and construction professionals. With offices in Traverse City, Novi, and Detroit, Cunningham-Limp delivers solutions by integrating with ownership teams and actively managing projects from concept through completion, assuming 100% responsibility for all phases of each project. Learn more at our website.