Nancy Mendez, the director of community impact at United Way of Greater Cleveland, has been named to the Board of Trustees of The George Gund Foundation, becoming the third Cleveland Trustee.
Mendez has worked at United Way since 2009. She is responsible for developing and managing the design, development, testing, implementation and evaluation of community programs and services. She is also responsible for ensuring an effective allocation process and grants management.
“I am honored to serve the community as a Gund Foundation Board member,” Mendez commented. “The Gund Foundation is working on some of our most critical challenges, including racial equity, education, environmental justice and community building.”
Mendez joins two other Cleveland leaders as board members: Mark Joseph, professor in community development at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, and Margaret Bernstein, director of advocacy and community initiatives at WKYC-TV. The seven other Trustees are members of the Gund family.
Before United Way, Mendez was the program director for the Center for Minority Public Health of Case Western Reserve University, which focused on community-based research. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards including Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Hispanic Alliance, Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center, Dolphin Heart Foundation, LBGT Center of Cleveland, and Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.
Born in the South Bronx and the youngest of seven children, Mendez moved to Cleveland at a young age. At 13, she was awarded A Better Chance award, a four-year scholarship to attend St. Mark’s School outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Mendez went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts from Williams College with a concentration in Latin American socioeconomic history.
Mendez was named a Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan by the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission, Notable LGBTQ Executive by Crain’s Cleveland Business, a Women of Note by Crain’s Cleveland Business, and is a member of the Leadership Cleveland class of 2020.
Mendez is a resident of Cleveland, and as noted in her 2020 Crain’s Women of Note profile, she sees many youngsters like herself in Cleveland—kids with great potential but insufficient access to good education and a lack of expectations. As she noted in that interview, “I think we’re at a point in our society where we’re finally starting to come to terms with the fact that your ZIP code, your ethnicity, your race should not determine who you’re going to become. We shouldn’t stand for that.”