Meet The First Nonprofit Staff: Cruz Mendez

April 22, 2014

Meet The First Nonprofit Staff: Cruz Mendez

Cruz Mendez moved to Chicago from Mexico when she was six years old and has called the city and surrounding area home ever since. Cruz attended DePaul University in Chicago, where she majored in marketing. Currently the assistant director of sales and marketing at First Nonprofit Group, she developed a relationship with the company before she even attended DePaul.

“I had a friend from church who worked at First Nonprofit Group and was looking for a summer intern,” Cruz said. “I did that and then a couple of years as a customer service representative while I decided what I wanted to do in college.”

After deciding to major in marketing, Cruz started to do more work related to her studies at First Nonprofit Group, and after graduating, she took on her current role. She has enjoyed her time with the company and the chance to work in the nonprofit sector.

“I considered looking at other companies when I graduated but I was pretty passionate about what I was doing at that point,” she said. “I was achieving my career goals but also felt like I was making a difference in my community.”

Cruz assists every sales person at the company and handles a number of different marketing tasks, allowing her to work with First Nonprofit Group’s partners, various state agencies and the company’s sales team. The opportunity to meet so many new people from different backgrounds is Cruz’s favorite aspect of her position at First Nonprofit Group.

Outside of work, Cruz has many hobbies. She began running a couple of years ago and is taking it to the next level as she trains with other First Nonprofit co-workers for a Tough Mudder competition in May. Marshall Whittey, regional sales director at First Nonprofit, formed the team and Cruz is excited to participate.

In addition to running, Cruz and her 5-year-old son, Gael, enjoy exploring the city, especially the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Field Museum. While she lives in Lansing, close to the Indiana/Illinois border, Cruz said she is usually back in the city at least once during the weekend.

Cruz is also a comic book fan, and she and her brother are currently working on writing and illustrating their own book. She is more the writer and her brother the illustrator, but she does some drawing as well.


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First Nonprofit has saved us so much money over the state’s program. We had one little glitch with the state recently and we contacted FNP immediately. FNP staff called us back immediately and moved to remedy the problem.

WI Council of Religious & Independent Schools (WCRIS), Madison, WI

First Nonprofit has been a great partner. They have helped us saved hundreds of thousands of dollars! They have awesome resources for our nonprofit organization. Thanks for the partnership.

Community Care Inc., Milwaukee, WI

Life is certainly busy these days but having business partners like First Nonprofit has made some of the process hassle free. We have worked with this team for years. When we changed payroll systems, they outlined every step. I think this team is terrific and I know they get the job done! Thank you, Cruz, to all the team at FNP.

Gulfside Healthcare Services, New Port Richey, FL

FNP has helped our agency to save thousands of dollars every year on our unemployment coverage. The service is phenomenal, and we are thankful to their team as our partner. My experience working with Marshall on the advocacy around UE for nonprofits was also a highlight as someone who teaches advocacy and lobbying for nonprofits. Really, your whole team is top shelf, so thank YOU!

Advancing Academics, Turtle Creek, PA

Chicago Children’s Theatre has greatly benefited from our partnership with First Nonprofit, and I have always enjoyed working with the staff on our filings and any complicated questions. I would not hesitate to recommend First Nonprofit to fellow nonprofits. We’re very happy customers.

Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago, IL

FNP is a great resource for Daniel Kids. To have a TPA that we can count on to take point on not only managing our unemployment claims, but to support and guide any protest hearing, is invaluable. All the professional support staff we have worked with have been excellent, very knowledgeable and responsive. We are grateful for the help and support, thank you.

Daniel Kids, Jacksonville, FL

When I first began in my position at my organization, I hadn’t had experience working with a company like FNP. The staff was so patient and helpful in helping to explain the benefits of First Nonprofit. Anytime I reach out with a question I receive a quick, clear, and thorough response. I’m so thankful that we decided to partner with FNP. Their excellence in customer service, coupled with their variety of packages frees us up to truly serve our staff and community with a peace of mind knowing that our organization is protected against unanticipated unemployment insurance expenses.

Homes of Hope, Chicago, IL

First Nonprofit gets an A+ in my book. You are so easy to work with & very knowledgeable! Whether it is my quarterly correspondence with Kim or my random interactions with Dawn about a bond … I am so pleased that I get to work with such a helpful company. Thank you!

Women's Choice Network, Pittsburgh, PA