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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NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios. We are impressed with the accuracy of their employment decisions, integrity of their employees and efficiency of their claim handling. We greatly respect and value the consistent, impressive cost savings from the utilization of their outstanding services.


Thresholds, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools

Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Hugh Parry, Retired President of Prevent Blindness America