Jenner & Block

As Jenner & Block’s Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Meredith W. Mendes is responsible for providing strategic direction, financial planning, competitive analysis and operations management for all offices. Ms. Mendes advises the firm’s Policy Committee and is a member of the Audit, Finance, Investment, Tax and Management Committees. She is focused on driving top-line growth and increasing profitability by creating efficiencies and designing and implementing new systems, process improvements and analytical tools that further the firm’s commitment to providing excellence in client service.

Ms. Mendes is a licensed attorney, has a master’s degree in business administration, and is an Illinois licensed Certified Public Accountant. She is an Audit Committee Financial Expert under section 407 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and has direct corporate governance experience on public, private and nonprofit enterprises.  She serves as an independent board and audit committee member of Kronos Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: KRO, a  global manufacturer of TiO2), NL Industries, Inc. (NYSE: NL, a holding company with a majority interest in CompX International, a security products and marine components manufacturer and minority owner of KRO) and as Advisor to the audit committee of CHS, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHDCL – CHDSCP Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, a $32.7B integrated agricultural cooperative providing grain, food and energy resources).  Previously she served as an independent board, audit and nominating and corporate governance committee member of Inland Residential Properties Trust, Inc. (IRESI, a non-traded public multifamily housing REIT) and Inland Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: IRC, a shopping center REIT).

Ms. Mendes has over 25 years of experience managing global financial operations, financings in the private and public markets and commercial retail properties. Prior to joining the firm, she was Worldwide Chief Financial Officer of Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., a global public relations firm with 41 offices and 1,900 employees, where she managed worldwide financial functions, systems, and outside legal counsel relationships. She also served as CFO of Medline Industries, Inc., the largest privately owned manufacturer and distributor of health care supplies in the world; and Vice President, Public Banking, at First Chicago Capital Markets (now JP Morgan Chase), where she improved the bank’s ranking from ninth to first in the national, corporate backed tax-exempt bond segment. Ms. Mendes began her career practicing law in corporate and municipal finance in Boston.

Ms. Mendes is on the board of the Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, where she chairs the compensation committee and is on the audit and executive committees.  She is a sought-after speaker on topics pertaining to law and professional services firm management including legal project management, leading organizational change, real estate management and global operations.  She is also an active member of the AICPA, The Economic Club of Chicago, University of Chicago Women’s Board, Women Corporate Directors, Latino Corporate Directors Association and the National Association of Corporate Directors, where she is Board Leadership Fellow.