Jenner & Block

As Jenner & Block’s Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Meredith W. Mendes is responsible for providing strategic direction, financial analysis and operations management for all offices. Ms. Mendes advises the firm’s Policy Committee and is a member of the Audit, Finance, Investment and Management Committees. She is focused on top-line growth and increasing net income by creating efficiencies and designing and implementing new systems, process improvements and management 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. She serves as an independent board member of Inland Residential Properties Trust, Inc. (IRESI) and is a member of IRESI’s audit, and nominating and corporate governance committees.  Previously, she was an independent director and audit, nominating and governance, and compensation committee member of Inland Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: IRC), which was merged in a going private transaction.  Ms. Mendes has over 25 years of real estate experience managing global portfolios of office leases, financings in the private and public markets and as managing member of commercial retail properties in New York and Illinois.                 

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. Prior to her tenure at Edelman, Ms. Mendes was 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 national tax-exempt bond ranking for corporate backed tax-exempt bonds from ninth to first. Ms. Mendes began her career practicing law in corporate and municipal finance.

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 committee, is a member of the University of Chicago Women’s board and is a sought-after speaker on topics pertaining to law and professional services firm management such as legal project management, leading change, real estate management and global operations.  She is also a member of the AICPA, The Economics Club of Chicago and is a National Association of Corporate Directors Board Leadership Fellow.