Carlos Mendez is Driving Community Growth and Empowerment at ECDI

Carlos Mendez
Carlos Mendez

Photo courtesy of Carlos Mendez

Name: Carlos Mendez
Age: 25
Pronouns: he/him/his
Profession: Program Manager at ECDI
Neighborhood: Columbus
Education: Bachelor of Science in Bio-medical Engineering
Favorite local spots in Columbus: Upper Cup on Parsons is a fantastic place for good coffee and good conversation. A gem in the city that makes you feel like you’re in a small town. I also love going to East Market. I’m in awe of how they were able to convert the space into one of the best markets Columbus has to offer.
Community Involvement: CYP Club member
Personal Quote: “We need people driven by purpose, passion, and persistence, not position or job title”
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram

At 25, Carlos Mendez, the Program Manager at ECDI, embodies the spirit of purpose-driven leadership and community development. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Bio-medical Engineering, Carlos began his career as the Green Energy Data Manager at Antioch College, managing the institution’s greenhouse gas inventory and delving into energy consumption analysis.

Carlos’s journey continued to evolve, leading him to the National Center for Urban Solutions, where he served as a Construction Program Manager. Here, he connected socially and economically disadvantaged construction companies to large-scale projects, showcasing his commitment to fostering inclusivity and economic empowerment.

Since July 2022, Carlos has been contributing his skills to the Economic Community Development Institution as the MCRC Program Manager. In this role, he supports emerging minority-owned commercial construction firms, manages program budgets, coordinates training, and collaborates closely with the Advisory Board to identify growth opportunities.

Driven by a passion for community and economic development, Carlos finds his motivation in building and nurturing community growth. Whether assisting in business registration, helping entrepreneurs secure contracts, or connecting individuals to local resources, his commitment shines through. During non-work hours, Carlos turns to sports, playing basketball, pickleball, and volleyball. When not physically active, he finds solace in reading and playing chess.

Active listening, seeking conversations with those who inspire him, and asking genuine questions have been crucial pieces of advice that guided Carlos throughout his journey. As a child, Carlos envisioned working in restaurants, drawing inspiration from his family’s three-decade-long involvement in the business.

Currently reading “Leading Without Authority” by Keith Ferazzi and “The Color of Wealth,” he also enjoys podcasts like Serial, This American Life, and the Morning Brew. Being chosen for the Next Up Columbus award holds significant meaning for Carlos—a recognition of his impact in a city he plans to stay in for the long term.

When describing the pulse of Columbus, Carlos highlights the vibrant exchange of ideas and information among its diverse residents, cutting across industries, races, religions, genders, ages, and educational backgrounds. He believes this dynamic interaction contributes to the city’s vibrancy, diversity, and innovation, making Columbus one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.

The Next Up Columbus Awards highlight emerging leaders who are connectors and ambassadors in central Ohio and who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus. The Columbus Young Professionals Club would like to offer special thanks to our 2023 co-presenters, Discover Financial, Ohio Dominican University and Quantum Health for their support of this year’s awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2023” »



Comments are closed.