Former City Hall, Springfield staffer to add to firm’s coalition building, community outreach capabilities 

Chicago (June 30, 2021) — Culloton + Bauer Luce today announced that James Mendez has joined the public affairs and crisis management firm as an Account Supervisor following his tenure as budget analyst with Chicago Alderman Pat Dowell.

“We are excited to have James join our team. James has spent his career working in fast-paced and high-stakes environments that will serve him well in this new role,” said Dennis Culloton, CEO of Culloton + Bauer Luce.

“James not only has hands-on experience in policy making, he also has played outsized roles in coalition building, stakeholder engagement and community outreach which will greatly benefit our clients. We are thrilled to have him on board,” said Natalie Bauer Luce, CBL partner and executive vice president.

Earlier, Mendez served as a policy analyst for City of Chicago Treasurers Kurt Summers and later Melissa Conyears-Ervin. At the Treasurer’s office, he helped pave the way for equitable and accessible financial programs in underserved communities.

Mendez will also be adept at advising CBL’s clients in issues management, bringing a range of policy development experiences having helped craft legislative initiatives and budget priorities in Springfield and in Chicago’s City Hall. As a budget and policy analyst for the Illinois State Senate, Mendez was instrumental in helping Illinois public universities recover from a devastating two-year budget impasse. He served as the lead staffer for the bipartisan, bicameral 2018 General Assembly Higher Education Working Group and worked to develop the State’s AIM HIGH Grant program, which was designed to encourage Illinois high school graduates to attend an in-state university by improving college affordability and reducing student loan debt.

“I am excited for this new endeavor and to be joining the CBL team. Dennis, Natalie and the entire firm are a talented group of individuals that have decades of public affairs experience,” Mendez said. “I look forward to bringing my skills, experience and energy to the team and engaging with our clients to provide the best media relations, campaign development and outreach counsel as possible.”

In addition to his public service, Mendez volunteers as a mentor to high school students at Chicago Military Academy in Bronzeville, serves as Treasurer of the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League and is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. 

Mendez received his undergraduate degree in history from University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Northwestern University. He is a 2020 New Leaders Council fellowship alum. 

About Culloton + Bauer Luce

Culloton + Bauer Luce is a Chicago-based public affairs firm specializing in corporate reputation, issues management and crisis communications. Its team of seasoned advisors represent some of the country’s most prominent business, political and civic leaders, providing strategic counsel grounded in their digital-first savvy, legacy media expertise and decades of service in the high-pressure public arena at municipal, state and federal levels. Culloton + Bauer Luce’s practice serves a wide range of industries, including healthcare, energy, gaming, manufacturing, sports, education, cannabis, technology and transportation.