ETB Blogs

Thank You, Karla Mendez!

This blog was written by ETB Co-Directors Rachele Espiritu, PhD and Elizabeth Waetzig, JD

After seven years of supporting our work in various capacities, Project Manager Karla Mendez is moving on to explore her next professional adventure! We first met Karla Mendez in 2016 while she served as a consultant to The Annie E. Casey Foundation (Casey), helping the research, evaluation, evidence, and data staff in planning and implementing the newly formed Expanding the Bench® (ETB) Initiative. At the time, Change Matrix (CM) served as the evaluator of the Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) program.  

When CM eventually was selected by Casey in 2018 to assume leadership of ETB, we knew that Karla would be an incredible asset to our team with her historical knowledge and experience of managing the work at Casey.  

Karla came to CM with a passion for all things ETB and immediately helped our new team gain insight into how our predecessors had implemented the components of ETB. She was also open to new ways of thinking and participated in developing our path forward.  

As ETB has grown, we have all been engaged in growth and innovation with ideas and new direction for the Initiative. Karla brought her management and execution strengths to help us get clear on our processes, our roles, and our activities. She always had an eye for the whole of ETB, understanding how the component parts would come together.  

Karla will be missed for all she did, and she will also be missed because of who she is. She is a consummate professional with abundant integrity. She could always be counted on to advocate for what is right and that which is needed to move forward. It has been fun watching Karla take on new skills and develop new strengths and then share them with the whole team.  

Thank you, Karla, for all that you offered to us individually, shared with our team, and have given to ETB. We wish you the best in all that you do and look forward to hearing about your new adventures as we do not intend to say goodbye.