Mia Mends, a global transformation executive and trailblazer, is known for her purpose-driven leadership, strategic turnarounds, and unique human touch. As CEO of C&W Services, Mia oversees integrated facilities services in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. She leads approximately 13,000 team members serving clients across various industries, setting the company’s strategic course for profitable growth and innovation amid an ever-changing landscape.
Hired in June 2022, Mia became the first black woman to run a major facilities management corporation: C&W Services is a subsidiary of Cushman & Wakefield, the global commercial real estate firm generating over $10 billion in annual revenue, with 50,000 employees in 60 countries. She is a member of its Global Management Team.
With over 20 years of experience in P&L, Transformation, and Operations, Mia has spearheaded complex initiatives in multiple global organizations. She’s worked at Citibank, the Ritz Carlton, United Airlines, and Noventis, the payments company.
Before joining C&W Services, Mia spent a decade in senior leadership roles at Sodexo, the food services and facilities management company headquartered in France. She started at the multinational organization in Brazil, overseeing sales in eight Latin American countries while learning Spanish and Portuguese. Her other positions at Sodexo included Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of North America and Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. She was also CEO of Inspirus, a Sodexo-acquired employee engagement SaaS company, and CEO of Impact Ventures, leading SodexoMagic, a joint venture between Sodexo and Magic Johnson Enterprise.
Mia is an H&R Block corporate director, sitting on its Audit Committee. She also serves on the board of EMERGE, a non-profit that helps first-generation, low-income students enter top colleges. Passionate about the development of girls and women, Mia founded a nonprofit organization, Seven Sisters to Sisters, and has been involved with the Girls Empowerment Network and Girls Inc.
She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wellesley College, where she is a member of its Business Leadership Council. As part of her Harvard fieldwork, Mia co-authored a case with Oprah Winfrey that’s been incorporated into the business school’s curriculum.
Breaking barriers throughout her career, Mia hopes her milestones will inspire others. She was a featured trailblazer in the book Women Mean Business: Over 500 Insights from Extraordinary Leaders to Spark Your Success. Black Enterprise named Mia one of the Most Powerful Women in Corporate America.
A trilingual born in Ghana, she also speaks Fante. Mia and her husband, Yared Akalou, live in Houston with their two children, Jacob and Laila. She remains active on LinkedIn, engaging followers while running a multinational company that ties profits to purpose and strives to uplift society.