Award Winning Leadership


Collin County Volunteer of the Year

Volunteer Center of North Texas 

15 Year Milestone Award

 Jewish Family Service of Dallas 

Board Leadership Award

Jewish Family Service of Dallas 

Community Impact Award

Plano ISD Diversity Advisory Committee

PTA Life Member Award

Plano PTA Council

PTA Life Member Award

Huffman Elementary 

Service Learning Partnership Award

Collin College  

Homeless Advocate Award

Barron & Blue Foundation 

Shofar Award

Dallas Jewish Committee on Scouting

Environmental Education Award 

City of Plano 

Meet Cara

Cara grew up in the North Dallas area, attended Westwood Jr. High, graduated from JJ Pearce High School and UT Austin with a BBA. After college, Cara married her childhood sweetheart, Barry Mendelsohn, and then began a professional career in Human Resources. Cara & Barry bought their first house in District 12 and started their family. Cara & Barry recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with their 3 sons. Their oldest son, Michael, graduated from Texas A&M in May, their middle son, Robert, is a senior at UT Austin, and their youngest son, Steven, is a freshman at JJ Pearce High School. 

Cara has been a life long advocate for children and communities, and a recognized leader of many service organizations in the Greater Dallas area.

 Recent Professional Experience

Rebuilding Together North Texas, Executive Director, a non-profit serving Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant counties with free home repair for low-income seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and families.  

Visiting Nurse Association, Director of Community Engagement, a $30M agency providing Meals on Wheels and hospice care in North Texas 

The Samaritan Inn, Director of Marketing and Advocacy, the largest homeless program in Collin County  

Volunteer Service

City of Dallas, Citizen Homelessness Commission, Vice Chair 

Jewish Family Service, President of the Board of Directors

City of Dallas, Bond Committee – Economic Development and Homelessness Subcommittee

City of Dallas, Housing Policy Task Force

Collin County Homeless Coalition, Chairman

City of Dallas, Mayor’s Homeless Commission

Plano African American Museum, Ambassador

Plano ISD Council of PTAs, Council President 

Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center Legacy, Treasurer

Shepton PTSA, President 

Huffman PTA, President 

Leadership Plano Class 23, Graduate

Children First! Collin County Coalition, Legislative Committee Chair

Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, Steering Committee

HUD Independent Review Committee, Member

Dallas Anti-Poverty Coalition, Member 

Jewish Community Relations Council, Public Policy Commissioner 

Plano Symphony Advisory Board, Member 

Young Men’s Service League, Member