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Born in Cuba, Cris left the island in 1961 and came to the US with her family as a political refugee. She attended high school in Miami, in Puerto Rico and in Guatemala, and attended Florida International University, graduating with a BA in Literature, minor in Philosophy.
After a stint as a federally certified simultaneous interpreter and translator, she came to the Institute from the airline and cruise industries. Her prior experience includes executive positions with RCL and NCL, as well as having been a member of the executive founding team for Windstar Sail Cruises and The World of Residensea, a private residential cruise ship with 165 residences operated like a condominium complex.