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- 2003 - June - 20th -

Profile: Cristina Gonzalez Parcell

Cristina Gonzalez Parcell is an account executive overseeing client relations for Martinez Communications, a local advertising agency.

WHAT DOES HER JOB INVOLVE?

“My main focus is government contracting. The Small Business Administration 8(a) program [Martinez is 8(a) certified as of last January] reaches out to minority businesses to obtain government contracts. To be a minority business entrepreneur, you have to be minority or woman-owned. We’re 100 percent Hispanic-owned. To keep up with our minority business certification, I go on their website to see what contracts have opened up that might have an interest in using a minority firm. Then, I go after them.”

DO SHE HANDLE MARKETING?

“Not necessarily. One federal government contract in the past was the Army Corps of Engineers. We did translations for them.”

WHAT LANGUAGES DOES

SHE SPEAK?

Parcell is fluent in English, Spanish and French. She also speaks conversional Italian and Portuguese. “My dad was director of Peace Corps so I lived overseas until I started high school. I went to school in Nueva, Granada in South America, but the primary chunk of my elementary education was in Accra, Ghana, West Africa.”

WHERE WAS SHE BORN?

San Juan, Puerto Rico.

HAS SHE WORKED IN

OTHER PROFESSIONS?

Parcell spent several years in the hospitality industry, working as a translator for Marriott and its corporate training programs. Prior to joining Martinez’s firm, she was the assistant director of the now-defunct Chappell Schools on University Boulevard. While living in Washington, D.C., she worked as the youngest campaign employee for former President George Bush’s 1988 campaign. She also worked on the campaigns for President George W. Bush and Mayor-elect John Peyton. “It’s all-consuming, physically and mentally. I have considered running for City Council, but having kids changes everything. My boys come first.”

ANY COLLEGE?

“I started at Radford University in Virginia and ended up at Valencia Community College in Orlando. I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a political science degree.”

WHY PURSUE POLITICAL SCIENCE?

“I came from a very civic-minded family. My father was the civil rights commissioner during the Reagan administration. My mom is on the library board of trustees here. That’s what drew me to politics.”

HOW BIG IS HER FAMILY?

Her husband, also named Chris, is originally from England. They live on the Southside with their two sons, Andrew and Alexander. “My challenge is spending enough time with my children. If I could stay home all day eating peanut butter and jelly and playing with Legos, I’d be in heaven.”

WHAT CHALLENGES DOES SHE FACE AT WORK?

“Sometimes it’s hard to put an artist with a client. I act as a liaison, relaying to the client what the artist’s restraints are and, to the artist, what the client’s passions are. I make sure everybody ends up with what they want.”

OTHER ACTIVITIES?

On a local level, Parcell is active with the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. She is also a member of the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “FSHCC is an umbrella organization incorporating all of the Hispanic chambers in the state. They have an office in Jacksonville.”

WHAT DOES SHE FIND

MOST REWARDING?

“Being part of the growth of the Hispanic community in the city and contributing to the city.”

HER FAVORITE THINGS

Parcell is glued to the television when the reality show, “The Amazing Race,” is on. She just finished reading “Lovely Bones,” and prefers her mom’s home-cooked Spanish food to any restaurant.

— by Monica Chamness

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