Cris has an undeniable record of exemplary service to God, country, family and community. A first generation American, he was born to immigrant parents who taught him the core values of hard work, commitment, service and love of country. He is a lifelong Republican and a true conservative.
Cris attended the University of Florida where he graduated in 1984 with Honors with a degree in Land Surveying from the College of Civil Engineering, and he was a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. Attending the University of Florida on an NROTC scholarship, he became the unit’s Battalion Commander. He achieved the Carl A. Spaatz award from the Civil Air Patrol, the highest achievable cadet award. In addition, he was presented with the Daedalian Flight Scholarship Award for private flight licensing.
Upon graduation, he was commissioned an Officer of Marines. After completion of the Basic School in Quantico, Virginia he was assigned to Pensacola for flight training where he earned his Naval Flight Officers wings in April of 1986. After completion of advanced training at NAS Whidbey Island he was designated a Bombardier/Navigator in the A-6 Intruder.
He joined the “Fighting Bengals” in Cherry Point, North Carolina and completed 3 deployments – 2 Western Pacific deployments and Desert Shield/Desert Storm – and accumulated over 1300 flight hours and 30 combat missions. He was awarded the Air Medal with numeral “3” and 2 Navy Commendation Medals, one with Combat “V”.
Upon return from overseas, he was assigned as Marine Officer Instructor and Assistant Professor of Naval Science of the Chicago Consortium – Northwestern University and Illinois Institute of Technology. He taught Evolution of Warfare and Amphibious Warfare preparing future officers with real world scenario training and exercises. He also instructed as a platoon leader at Officer Candidate School, Quantico, Virginia.
In 1994, Cris entered the civilian world and began his career as a real estate developer and small business owner. He has completed multiple residential and commercial projects in the Chicago metropolitan area. He was a volunteer and served on the National Advisory Board of The Women’s Center, a crisis pregnancy center.
In 2005, he co-founded the Wounded Heroes Foundation Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which assists injured veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2009, Cris and his family moved to Pensacola, FL and he has been an active member of the community since. He is a local business owner. He is a member of Pensacola Five Flags Rotary and is a board member of the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club. He is active with the Marine Corps League and recently helped coordinate the veteran component of the Florida Dental Association Mission of Mercy in Pensacola, which assisted 200 veterans and 1700 Panhandle residents to receive free dental care. He belongs to the American Legion and the Navy League. He is a member of the International Defensive Pistol Association and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He serves as chaplain for the local Order of Daedalians. Cris and his family attend Sacred Heart Cathedral where he is a Knight of Columbus, Past Grand Knight, and sits on the parish council. In addition, Cris regularly attends several Bible studies around the community and enjoys lively faith and fellowship discussions. Cris’s hobbies include military history, shooting, fishing, cooking, and singing and playing guitar with his daughters. Cris has a working knowledge of Spanish and Bulgarian and has traveled extensively throughout Europe, in addition to his military deployments to Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.
Cris has been married to the former Lisa Gergick for 31 years. Lisa graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Four of Cris and Lisa's children have graduated from UF as well. They have three sons and five daughters ranging from age 12 to 29. The oldest son is an engineer with an oil drilling company. Two sons are active duty Marine officers. The five daughters are looking forward to assisting their Dad on the campaign trail in 2018.