Today’s speaker was Cristina Cardinale introduced by Sharon Hamilton.
Christina is a life-long Chautauqua County resident and currently lives in downtown Jamestown. She currently operates as an independent sales and marketing consultant, helping local businesses with budgeting, spending, and advertising.
She previously worked at DoubleTree by Hilton (as the Sales and Marketing Manager) and Olive Garden in Lakewood NY (as the Sales and Marketing Trainer). Christina has extended her sales and marketing experience to local politics, providing marketing, advertising, and campaign management for local candidates, including Mayor Eddie Sundquist. Christina has a passion for helping those around her through charitable work. During her college years, she organized a group known as the “Social Activism Club”. She was responsible for charity fundraisers and local food bank donations. She also works as a volunteer with local animal shelters.  Christina is a champion for the working class and an advocate for diverse communities. This is her first run for NY State Assembly District 150.
Christina is a life-long Chautauqua County resident and from a working-class family. Early on, she learned to reject complacency by creating her own opportunities. She worked in the restaurant industry for 13 years and in 2015 started her own business. Christina attributes her extraordinary work ethic to working in the local hospitality industry. “I started washing dishes when I was 17 and I worked my way up,” she says. “Restaurant work is hard and gritty. The physical and mental labor changes you for the best.”
After graduating from Jamestown High School, Christina earned an AAS degree in Social Sciences from Jamestown Community College, with a concentration in Psychology and Political Science.  Christina worked multiple restaurant jobs to support her way through college.
Christina developed a passion for helping those around her through charitable work. During her time at JCC, she organized a group known as the “Social Activism Club”. She was responsible for charity fundraisers and local food bank donations. She also worked as a volunteer with local animal shelters.
Following graduation, she took a new position at a brand-new restaurant in Lakewood, NY. Using her background in psychology, Christina led the restaurant to the highest sales on the East Coast. “There were certain techniques I started using,” she says. “I started incorporating psychological tricks into my sales.”
Noticed by corporate at the highest level, Christina was tasked to develop new training courses and teach fellow workers her innovative methods. “I was just a server. I developed a job for myself that didn’t exist,” she says. “That opportunity launched me into the sales and marketing world. Suddenly, I was responsible for the creation and implementation of an intensive sales-training program. I remember how I felt when it all started. I had never felt more alive."
Ambitious to work in her hometown, Christina began developing her own freelance business. She developed close relationships with many local business owners. “My business is simple,” she says. “Let us say you own a business, and you're failing to bring in revenue. You hire me. I look at your books, your records, your ordering information -- everything. Maybe you have great record keeping, but you have no advertising. Maybe you are ordering too much product. That is where I come in. I figure out the best course-of-action, set-up a sales and marketing plan, and I fix what’s wrong.”
In 2018, Christina began working at a hotel in downtown Jamestown as the Sales and Marketing Manager, while continuing to operate her freelance business. During her free time, she continued to bartend. She says, “Serving will always be a part of me. Once you are in that world, it never truly leaves you.”
Throughout her professional experience, she has found the only way to make a difference is to be a powerful catalyst for change. “I come from a very humble background. I didn’t go to a fancy ivy-league school, I wasn’t born into extraordinary wealth or privilege." she says. "I have two wonderful parents who love me unconditionally and I worked hard — that’s it. I worked so hard, by the end of the day, I could not stand. I used the knowledge I had, and I strived for more. I strived to create something from nothing.”
Christina Cardinale is a champion for the underdog and a fierce ally for diverse communities. She wants to make a difference for the working class and understands what it is like to not have health insurance or benefits and have many hurdles to overcome. She is also interested in fostering economic development in our county by “thinking outside the box” such as bringing in manufacturers of solar panels.
While listed as a democrat, Christine has some ideas that she feels are republican or independent – she feels she has a blend of ideologies to offer the residents in her voting district.
Please check out Christina’s website and see all the thoughts and ideas she wishes to share with us.