Cuban Latina Enables Affordable Housing and Education

Cristina Gilson

Cristina Miranda Gilson, 2018 Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Chief Executive Officer/Founder/OwnerHousing and Development Services, Inc.HDS Companies

 

“The core of who we are is our genetic mark, one that gives us not only the opportunity but the responsibility to be part of the transformation that our world needs today.”

In today’s economy, affordable housing has become an ever-growing problem not only for its citizens but the economic development of our communities as well.  

Cristina Miranda Gilson recognized this on-going dilemma as a business opportunity and, in 1998, founded Housing and Development Services, Inc. (HDS) which is a conglomerate of small businesses which engages with State, quasi-government and local housing finance agencies to provide technology solutions to help manage their housing initiatives. 

Cristina Miranda GilsonUnder the HDS corporate umbrella, which is not only minority-owned but run with a largely minority and female staff, Cristina developed Housing and Development Software, LLC and eHousing Plus.

The software company provides clients with software solutions for their housing portfolios and, working with industry partners, eHousing Plus provides technology, compliance, service and program support for administration for First Time Homebuyer Programs. 

In 2008, while her companies were growing into a multi-million dollar business, she created and is president of The HDS Foundation, Inc., a 501.c.3 non-profit, focused on helping teens and young adults on the Autism spectrum.

As the mother of a daughter with Autism, Cristina understood the unique challenges these young people experience and wanted to help enrich their lives. The charity has raised funds for Habitat for Humanity, Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Autism Speaks and the Dan Marino Foundation, which earned them “top fundraising” awards, to name a few. 

Partnering with the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) department at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, where HDS is headquartered, Cristina created a mentoring program to provide real life social and work-related programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Over the years, this program has evolved into various projects including the BRIDGES Program, College Mentors and the newly launched ASDY-Tech group, among others. ASDY-Tech is an entrepreneurial business, launched by the HDS Foundation, that is currently employing five young adults on the Autism spectrum who are delivering digital technology solutions to the company.  

In addition to her work with the foundation, Cristina is a member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, National Council of State Housing Agencies, National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies, Florida Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies, Council for Exceptional Children, Florida’s Voice on Developmental Disabilities and other business and charitable groups. 

Cristina, who was born in Cuba and raised in her father’s home country of Spain before moving to the U.S., enjoys home design, travel photography, the performing arts and a great glass of wine with friends.

She and her two daughters, Meagan Bouscher-Miranda and Katherine Gilson-Miranda share the same passion of helping others and becoming the future of multi-cultural young women.

HWD 2018

For more information, visit www.hispanicwomenofdistinction.com or 954-601-6550 or email: hispanicwomenlunch@aol.com.  

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Here are last year's 2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction:

GLORIA L.  DIAZ-DANIELS –Div Sales Mgr Sales-Pharmacy Walmart – Palm Beach Colombian Born Latina Shines As Mentor and Walmart Sales Exec

ADRIANA FAZZANO FICANO – Chief of Staff, Broward College – Broward County Colombian-American Latina Leads College PR and Community Organizations

BLANCA GUERRA -Broward County Schools-Curriculum Sup/Dual Languages -Dade Cuban Latina Excels at Education and Preserving Heritage Languages  

KARINA GOMEZ-HERRERA – Pres. CEO Karnna Fashion & Company – Broward:  Outstanding Venezuelan Latina Excels as a “Hispanic Fashion Advisor”

Dr IVERIS LUZ MARTINEZ- Assoc Prof. Herbert Werthein College/Medicine FIU-Dade Cuban-American Latina Is a Premier Healthcare Anthropologist 

LORENA MASTRARRIGO -Assistant Public Defender, Broward County – Broward  Argentinian-American Latina Attorney Helping Hispanic Community

CHRISTINA PEREZ McDOWELL – Founder, Solutions by CPM, LLC – Dade- Cuban-American Latina Brand Manger and Executive Consultant

JACQUELINE NUNEZ – Co-owner, SOMA Medical Centers PA – Palm Beach Colombian Latina Healthcare Financial Officer Supports Those In Need

Dr. JACQUELINE PENA – Dean Academic Affairs – Miami Dade College -  Dade Dominican Bronx Latina Secure Grants to Drive Student Success

MICHELLE MARTINEZ-REYES- CMO, Greenspoon Marder Law Firm – Broward  Latina Cuban-American Chief Marketing Officer Is Growing Brands

MARIELLE SOLOGUREN – Vice President. Pierson Grant Public Relations – Broward Latina of Ancestry Cuban-Peruvian Making Waves in PR

RACHEL TOURGEMAN –Community Relations Dir.- Florida National University-Dade Panamanian-American Latina Community Relations Professional Advocates for Victims

LATINA PIONEER of the YEAR:  

DAISY EXPOSITO-ULLA – Chairman, CEO of d exposito & Partnersa visionary creative leader in cross-cultural brand building for more than 30 years, Daisy has been recognized by numerous organizations and named as one of the most influential Latinas in the United States. 

About the author

Phyllis Cambria

Phyllis Cambria is a freelance writer based in South Florida with an international roster of clients. As a retired, award-winning event planner, she co-authored several party planning books and has written or been the subject of articles for numerous local and national print and online publications. Phyllis writes online and print content on a wide-array of subjects including entertaining, show business, etiquette, weddings, restaurant reviews, travel, relationships and marketing materials.

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