About our Nominee
Cris Dosev was born and raised in Chicago. His ancestors moved here in 1961 from Europe. They moved here after WWII, and his parents experiences and influence made a huge impact in his life and helped shape him into the man he is today. His father showed him the importance of hard work, bringing him to work with him as he did janitorial work.
Cris spent 10 years in the Marine Corps. His love for our country is unmatched. Two of his sons followed in his footsteps and joined the Marine Corps, and he could not be any more proud of them. One of his sons is an engineer, and his daughters are in college. All of his children are becoming quite successful.
With that being said, it is no secret that he is a family man. He is happily married with 8 children. He currently resides in Pensacola, and graduated from the University of Florida in 1984. Five out of his 8 children also graduated from the University of Florida.
Q & A
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career/owning your business?
It was a matter of obligation. My father left his home at the age of 14 and spent his young years innocently wandering around Europe, up until the war when he was in his 30’s. He learned in that time what value and opportunity were, unlike a lot of Americans. So when he came to America, he was willing to accept sacrifices that a lot of natives to this country wouldn’t accept. He bought into an apartment building at his first opportunity that didn’t generate cash flow for well over five years. He had a long-term vision. My father was willing to do things and my mother was willing to sacrifice with him that I know most Americans would not have done.
So when I went into the Marine Corp, he was heartbroken. He didn’t understand that I had a commitment to this country, and that allowed my father to have his opportunity. That was my commitment. I got to that junction point of 10 years in service, where for a lot of guys that is a decision point: You either decide to stay in for another 10 or 20 years to make a career of it, or you decide that you have fulfilled your service to your country and now it’s time to pursue other pastures.
In my case, I had a deep obligation to carry on what my father had started. It was was between 1991 and 1992 that I was making my decision. I ended up getting out in ’94. But at that point and time, I knew this: I was an only child, my mother and father had no other family in this country and they had me later in their lives, so they were elderly. My wife and I had started a family at this point. We have 4 children. I felt very duty-bound to carry on this small business my father had started to honor my father and mother.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Pensacola?
We moved here in August of 2009, so 11 years..
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people starting their own business?
Be mentally prepared for setbacks and disappointment. If it goes easily, God bless you and thank God that things are going well. But there’s going to be a point in time, whether it’s people you’re dealing with, or other circumstances and you have to realize that at the end of the day, you’re the one that is responsible. You have to be able to muscle through it. You have to push through adversity, but you got to do it with some form of grace. Sometimes, it is easier said than done. Be happy and recognize when things are going well.
Q: What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about (or what is most iconic in) Pensacola?
I remember fond memories of going to the Hopkins House. It was fun! I miss it. It was part of the flavor of Pensacola. That was southern hospitality.
Q: Where do you see yourself (and your career/business) in 5 or 10 years?
I think I’m going to be busy with a whole brute of grandkids and pursuing business opportunities. You know, my father worked until the day he died. He didn’t physically work, but he was always thinking. For the last 6 years of his life, he was on dialysis. I had to be with him. We got him well enough that he could go back and forth on his own. After the last year or two, it got to be a little more difficult for him. But in the big scheme of things, he was always thinking. He loved it!
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Pensacola, and what do you love there? (What is your favorite dish, and where do you get it?)
I belong to the Pensacola Yacht Club. I love to eat there and I really like their Ahi tuna salad.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
I’d go back to Bulgaria. I feel part of it. It’s home.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
My favorite movie is It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s a representation of innocence. It may have been The Apple Dumpling Gang.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
I would have to say I’d like to go to Poland and Russia.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Pensacola?
I live in East Hill and I can’t think of a more convenient place to live. The airport is like your own private airport, the beach is 15 minutes away (when the Pensacola Bay Bridge isn’t down), and, after August 10th, the beach is yours.
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch?
St John Paul II and Ronald Regan.
Q: What is your favorite music or 3 bands that you would love to see live?
We went to Hawaii and saw our grandson who we hadn’t seen in over a year. I put on Pavarotti. You should have seen my grandson’s eyes light up! I love Bad Company, the Beetles, and Led Zeplin. I saw Tom Petty twice!
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I’m pretty much an open book. I love to cook! I also like to entertain.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Fire softly burning.
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
Be sure to check out what our other nominees had to say!