contributed by Marina Waters
It’s not every day you get to brag about your business partner, let alone your husband. When I first met Chris Waters, or Cristobal as he was introduced to me, he was standing up in front of a group of near strangers, guitar in hand and belting out a song, eyes closed, that he had just penned about his best friend. What struck me immediately about Chris was a fearlessness which lacked self-consciousness and an incredible ability to connect with others. Those attributes have served him well over the past 15 years as Chris has grown a one-man interpreting business into a thriving collective of passionate souls working together to build language access for our diversifying society. The Indianapolis Business Journal recognized Chris’ efforts by including him in a list of leaders in the community.
True to his nature, when asked about the people that he looks up to most in this world, he turned to his staff, a growing number of individuals who consider themselves “LUNAtics”. The LUNA staff are people of all ages and all walks of life and stem from all corners of the world (and incidentally, most of us women and minorities). In an interview with the IBJ he says, “My greatest heroes are my staff and the interpreters, translators and teachers we work with. Many of them came to the U.S. after fleeing from persecution or financial hardships that most of us could never imagine. I work with hard-working, humble, selfless people. When I am having a bad day, I look around and am reminded how privileged I am to be here in this life, and also how fortunate I am to learn from people who have seen hardships I will likely never know, and who were tough enough to re-create their lives here in Indiana.” In turn, our staff adore their boss. He has been known to sing to them covers of Celine Dion, Barry Manillo and Bon Jovi. He proudly establishes “flip flop Friday” every summer, restricts staff meetings to group meals with meaningful conversation once a month, feeds them endless amounts of fruit (and ramen), and is adamant that people take time they need to attend to their family matters. Taking care of our team (and investing in them professionally) has paid off as our staff and interpreters are our best representatives, spreading the word of our services leading to not only exponential growth, but a collective corporate consciousness of care.
Working alongside Chris through the years I have had the privilege of watching him faced with many decisions. Decisions about hiring people, contributing to causes, confronting other businesses with ethical issues, providing benefits for employees, and standing up for important political causes that are affecting our community. With the same fearlessness and joie de vivre that drew me to Chris initially, I’ve watched him dive into these decisions with his unconventional approach. Care about everyone. Do the right thing. And don’t take yourself too seriously. I couldn’t ask for a better business partner and wholeheartedly agree that his work at LUNA and his personal style of doing business can be modeled by other growing business leaders in our community. ¡Felicidades! Cristobal. We can’t wait to see what the next decade will bring!
The full article recognizing Chris Waters as one of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “2016 40 Under 40” can be found here – 2016-Forty-Under-40-Chris-Waters.