Jinnie (English) CristernaPresident & CEO
Jinnie Cristerna is affectionately known as "The High Achievers Therapist"™ and knows what it’s like to strive to become a high achiever. Like many highly-accomplished professionals, her success didn’t exactly come easily.
But with persistence, hard work, and a ‘never-say-die’ attitude, Jinnie has reached astounding levels of both personal and professional success.
Personal challenges led to uncovering a new niche profession.
After receiving her master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago, she spent several years working as a social worker for various not-for-profit agencies. Like many social workers, Jinnie soon found it challenging to live on a social worker’s paycheck. So, she set out to put her love for social work to use in a way that would not only help more people beyond the limited populations she was working with at the agencies, but that would also provide her with a livable income.
Her research led her to an untapped niche market: executive mental health. In 1999, she launched English Consulting and in 2006, renamed her company Chicago’s High Achievers (CHiA). CHiA focused solely on providing clinical mental health services to executives wanting to achieve a high level of personal AND professional success. She specifically works with individuals who come from lesser means and are having a difficult time adjusting to their success.
Areas of expertise
Jinnie specializes in a number of professional development areas, such as: leadership, dynamic critical thinking, power and control, women and minority issues, conflict management, interpersonal skills, personality development, communication, executive assessments., performance coaching, and taekwondo sports psychology. She also specializes in a number of personal development areas, such as: depression, anxiety, personality disorders, familial and romantic relationships, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psycho-dynamic therapy, Asperger’s disorder, and survivors of abuse and trauma.
Jinnie is recognized locally and nationally for her expertise in employee relations, pathological behavior, relationship issues, organizational psychology, facilitation, business think tanks and leadership. She is a contributing writer and blogger for Today’s Chicago Woman magazine, has been featured in many publications, is an expert commentator for local and national media, and participates on numerous business panels regarding business development, mental health and wellness, work/life balance and diversity.
Commitment to Community
Jinnie grew up in the impoverished Englewood community on the south side of Chicago. While her history if full of challenges, the support of her family and community is credited in part with her success. She experienced first-hand how community service positively impacted the lives of the residents and has made it her priority to give back.
Living out her values for community service, she served as the President of the SSA Alumni Board at the University of Chicago, as Secretary on the board of the Calumet Park Chamber of Commerce, served as an advisor to the Champion Tae Kwon Do Institute in Blue Island, and continues to be very active in supporting myriad professional organizations throughout Chicago.
As with her professional endeavors, Jinnie is also a high-achiever in her personal pursuits and hobbies. She is the 2008 US OPEN Tae Kwon Do Silver Medalist, and 2008 US Tae Kwon Do National Gold Medalist. She is also the author of the book, “The High Achievers Guide to being a Decent Parent”.
Despite her numerous professional accolades and personal accomplishments, she isn’t resting on her laurels: Jinnie is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute for Clinical Social Work. Jinnie resides in Chicago and is the mother of four amazing children, all of whom practice taekwondo and one of which is the 2010 Youth Olympic Taekwondo Bronze Medalist.