Cristal Retana joined Children's Health in January of 2018 as the Manager of Community Relations. She has been involved in government and community affairs professionally for almost a decade serving in various elected offices both on the state and local levels.
Cristal a first-generation Texan; her parents are immigrants of Mexico, and she is one of six children. She spent her childhood in Dallas, specifically in Farmers Branch. After graduation, she became a Pioneer, attending the University of Texas Women's University, where she earned
a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Government. During her senior year, she was selected as
a Luna Scholars Fellows, a competitive program allowing students the opportunity to work in a Texas Senate office during the legislative session in Austin.
Cristal was one of twelve students selected and there began her career in public policy. Since her first staff position in the office of Senator Jeff Wentworth, Cristal has held several roles in the political and legal profession. She excelled to become Chief of Staff for a Dallas area State Representative, and at that time was one of the youngest Chiefs of Staff in the House.
Most recently, she ventured into the world of local policy assisting Dallas City Councilmember Adam McGough of Lake Highlands. Her key roles included policy research and project management with a focus in public safety, transportation, planning/zoning, and quality of life. Currently, Cristal is the Manager of Community and Government Relations for Children's
Health where she oversees community outreach initiatives, chamber partnerships, and tracks city
and county policies and projects as they pertain to the work of the hospital.
She has been recognized for her work with nominations to several government service awards including Altrusa's Women of Tomorrow, Women in Government, and is a member of the 2017-
2018 Class of the Dallas Mayor's Star Council.
She holds a number of leadership roles across several organizations including City of Farmers Branch Planning and Zoning Commissioner, Lake Highlands Board, North Dallas Chamber Board, Leadership Plano and the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas- Dallas Chapter.