In December of 2009, Jess Kriss, a twenty+ year resident of Newport County, was given life-changing news that no one ever wants to hear - she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Jess underwent extensive treatment including chemotherapy, multiple surgeries and radiation.
Since Jess’s treatment for breast cancer in 2010, a number of things have happened. After successfully recovering from her operation and chemotherapy treatments, Jess returned to work for Blackstone Catering and continued her active involvement with many of the groups listed below. For nearly two years Jess and her two children moved ahead with their lives – working, relocating, graduating high school, and generally appreciating life’s bounty.
Unfortunately, in June of 2012 Jess began feeling symptoms that at first appeared to be caused by a sinus infection but were later revealed to be caused by a tumor on her brain. This tumor was a result of metastasized breast cancer and Jess was immediately brought into the hospital for removal of the tumor. Jess is now in recovery from the operation, and is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments once again. She is expected to return home in late July 2012 into the care of family members.
Jess is a single mother raising her two beautiful children, Travis, age 19 and Marcy, age 17. A longtime member of the Newport hospitality community, Jess spent ten fun-filled years at Salvation Cafe where she really felt she became a part of the diverse fabric that is Newport. She then went on to work for Newport Harbor Corporation, first at Castle Hill Inn and Resort and then for the past four years at Blackstone Caterers, where she is currently the Director of Catering Administration. Jess is also the chairman of Newport Harbor Corporation’s Green Committee, a representative for the Employee Stock Ownership Program, a board member of Slow Food RI, an Advisory member of Child and Family Services’ Ophelia Program. She is a passionate locavore and a friend and supporter of many local farmers and artisans. Jess feels lucky to work not only with so many wonderful individuals and their families on events in her daily life but also with so many fantastic organizations who bring so much to our community, Norman Bird Sanctuary, International Yacht Restoration School, Island Moving Company, Save the Bay and Farm Fresh RI, to name just a few.