Meet 7 Awesome Chicago Dads — & Their Even Cooler Kids

While we're firm believers that women can wear the pants just as well as a man, we’ll certainly give credit where credit is due. So, in the spirit of Father's Day, we've rounded up seven cool Chicago dads that are as inspiring in the workplace as they are in their homes.
Whether they work in fashion or technology, these pops have major career-day potential — and look pretty-darn cute next to their kids, too.
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D.C. Crenshaw, founder of Fete Select TV

How do you balance your career with fatherhood?
"I try to prioritize my business as it relates to family time. I measure the importance of scheduling a meeting or attending an event with being away from home. I'd rather be at home playing with my two boys versus at business function that has no value."

What are some of the things you like to do in Chicago when you are hanging with your kids?
"I love going to the parks, Lincoln Park Zoo, or the lakefront when the weather is nice. They always enjoy watching the boats go by on the lake or the Chicago River. Introducing our boys to different foods and neighborhood restaurants is fun as well."

We live in kinda scary times these days. What dating advice do you think you'll give your kids when they grow up?
"When you're dating someone and you break up, try to always remember the reason(s) why you broke up before you get back together. Most people don't change. They are who they are. Date someone that will TRULY allow you to be who you are."

What do you love most about being a dad?
"What I love most about being a dad is teaching my boys how do certain things and watching them grow. They're both so independent. Sitting back and watching them play with each other is the best thing ever."

Photo: Courtesy of D.C. Crenshaw
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Geoffrey Dixon M.D., neurosurgeon and president, Chicago Neurological Surgery P.C.

How do you balance your career with fatherhood?
"Fortunately, my profession and the fact that I am in a private practice allows me significant flexibility with regard to my schedule. As a result, I am able to accomplish most of my duties in the morning and early afternoon, leaving me time to spend with my kids after school and in the evening around dinnertime. Also, the weekends are largely unscheduled, and it’s pretty easy to have quality family time."

What are some of the things you like to do in Chicago when you are hanging with your kids?
"The options for spending time with children in Chicago are almost limitless. There are many remarkable parks with everything from complex climbing equipment to waterworks for them to play on. The museums are all fantastic places for educational activities, as well as pure entertainment. We’re also lucky enough to live near the beach as well as having a school playground directly across the street from our house, so we can play outside anytime the weather permits."

We live in kinda scary times these days. What dating advice do you think you'll give your kids when they grow up?
"Hopefully between now and then, we will be able to instill a deep-seated sense of self-esteem in both of our children. This should allow them to make good decisions about the things they will do and whom they will do them with. I don’t think any specific advice is as likely to protect them in the future."

What do you love most about being a dad?
"There are so many magical moments every day as a father watching his children: discovering new things, learning to express themselves more clearly, and of course, manipulating their parents. My favorite thing about being a dad is seeing how my children take my presence and my assistance completely for granted. I hope they never learn to doubt that Daddy is home and that he’ll always be there to help."

Photo: Courtesy of Geoffrey Dixon
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Trey Berre, attorney and founder of Artfully Disheveled

How do you balance your career with fatherhood?
"It's extremely challenging balancing my day job as an attorney, growing Artfully Disheveled, and my family life. Making sure that I have time to spend with Maria and Fiona is extremely important to me, but because Fiona is only 6 months old and her bed time is like 6:45 p.m., there are days that I don't see her because I leave for the office early and get home too late."

"Managing a demanding work schedule is a bit of an art. I try and front load my work at the beginning of the day so that I can get home just before Fiona goes down for bed and have time to play with her or, in the alternative, watch her melt down during the 'witching hour.' What I miss on the weekdays I do my best to make up for on the weekends."

What are some of the things you like to do in Chicago when you are hanging with Fiona?
"Fiona was born at the end of December — just in time for the dead of winter. Maria and I found our social-life paradigm change from evenings out late to capitalizing on the time we have with Fiona during the day, by taking long lunches with friends at places like Uncommon Ground, Bar on Buena, or Brownstone Tavern in our old 'hood. This spring we took Fiona to her first festival — Maifest in Lincoln Square. Once she gets a bit older though, I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time at the MCA, Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Shedd."

We live in kinda scary times these days. What dating advice do you think you'll give Fiona when she grows up?
"Who said my daughter is going to be allowed to date? This is a question that spurs a lot of concern, so allow me to be brutally honest here (and I know many guys my age with daughters who can relate). I don't know that it is just dating that concerns me as much as dating in a world of social media. It was a lot easier when I was growing up without cell phones. Now parents have to worry about sh-t like sexting. The tough conversation parents had with their kids before they started dating used to be about the birds and the bees and now I have to develop a story about what happens if the bird were to receive a d-ck-pic from the bee? Come on."

"I don't think kids understand the serious long-term effects their actions can have in today's world. Sex-ed used to be about preventing STDs and pregnancy. Now, someone needs to invent a prophylactic for Facebook. I really just hope that we raise Fiona to be intelligent and cautious in the decisions that she makes when Mom and Dad are not around to protect her."

What do you love most about being a dad?
"Making her laugh and smile is a joy I could never have comprehended."

Photo: Courtesy of Maria Ponce
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Jason Cremerius, director of product innovation for Slalom Consulting

How do you balance your career with fatherhood?
"I'm all about my son Asher on weekends — especially Sundays. Just like a lot of working parents out there with demanding jobs, it's hard to put down my cell phone sometimes and focus on my boy. But I work hard to spend quality time with Asher, and try to remember that these times aren't gonna last forever."

What are some of the things you like to do in Chicago when you are hanging with Asher?
"Asher is such an active kid with varied interests, so we plan activities according to the season. He loves everything from going to art museums in the wintertime, to skateboarding and playing tennis in the summertime, to playing football in the spring and fall."

We live in kinda scary times these days. What dating advice do you think you'll give Asher when he grows up?
"God, I don't want to think about it! But I also know it's coming all too fast. We'll see when we get there but respect yourself enough to take the time to get to know someone is what comes to mind."

What do you love most about being a dad?
"I get to see the world through my son's eyes, which is very refreshing. Asher makes me feel better about the world."

Photo: Courtesy of Jason Cremerius
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Jamie Greenlees, vice president of sales and marketing for Lynxit Solutions

How do you balance your career with fatherhood?
"Balance is achieved by being highly focused in business and working SMART. This is infinitely more productive than just working for extensive periods of time, as no one has an infinite amount of focus for extensive periods of time. My business affords me flexibility and allows me to prioritize and delegate tasks to others which frees up a good balance allowing me to be a present father. That’s the intellectual answer; the short answer is that my son Chase is so much fun, I can’t wait to see him and will always find the time."

What are some of the things you like to do in Chicago when you are hanging with Chase?
"I love taking Chase for long walks in his Radio Flyer. Possibly because it is such a cool ride, but also because he is seeing the world for the first time through innocent eyes. That is a truly remarkable thing to observe. Even just turning a corner into a new neighborhood that would appear indifferent to an adult; his expression of wide-eyed wonderment is one of the most uplifting things that I have ever seen."

We live in kinda scary times these days. What dating advice do you think you'll give Chase when he grows up?
"Dating advice…well he is 14 months and is already dating a Victoria Secret model, which is impressive. She is very down to earth and they really connect…okay, seriously (seeing that I only have a son thus far), I would say that 'a woman laughing is a woman conquered.' If I was to be a father to a girl in the future, I would say that a girl should be able to make a guy smile without taking her shirt off."

What do you love most about being a dad?
"No matter what you do with your life, and no matter how accomplished to the world you are just one person. But when you are a father to that one person you are the world. That’s pretty amazing."

Photo: Courtesy of Jamie Greenlees
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Kevin Boehm, co-founder of Boka Restaurant Group

How do you balance your career with fatherhood?
"You have to work at it — especially in my business. I never work on Sundays or Saturday afternoons, and reserve that time for my kids."

What are some of the things you like to do in Chicago when you are hanging with your kids?
"Sofia and I have been to some amazing Cubs and Bulls Games. The last game we went to was the 3 OT Game when the Bulls beat the Nets. Both Lola and Sofia love to dine out and share my love of sushi! Lola is a wizard with the chopsticks!"

We live in kinda scary times these days. What dating advice do you think you'll give your kids when they grow up?
"I don't even want to think about this question yet! No dating until 21! Seriously though, I think the key is to raise them well and set a good example. Teenage girls seem to be drawn to boys that their parents don't like, so I will try not to give too many opinions."

What do you love most about being a dad?
"Easy — my daily talks with each of my girls. The 10 best conversations I have ever had in my life are all from my baby girls. They are amazingly wise, consistently hilarious, and possess the kind of empathy you wish all people had the capacity for."

Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Bohem
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Henrique Kerch, publisher of Travel Insider and Factio Magazines

How do you balance your career with fatherhood?
"I think organization of your time is the best thing you can do. But if a work opportunity happens to be a learning experience that the kids can be part of, I think you can take advantage it. For instance, we run a travel site so if there is a trip that is kid focused, we can take them along. I love showing our kids our work through experiences. At the end of the day, they learn so much about culture and life through these opportunities."

What are some of the things you like to do in Chicago when you are hanging with your kids?
"Chicago is such a multicultural city with countless opportunities to explore. Some of the top things I like to do is to start exploring our very own neighborhood in West Rogers Park. You get to experience some of the best tamales from street carts, top Ethiopian restaurants, all organic cuisine at the Heartland Cafe, or just some good comfort food at the Morse Avenue dining scene. And not to miss, a good walk to the beach on a summer day."

We live in kinda scary times these days. What dating advice do you think you'll give your kids when they grow up?
"They face new challenges that many of us didn't have to growing up, especially in the digital world where virtual friendships and dating exist, and I think many parents might not know how to work with that. I think the main advice I could give is that, as parents we are here to support and help them as much as we can in life and teach them to be confident and strong and to speak up something isn't right."

What do you love most about being a dad?
"It's the best thing that could ever happen. Having three kids is very crazy and time consuming and a normal day goes like this: having mature conversation with my 10-year-old daughter, teaching our toddler how to talk, and baby talk with the youngest. I try to enjoy every minute of it because time goes by very fast, and then you realize they will be looking for a college and a place to live on their own with a blink of an eye."

Photo: Courtesy of Henrique Kerch
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