By Patrice Grell Yursik
Photography by Taylor Castle
THEY ARE: A power couple and the parents of two boisterous boys and an adorable little girl. Jeffery is a partner at Ernst & Young LLP, and Dena is the creator of Pop.N.Go (buypopngo.com), a brand of stylish designer rain scarfs. Inspiration struck her during a trip to a popular hair salon: â€œIt started raining, and [the staff passed out those] old, plastic rain scarfs. We all looked at one another and said, â€˜Thereâ€™s gotta be a better way!â€™â€ Dena went on to create styles featuring ruffle trim and animal prints.
MIXING AND MATCHING: The two met when she was a summer intern and he was a young associate at the boutique firm Computer Sciences Corporation Index. â€œWe were not immediately attracted to each otherâ€”she thought I was a stuffed shirt and I thought she was very immature,â€ Jeffery says with a laugh. A year later, they reconnected over lunch. â€œA lot had changed. I was probably less of a stuffed shirt, she was far more matureâ€¦and we actually only dated for six months before I proposed,â€ Jeffery recalls. He popped the question in his living room, and 13 years later, the bench from his apartment in those humble days serves as a romantic reminder in their pastoral backyard.
GIVING BACK: â€œI have passion for organizations that help young people,â€ says Jeffery, who is heavily involved with the Boys and Girls Club and the Chicago Childrenâ€™s Museum. He is also vice chairman of the board of Inroads Inc., a nonprofit that helps prepare talented students for corporate and community leadership. â€œI myself was an Inroader when I was in high school and college,â€ he says. Dena serves as the scholarship co-chair of the womenâ€™s board of her alma mater, Northwestern University.
THE PERRYâ€™S GOLD PAGES: For dinner: Everest for fine French cuisine, Arunâ€™s Thai in Irving Park, or Gioco in the South Loop for authentic Italian. And because it was the last stop on their first date, â€œWeâ€™ve always loved dessert at the Ritz-Carltonâ€”we usually go on our anniversary,â€ says Dena. In her closet: Carmen Marc Valvo, Elie Saab, and Tadashi Shoji for special occasion dresses; Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs handbags. Her latest purchase: A to-die-for pair of Chanel heels, purchased at the Printemps in Paris. In his closet: Zegna, Canali, and Thomas Pink. On his wrist: A Raymond Weil watch, but he admits, â€œI want a Breitling for my birthday!â€ Hint hint.