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: “It started raining, and [the staff passed out those] old, plastic rain scarfs. We all looked at one another and said, ‘There’s gotta be a better way!’” 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. “We were not immediately attracted to each other—she thought I was a stuffed shirt and I thought she was very immature,” Jeffery says with a laugh. A year later, they reconnected over lunch. “A lot had changed. I was probably less of a stuffed shirt, she was far more mature…and we actually only dated for six months before I proposed,” 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: “I have passion for organizations that help young people,” says Jeffery, who is heavily involved with the Boys and Girls Club and the Chicago Children’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. “I myself was an Inroader when I was in high school and college,” he says. Dena serves as the scholarship co-chair of the women’s board of her alma mater, Northwestern University.
THE PERRY’S GOLD PAGES: For dinner: Everest for fine French cuisine, Arun’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, “We’ve always loved dessert at the Ritz-Carlton—we usually go on our anniversary,” 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, “I want a Breitling for my birthday!” Hint hint.