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Men of the Moment 2018

Ariel Cheung, Laura Hine, Jaclyn Jermyn and Lisa Shames | March 27, 2018 | Feature Features National

Seven of the city's most influential men share how they are shaking things up in their fields—from real estate to fashion to sports—and how they plan to continue innovating.

TIM ANDERSON
WHAT'S NOW
After his best friend was killed in Alabama last year, Anderson channeled his grief into action, forming Anderson’s League of Leaders as a charity dedicated to mentoring young students.

WHAT'S NEXT
With his six-year, $25 million contract, this Chicago White Sox shortstop is more determined than ever to go all the way in 2018.

“I want another shot. Last year did bring a lot of pain, and this year, I want to go back to being myself and be that dominant player. We go out there and compete, pick one another up and just keep playing, and we have a chance to do something special. We’ve got a really good bond, a good brotherhood, and that’s great to see. It’s the start of something great.

Life hasn’t always been great for me. I know what it’s like going through tough times, to be on both sides of not having and being able to have. So we want to target the youth, go in there and show them that there’s a better way of living. I just really try to be relatable, not go in there and preach. It’s more just going to have a good time and show them what being a kid and having fun is about. I try to get them away from the violence that’s happening and put a smile on their faces.”

Styling by Charles Harris; Grooming by Cassandra Ward

BUZZ RUTTENBERG
WHAT'S NOW
Two endowments to the Art Institute (Ruttenberg Associate Curator of Photography and the Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series) and real estate development firm Belgravia Group’s 70th anniversary

WHAT'S NEXT
Renelle on the River and Three Sixty West in 2019

“My dad started Belgravia Group in 1947. I joined him out of law school in ’68. Real estate development is a good counterpoint to the practice of law. Instead of just getting paid for your time, it allows you to get paid for your creativity and can make you smile when you drive by something you were part of, and there it stands as a small anchor in the community. In the past 18 years, every time we develop a building that’s eight floors or more, we create an art collection, which we give to the building. It says somebody cared enough to go the extra distance and enhance the living experience. Some 30 years ago, my parents had a show at the Art Institute from their photography collection called The Intuitive Eye. I could see in my parents the pride of having works they collected on display. When they died, they left almost 10,000 images as part of their permanent collection, much of which my brother and I donated or sold to fund the foundation that is now funding these ongoing endowments. Part of our unintended consequence is that we’re hoping to make the city a better place to live in.”

Brown suede reversible jacket, $3,995, and orange high performance waffle jumper, $895, both at Ermenegildo Zegna; watch, Meredith’s own.

JAMES VINCENT MEREDITH
WHAT'S NOW
The Doppelgänger (an International Farce) at Steppenwolf Theatre

WHAT'S NEXT
Radio Golf at Court Theatre this fall

The Pain and the Itch was the very first show that I did at Steppenwolf on the main stage, and I remember being under the stage before we would go on: All of us would be sitting there waiting in the dark—Tracy Letts, Mariann Mayberry—and there’s such an energy. I’ve been really thrilled by what Dick Wolf has brought to town, and I’ve been lucky enough to get work on camera, like with Chicago Med. It gives me a lot of downtime to spend with my wife and my boy. But there’s an energy onstage that, as every actor will tell you, you just can’t repeat in front of a camera. That is, once I push down the stage fright. I think anyone who has ever acted onstage with me knows that I rarely do the same thing twice. The Doppelgänger is a farce, and farce is very precise. That’s going to be something for me to work on, but I’m excited to get into the rehearsal space again. It’s a very religious experience when you’re in that room. I feel like I actually belong here, and there’s no feeling like the feeling you actually belong somewhere.”

Styling by Charles Harris; Grooming by J. St. Jaimes

JIM WETZEL
WHAT'S NOW
On April 5, SPACE 519, the boutique that Lawson and Wetzel own, is moving from its space inside the 900 North Michigan Shops to a street-front store just blocks away at 200 E. Chestnut St.

WHAT'S NEXT
The new location will have coffee and a lunch cafe in addition to its already impressive curated collection of women’s fashion, gifts, home decor, men’s accessories and apothecary.

“Obviously the new store allows us to take certain areas of the business and expand them, like home and apothecary and women’s—all in a great way—but we also want people to know that we’re keeping the basic business model the same. You’ll recognize your favorite brands and we’re keeping our target price points, but we also have the chance to do some new things. The one we’re most excited to announce is that this fall we’ll be rolling out a private label that will start with five pieces all made with Italian cashmere. They’ll all be very travel-ready, and you’ll be able to mix and match everything. They’re pieces our clients have been asking for but that we couldn’t find in the market, so we went out and made them ourselves.”

LANCE LAWSON
“We’ve always had a vision of a full-blown European concept store like Colette or Merci that includes a cafe, but the old space wasn’t conducive to that. So moving allows us to fulfill our concept by adding food, a coffee program and outdoor seating. We’re even doing the menu ourselves. We’re both big food enthusiasts, and we went to California last year to explore what’s creative and light, and also seasonal and fresh. We’re getting an espresso machine from Italy that literally costs as much as a small car! We like having a space where we can do our total vision and create an experience for our clients. It’s really exciting for us to be able to choose every single thing, from the products to the wallpaper. Everything you touch in this store will be us.”

Styling by Charles Harris; Grooming by J. St. Jaimes

Blue Trofeo seersucker jacket, $2,795, blue Trofeo seersucker trousers, $695, white Trofeo twill shirt, $375, pocket square, $105, brown suede Ivo loafers, $795, all at Ermenegildo Zegna.

DAVID WALEGA
WHAT'S NOW
As the vice chair for anesthesiology research at Northwestern University, David Walega secured a significant grant to study how pain management could also temper extreme hot flashes.

WHAT'S NEXT
Walega devotes his spare time to championing River West’s Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art.

“When I was a pain medical fellow, I went to an outsider art show, and it was sort of like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. That led to sort of an intellectual discovery for me. Outsider and self-taught art is a therapy for many people who have a mental illness or childhood trauma. When we’re treating patients with chronic pain, most of the time there is an element of anxiety, depression and suffering, which absolutely parallels with this art movement.

One of the most gratifying things to me is having patients who come to me say ‘I have been to see 10 different doctors before you, and you are the first one to ask me these questions.’ There’s this relief when I can give patients with chronic pain options they’ve never had—giving people hope, it’s the most wonderful thing in the world.”

Styling by Charles Harris; Grooming by J. St. Jaimes

Grey wool-silk Zero Weight jacket, $2,795, grey wool-silk drawstring trousers, $725, white premium cotton jumper, $645, all at Ermenegildo Zegna; off-white calf Tiziano sneakers, $795, by Ermenegildo Zegna Couture at Ermenegildo Zegna; watch, Laurita’s own.

JAIME LAURITA
WHAT'S NOW
Creative director, Middleby Residential (Viking, La Cornue, among others)

WHAT'S NEXT
“My dream is to have my own style and cooking show—I want to be the next Ellen in Chicago.”

“I come from a big Italian family and realized early on how important food was around the table because that’s where love lives. I’m all about food, mood and music. You can live a harmonious life if you understand what all three things do to your soul. I always gravitated toward musicians and entertainers. I traveled for the past 25 years with everybody from Sting and Josh Groban to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Aerosmith. I wrote my first cookbook with Sarah McLachlan. I started thinking, I’m putting so much passion and energy into this food, but I’m serving it in an ugly environment. It started with hanging a few tapestries in the hospitality room to full-blown environments like what I do for Madonna. I started with Viking in August and had 12 weeks to design its showroom. I’m kind of the master of ceremonies. I do all the florals, the cooking and the events. I don’t call myself an interior designer; I’m more of a lifestyle decorator. I dream big and I put it out there. Love is really what the world needs now. It’s my secret ingredient, and people feel it.”

Styling by Charles Harris; Grooming by J. St. Jaimes



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