AGE: 44
OCCUPATION: corporate strategist
HOMETOWN: St. Louis Park, Minnesota
LIVES IN: Wicker Park

Michael Mork, the director of strategic planning for the law firm Sidley Austin, describes himself as a “creative corporate person.” “I come up with ways to meet needs that are always evolving,” he says. Mork came out as a gay man late in life; his two teenage children live with their mother in Florida. With his daughter’s 18th birthday and high-school graduation both happening this year, Mork says if he could yell one thing in her direction as she drives off to college next fall, it would be this: “Think big, achieve all you can!” In 2007, Mork and his partner, Jason Ballew, held a marriage ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art; they share a loft in Wicker Park. “The neighborhood has unique energy,” Mork says. “We’ve met so many business owners who are doing what they love, living their dreams.” On weekends, the couple uses quick road trips for downtime and a change of scenery. “We’ll take the ferry across Lake Michigan just for a new adventure.”



Photograph: Maria Ponce