It was an honor to be featured in the December issue of “Park Ridge Neighbors”, a local publication where we live in Park Ridge. Thank you to Anne Scallon of Best Version Media for asking to be a part of the magazine. And to the talented Heidi Clifton of Cecily George Photography for taking the photos.
Even though the cover makes it look like we’re the perfect family, this article was exciting to write with them knowing how much we’ve moved around to get where we are in Park Ridge, worried about where we should move to, different jobs we’ve had, so many great friends in multiple states, the kids loving elementary school, Brian celebrating 4 years at 4Front and now the proud honor to have Vossberg Gainor. The last two months starting up the business I’ve been very fortunate with clients right from the start, a supportive fam and friends, and many brainstorm sessions of how to keep evolving the company and launch new ideas. We are feeling very happy having Park Ridge as our home mostly because of the community that comes with it. And enjoying the challenges along the way. Most of them ? Happy Holidays! Enjoy the full article below.
The Gainor Family: Quickly Making Park Ridge A Home
By Laura Gainor • Edited by Marilyn Metz
Park Ridge is one of those communities that quickly becomes a home. The Gainor family has lived here for four years, but because of the close-knit community it feels as though it has been a lifetime.
Laura and Brian Gainor met in Charlotte, North Carolina (the city their dog is named after) a couple of years after college. Brian attended undergrad at the University of Florida and studied sports administration during grad school at Ohio University. Laura studied fine arts photography and journalism-advertising at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. From there, she decided to pick up and move to Charlotte on a whim. Laura met Brian a couple of years later, got engaged after 11 months and married in 2009.
Shortly after getting married, the couple moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where their children Clara (8) and Garrett (6) were born.
Both Brian and Laura’s careers have involved working in advertising and marketing. At one point, both of them led marketing teams at the same agency in Milwaukee! For years they were traveling and engaging with fans from the brands they worked for at events like NASCAR races, cocktail challenges, NBA basketball games, and more.
It was Brian’s job that led them to the Chicagoland area as the VP of Innovation at 4Front, a sports marketing agency. At the time, Laura was running Milwaukee’s advertising club and shortly after moving to Park Ridge took on the Executive Director role for a nonprofit advertising agency. Laura spent her time traveling to Milwaukee from Park Ridge for more than three years while also becoming very involved with the PTA at Franklin Elementary, where she now serves as the PTA Co-President.
As the Gainors have fallen in love with Park Ridge, Laura recently launched Vossberg Gainor, a company specializing in helping brands and businesses with marketing and social media strategies, special events, photography, and more. Through Vossberg Gainor, Laura is excited to have an opportunity to get to know and help more Park Ridge businesses and community leaders.
The whole Gainor family loves to stay active with Park Ridge activities! Clara is in 2nd grade and enjoys dance at Lynette’s School of Dance, frequently takes art classes through the Brickton Art Center, played softball in the spring with Laura coaching the team, is a rookie at School of Rock and just finished her first season of Spirit Cheer. Garrett is in 1st grade and rarely sits still while participating in soccer, flag football, basketball and baseball. You can usually find him playing floor hockey in the basement with Dad many nights. Clara and Garrett are very fortunate to have made incredible friends at Franklin Elementary to enjoy all of these activities.
When the weather is nice, the Gainor family makes themselves some to-go lunches and head straight for Busse Lake with their kayaks in hand. They spend their summer days floating around while taking in the great nature scenery.
Friendships and community mean so much to the family and their Park Ridge neighborhood even created a name for themselves – Bentonside (Burton + Fenton + Parkside streets). Bentonsiders organize weekend activities, play bunco, ride bikes outside, and host holiday get-togethers. Coming soon is an Official Mom Fest group that Laura is starting, after organizing the first annual event last year for more than 20 moms! “Organizing events and bringing a community of people together is my biggest passion! Having the opportunity to do this through my company, with friends and volunteering with the Franklin PTA and other organizations is very rewarding,” said Laura.
The Gainor family is very passionate about giving back. Since all of their family relatives are all in different cities and not able to be together for Christmas day, they have turned it into a Christmas tradition for the four of them to visit Summit of Uptown Senior Living Center to deliver holiday treats while the residents are eating their meal. It’s heartwarming to see the kids enjoy giving to others and especially sweet to see the joy on the people’s faces.
The family looks forward to spending another holiday in Park Ridge! You can usually find the whole family at their favorite restaurant, Holt’s, or Laura working remotely at Beer on the Wall, and now Off the Wall, if you’re interested in meeting up to chat. “Thank you from all of the Gainors for the welcoming community we have in Park Ridge and how supportive each family is for one another. Many more great times ahead. Happy New Year!” -The Gainor Family.