United They Stand
These 4 couples have each figured out their own formula for professional and marital success.
Working together works for them.
The couple, who have been married for 18 years and live in Weston, met at Nortel Networks, where working together led them to develop a relationship. It was clear they had a lot in common, including being active in community service, and although Nayibe is an extrovert while Dan is more reserved, they greatly complement each other. “We have tolerance, give and take, and really respect each other,” says Nayibe. “We have the same expectations and future goals to grow the business, schedule vacations and enjoy our lives.”
Both are also active in the Weston and Broward communities: Dan is on the board of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, past chairman of the Weston Business Council, a member of the Rotary for District 6990 and part of the Membership Committee for Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale. Nayibe works for the chamber part time and has worked with Kids In Distress and other charities.
But they definitely balance out their business and community interests with a full personal life as well. Nayibe does yoga five days a week, and she paints as a hobby; specifically, flowers and figures in oils and acrylics. Dan jogs, plays golf and works out six days a week. Together, they ride bikes, go boating via a shared ownership in a boat club, and socialize at Weston Hills Country Club and the Tower Club in Fort Lauderdale. At home, Nayibe does most of the cooking, and Dan schedules their vacations to England, Italy, France and New York City. “My husband is polite and well educated with a lot of patience,” says Nayibe. “Everyone loves him.”
Sharing time and interests keeps them going strong.
Hectic lives don’t stop them from making time to help others.
After meeting at a party in South Beach, Jason and Kira Turchin had their first date a week before 9/11 and their second one on 9/11. But facing challenges together has always been a hallmark of their unselfish partnership. When their daughter, Shaina, now 4, was six months old, she battled a neurological condition. It was so consuming that Kira missed seeing her now 7-year-old son Josh’s first step.
Once Shaina had recovered, Kira and Jason wanted to do something to help others cope with extreme stress. So they created Betty Cares, Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps caregivers learn to take time for themselves. They named it after Kira’s late mother, Betty, who died young in part because she spent too much time caring for others and neglected herself. “Our marriage works because we have the same goals,” says Kira, 38, a biomedical engineer and PhD candidate. “I run Betty Cares and Jason is a lawyer who donates money to disabled children. We have a wonderful partnership.”
Jason, 37, is a Fort Lauderdale victims’ rights attorney and legal consultant who has successfully negotiated and settled 5,000 cases totaling more than $35 million in gross settlements. (Kira helps out part-time in his office.) A former consultant to famed Miami criminal lawyer Roy Black, Jason is also a radio and TV talking head. Together, Jason and Kira are part of a dynamic team who do important things for others. “Besides being best friends, sharing our two children, and making each other laugh, we both have a passion for giving back,” says Jason.
Even though their kids come first, the Turchins keep their marriage strong by going out to lunch together and scheduling a date night once a week, which usually consists of an early dinner and a movie. They also compete by engaging in sports to keep fit—she runs, and he loves basketball—although, to please Kira, Jason joins her at the gym.
The Turchins love Weston, and are now gearing up for their fourth Betty Cares fundraiser. Called Cars, Cocktails and Cuisine, it is scheduled for March 1st at the Dauer Museum of Classic Cars in nearby Sunrise. The night includes entertainment by Broadway performers and is generally a wonderful evening for others who support the Betty Cares Fund at Miami Children’s Hospital. “Even our kids understand how to help others,” says Kira proudly. “This is a way of life for us.”
Striking a balance is what it’s all about for this family.
Three years after meeting 18 years ago at a volleyball tournament in Pensacola, Fred and Autumn Karlinsky got married. Today, the busy parents of two say their secret to a successful union has a lot to do with being able to laugh a lot and knowing when to take things seriously. “Sexy women throw themselves at me, but I say no,” quips Fred, 47. When they do encounter a challenge, it usually has to do with logistics, because Fred travels a great deal for his two jobs—he’s a shareholder in Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb, a law firm that represents insurers and reinsurers throughout the U.S. and internationally in a variety of business and government areas, as well as an adjunct Professor of Law at Florida State University College of Law. His work offices are in Fort Lauderdale and Tallahassee, and his professional life keeps him on a plane much of the time.
Autumn, 40, a trained dental assistant and hygienist since 1993, runs the house, minds the kids, and is a Weston and Broward County volunteer and philanthropist. In 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott saluted her efforts by appointing her to Volunteer Florida, his Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. Some of her favorite causes are Temple Dor Dorim, TAG USA Gymnastic Foundation and Imagine Charter School at Weston. “We both believe in public service and giving back,” says Autumn. “We are fortunate and not selfish. We expose our kids to doing the right thing.”
When they can, especially in the summer, the Karlinsky family travels to Europe; closer to home, New York and Boston are top choices because of the culture offered in such interesting and diverse cities. “We believe educational travel is a great way for our children to enjoy life and learn about other people and places,” says Autumn. For shorter family treks, they hop in the car to visit Sea Island, GA; Naples; Disney World and the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo.
Fred and Autumn work hard at keeping their life sane and settled. And they know it involves a lot of give and take. Nothing comes easy with such a busy lifestyle. “There is a great deal of compromise, but we both love giving back and do many projects together,” says Autumn. “In the future, we want to grow our philanthropy commitment. We love what we do.”