At Populus Group, we're passionate about our family-first values. We call this Team 1. Parents, biological or not, influence our lives in countless ways. In celebration of Father's Day, this week we're sharing #DadStats. From go-to dinners, to their best advice, these are some of the sweet ways the PG Dads add a little fun and zest for life to their kids' worlds. Enjoy!

Brandon Bates, Regional Account Manager

Brandon Bates-200From left to right: Brandon Jr, Brandon and Madison

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
When Daddy gets in the kitchen the family usually kicks me out due to lack of skill, with one exception – pancakes! “Breakfast for Dinner” is my go to dinner. Who doesn’t love mini pancakes with strawberries and chocolate chips?!

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Where the Sidewalk Ends and Lllama Llama Red Pajama
Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos – Boss Baby!!!

The main piece of advice you share over and over:
Best piece of advice that was ever given to me (and I continue to pay forward) is to just have fun. There have been too many times where I took situations way too serious and it took one of those moments for me to talk to a fellow father and hear that I needed to relax and enjoy it. Don’t ever stop the energetic, funny, inquisitive little monsters from being just that. Have a great time with them at every opportunity (even when they “fard” in public at Starbucks). 

Anthony Bersine-Williams, Engagement Specialist

Anothny and Deacon Bernsine-250From left: Deacon and Anthony Bersine

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
75% if I’m "cooking," we go to a restaurant, probably somewhere with tacos.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
You mean TV show right? Thankfully he likes to read, but he didn’t get it from me.

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
Any new comic superhero movie.

The main piece of advice you share with your kids over and over:
Be confident in yourself no matter if you’re scared as hell and live with intent (In so many words).

Tom Dziwok, On-Boarding Coordinator

Simon, Tom and Max Dziwok-200

From Left: Simon, Tom and Max

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
Pasta Alfredo (ground turkey breast, veggie pasta and Alfredo sauce) – my Max says that it is his favorite Alfredo dish.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
My boys always loved short Lego stories. Reading longer stories was putting me to sleep before them (supposedly I have tendency to snore...).

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
Both boys are Marvel fans...and they’ve told me that I should mention Black Panther (watched only twice) while Miracle is the one that we’ve watched so many times with a full attention.

The main piece of advice you share with your kid(s) over and over:
Raising kids is like a series of instant reminders that might serve in the same category as advice.  I don’t have one specific. Everyday brings us a new lesson. I’m a happy camper who can see that info coming from me and my wife works and we’ve raised two great boys who are doing great at school, among their peers, teachers and who are good at sports too. Talking about full package.

Diego Dominguez, Professional Recruiter 

Diego and Lauren Dominguez 300Your favorite bedtime story to read:
I love you Sticky Face

Your favorite movie to watch:
Little Mermaid

The main piece of advice you share over and over:
Do well in school even though its middle school. Then, you can great in High School. So, you can go to the University of Michigan!! Be Aggressive!!!

Adam Dudak, Manager of Payroll Services

Adam Ava and Logan Dudak-200From left: Logan, Adam and Ava

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
So, Ava only eats like 3 things so a “go to dinner” would consist of mac and cheese, rice and beans, or chicken nuggets. Rather basic stuff for a 3 year-old.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Lately we have been reading The Gruffalo, they seem to really like that one.

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
It took a while, but I finally got Ava to watch the Incredibles, which is one of my favorites.

The main piece of advice you share over and over:
The main piece of advice or just thing I try to press on is that time flies, with my wife, when the kids are being a pain in the… I really just try to bring it all back to: this is the good times, they won’t be little long. We need to take advantage of it.

Dan Forton, Financial Operations Manager

Dan and Charlotte Forton-630207-edited

Dan and Charlotte 

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
The world’s best grilled cheese sandwich.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Zootime picture puzzle book.


Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:

Troll Hunters: Tales of Arcadia.

The main piece of advice you share over and over:
If you do a good job listening we don’t need to have consequences.

Frank DeCastro, Vice President – Sales

Frank Decastro and Sons-200

From left: Howard, Frank and Alex 

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking: 
Brazilian BBQ… they can hardly wait for it to come off the grill (Picanha).

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Their favorite stories growing up were the made up continuation stories of the movie, The Black Stallion… as if it was a TV series, so they would create the new situations and scenarios in the island and the horse would come to the rescue of the kid. They loved when the three of us created crazy / elaborate scenes and make things up on the fly.

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
Star Wars, The Goonies…we have watched it a “Brazilian times."

The main piece of advice you share over and over:
There are two that I hit all the time:

  • Always treat people as you want to be treated.
  • Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.

Michael Gardner, Director of Customer Success

Michael Gardner-200From left: Read, Michael and Valerie 

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
CHICKEN on the smoker!

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Goodnight Moon books.


Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
They love to make me watch Sing with them.

The main piece of advice you share with your kids over and over:
SHARE! (They are still young…)

Bobby Herrera, President

Santino, Roselyn, Sophia, Griff and Bobby-300

From left: Santino, Roslyn, Sofia, Bobby and Griff 

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking: 
Dad rocks the grill or it’s breakfast for dinner.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
What do you do with an Idea? (Also series that asks “Problem?” & “Chance?”), and Fairy Tales to Fuel Imagination.

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
Meet the Robinsons – a great story about a gritty Underdog, family, & kindness. 

The main piece of advice you share with your kids over and over:
When I put them to bed I ask “Are you proud of yourself?”  Then I tell them I’m proud to be their Dad and whisper “Dream Big!”

Ed Herrera, VP of Workforce Management Solutions

Ed Herrera and sons300From top left: Ed, Eddie, Cruz and Luke

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
My authentic Mexican Food dishes I’ve copied from their Abuelita.  They love the authentic tacos, Mexican rice, and pinto beans all made from scratch along with homemade salsa.  They also love my red enchiladas made with milder red chili sauce made from scratch. 

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
It’s been so long since they’ve had a bedtime story read to them but the go to back then were Tulita La Patita and 10 Minutes Till Bedtime.  Nowadays, the bedtime story read is “Get in bed and turn off your light!” 

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
Too many of them to narrow to one.  Anything BASEBALL related.  61* – About Roger Maris, 42 – About Jackie Robinson, The Sandlot, Field of Dreams, Eight Men OutThe Natural, etc…No Bull Durham yet but soon I hope. 

The main piece of advice you share with your kid(s) over and over:
“If you want to do something, do it.  If you do it, give it your all.”  And now that all three boys are in full swing for baseball, I give them the ole “Keep it simple.  See the ball, hit the ball.” 

Mario Lambert, Dir. Strategic Sales & Channel Partnerships 

Lambert Family-200From left: Maria, Mario, Tanesha, Mario III, Phallen

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
Steak, Eggs…not necessarily together!

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
From Acorn to Oak Tree (written by a local Chicago area author).

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
The Whiz, Blackish, Spiderman Homecoming

The main piece of advice you share with your kids over and over:
Keep your promises. Love life!

Matthew Mackaluso, Director of National Accounts

Matt Mackaluso-200

Clockwise from left: Matt, Sophia and Harper 

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking: 
Pasta for dinner, pancakes and bacon for breakfast.

Your favorite bedtime story to read: 
The Day the Crayons Quit.


Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos: 
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

The main piece of advice you share over and over: 
Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Nathan Mayer, Regional Account Manager

Nate Mayer-300From left: Hayden, Nate and Grant

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
Hamburgers, of course!

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Honey, Honey, LION!

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
Harry and the Hendersons

The main piece of advice you share over and over with your kids:
If you want to be great, you’ve got to work harder than everyone else. If you don’t want to work that hard, choose something else to do.

Tom Mehl, VP of Operations

Mehl Kids-200From left: Zach, Kaitlyn and Ethan  

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
Tacos or Chili.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Summer.


Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
Pretty much any of the Marvel movies.  If it hits the theater, we don’t miss one of them as a family.

The main piece of advice you share with your kids over and over:

  • No matter what you are doing, do your best at everything you do. 
  • And if you start something, you finish it, while doing your best, even if you don’t love it.  We don’t quit. 
  • Also, if you want nice things in life, you need to work for them; no one is going to hand you anything and the degree to which you work hard and apply yourself will lead to equal results later.

Darwin Morgan, IC Compliance Manager

Westin, Sienna and Darwin Morgan-300From left: Westin channeling his inner Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, while Sienna is giving Candy Dulfer a run for her money on Saxophone!

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
Usually anything that can be put on the grill! But lately I’ve been getting requests for Mac n’ Cheese.


Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Fox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss.

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
My favorite show to watch would be Super Wings… but if I had to pick a movie, it would be a toss-up between The Incredibles or Monsters Inc.

The main piece of advice you share with your kids over and over:
Protect your noggin! …Because they are three and one years-old and fearless.

Joel Nehme, Technical Recruiter

Nehme Family Photo-200From left: Jasmine, Jamillia and Joel 

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
My go-to dinner when I am cooking is African food.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
The Places You’ll Go, by Doctor Seuss.


Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:

My favorite movie/show I watch with my daughter is Sesame Street.

The main piece of advice you share with your kids over and over:
She is not old enough yet to give advice to her but, when she gets older I will tell her to be nice to people and focus on her education and put God first in everything you do.

Ryan Pinho, Regional Account Manager

Ryan Pinho-200Mila, Ryan and Summer

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
Macaroni and chicken nuggets! Would try and up my game, but they eat next to nothing.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
It’s changed over time. Started with I Love You, Stinky Face and is now The Giving Tree.

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
Coco, Boss Baby, Moana… too many to list!

The main piece of advice you share over and over:
“All I ask is that you try”. Well that and “don’t hit your sister”!

Eric Schmitz, Senior Technical Recruiter – Immigration

Eric Schmitz-300Clockwise from left: Cameron, Eric, Theo the baby, Christian and Addison

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
Breakfast.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Disney bed time stories.

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
Disney/ Pixar movies.

The main piece of advice you share with your kids over and over:
Always give 110% percent. Don’t follow the crowd.

Ryan Sikorski, Payroll Services Coordinator II

Ryan and Isaiah_200

From left: Ryan, Allison and Isaiah

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
Marinated chicken or steak.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
We try to read him Bible stories from a children’s Bible each night.


Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:

Big Hero 6.

The main piece of advice you share over and over:
Be cautious with your time (the value of a moment).

Jason Smith, Director of Strategic Accounts

Ethan EJ Smith-200

Top: Ethan "E.J."
Bottom: Nolan

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
Spaghetti

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Polar Express (not so much these days with a 13 & 15 year old, but always a great tradition around Christmas!)

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
The Sandlot

Nolan Smith-200The main piece of advice you share with your kids over and over:

  1. Make good decisions!
  2. Treat others as you would like to be treated (great Grandma advice )

Joel Wisniewski, Immigration Council

Joel, Tucker and Zoey-300

Tucker and Zoey 

Go-to dinner when you’re cooking:
Either homemade pizza or chicken and Mac-n-Cheese.

Your favorite bedtime story to read:
Brown Bear or Winnie the Pooh.

Your favorite movie to watch with the kiddos:
Moana or Toy Story.

The main piece of advice you share over and over:
Stop using your brother's head as a step stool! You can’t eat the chalk, it’s not candy!

subscribe to the PG Blog for more cool stuff!