Indiana native Gay Daniel moved to Chicago 30 years ago, meeting her husband Paul shortly after—while working as a Product Manager for a large orthopedic company. They were married 27 years ago and have called North Barrington their home for 15 years, immersing themselves in our vibrant community. Now that their son Paul Charles II is 19 years old and off playing football at University of Illinois, Gay is translating her design and party planning talents to the philanthropic scene in Chicago. “I am currently researching and contacting agencies in the Chicago area that shelter and feed the homeless,” she says, explaining that this research will determine which organization will best benefit from her fundraising initiatives. “I am in the process of spearheading and organizing several events this year. Meetings are in the works.” She and husband Paul (currently CEO of P.C. Daniel Inc. medical device company) are big supporters of the Chicago Food Depository and Feeding America. Here are a few of this philanthropic trendsetter’s favorites around country and town:
Mantra? Always be authentic.
Best grooming tip? Keep your eyebrows looking great; they frame your face.
Guilty pleasure? Bravo TV and chocolate.
Favorite foods? Caviar.
Music you love? Right now, it’s Drake and Shawn Mendes. For a throwback, anything disco.
Best advice ever given to you? Think before you speak.
Best advice you have ever given? Always be a leader, never a follower, and always tell the truth.
Earliest memory? When Santa brought me a pink ballerina tutu.
When you wake up you? I’m an early riser, so that’s at 5:30 a.m. I pray, text my son before he heads off to football, feed our three dogs, have coffee, then on to my Peloton spinning bike for a long ride.
Before bed? Wash my face, call my son, pray, and focus on my tasks for the next day.
What’s on your bookshelf? Jackie’s Girl: My life with the Kennedy Family by Kathy McKeon.
You can’t live without? iPhone, makeup, and hairspray.
Love to escape to? Paris and Milan are my top two favorites.
Advice you would give to your younger self? Don’t stress over the what ifs of life; focus on today.
WHEN IN THE COUNTRY
Your style is? Jeans, Hermes belt, casual top, and a high-heeled pump.
Can’t leave the house without? iPhone, sunglasses, lipstick, and handbag.
Transportation? Range Rover.
Driving music? Music downloaded on my iPhone.
Places to eat? For a casual place with great fresh fish, prepared however you like it, we head to Franco’s Pescheria. For a more diverse menu and nice atmosphere we head to REGION.
Shop? Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn.
Best thing about the country? Plenty of area to walk my dogs.
Worst thing about country? The amount of driving I must do to get anywhere.
The perfect day is? When my husband, son, and I are all together for dinner. That usually happens now on the weekends.
WHEN IN TOWN
Your style is? Dolce & Gabbana black blazer, white blouse, jeans, Hermes belt, high-heeled pump, statement jewelry, and a statement handbag.
Can’t leave the house without? iPhone, handbag, sunglasses, lipstick, and credit cards.
Transportation? My Bentley.
Driving music? Music downloaded on my iPhone or a Top 40 radio station.
Places to eat? For lunch, Le Colonial. The food is great and people watching even better. For dinner, Maple & Ash. The caviar is fabulous, and the vibe is city chic with the burning candelabras at each table. Also, stop at the fun selfie booth they have just before getting on the elevator.
Shop? Jimmy Choo on Oak Street, Hermes, and Barneys.
Best thing about town? There is always something new to try, from restaurants and shopping to museum exhibits.
Worst thing about town? Traffic and lack of close parking.
The perfect day? Spending the day shopping with my husband and son, having lunch at Le Colonial (at our usual window table), and spending the night at The Waldorf Astoria.