2019 Best NOLA Dad Finalists

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2019 Best NOLA Dad Finalists

We received some incredible submissions for this year’s Best NOLA Dad campaign. It was a very tough task, and we really wish we could name everyone nominated Best NOLA Dad, but we were finally able to narrow the nominations down to the top 10 finalists.

A team of objective judges will determine the Best NOLA Dad from the top 10 finalists below, and the winner will be announced on Saturday, June 15th!

Top 10 Finalists

Jon Juhas

{Nominated by :: Bailey Juhas} New Orleans has no shortage of great dads, but Jon Juhas is The Best.

Jon always makes me and our daughters his number one priority. Jon manages to keep the house clean, the dishes done, and the lawn well-kept (his third pride and joy), all with a big smile, while he sings along to his favorite playlist. He does this while also getting up before dawn every day – and I do mean every day – to put in 60-70+ hours a week as Superintendent at English Turn Golf & Country Club.

Jon loves being a dad more than anything. He gives our girls his undivided attention. His kisses cure their boo-boos and he dreads the day the magic wears off. From grilling on his Big Green Egg, to strolling around Audubon Zoo or attending the fest happening this weekend, Jon loves to instill in our kids an insatiable love of laughter, good food, and a sense of camaraderie. Often these adventures include several nieces and nephews, too!

Jon lives by the phrase, “if you’re going to do something, do it right.” If Jon doesn’t know how to do something, he’ll learn. Whether it’s watching countless YouTube videos or calling up knowledgeable friends or family, he’ll figure it out. And if someone calls him for help, he’s the first one there with his tools and a case of beer.

Jon’s determination to do his best is also evident in his professional life. Jon is a phenomenal employee who takes great pride in his work. It’s not always easy, in fact, his work is rarely easy – it requires long, hot days for weeks on end (while always on-call) managing (and doing) physically and tediously demanding projects. Yet, Jon always steps up to the task. Jon will be the first to tell you that he couldn’t do it all without the hard work of his crew and support of his General Manager and Owner. Personally, I believe Jon is successful because he respects his crew and is trusted because the success of the club is his top goal.

Jon has an uncanny ability to make everyone smile. It’s not uncommon to hear Jon complimenting total strangers (who often become fast, life-long friends) on things that you or I wouldn’t notice. It’s one of my favorite things about him and I hope our kids pick up this trait as they grow up.

Whether it’s maintaining the golf course, showing our daughter, Ruby (2 years), how to roll down Monkey Hill, or singing our daughter, Nell (2 months), to sleep, Jon gives his all. It is one of the many lessons that he doesn’t even realize he’s teaching our children every day.

Jon is a thoughtful husband, an amazing dad, a considerate brother, uncle, and son. Jon is an example to all of us of love, joy, integrity, and humility. Jon is The Best New Orleans Dad because he teaches us how to love our family unconditionally, our work genuinely, and our city wholeheartedly.

Jared Dore

{Nominated by :: Carrie Dore} My husband is truly the most incredible partner and father. He works 12 hour days anywhere from 6-7 days a week, and never not has the time for his kids. Whether it is teaching his twin daughters how to play softball, coaching Tball, being one hell of a cheer dad, giving grilled cheese cooking lessons, teaching our son to open doors, use his manners, bring his mama flowers, or helping his two year old son to potty train, there is nothing that I can do that he doesn’t take part in. His ambition at his job – Chevron Oronite – is unreal. He is busting his butt to make supervisor within 7 years of working at the Plant which is unheard of. There is not one person who comes to him for help that he will not take the time to help them and help solve the problem. This man lifts me when I am at my lowest of lows, when I feel like I have nothing left to give, he takes over and get whatever is needed done. He is more than a role model, to men around him and his own son. He is the kind of man you pray your daughter would marry. I’m beyond blessed to call him mine, I believe his is Nola’s Dad of the year.

Adam Dennis

{Nominated by :: Susan Fallahi} Adam (my husband) is the quintessential Mr. Mom! 4 years ago, he left his job as an attorney at a large company to stay at home with our first born. It made sense financially and he stressed to me how much more fulfilling being a stay at home parent would be than his current job. At the time, we didn’t know any other dad’s who stayed home. Many times, Adam was the only dad present in a sea of mom’s and children. Whether it was playdates at the Parenting Center, Milk and Cookies with Mommy at my son’s daycare (because I had to work) or any various activities that he managed to do with the kids during the work week, he was always there and he did it all! In addition to caring for our 2 children (we’ve had a second child since), he is an aspiring writer, a musician and instrumental in helping me run my newly acquired business. He has written on behalf of stay at home dads on multiple platforms (NOMB being one of them) to help support the small community of “SAHDs” in our city and has been working for the past few years on completing his first novel. He likes to get away whenever he can and can be spotted on the weekends (when I take over kid duty) with his laptop at Monkey Monkey. He is also an amazing musician and started the local NOLA ska-punk band, Skully Caps. He has played a few local shows with his band and they just released their first record (Baked Alaska, which can be found at any local record store) earlier this year! Finally, I recently became the owner of a pediatric dental practice and any free moment Adam has, he is here helping me with any number of tasks from tightening the screws on the toilet in the employee bathroom to contacting insurance companies/website hosts/cable and internet company/(insert any service that sucks up time on the phone) AND is still on time to pick our children up from camp/school and get home to make dinner and throw the laundry in. I ask myself every single day how this man does it all (I’m getting misty-eyed just writing this)! He truly deserves this award (and I’m not just saying this because he’s my husband and keeps our lives together)! I cannot think of a more hard-working, dedicated father that still manages to be involved in the community and work in a business in his free time…what free time?! I am so proud of him and I want the world to know what a wonderful father and man Adam Dennis is! Thank you for recognizing all the exceptional fathers with the contest and thank you for considering him for this award!

Noel Gray

{Nominated by :: Mona Gray} My husband is the best dad around! Noel is the dad to a little boy, a soon-to-be 4-year-old girl, and our fur-baby, a 110 lb. Mastiff. We are a proud military family. With that lifestyle comes a lot of uncertainty and change. Our kids need something stable that they know will always be there for them, and without a doubt, that is my husband. He is our family’s rock. Even after a long day at work, he still finds the time and energy to eat at our daughter’s kitchen, to tickle my son to tears, and to scratch our old dog’s belly. He often plays the role of stay-at-home dad since my job requires long hours and random days. He cooks, cleans, and puts the kids to bed. He has a huge heart that extends well beyond the walls of our house. His friends know he can always be reached if they need someone to talk to or a hand helping them move. He is also an active member of a local VFW where he enjoys volunteering for different events and getting to know others that have proudly served our country. He loves his job, and he excels at what he does. He has brought about many positive changes to his duty station. He has big dreams not only for his career, but for his family as well. The look of pride he gets with our kids’ accomplishments, big or small, shows me just how much he adores them. The smile that crosses my daughter’s face or the way my son absolutely lights up when Noel walks in a room proves just how much they love him in return. To the world he may be just one person, but to our family, he is our world.

Kennedy Fisher

{Nominated by :: Danielle Fisher} Where do I begin? Kennedy is the epitome of a wonderful father to our two kids. He not only works hard for his job with the US Coast Guard as a helicopter pilot, but he comes home every day and gives all of his energy to serving my kids and me. He goes above and beyond what I need him to do. And even when I don’t ask him to do something for the kids, he does it and more. He works so hard for our family, to provide for our needs, and also because he believes in loving and serving the Lord and that overflows into his every day life. He sacrifices for our country and for our family every day. We love him big!!

Todd Gremillion

{Nominated by :: Traci Pecot} My brother is a dad to three young sons. He instills in them the values of hard work, family first, creating lasting and meaningful friendships. He often travels for work, but his family always comes first. He is on the board at their playground, coaches them in most sports, leads their Boy Scout troop, and that’s just what he does outside the home. There are no mom chores and dad chores – they work together to cook, clean, bathe, handle bedtime, ensure homework is complete and grades are kept up. My nephews are loving, compassionate, fun and make me a proud aunt every day. My brother deserves the recognition because he would never ask for it, never assume he’s doing anything above the norm – and I know he’s positively influencing the life of so many kids in all of his volunteer positions.

Brian Hrabovsky

{Nominated by :: Teri Hrabovsky} Brian is the kindest and most compassionate man I’ve ever met. He is a great Dad (Papa) to our 5 kids, 3 birth and 2 adopted from foster care. Though our kids ages range from 21 to 7, Brian always has time to do special things with each of them, especially our only son who is African American and faces unique challenges being raised in a white home. He has been a foster dad to over 50 kiddos and a mentor to a teenage boy. Brian is the President of One Heart Nola, a local non profit that helps meet the needs of kids in foster care. Brian leads by serving and I am humbled and grateful to be his wife and share our crazy life.

Paul Rizzo

{Nominated by :: Tiffany} My husband is disabled vet and has multiple surgeries ( hip, neck , and back surgery) last year and half. He is dedicated and provides for his family with out complaining. He makes sure that both of his boys are taken care financially did I forget mention both of our sons are autistic. He is incredible father who tries his very best for us. He works hard so I can provide the care of our boys. He makes every event for his children and every major appointment. He put the extra effort in when he can barely walk without feeling pain. Even though had 3 surgeries he still suffers with severe pain in his back . But instead of using that pain as excuse not do something…. he always doing and giving all in every area in his life. I admire his strength and love he has for all people he loves.

Audie Guilbeau

{Nominated by :: Kim Guilbeau} We could not ask for a better DAD than my husband. Ever since our little one was born he has been there whenever I needed him or she needed him. He got up in the middle of the night for feedings the entire first year with us, just in case we needed some help. Since he has more holidays than I do, he stays home with our daughter when she doesn’t have daycare. He sings her favorite songs with her and takes the time to read her books. She looks forward to seeing her daddy when she wakes up in the morning. She is definitely his little girl and he is her biggest fan. She loves it when Daddy cooks her dinner because he makes her favorite dish – pizza and mac and cheese. He definitely makes our world more fun and a lot easier.

Chris Walker

{Nominated by :: Jovan Walker} My husband deserves this win because of the selfless person he is to not only our 4 kids but the many kids he encounters as the assistant coach for our son’s soccer team to the head coach for their 5/6 baseball team and also coaching our daughter’s cabbage ball team. He is so patient and encouraging as their coach and at the same time a great motivator who is instilling some valuable life skills within each child and not asking for anything in return. When he is not wearing his coaching hat, he is helping to revitalize the City of New Orleans through his construction company, CDW Services, LLC. His passion is to restore the city’s rich history and culture one building at a time. I will keep this short and sweet but this man is very much deserving of this award. Even if he doesn’t get the title, he has won in our hearts everyday by his presence.

Not only will the winner be named the 2019 Best NOLA Dad, but he will also win the fabulous prize package giveaway valued over $890 including:

 

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Mary is a caffeine addicted boy mom to Noah, Liam and Luke. This “stay at home” mom can typically been found cruising in her minivan, jamming to Beyonce with a Starbucks in hand on her way to carpool or after school activities. Mary has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2007. She is a founder of Delivering Hope NOLA and the Vanessa Wolff Scholarship Fund at her Alma Mater. Mary is passionate in the local preemie community and has been heavily involved with the March of Dimes since her sons Liam and Luke were born premature.

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