The Lucky Dads

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Dad: Alex, Kids: Augie & Wes
In honor of Father's Day, we put the spotlight on some of our employees and asked them about life in L.A., the best part of fatherhood, and passing on blue gene(s).
Who They Are
Alex Koplin, Senior Manager, Allocation
David Smith, Manager, Facilities
Kelly Dunn, Manager, Graphic Production
Mark Estrada, Manager, Global Omni-Channel Operations & UX
Matthew Fenwick, Design Director, Men’s
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Dad: Mark, Kids: Charlotte & Miles
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How does L.A. inspire you and what do you love most about the city?
AK: I love being outside. I’ve lived places where you just don’t have the flexibility to venture outside without a few preparations. In Los Angeles, the ability to be outside, exploring and living, year round makes a huge difference. 
KD: Endless possibilities, amazing food choices, mountains, and beaches.
ME: L.A. inspires my taste for adventure, or maybe my adventure for taste. I love the variety and quality of different food spots around the city.
Reminiscing on your childhood, describe what your life was like growing up.
DS: Big family and simple things. Three brothers and two sisters: we had our own sports team. It was a different time.
MF: I spent a lot of time outside in the garden and on my bike. I had a lot of freedom!
Who do you consider a significant influence in terms of helping to shape the person you are today and why?
KD: A friend and boss, Mike DeDonker, really helped influence the strong work ethic in me.
ME: My Father, he always asked questions and taught me to do the same.
MF: My mother taught me a love of art and design and of being outdoors.
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Dad: Matthew, Kids: George, Henry & Darcy
What do you consider the most rewarding part about fatherhood?
AK: Hearing my kids laugh always softens my heart.
DS: Seeing my kids grow up to be great human beings.
MF: When my children work really hard at something and then accomplish it, I feel a lot of pride. Recently, George finished his first season of Rugby and went from being shy and uninvolved to being one of the best players on the team, Henry is starting to read, Darcy learned to stand.
In what aspects has being a father changed you?
AK: I’m not sure I’ve changed. Just continually refining my life tools like patience and operating while exhausted.
ME: Being a Father has taught me to slow down more often and enjoy moments that would have normally passed without a second thought.
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Every moment and memory made counts. What’s your favorite pastime with your kid(s)?
DS: Sitting around talking about what is going on in their lives and mine.
KD: Playing at the park.
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Dad: Kelly, Son: Christian
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If you had the power to revive your favorite childhood toy, what would it be and why?
AK: Legos occupied me for hours. Fortunately, they’re still a thing so no need to revive.
ME: My Spider-Man action figure. Spidey was the “Woody” of my childhood toys, always there ready to sling a web and save the day.
MF: I would bring back my first bicycle so they could also learn on it. That would be pretty cool.
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Dad: David, Kids: Beth, Dean & Randy 
Tell us about your kid(s) first word and or most unforgettable milestone?
DS: My daughter’s first word was “Da Da.” Still makes me smile.
KD: My son said, “Bye” and waved to his Aunty Paula.
ME: This happened just the other day for my son Miles. He’s about 6 months old and started saying “Da Da” on repeat! My wife was disappointed it wasn’t “Ma Ma” first, but she didn’t know we had been practicing for a bit already!
When it comes to spending quality time together, what are some of your favorite local kid-friendly places that your family enjoys?
KD: The zoo and Mommy/Daddy & Me Gymnastics.
MF: We love Huntington Gardens. There is a huge tree that the boys love playing hide and seek around, a grass maze/race track that the run through and a dedicated children’s garden with water features. We take a spare set of clothes; they do get wet!
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Describe your relationship with your kid(s).
AK: I’m the fun one. My wife is comfort. Sometimes we swap but we’re both very involved in our kids’ lives. 
DS: We’re friends, now that they have grown into adults.
ME: Dad brings the fun! I’m kind of restless normally so it causes the need to adventure often. I love to find fun and creative ways to spend time together.
MF: I have a lot of fun with my kids and try to be adventurous with them, but also try to teach them manners and respect.
Has there been a time when you’ve found your kid(s) exhibiting your personality traits and or mannerisms? If so, what was your first reaction?
AK: My reaction to every instance: “I do that a lot?”
MF: My parents always said I was the naughty middle child and now I have my second son Henry I am starting to feel a little more sympathy for my Mum and Dad.
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Any life lessons you look forward to passing down? 
AK: Find something you’re passionate about and pursue it. It’ll make life more fun.
DS: Work hard, and be happy. Life moves on without you if you don’t join in.
ME: It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Don’t get caught up reaching something without truly learning how you got there.
MF: Treat others the way you would like them to treat you and don’t take yourself too seriously.
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