TCW’s Top Singles of 2014


Meet Today’s Chicago Woman’s top singles – and learn more about them!

Selecting this year’s Top Singles was no easy task. To be a TCW single, you need to be well-rounded with a sparkling personality and stellar professional/charitable contributions. And it doesn’t hurt if you’re a little easy on the eyes. And in 2014, we found an impressive mix of entrepreneurs, health professionals, media personalities and more. Overall, it’s an eclectic group of good-natured singles that you’d probably either want to date, fix up with your best friend, or if you’re ‘of a certain age,’ introduce to your daughter or son. So have a look and see if anyone piques your interest!

The photographs in this feature were taken by Adrian Orozco and Ashley Fischer at ¡AY CHIWOWA! on Chicago Avenue, at an exclusive party to introduce the single women and men to each other.

Dana Mara Thompson 46
Surgeon/Division Chair, Pediatric Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

On the side: Priyanka Foundation, Imerman Angels and American Broncho-Esophagolgical Association.
Friends say I’m driven, inspiring, focused, motivational, compassionate, gifted, dedicated, REAL, fair, generous, passionate, strong, kind, intelligent, honorable, inspirational, dynamic and loyal
The great thing about my job is I am very passionate about my work. I feel fortunate to have a career that takes full advantage of my skills, passion and expertise to take care of children so they achieve their full potential. My expertise is in pediatric breathing, voice and swallowing disorders. I am grateful every day to have the privilege to treat and perform surgery on children to improve quality of life for basic functions like hearing, breathing, swallowing and speaking.
My life motto is “Live, love and laugh…life is a gift and an adventure; we choose how we are going to traverse the path.”
On my day off, you’ll find me catching up on sleep or exploring Chicago. I’m new to the city, so I enjoy a random unplanned day exploring a new part of town or visiting a landmark.
If I won the lottery, I’d start a non-profit to fund a program for early identification and surgical intervention for all school-aged children at risk for a learning disability due to hearing loss caused by otitis media. I’d also buy a full section of season tickets to the Blackhawks for the next 25 years and invite friends to share my passion for hockey.
My best day was medical school graduation.
My secret talent is the use of my prehensile toe…and I used to be a competitive figure skater.
I can talk for hours about cars, travel and spirituality.
I couldn’t live without friends, family, coffee and health.
You’d be surprised that I used to own a motorcycle…before I moved to Chicago.
Date me because I’m a multiethnic ‘guy’s girl’ who’s also a girly girl. I love sports and have diverse interests, so I am ready to go just about anywhere and interact with just about anyone; just surprise me. I’ve been told I am easy to be with, fun and spontaneous…
My ideal partner is a fun, outgoing, confident guy who wants to share his life. If you are passionate, spontaneous and like an adventure, we are a good fit. For a long-term relationship, I’d like to be with someone who is emotionally intelligent, honest, a great conversationalist and listener. Sex appeal is the icing on the cake!
My ultimate turn-off is a mean-spirited person.
My ultimate turn-on is a great conversationalist.

Jyothi Tirumalasetty, MD 38
Physician, Allergy and Immunology, UIC

On the side: UNICEF, Art Institute of Chicago, MCA Chicago and NPR.
Friends say I’m hilarious.
The great thing about my job is that it’s really fulfilling.
On my day off, you’ll find me training for my next triathlon.
If I won the lottery, I’d start a restaurant.
I can talk for hours about politics, food and fashion.
I couldn’t live without my friends and family.
If I could travel anywhere in the world, I’d go to the Maldives.
You’d be surprised that I grew in a town of 5,000 people.
My biggest fear is not being prepared for what’s ahead.
Date me because I can talk to anyone for hours.
I wish I’d known at 21 that tattoos are forever.
My ideal partner is kind, intelligent, athletic and funny.
My favorite date spot is Gilt Bar.
My ultimate turn-off is talking about an ex on the first date.
My ultimate turn-on is a guy who is well-read.

Stephanie Tolentino, DO 34
Physician/Pediatric Critical Care Fellow, Advocate Children’s Hospital

Friends say I’m goofy and sarcastic.
I love my job because working with children brings me such joy. Kids live so simply – all they want in life is to eat, play and love.
My life motto is “WWDD – What Would Dad Do?” My dad is the most kind, level-headed, patient, diplomatic person I know. Now, whenever I face an obstacle or I get anxious or upset about something, I ask myself how my dad would approach the situation and try to emulate him..
On my day off, you’ll find me starting my day by either running or spinning then spending the rest of the day on my couch catching up on missed episodes of Top Chef and The Walking Dead.
If I won the lottery, I’d share it with my family and take them on a trip around the world in style.
My secret talent is I do a mean Sarah Palin impression.
I couldn’t live without my family and lipgloss.
If I could travel anywhere in the world, I’d go anywhere with safe drinking water and decent bathroom facilities.
You’d be surprised that I was in an all-female a capella group in college.
My biggest fear is falling – down stairs, out of planes, into the Chicago River…
I wish I’d known at 21 that platform foam sandals were meant to be worn only by the Spice Girls.
My ideal partner is highly motivated but down to earth, generous and funny. Ideally, he would do the cooking because I like washing dishes.
My ultimate turn-off is bad breath.
My ultimate turn-on is a good sense a humor.

Branka Tomic 25
Founder/Creative Director, LVX Nail Lacquer

On the side: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and PETA.
Friends say I’m passionate.
I love my job because I’m living my dream. Something that was once a passionate idea has turned into my reality.
My life motto is “Don’t ever let anyone discourage your dreams or beliefs. If you have an idea, take it and run wild with it.”
My best day was the day I quit my full time job to work for myself and launch LVX.
I can talk for hours about politics.
I couldn’t live without coffee and music. I can’t function in my everyday life without the two.
You’d be surprised that I launched my first company at 22, just six months after completing my undergraduate degree. 
My biggest fear is public speaking and open water.
I wish I’d known at 21 that being a student only prepares you for 10 percent of the real world.
In 10 years, I see myself living in Europe.
My favorite date spot is Bavette’s. I love the vintage yet romantic atmosphere.
My ultimate turn-off is cockiness. There is an incredibly fine line between confidence and cockiness.
My ultimate turn-ons are chivalry and humor. Be the gentleman that can make a girl laugh.

Nicole L. Townsend 33
Social Media Strategist, Mega Growth Hair Care
Freelance Beauty Writer, JET Magazine

On the side: Step Up Women’s Organization and Social Media Club Chicago.
My Twitter bio reads: Social Media Strategist, Beauty Expert and Beauty addict who’s obsessed with Red Lipstick.
Friends say I’m fearless, impatient and timeless.
I love my job because when you’re doing what you love, it’s never a job. I have the creative freedom to push the envelope in ways that many aren’t afforded. There’s never a dull moment during my day!
My life motto is “Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing, and work hard. The right people…the ones who really belong in your life, will come to you. And stay.”
If I won the lottery, I’d become an avid donor to the American Heart Association, buy my mom a house and invest in the education of inner city girls who couldn’t afford to go to college on their own.
My best day was when I started to believe in the power of faith, perseverance and unconditional love.
I couldn’t live without my computer! My LIFE is on it…my to-do list, music, old and new columns, address book, et cetera…
If I could travel anywhere in the world, I’d go to Italy! My girlfriends and I have a trip planned this spring – I can’t wait!
You’d be surprised that, growing up, I watched wrestling faithfully and used my allowance to buy tickets to live events when they were at the Joe in Detroit. My favorite was Hulk Hogan, but I loved The Ultimate Warrior and Triple X!
I wish I’d known at 21 that you’re really supposed to sip and savor your cocktail.
In 10 years, I see myself as a beauty editor, sitting front row at Fashion Week and sitting on the judging panel at the Miss USA Pageant. I’m confident that my husband will be by my side every step of the way!
My ideal partner is a rapper. No, I’m just kidding! He’s spiritual, smart, warm, athletic and sensitive. He values family and true friendship, and above all else, he’s loyal.
My ultimate turn-offs are being condescending and arrogant. No one’s perfect, but people who pretend to be can keep it moving.
My ultimate turn-on is making me laugh until my pancreas bursts…we’ll hit it off just fine!

Click through the pages for more singles!


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