Meet Evan Brownstein— Nicholson and Penelope’s dad, Suzanne’s husband, and Howard and Elaine’s son. This senior director of marketing for Checkers and Rally’s Restaurants loves calling the Tampa Bay area home, relocating from NYC 7½ years ago! “This is the brightest place in America in so many ways – 351 days of sunshine, smart, innovative, and optimistic.” He is on the Board of Directors for the Boy Scouts of America Gulf Ridge Council and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. He is the chairman of the marketing committee for the Tampa Bay Partnership’s Regional Business Plan and the president of the Parents Association for the JCC South Preschool, among other group associations.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a dad?
Seeing the love and joy Nicholson and Penelope have for life. The absolute delight that shines through them when they do anything from reading to swimming to building with Legos.
What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
My favorite things are the ones that bring them joy and the ones where we see how amazingly they are growing. We love to read together. Every day we have a great time reading the Bible together. I love when they ask questions, especially ones that aren’t easy to answer. I love the conversations that happen when we read together.
What is the most challenging part of fatherhood?
Explaining the inexplicable. This applies to the big stuff (why do people die), the medium stuff (why do you have to go to work instead of reading one more book) and the small stuff (what does yellow mean).
What role model in your life influenced the kind of father you are?
My dad. Being his son and watching what he did taught me that love is actions and feelings. My children are going to value and do what Suzanne and I do much more than what we feel or say. My dad and mom are role models that taught me how important it is to help children feel loved, supported and treasured.
As a father, how do you view your responsibilities?
Love, teach and support, show up and be fully present every second of every day.
What advice would you give other fathers?
Enjoy the gift. Fatherhood is the most amazing, greatest gift God gave man. When I treat it like the gift it is, all the other stuff flows naturally.
It is often difficult to balance a career with spending time with your family. How do you deal with this and make time for them?
Make sure work knows and respects that there is dedicated family time. Make sure family knows and respects that there is dedicated work time. I get up early enough each morning to make sure there is time to read, play, eat breakfast together, get ready for school, get to school, and get to work. When I am at work, I am fully focused on work.
What is your biggest fear?
A few years ago, I realized that all of my fears were really a lack of faith. Today, I have faith, and the fears have been removed.
What makes you happy?
Faith, my children, mom and dad, and wife and being of service. When the Rays, Bucs, and Lightning win. Seeing people take a bold bite out of life. Watching my children’s faces light up with joy when they see my parents.
Where is your favorite place to go in Tampa?