Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is being represented by the same legal firm that helped Citadel CEO Ken Griffin win his high-profile divorce case last year.

Jackson is citing irreconcilable differences in his divorce from former Ald. Sandi Jackson.

He’s asking that the couple’s two teen children reside in Chicago. Sandi Jackson wants to keep them in Washington, D.C., where they also have a home.

That’s what makes Jesse Jackson’s decision to hire Barry Schatz interesting.

Schatz is a founding partner of Berger Schatz — a matrimonial law firm that counts high-profile names as clients, including billionaire businessman Griffin.

The crux of the Griffin divorce, which wrapped up in 2015, had to do with where the couple’s three young children would reside.

Griffin wanted them in Chicago. His now ex-wife Anne Dias asked the court to be allowed to move to New York with the children.

Griffin won, and their children have stayed in Chicago, sharing time with both parents.

By hiring Schatz as his divorce attorney, Jesse Jackson’s sending a message to his estranged wife that he’s prepared to fight to keep their children in Chicago as well.

Interesting too is who Sandi Jackson has teamed with for legal counsel: Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, according to a court filing from July. That’s notable because Schiller — also a divorce firm for big names — has a collaborative law division that seeks alternatives to litigating divorce. Hello, mediation.

In praise of free admission

Jeffery Perry

Jeffery Perry

Jeffery Perry‘s personal story is integral to his support of Chicago Children’s Museum’s push for free admission for people who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend.

The museum just wrapped up nearly 100,000 free visits–again.

“We’ve pledged that a third of our visitors will be either free or significantly reduced admissions,” says Perry, the museum’s board chairman and a partner at EY, a global professional services firm. It’s all about attracting “people who wouldn’t otherwise come” while finding other ways to boost revenues.

In fiscal 2016, which ended June 30, the museum had 403,658 total visits — 84,768 were free and 44,806 entered the door at reduced rates. In fiscal 2015, 412,973 people visited the museum, with 86,724 free and 49,556 entering at a lower rate (teachers and veterans among them).

The Museums for All program, which allows food stamp recipients to use their Link card to enter the museum, has been credited in part with the boost in free attendance.

The program is drawing praise from the American Alliance of Museums in Washington, D.C. “These are members of the community who might not otherwise come to the museum, so providing a way to bring in that audience doesn’t jeopardize ticket revenue,” says chief program officer Robert Stein.

When he was a teen, Perry benefited from the Inroads nonprofit that mentors minorities for a future in business. The son of a Baptist minister earned a scholarship at Babson College, a premier business school in Massachusetts, and later received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

He’s remained connected to Inroads and served as national board chair.

Perry’s move to be board chair came earlier this year and dovetails with museum plans to update its facade, all part of ongoing construction at Navy Pier, where it’s located.

Before hip-hop, there was Leo Burnett and Lyft

Sir the Baptist, whose given name is William James Stokes

Sir the Baptist, whose given name is William James Stokes

Hip-hop star Sir the Baptist, who headlines Chi-Town Rising on New Year’s Eve, once worked for a big-name Chicago ad firm and then as a Lyft driver.

The Chicago native talked about his background during a visit back in his hometown to promote Lyft. The ride-sharing company unveiled a short film about a woman who becomes a driver. Sir provides the music track, called “Movin.'”

Sir’s gritty music is inspired by those work experiences, he told me after the event.

“Most of the lyrics you hear come from the opportunities that I’ve had meeting people while driving. It’s about learning from them and sharing their stories. The music reflects that,” he says.

Sir grew up in Bronzeville as William James Stokes, the son of a preacher. He graduated from Leo Catholic High School and attended Columbia College before working as a digital marketing director at Leo Burnett. McDonald’s was among his clients.

The full-time gig cut into time he wanted to spend on music, so after four years of corporate life, Sir became a Lyft driver.

He met a symphony of passengers, including Scott Englert, a Chicago representative for a group affiliated with the Grammys. With some help from Englert, Sir’s career launched and he’s signed with Atlantic Records.

A month after her death, Ann Gerber’s husband dies

Just weeks after the Nov. 15 death of society columnist Ann Gerber, comes news that her husband, Bernard J. Kaplan, has also died.

The two were married 50 years. He celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this year.

The two met at the Edgewater Beach pool. “I was in a black fringe bikini and hooker heels,” Gerber said in Skyline News, where she was published for years. “He didn’t have a chance.”

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