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Chicago Hospital News, November 2003

Cupid is Alive and Well in Chicago
as Matchmakers Bring Health Care (and Other) Professionals Together

Written by John Fries

You're a successful physician, nurse or hospital administrator on the fast track. You put in 10, 12, sometimes even 14-hour days. From the time you roll out of bed in the morning until the time your head hits the pillow at night, you're constantly working--making rounds, attending meetings, taking business lunches, making phone calls, answering e-mails, seeing patients, performing surgery, making decisions...and the list goes on.

When you're not working, you're thinking about work. If you're married, you probably don't spend much time with your spouse. If you're not married and don't have a significant other, you may not have much of a social life, or any social life at all.

How can you even get out and meet people, much less the right person, when there just aren't enough hours in the day?

Fortunately, Cupid is alive and well in Chicago in the form of Annie Alexander and Patti Feinstein. The enterprising women are professional matchmakers who joined forces three years ago to build a business catering to the social needs of doctors, nurses and other single professionals who work long or erratic hours and for whom social activities can be logistically challenging.

For a nominal fee, they can help you expand your social circle or arrange introductions with members of the opposite sex, perhaps even Mr. or Ms. Right.

Both have impressive credentials. Feinstein has been a matchmaker for eleven years and has made over 20,000 introductions. She's also a dating coach who provides singles with practical advice on how to manage relationships, and who's been featured in such publications as the Chicago Tribune, Men's Health and Playgirl.

Alexander has a background as a leader in the executive search industry, matching people with corporate assignments, and before that, was an officer with Chase Manhattan Bank. She's also the founder and organizer of the Sterling Register, an upscale group for professional men and women who are mainly age 38 and up, for which she plans a wide variety of adventurous city events.

The group met when Feinstein did a seminar at one of Alexander's events. A short time and a few collaborative efforts later, they realized they wer--in a professional sens--a perfect match.

Alexander, founder of LeTwo in May of 2002 (formerly Matchmaking By Annie), helps successful individuals who don't have time--or who are frustrated with tryin--to meet that special someone. Both Feinstein and Alexander were recently selected by Chicago Magazine as two of Chicago's top matchmakers.

Health care professionals are prime clients. "Physicians, executives and others who work in hospitals put in very long hours," said Feinstein. "And when they're not at the hospital or in the office, they're on call. Their pagers go off all the time and very few people will put up with that on a regular basis."

Alexander concurs. "One doctor told me that the women he dates just don't understand this. How we help is by arranging introductions for them with other people who lead similar professional lives."

One solution: "We ask for the doctors' call schedules and arrange the dates around that," said Feinstein.

An important component of matchmaking, according to Alexander and Feinstein, is bringing together two people who appear to be highly compatible, based on the information they provide about themselves, their needs and wants. But that's just the beginning.

They stress to both parties that an introduction is just that. It doesn't necessarily mean that marriage is around the corner. They still have to find a comfort level and rapport, as in any relationship. And, they said, just like everyone else, executives and physicians still get butterflies before a date with a new person.

Doctors appreciate both the matchmaking and social opportunities provided by LeTwo and the Sterling Registry. One specialist at a major Chicago hospital, a divorcee interviewed for this article who said he works very long hours, spoke in glowing terms of his involvement with both services. He said he's been introduced to several terrific women (though not yet a lifelong companion) and very much enjoys the social activities.

"I met Annie at another function, and found her to be wonderful and charming. After getting to know her, I realized that she was ethical and trustworthy, and decided to sign up with LeTwo and the Sterling Register. ItŐs been a great experience."

He said that, because he keeps things professional in his life at the hospital," it's great to be in a circle with like-minded people."

He added that it would be great if more medical professionals got involved with the Sterling Register. "I think that my fellow physicians would feel very comfortable at the events. It's also great for people who are newcomers to Chicago, who are looking to meet new people," he said.

Both Alexander and Feinstein view their work as an innovative approach to an age-old tradition. Now, as then, it's a viable and reliable way to meet quality people whose personalities, values and interests are simpatico with yours.

For information about upcoming social events, visit www.sterlingregister.com. For details about how to meet your match, go to www.letwo.com.

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Copyright © 2003 by John Fries, Pittsburgh, PA.
Please direct all correspondence to JohnFries@aol.com.