Father Knows Best

Meet a few of Miami’s Most Outstanding Dads and find out what fatherhood means to them and how they balance it all by always putting family first.
Words by Jorge Arauz | Photos by Josue Acosta | April 28, 2022 | People

Counting Blessings

For Alex Binelo, CPA and Partner in the Audit Department at BDO, fatherhood is a blessing that should never be taken for granted, and a responsibility he does not take lightly. He believes Miami is the perfect place to raise his sons, Alexander Maurice (4) and Santiago Leonardo (3). “The city gives kids everything they need to succeed and have fun at the same time,” he says. “We have great schools from elementary to the university level, and it’s a small community compared to other metropolitan cities. Everyone knows someone. Miami allows kids at a very early age to experience, interact with and appreciate a diverse community comprised of a wide range of people from different backgrounds and walks of life from all over the world.” A 24/7-365+ job, being a dad is Binelo’s happiest achievement. “I love teaching my kids new things — whether it’s learning the alphabet, leaning to count numbers, or playing a sport,” he says. “When it comes to them growing up, their current life stage will always be the most important one!”

Peter Ortega and Hansel Tookes are all smiles during their baby’s first visit to Brickell City Centre.

Bright Future

Peter Ortega and Hansel Tookes are first-time dads living in the center of it all with their precious 18-month-old princess, Paula. Miami has been home to the couple for the past 11 years, where Peter is a Broker-Associate with Keller Williams and Hansel an Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases for the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “We cherish all of the firsts with our daughter,” they say. “The most memorable experiences are showing her our world and seeing the joy in her face when she realizes we live in paradise.” They both live for the hugs, laughs, kisses, smiles and hopes for a bright, happy future. “We hope that she grows up to be kind, self-confident, resilient, respectful, hard-working and successful,” they say. “We are raising our daughter to know that anything is possible when you work hard.”

Super Dad

Managing his role as father to Miranda (8) and Marcello (4) while tending to his in-demand career as a leading Civil Engineer & Certified General Contractor for Bertech Construction, Jon Berto’s days are as action-packed as they come. “From soaking up the sunshine at the beach to enjoying outdoor activities and taking weekend getaways as a family, there’s never a dull day in our household,” he says. “The best part of fatherhood is most definitely having your kids looking at you as an example to follow — it makes you a better person in all aspects of life.” As far as life stages on the horizon, there’s a lot to look forward to. “I believe enjoying the experience of raising a little person is the most meaningful success a person can have in life,” he says. “There’s no school that teaches you to be a parent — it’s a really difficult task, and our kids in essence are our teachers…I pray and ask God for wisdom and patience every day of my life!”