About me: Luck or Fate, whatever you may call it, has always seemed to follow me. I have been extremely fortunate.

I have two amazing parents (still happily married), Laura (a nurse) and Ken (a lawyer) and a wonderful younger brother, Jeffery (a bio-chemist). I was born in Rochester, NY. I moved to Pittsburg, PA when I was 5yrs old and then to Langhorne, PA (just outside of Philadelphia) just before my 9th birthday. After graduating from High School, I went to the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, MA. I finished school with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Psychology, (1999). After college, my roommate and I moved to Chicago, IL, where I waited tables while searching for my new career (at that time, it was Pharmaceutical Sales Representative).

While I was working in Chicago, I was serving a very large table of business men, who were in town for a conference. They liked my service and by the end of the evening, I had myself a job offer – Software Sales in California. The company moved me out to Orange County, CA but I found out computer software was not for me and I lasted a little over a year there. But I did start dancing again and I joined Brockus Project Dance Company in May of 2001. I then decided to learn how to do mortgage loans as my full time job, which I have done for the last 6 years (on top of dancing full time in the company and teaching dance at California Conservatory of the Arts 2002-2007).


Now to Our Story: In 2006, I had an acquaintance that was running a dating service called Joe’s Club. She really wanted me to join but I absolutely did not want to and told her I had plans to move back to Philly, so what was the point. She continued to beg and said, “Well, what happens if you meet someone and he could be “the one”, would you move back?” After much pleading on her part, I finally agreed to join with a money back guarantee and so was set up on my first dinner experience. Joe’s Club was an organic way for people to meet. 3 guys and 3 girls would meet at a restaurant in the bar area with a host, who would introduce everyone and start the conversation. After everyone was there and in conversation, the host would leave and the 6 dinner guests would make their way into the dining area, where you would sit boy girl. There are rules: you can not use a cell phone, you can not exchange any contact information or ask anyone out and separate dinner checks had been arranged. The dinner was about meeting people in a non-pressure situation. The next day everyone received an email from the host with all the attendees’ web information for JDate. This is how I was lucky enough to meet Richard.


Richard and I met on both of our 2nd dinner adventures on April 6th, 2006. I was the first person to get to the restaurant. I was sitting in the far corner of our meeting area. Richard was the last person to arrive at the restaurant, Napa Valley Grille in Westwood. I remember him walking in. He had this confident but laid back air about him. He greeted everyone and sat down. That night the ice breaker question was, “What career would you be doing if you could choose anything you wanted”. Richard’s answer was that he would be doing the exact same thing, just at a higher level. I thought that was amazing that this guy is fulfilling his dream…he loves his career (I didn’t know anyone who truly loved what they were doing). At dinner we sat across from each other, but instead of 6 people we had 8 at dinner that night. It made it much more complicated to hold conversations with everyone; in fact, I didn’t get to talk to Richard once that evening. I heard bits and pieces of interesting stories he was telling, but wasn’t able to engage in the conversation. At the end of the evening I was feeling desperate to get his attention. We were already at the valet waiting for our cars an I turned to him and said “I love your necklace.” He responded “Thanks” and that was it. There was nothing more I could think of to say to start up conversation and I blew it...he was the only interesting guy and I didn’t get to make any sort of impression. I got into my car and drove home.


The next day the host called me to find out about the dinner. I told her that I didn’t get a chance to talk with the one guy I found interesting. About ten minutes later, I got an email from Richard saying, “We didn’t get to talk, would you like to get together so we can get to know each other?”. I was so excited. “Yes” I responded, “I was thinking of writing you the same thing”. Unfortunately, we were both going away and wouldn’t be able to see each other until the end of the month. So, now I knew my chances were slim…who would remember to call a person after 3 weeks… 3 weeks went by and he called. I was impressed and excited that he remembered. We planed our first date on April 30th, 2006 to meet at a place called Angelato for some gelato. I had ballet class that morning in Santa Monica and after class I went to my cousin Adam’s place so I could wash up and get ready. This was the first date in a very long time that I was nervous for.


I met Richard at 5 pm at Angelato. He walked up with the same assertiveness that he did the first night I saw him. We got our gelato and walked around the 3rd Street promenade. We had very nice conversation and decided to see a movie. Since we had some time before the show, we went to dinner at Gaucho Grill and continued the great conversation. The movie “Shall we Dance” was the perfect movie for us to see on our first date - dance and romance! At this point, I was thinking that I had a really nice time with him and if he asked me out again I would say yes, but not sure if there was much of a connection. As he walked me to my car, he stopped me on the corner and kissed me…That is what sealed the deal…I would definitely go out with him again and I hoped he’d ask. I didn’t want the night to end so I asked if he wanted to go get a drink at the bar across the street. We went over to the bar “Renee’s” and got a drink and had the best conversation of the evening. I drove home on cloud nine. The next day my mom called me to see how the date went. I told her that it went very well. I’m not sure what it was, but it felt right. I told my mom that my plans to move back to Philly needed to be put on hold so I can see where this led… One year and two months later, I am the happiest woman alive. Richard has not only been the most wonderful, smart, loving, kind, and honest man I know, but he is supportive and creative and he gives me confidence I’ve never had. He led me to take a chance and helped me gain a new career as a make up artist. His support for me is unconditional and unbelievable…He’s the most amazing man I know and I’m so ecstatic to marry him and live the rest of my life being Richard Berman’s wife.

Richard's Story