To know me, you should probably know my “tribe”. The people that have shaped me into the man that I am. It starts with my parents and our immediate family followed by our friends who are like family (there are so many more framily members than those listed here – we love you all).

Parents:

My Dad: John Allen – Every since I was “the size of a loaf of bread” there was John Allen showing me the way. Whether it was how to shoot a free throw, keep score manually on a bowling sheet, or playing cards… He’s always been a great dad. A graduate of Loyola University, John grew up in the small-town Pana, Illinois. He lived in Chicago for college and stayed there. He would eventually meet my mom there too. Since retirement, my dad went to fulfill a lifelong dream of working for the Cubs. 2016 was the first year that he started his journey as An Ambassador Of The Chicago Cubs (Good Year To Start Right)? He’s an usher at Wrigley Field and anyone who comes in contact with him can’t help but smile. It turns out that ALL the Chicago Cubs needed was my dad to help win them a World Series. Once they made an offseason acquisition to hire him as an usher at Wrigley Field… something special was in the works. Even though the players on the field are the ones swinging the bat… my dad is part of the magic behind the team. He has been a Cubs fan since he was 10 years old (I won’t tell you how old he is now).

My Mom: Mary Salvatori Allen – My mom remembers watching Sesame Street with me 3 times a day when I was a child. She is an incredibly kind and generous person not only to our own family but to others as well. High School Swimmer, FSU Seminole Grad, and she has spent much of her life teaching recycling education to students and making the world a better place. One of the coolest things that she did was a “trashy fashion show.” The models walking down the runway would be wearing clothes using recycled materials. She even rocked a dress made out of aluminum soda tabs as well as a dress made out of caution tape. And… she can cook up a MEAN Linguini and Clam Sauce, Chicken Parm, and Fettuccine Alfredo among other things. She is a mom of 3 and a SAINT! She also officiated my wedding to my wife Heidi. She was a natural. You would have had NO IDEA it was her first wedding. She made our big day very very very special. Thanks MOM!

Mother in Law: Lori Hughes – She lives in Midland, Michigan. She is super creative and amazing with the sewing machine. She can make us just about anything (all Heidi’s crazy ideas including a Bacon & Egg scarf one year for Christmas – My “Gibbler” scarf)! She was one of our first guests in Arizona and always makes time to keep us in the loop on life in Michigan. She is kind, loving and an all-around great mother in law.

Father in Law: Ronald (Ron) McIvor – (words from Heidi) – I am pretty sure I am the boy he never had (sorry dad). Raising 2 girls must have been rough. But because of him, I can play just about any sport and he is the reason I am as competitive as I am!! hahaha. I am so grateful to have a dad that was as involved with my sports and education as he was. He made me believe that I could do anything I wanted, I just had to work hard for it. xoxo

Siblings:

My Sister: Christina Swoboda – Christina is the youngest of 3 in our family. I pretty much made Christina watch professional wrestling as well as every Pauly Shore movie. I’m not sure if it had a positive effect on her or not… but I hope so. Christina is an amazing mom to three beautiful children Piper, Parker, and Maverick. She is also a wedding planner, videographer, karaoke singer, Cubs fan, AND Blackhawks Hockey fan. Christina and her husband John EVEN make a homemade ice rink in their backyard every year.

My Sister: Veronica Clare Allen – Veronica and I grew up attached at the hip. It was also really cool that we lived across the street from a park. We played lots of basketball, baseball, football and roller hockey games with neighborhood kids. We would often act upon vacation road trips and quote some of their favorite movies… Mrs. Doubtfire, Angels In The Outfield, and Cool Runnings. It kind of irritated our parents… so the quarter game was invented. if we all kept our mouths shut for at least an hour… we’d get a quarter. The older we got the more we realized that a quarter wasn’t that much money. So it changed to the dollar game. Veronica lived in Clearwater Florida and worked as an executive assistant and HR Director for 5% Nutrition. My little sister passed away unexpectedly in August 2017 and has left a big hole in our family. I think about her daily and miss her so much. We love you, Vee.

My Brother in Law: John Swoboda – John is one of 13 CHILDREN in his family. He is number 6. He’s been around our family for over 13 years. He’s married to JPs sister Christina. High School sweethearts who then went to college together at Northern Illinois University. Since he’s not able to make fantasy hockey a full-time job he works at T-Mobile in Sales as a Business Account Executive. If your business is ever in the market for new work phones or a new cell phone provider – please reach out to him! John is one of the GREATEST Brothers in Law and takes insanely good care of Christina and their children.

My Sister in Law: Heather McIvor – (words from Heidi) – Heidi’s Big Sister!! What can I say about this amazing lady? She has been there for Heidi through thick and thin. Even when they didn’t 100% get along 😛 haha. I look up to her, I respect her and I am so thankful that not only is she my family but also one of my best friends. I am so grateful that she stood up with me on my big day! We love you, Heather!!!

Kiddos:

My Niece: Piper Swoboda – A 4 and 1/2-year-old ball of cheer. It’s possible she is the happiest little girl ever. Her mom Christina likes to call her a “little leprechaun” because of she always up to something mischievous… kids, right? Avid Frozen Fan. She is the proud owner of Mickey and Minnie’s autograph. Loves to sing, dance, and give people hugs.

My Niece: Drew Rene Stockero – My niece. My mini-me. The slang that the kids use these days…. she’s probably my spirit animal! lol. Drew and I have had a kinship ever since she was little. At the young age of 3, I started teaching her Korean via Skype while living overseas and she still knows it to this day! I cannot believe that my little niece is already 16! I am so happy that she will be standing up at our wedding (like we had a choice)!! haha. She may have demanded it too – but I would have asked her if she was patient

My Nephew: Parker (Blue) Swoboda – Growing by the second. Voted most likely to be the Chicago Bears Linebacker in 2032. He keeps his mom Christina busy. When he’s not busy jumping off of things he’s trying to make friends with every dog he sees. He loves getting in tickle fights with his sister Piper. Christina often says to Parker… Don’t eat that. That’s not food.

My Nephew: Maverick Swoboda

My Nephew: Brady Ruff – Brady is our ring bearer for our wedding and he has so much SPUNK! hahaha. Full of smiles, energy and loves his aunt Heidi and play fighting with his new uncle JP. I still remember the day that he was born (he was about 2 weeks early) and I was hiking the Inca Trail to Manchu Picchu with my good friend Monica. We found out via Facebook. She couldn’t get ahold of me because I was out of the country. That was the first time I missed being at the hospital for my big sister having a baby. I was super sad but still so thankful that she had a healthy and happy baby.

My Nephew: Lucas Hammond – Lucas aka Luke aka LJ is my awesome TEENAGE nephew! My good friend Monica and I were the first ones to EVER babysit him overnight as a baby. We were only 16 years old and that was the longest night ever!!! Whenever we would put him down, he would start crying so we literally stayed up all night watching him. Let’s just say that was the best birth control!! haha. In all seriousness, JP and I are so honored that Lucas is going to be an Usher for us at our wedding. He is such a smart, talented, tech-savvy kid. I am so thankful to be his aunt. We could not be prouder of him and are so excited to see what he accomplishes in life.

Framily:

When you get married, your framily merges and it’s seriously the best thing ever. My wife Heidi and I are so thankful for having so many people in our lives who have been a part of our lives for so long.

Peter Przekota: Peter was neighbors with JP’s aunt and uncle growing up so it was inevitable they’d cross paths. Peter and JP first hung out at CCD class around 6/7th grade. Peter was/is a class clown and would constantly have JP laughing. Since then, there were many swim meets, late-night trips to Taco Burrito King, and multiple shenanigans spanning the course of about 2 decades. Peter lives just outside of Chicago and married his high school sweetheart Kelly. Peter’s a Science Teacher and a Swimming and Water Polo Coach. He also can eat more than any human being I’ve ever seen(3 chipotle burritos in one sitting). We ride together we die together… Bad Boys for life.

Doug Simkins: Much like Peter… Doug and JP bonded and started their friendship because of High School Swimming. Doug and JP went stag to a Freshman dance where JP got on a table and sang “LFO’s Summer Girls” made an embarrassment out of himself. I believe then and there is when Doug went YES! THAT’S AWESOME. WHAT A DOOFUS!! HAHAHA!!! Doug invited JP over for dinner where he and his dad put a fart machine under the table and started yelling at him “Why he was ruining a perfectly good meal with your flatulence.” True story. Doug lives in Colorado, is a PE Teacher, and a SUPER HUGE Cubs fan. He was even in Cleveland to see the Cubs win it ALL.

Bobby Bruggeman: JP spent about 12 years off and on being a lifeguard. He met Bobby at The Saddle and Cycle country club in Chicago. Little did JP know when he met Bobby how many fun adventures they’d have together. One of the most memorable times was when Bobby had never bet on horses before. To make a long story short JP and Bobby both spent 60 dollars and won 1,200 dollars. THEY WENT NUTS. Bobby is a BIG movie Buff(pick him on your team at trivia night) AND BIG Country Music fan. He owns an autographed Toby Keith Red Solo Cup. Much like Doug, Bobby is a BIG TIME Cubs Fan. Bobby’s face has been on the front of a newspaper as the “agony of defeat” image when the Cubs have lost over the years. Not ANYMORE Bobo! THEY DID IT… Bobby is ALSO a teacher and a coach. Shout out to Bobby’s wife Lauren for all the times she let me crash on their couch!

Jordan Johnson: Jordan and JP lived across the hall from each other JP’s Freshman year at Southern Illinois University. Jordan is a friendly and fun person! Everyone on the 13th floor would gravitate toward his room and we’d hang out. When JP moved to Atlanta in January 2015, Jordan immediately reached out and showed him Atlanta. Jordan has been in Atlanta for over 10 years and took JP under his wing. Good places to live, eat, hike… all that! Jordan works in the elevator business now and is pretty buttoned up… BUT he will forever be known to JP as “J-styles.” The underground hip-hop loving party starter who was notorious for introducing you to people and making you feel special.

Steve Tingle: Steve “freaking” Tingle. He has been the older brother JP’s never had. When times got tough in radio Steve was one of the strong voices that never told him never to quit. Post-college JP started his radio career as an intern at The Chicago Radio Station Q101. Tingle mentored him, taught him a ton, and brought JP to Philadelphia with him as a producer of a morning show. JP had no money, two bags full of clothes, and no place to live. Tingle let him crash on his couch until JP could get his own place and own car. When that 3-year chapter of our life came to an end… they made our way to Atlanta. After 2 years he left for Chicago and Jp’s still here in Atlanta. You can now hear him on Chicago’s 97.1 FM The Drive w/ Sherman. Tingle is THE BEST at making Breakfast Burritos, cooking steaks, and BBQ shrimp just to name a few. Tingle is a human cartoon and can do many many voice impressions.

Brian Sherman: Brian Sherman is a GREAT storyteller, Chicago tour guide, and mentor to JP. Sherman’s ear for radio production and focus is something that rubbed of on JP BIG TIME!!! JP was driving to a serving/waiter job when he first heard “The Sherman and Tingle Show.” As JP was trying to find his way post-college Sherman and Tingle would consistently crack him up. Once JP started his internship and would meet Sherman… he knew he was in a special position. Sherman took JP on Off-Roading Jeep adventures, bar nights, and Cubs games. When JP was struggling to make ends meet… Sherman found out and felt compelled to help. Sherman then began to pick JP up every morning for work so he didn’t have to pay for parking. You can now hear Sherman on Chicago’s 97.1 FM The Drive. Thanks for all of the French Vanilla Coffees and life advice! -JP

Danielle Wellington Prince: Danielle currently lives in Lansing, MI. Danielle aka Dani and Heidi have been friends since their sophomore year of high school. Throughout the years and Heidi moving all over the place, they have still remained extremely close. No matter how much time goes by, when they get together it feels like no time has passed. Even with Heidi’s move to Atlanta, GA – they have made an effort to see each other at least 1x every few months!

ShaVonne Miller Brubaker: ShaVonne aka SheVy was my college bestie at Central Michigan University. We surprisingly didn’t meet until our sophomore year even though we were both super social. From the time we met, I knew she was going to be a lifelong friend. She is like family (like all of my bridesmaids)!! We have a holiday tradition where we have dinner, play games and I beat her husband in darts once a year 😉 *Disclaimer: I don’t always win in darts but I try too!!!

Meesook Collier: Meesook (pronounced Me-suk) aka Mees became my friend by accident! I had just gotten back to the United States after spending a year in Seoul, South Korea, and my volleyball friends from Bay City, MI was like… “Heidi, you have to meet our friend Meesook, she’s Korean”! hahaha. So naturally, in 2007 we had to meet up. She and I bonded over the fact that she loved to dance, she loved spicy food like me and like my fiancé JP, she could chug a beer faster than anyone at the bar. Best bar trick ever!! Our friendship continued to grow and grow. We were roommates the year that she got engaged and we’ve been friends ever since.

Megan Topper: I moved to Atlanta, GA in June 2014 and I knew absolutely NO ONE. I was fortunate enough to work with great people that knew how much I loved volleyball. My co-worker Nancy was like – you have to come to the free-agent night at volleyball and meet Rachel. I ended up getting picked up for my first volleyball league in Atlanta at Tolleson Park. During this league, I met Megan. Megan befriended me and over the past 4+ years, our friendship has grown and grown. Megan and her husband Eric are 2 of our best friends and we are so so so lucky to have such a great group of friends here in Atlanta. It wouldn’t be the same without her!

LindsayKate Hines: What do I say about LindsayKate aka LK?? LK is one of the friendliest people you will literally ever meet. No joke. I don’t think she has ever met a person she doesn’t like. She is so giving, has the best laugh/snort and truly cares about making the world a better place. LK and I met through a mutual friend. She’s like a little sister to me. We’ve grown closer and closer over the past 2 years playing volleyball 2 nights a week together, playing Euchre, working out and going to watch cartoons at the Fox Theatre! haha. I truly know the best people and so glad to call her my friend.

Amazing Wedding Planning Crew & Close Friends: 

Megan Fisher McCormick:

Simona Cushman:

Jennifer Waldrup:

Friends & Singers in Our Wedding:

Sara Zahedi:

Heather Stafford:

Meaghan Cohen

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