Love in the workplace is not uncommon but is commonly frowned upon. These three downtown couples, however, have managed to make it work.
The art of love
Even in a workplace such as an art gallery, love can be difficult.
For artist James Henninger and his wife and curator, Gia Henninger, creative differences occasionally challenge their relationship.
The couple met when the gallery Gia worked at was destroyed in an explosion. She helped put on an art sale to raise money to help restore the gallery and asked James if he would donate one of his works for the sale. James donated 17 pieces.
"It was really sweet of him," Gia said.
The pair dated for a few months, and James hired Gia to work as the curator for his gallery.
"She's good at the business side of things," he said. "I just wanted to focus on my art. As long as I could pay the rent, I was happy."
Their relationship never got in the way of the business.
"I learned to just say 'yes,' " he said. "She's always right. Not one time has she ever been wrong. So I just go along with her."
Gia's family quickly welcomed James into their lives.
"Her father has really embraced the relationship," he said. "That means the most to me. It was really important."
A serious relationship was never in the plans , they said.
"That was the last thing I wanted," James said. "I wasn't looking for anything serious. I had been living on my own for years."
While the couple were on a date antiquing in Boulder City, they saw some stainless steel rings for sale.
"I just asked her, ' OK, which one do you want?' " he said.
In December, they threw a steampunk-themed engagement party at Artifice, a trendy bar in the heart of the Arts District, complete with a Jameson Whiskey fountain.
The week before, they planned a surprise for the party. The 379 people in attendance were shocked, she said, when they were married on the stage right then.
"I remember looking over and seeing tons of people crying," Gia said.
James said their friends are an important part of their lives.
"For us, they're it," he said. "There's no way that we would be where we're at without our friends. We have the most amazing support group."
As a wedding gift, James painted a portrait of his new bride.
Still, the art has never come between them. It actually has brought them closer together, they said.
"I think art is that glue," James said. "We both love each other and care about each other, and the art is part of our life, too."
The Business of Love
Dating someone on your rung of the corporate ladder is one thing, but dating the company's vice president is a whole different ball game.
In 2008, Fred Mossler, a swarthy businessman from San Francisco, was Zappos' vice president of merchandising, heading a large department with numerous employees.
In 2008, Meghan Boyd, a Southern girl from Albany, Ga., worked in the merchandising department. She organized vendor events such as the annual soiree outside of Louisville, Ky.
With so many employees under his command, Mossler did not know all of them on a personal basis, but in 2008 after the successful Zappos vendor fair, the employees celebrated at a country western bar.
He danced with Meghan. A few times.
By the end of the night, Fred and other upper level Zappos employees decided to grab a bite to eat.
"Meghan followed us out and asked to come along with us," he said. "I told her I didn't think she should come along. She said, 'You're not the boss of me.' I said, 'Well, actually, I am.' "
He was smitten.
"One of the things that first attracted me to Meghan was her moxie, that spirit that she has," he said.
Later that year, the couple sat next to each other during a company dinner in Milan.
"We were never around each other and in the span of a week, there were five or six instances where we would run into each other," Meghan said.
So began a successful office romance.
"We weren't sure if we were allowed to, but it worked out," Fred said.
In December , the couple were married in Sundance, Utah.
Meghan now runs a small downtown business called the Stitch Factory. Fred is still working for Zappos with the title of "No Title." They also opened the Henderson restaurant Nacho Daddy together.
While they keep their work lives separate from personal lives, the business-savvy husband and wife, in some ways, can not help but approach their marriage like a business.
"We make sure to schedule time together and work at our marriage," he said.
"But our relationship is not a business," she quickly said with a laugh, "although, maybe there should be some performance metrics."
Like the company they both once worked for, they share a set of "core values" that align them in life.
"I think it's important that you're heading to the same point in life," Meghan said. "We continue to grow, learn and evolve as people and as a couple."
The two said they focus on creating memories together rather than the material aspects of life.
"It's important to find someone who grows with you," she said. "Sharing experiences - whether it be traveling to a new place or trying new food - allows both of us to grow."
The Campaign of love
In 1979, before Bob Coffin became a state senator, a state assemblyman and later a member of the Las Vegas City Council, he took an unpaid job as a writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He wrote a golf column.
In 1979, before Mary Hausch became a University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor, she was the managing editor of the Review-Journal.
She was berated by the paper's publisher because an unknown golf columnist wrote an article about golf fitness and interviewed a gym owner who did not advertise with the paper.
"I didn't know who he was," she said of Coffin. "Our sports editor hired him without talking to me. (The publisher) said we should start paying him so we could yell at him."
Weeks later, Coffin asked Hausch to lunch one afternoon.
"I thought he wanted to talk to me about getting paid," she said. "He actually just wanted to take me on a date."
They had lunch together at the Golden Nugget.
"I didn't need the money," Coffin said with a laugh.
The two dated on and off for two years, navigating the waters of a workplace romance.
The couple found common interests in writing, shared favorite authors, and Hausch even helped Coffin win a state press award
They said marriage was never the original plan, but in 1981, Coffin was in a near-fatal car accident that put him in the hospital.
"Mary came to the hospital every day," he said. "She broke up the days. Her devotion really touched me."
They remained devoted to one another through Coffin's two terms in the state assembly, juggling the even trickier relationship of newspaper editor and politician.
"I had to work hard to make people know there was a firewall there," Hausch said.
Coffin and Hausch were married in October 1986.
"There was no fancy proposal," Coffin said. "We're very interconnected. I just brought it up one evening."
In 1987, Coffin headed to Carson City as a senator while his wife shopped around for a house. She was pregnant.
"We didn't close on a house until our child was nearly born," Coffin said. "Two days after the birth, we moved in. I came home to a baby and a house neither of us had slept in."
Husband and wife, who lived in separate houses their entire relationship and said to this day have separate tubes of toothpaste. The couple moved into their own home with their newborn child in November 1987.
Through life's trials and tribulations - the car accident, having a baby, career shifts, the death of family members - Coffin and Hausch supported each other and said it has been the key to their relationship.
"A good marriage rises to the occasion," Hausch said. "Situations like that brought us closer together."
Coffin said, despite arguing over who does the dishes, they have always considered themselves a team.
"We don't really argue, and neither of us has a need to win," he said. "Being friends, being partners that's the most important thing."
Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Nolan Lister at email@example.com or 702-383-0492.