An Ohio native learns Milwaukee isn't just a small, cold, gloomy city of beer-swilling cheese heads.
How long have you lived in Milwaukee and why did you choose to live here?
I have lived in Milwaukee for just over a year now. I grew up in Ohio and went to Ohio State. After school, I started working in Cleveland in a rotational leadership development program. I spent about a year and a half in Cleveland, then moved to Europe for six months, and then finished up my final six months here in Milwaukee. I had originally just planned on staying in Milwaukee for my six months and then moving elsewhere, but I fell in love with the city and the people here and found a great job.
What about Milwaukee makes it a place that you want to work, live, and play?
I hate to echo every single other person out there, but this really is true: Milwaukee has the feel of a big city, but also has the sense of community of a small town. The city incredibly diverse and has something to offer for almost everyone depending on your interests. And combine that with great people who truly love and value all that their city has to offer, and it’s a great place to be!
What is your favorite Milwaukee event?
Honestly, there are so many great events that go on here; it is really tough to pick just one. I don’t think I have one particular event that I can say is my favorite. Rather than an event, I would have to say that my favorite thing is just walking around downtown in the summer. You can really feel the pulse of the city come alive in the summer. People are out and about everywhere. Walking over by the lake, you can see everybody out sailing on their boats. Head down to Bradford Beach to see the masses out enjoying volleyball, sunshine and libations. Take a walk past the Summerfest grounds and there’s bound to be a festival of some sort going on. Stroll through the Third Ward and see all of the people sitting outside enjoying the food and weather. It’s just a great time to be out and about in the city.
What is one thing you’d like to change about Milwaukee?
I really want to change the perception of Milwaukee that is known to those who have never been here before and can understand what this city is all about. I’ll admit that I was one of those people just over a year ago. My impression of the city was that everyone here ate cheese, drank beer, and it was always cold and gloomy. I viewed Milwaukee as the small city in Wisconsin that was usually overshadowed by Chicago. And on top of that, I didn’t see much opportunity from a professional standpoint in the city aside from a couple large corporations. Boy was I wrong. The problem is that these are the typical tags we get from people all over the country who can’t clearly see what we have here. They are starting to, but we have some serious work to do to change their minds. Doing so will greatly help us with attracting and retaining talent in the city. I always hear YP’s say that they want to go to Chicago, LA, New York, etc. When you ask them why, they say it is a big, lively city and seems like it would be fun. Guess what? Milwaukee’s a big city, we have a great community, and I can all but guarantee we are going to have more fun here. Now it’s time to spread the word.
What do you do?
I am a product manager at Rockwell Automation and manage our safety controller product lines.
Recent NEWaukeeans of the Week
People: Geoff Sieron