Newaukee
NEWaukeean of the Week

Rita DeMerit

"I truly do love the whole small city with a big city feel."

By - Oct 27th, 2014 02:29 pm
Sign-up for the Urban Milwaukee daily email
Rita DeMerit

Rita DeMerit

What is your job and its responsibilities?

I work at NEWaukee as a project manager. Initially, I came onto the team to help plan YPWeek and was just recently hired on full time after planning and producing the NEWaukee Night Markets over the summer. Other than those two major projects, I help organize and execute the rest of our events and programming. I’m also the only one in the office that takes out the garbage.

Was there a point where you decided this was the city you wanted to live in?

I honestly didn’t put much thought into moving here and attending UWM six years ago. My sister had already been living here for two years, I have a decent amount of relatives here, and my mom partially grew up here. I was already familiar with Milwaukee and it just seemed like an easy transition at that point. It was still close enough to home (My parents lived in Appleton at the time) but far enough away where I felt like I was able to do my own thing. After graduating and having gone through a couple internships and a number of service industry jobs, I felt like I had made a pretty solid life for myself in Milwaukee and developed some really great relationships that I just can’t see myself leaving.

Now after having worked at NEWaukee for awhile I feel more invested in this city than ever.

What is your favorite Milwaukee event?

I’d have to say my favorite Milwaukee events are any of the festivals on Brady Street. I live right off of Brady Street and used to work at one of the bars so I definitely feel attached to that area. I seem to run into everyone I’ve met since moving here at some point during any event, so it always feels like a little reunion to me. Everyone is happy and the people watching is usually insane, not to mention the beer and food. I see Brady Street as an important asset to the city. It’s very eclectic and approachable, and represents a lot of great things about Milwaukee’s past and future.

What do you think of Milwaukee as a place to work and do business?

Personally, I think it’s a great place to work and do business. I’ve worked in a number of different industries with so many different people and the consistent theme I’ve come across is that most everyone recognizes the importance of working together and reaching out to other local businesses, both small and large, to support one another. NEWaukee has allowed me to work and forge important relationships with dozens of game changing organizations that put so much time into their communities, and the city at large, and really take responsibility for the work that needs to be done.

Favorite place to grab coffee/an after dinner drink?

I’m pretty loyal to both Stone Creek and Colectivo for my coffee. I’ll go to whichever is closest to me at the time. The BLT at Colectivo is one of my go-to lunches when I forget to bring one to work. Serious shout out to the Grand Ave Stone Creek employees that deal with our daily NEWaukee coffee excursions.

As far as after dinner drinks goes (or anytime drinks, let’s be for real), everyone knows that I spend a little too much time at YNOT II. Nothing beats slightly stale popcorn and airplane bottles of cheap whiskey.

How does Milwaukee vary from other cities you’ve lived in/visited?

I realize everyone says this, but I truly do love the whole “small city with a big city feel” idea. We have our own neighborhoods and pockets of the city that have their own cultures, community, and people with a deep sense of pride in where they come from and where choose to start planting their own roots. Lately, I’ve been trying to familiarize myself with areas that I wouldn’t normally see myself in, and I love that Milwaukee allows me to do that without feeling unwelcome or apprehensive. It can be a fun city to get lost in. I notice that it’s when I get lost that I find the coolest parts. When it comes down to it, Milwaukee is a comfortable, approachable city that everyone that visits inevitably falls in love with.

Originally posted at Newaukee

2 thoughts on “NEWaukeean of the Week: Rita DeMerit”

  1. Jeff says:

    For decades I’ve heard people refer to Milwaukee as “a big city with a small-town feel.” Never the opposite. Is this a new spin?

  2. Gambrinus says:

    Curious, does he still agree that Milwaukee should “stop whining and pay the arena freight”?

    https://twitter.com/AlexanderLasry/status/459420258563280896

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *