"Many people I have met say the same thing: 'Milwaukee has a way to always bring you back.'”
What is your job and its responsibilities?
Executive Director of the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee. I run a membership-based organization where we have two strategic goals: increase the number of Hispanic students graduating from college and working with our professional members with intentional programs and navigational tools to help them move up in their careers.
How would you rate Milwaukee as a place to work and do business? We have many Fortune 500 companies and other great companies in the city. Many of these companies are looking for new and innovative ways to retain, recruit and attract young talent to the city. Meaning, there are companies wiling to invest in building a pipeline of talent for the city and region. Another unique thing about Milwaukee, is that it has a huge entrepreneurial spirit with innovation and creativity at the core. Milwaukee is that perfect blend of small-city with a big city feel to it. Creatively finding ways to collaborate and do business is at the core of what Milwaukee is about.
What strikes you as the most unique thing about Milwaukee?
I was born in Milwaukee, raised in Mexico, moved back to Milwaukee and have lived in Europe and Nebraska. However, I’m always proud and happy to call Milwaukee my home. Many people I have met who now reside in Milwaukee always say the same thing: “Milwaukee has a way to always bring you back.” Milwaukee has a charm and accessibility. Our version of traffic jams doesn’t compare to Chicago or Los Angeles. We are a small city with big city amenities like a lake at our fingertips, music venues, concert and sports arena, plays, professional organizations, restaurants, and many other great things that still are an untapped treasure even for those who have lived here for years. Milwaukee is always re-inventing itself and I love that about the city. The energy, innovation and spirit of the city is unique.
Milwaukee is a great city for young professionals looking to make their mark in the city and grow as professionals. With so many great companies and organizations to work for, so many issues to tackle and many ways to still enjoy the different amenities the city has, it is definitely a city with great potential for young professionals. There is no shortage of cultural and musical events, of volunteer and leadership opportunities, of mentors to help foster career growth. Because of the smaller city that we are, you are able to watch change happen, and who doesn’t want to be a part of a greater movement that ultimately benefits where one works and calls home?
What is your favorite Milwaukee building? The Milwaukee Art Museum / Quadracci Pavilion by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It’s a landmark that gives the city a first-class cultural and innovative feel. It’s reminiscent of architecture you would find in a big, metropolitan city or a city in Europe. The fact that it’s so accessible, so visible and a recognizable landmark for the city is truly what I love. The art inside of the building is also a bonus.
What is the one thing you’d like to change about Milwaukee? I’d like for segregation to no longer be an issue. I’d like to see more collaborative efforts that are actively creating change to be at the forefront of issues that we as a city focus on. We have a tendency to focus on the negative rather than looking at the great things the city has accomplished, but more needs to be done. City pride and commitment to showcasing the offerings of the city would be something we should be doing. The emergence of Milwaukee Home and organizations like NEWaukee have begun the movement to do that. However, key stakeholders should also take note and collectively unite to make this a truly better city to live, work and play.