NEWaukeean of the Week

Dana Johnson

"I think Milwaukee is a fabulous place to work and do business."

By - Sep 21st, 2015 02:32 pm
Dana Johnson. Photo courtesy of NEWaukee.

Dana Johnson. Photo courtesy of NEWaukee.

What is your job and its responsibilities?

As Assistant Director of Sales for Marcus Hotels & Resorts in Milwaukee, I am fortunate to enhance the mission of our team. We strive to connect companies seeking destinations that inspire creativity, increase education and engagement, strengthen brand messaging and leave a lasting memory on their attendees to our three unique properties in downtown Milwaukee; The Pfister Hotel, The InterContinental Milwaukee and the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

How long have you lived in Milwaukee & what brought you here?

I have lived in Milwaukee most of my life. My mother was a Milwaukee native and when my father did not reenlist in the Navy she encouraged our family to move back to her home.

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

The “ah-ha” moment for me to move back home was when my children were born. I had moved to the northern suburbs of Chicago in my early twenties and found myself coming back to Milwaukee many weekends. I missed the stability and comfort of my friends and family in Milwaukee and I also missed the ease of the city. The area I lived in in Illinois was an extremely transient environment. Friendships were short lived and it was difficult to establish a strong social network.

What is your favorite Milwaukee event?

Summerfest! I love the diverse music options and the food. It’s my favorite time of year.

What have you seen in other cities that you’d like to see in Milwaukee?

I’d like to see light rail. I really like how that has changed the landscape of cities like Minneapolis and has connected many to areas they wouldn’t have normally explored.

What is your favorite Milwaukee tradition?

I enjoy the tradition of Friday night fish fry’s during lent. My favorite is the breaded Walleye at Final Approach near the airport. I also am on a bowling league and have a lot of fun attending Catholic Church Festivals. All of these seem like Milwaukee traditions to me.

Favorite place to grab coffee/an after dinner drink?

You may call my biased but even after many years of working for The Pfister Hotel, Blu always feels like a special to me.

Favorite little known fact/secret/hidden gem in Milwaukee?

Not enough people know about the Uber Tap room. Beer and Cheese? That place should have a line out of the door!

What is the perfect thing to do in Milwaukee on a Sunday afternoon?

I’ve had the most fun doing a riverwalk bar crawl or a workout at the lakefront followed by a mimosa and sandwich at G.Groppi Food Market.

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

I think Milwaukee is a fabulous place to work and do business. The people are kind and hard working. The city is easy to get around and is truly a beautiful environment to be in. It’s unique local food scene is bar none and  is an amazing value when compared with other cities I’ve visited. Our architecture and beautiful lakefront is surprising to many first time visitors. One of my team’s biggest challenges is to sell this city to non-locals as a place to visit and do business. We find that once we have an opportunity to get them here to experience it first hand, the challenge is much less difficult.

What do you think of Milwaukee as a place to socialize and play?

When my siblings visit me from Minnesota and Florida I become their city tour guide. They get excited each time they visit as they know I always find a unique place to take them. You truly can’t understand the joy of all the unique restaurants, lounges, parks, festivals, breweries and museums until you see it through the eyes of someone who lives in an environment of chain restaurants and tourist traps…

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