NEWaukeean: Roman Reynebeau
Where do you work and what makes your role awesome?
I work at a local tech startup called MacGregor Partners. MGP is an amazing place to work for too many reasons to fully list so I won’t try and detail out every single reason why we’re consistently recognized as a top employer. For me personally, I love the variety, the flexibility, and most of all I love investing in people and watching them grow into roles that they never imagined they were capable of.
How long have you lived in MKE & what brought you here?
I grew up in the Fox Valley and moved to Milwaukee in early 2010. I always tell people that I moved to MKE for a job, which is technically true, but my real motivation was to be closer to my amazing girlfriend who was a senior at UW-Milwaukee at the time. This love story has a happy ending because we got married in 2014 and we’re still happily married today.
What do you love most about MKE?
I could point to a lot of physical traits or geographic locations that make Milwaukee unique, but ultimately what makes Milwaukee special isn’t its physical assets, it’s the people, the energy, and the traditions & history.
What is something that is missing from our community that you would love to see implemented?
While traveling in Amsterdam during the Summer of 2017, I stumbled upon a free outdoor festival in the heart of the city called Urban Sports Week which included outdoor events featuring basketball, BMX, skateboarding, inline skating, climbing, dancing, and freerunning. Given our fondness for festivals, I’d love to see a similar event held in Milwaukee.
To help facilitate these types of sports, I’d love to see more urban sporting infrastructure made available throughout the city. For example, underneath the I-94 overpass that divides the 3rd Ward neighborhood from downtown, I always thought it would be awesome to have skate park and/or some basketball courts which are surprisingly sparse in the downtown & east side neighborhoods.
Where do you see MKE in 5 years?
In five years, I expect Milwaukee to be reaping the benefits from all the investments being made around the city, specifically from investments being made in the new entertainment district, the harbor district, and transportation infrastructure.
I also expect the city to continue its upward trajectory. This growth is largely being fueled by local companies that are positioning MKE as a leader in tech startups, freshwater science, automated manufacturing, and bioengineering. Milwaukee also has a very underrated creative scene, which I expect to eventually produce some world-renowned artists.
If you could create one thing in MKE, what would it be?
If I could create one thing in MKE it would be a NHL team. The Admirals are great, but a minor league team simply doesn’t generate the same level of excitement & economic impact that a NHL team does.
I’d also love to see a major tech conference held in Milwaukee. It’s long overdue and I’m getting tired of sending our employees to Chicago or further for industry conferences.
What is your biggest hope for this city?
You will not find a bigger advocate for the city of Milwaukee than me, but I don’t claim that the city is perfect. On the contrary, we have some very real and well documented challenges around segregation, crime, and poverty.
My biggest hope for the city is that as the city continues to grow and transition to a more modern, technology driven economy that we can work together to create opportunities for all of Milwaukee’s citizens. I firmly believe that the best way to prevent crime & poverty is by having access to economic opportunities and right now many people around the city and around the country feel like they have been left behind. I think that education and re-skilling initiatives are going to be a critical factor in creating more inclusive opportunities because there are technology jobs all around the country that are going unfilled due to the labor market not having the right skills.
What is your favorite MKE tradition?
I imagine the most popular answer to this question is probably Summerfest but I’m not a huge live music kind of guy. The one event that I absolutely love and clear my schedule for every year is Doors Open Milwaukee. My wife and I have attended every Doors Open since it started, and we’ve even become official members of the Milwaukee Historical Society so that we can get early bird access to register for tours.
What does your ideal MKE weekend look like?
My ideal weekend in Milwaukee would include an early morning run by the lake, a delicious brunch, a Bucks game, a beer garden, tacos, and lots of laughs with friends & family. Oh, if we could throw a midafternoon hammock nap in there too then that would be a nice cherry on top.
What neighborhood do you live in and why do you love it?
My wife and I live in the southeast corner Glendale. We love the neighborhood because we have the best neighbors ever, we have more personal space than when we lived within the city limits, and we’re still close enough to the city center that we can ride the bus and get downtown very quickly.
What’s your favorite hidden gem or secret fact about the city?
When I first moved to Milwaukee I didn’t expect the city to have a beach, let alone a world class beach like Bradford Beach. I would say that Bradford Beach is underappreciated, underutilized, and I can’t figure out why Milwaukeeans are not more proud of this extraordinary asset.
What do you think is going to be a game changer for the city in the year of 2018?
I think that innovative startups and disruptive technology are already changing the landscape in Milwaukee and helping the city reinvent itself. I expect this trend to continue for many years to come.