NEWaukeean: Matt Dorner
What is your job and its responsibilities?
I recently started with Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21 (BID #21) as the Economic Development Director. My responsibilities tie back to implementing the priorities and economic development initiatives identified in the recently adopted Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 Strategic Plan. I work individually, and with various public, non-profit, and private sector partners, to implement tasks aimed at creating a better environment to promote new investment, retention, expansion, and job growth in downtown Milwaukee.
How long have you lived in Milwaukee & what brought you here?
I have lived in Milwaukee for nearly a decade. Since the first time I visited the city with my parents for a Brewers game at County Stadium, I felt a connection to the urban setting. I always felt at some point Milwaukee would be my home. Pursuing my Master Degrees at UW-Milwaukee provided the link I needed to make the move.
What is your favorite Milwaukee event?
With so many great street, ethnic and art-related festivals, it is difficult to pick just one, but if I must – it would be Summerfest. My proximity to the festival grounds may be part of the reason that makes this such a fun part of every Milwaukee summer. Nonetheless, the sheer energy is something special and the organizers continue to raise the bar with the acts that are brought in year after year.
What is your favorite Milwaukee tradition?
Tailgating at Miller Park will always stand out, especially when you are able to bring friends or colleagues that are not from Milwaukee. They are always taken back by the energy and enthusiasm. Going to a ballgame in Milwaukee can really turn into an event.
Where do you see MKE in 5 years?
Milwaukee is truly a city on the rise with several once in a life time opportunities that must be seized now to continue to chart the right course for the city’s future. There are catalytic developments under construction and several others are ready. The Northwestern Mutual and 833 East buildings will transform the skyline and I believe others will join the mix soon (the Couture & 700 E. Kilbourn to name a few). I see a city that continues to support greater densities of people, buildings, jobs, innovation, and pride. I see a new multi-purpose arena, revitalized Grand Avenue, and a multi-modal transportation system that connects activity hubs and helps drive economic development. I see more and more people, businesses, developers, and investors wanting to be part of the renaissance that is and will continue to be underway in Milwaukee.