NEWaukeean: Quentin “Q” Allums
Where do you work and what makes your role awesome?
I am the CEO of Urban Misfit Ventures. I love that I am able to provide jobs to Milwaukeeans, build an awesome culture, and shed a light on Milwaukee.
We create a lot of content that is viewed all around the world and one of the main questions we get is “why are you in Milwaukee?” That’s my favorite. Milwaukee is a misfit city and we’ve embraced that. And just about everyone that we bring here falls in love with it just as much as we have.
How long have you lived in MKE?
I’ve lived in Milwaukee for a little under 7 years.
What do you love most about MKE?
It’s a blank canvas and there are a lot of creators starting to come together which is a good sign. I also really love how quickly you can get connected here if you are able to get connected to a few of the right people.
What is something that is missing from our community that you would love to see implemented?
More collaboration. There are a lot of individuals, communities, and organizations out there doing their own thing and if we came together we could do a lot of good for the city & people of Milwaukee. The more the diverse, the better.
What is one word that you would use to describe MKE?
Where do you see MKE in 5 years?
I have a vision for Milwaukee. What matters though is the collective vision and I know those conversations are happening already but I think leaders of diverse backgrounds should come together to decide the direction we would like to go. We all need each other: tech, finance, art, etc. We all face similar issues with talent, retention, etc. Just like any team/group/organization, if you’re clear on the WHY, the direction, and the story, then it’s much easier to sell. And that’s something we need to decide together as a community.
If you could create one thing in MKE, what would it be?
While we are stepping in the right direction, the city needs more collaboration. I’m a big fan of the 1871 building in Chicago. They do a great job with culture and collaboration. I would bring something like that to Milwaukee.
What local restaurant is at the top of your list?
Not a restaurant, but it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t mention Rochambo Coffee on Brady Street. Such a good vibe and I’ve met so many awesome people in there! The owner is also just an incredible human and they’ve been around for quite some time.
What is your biggest hope for this city?
My biggest hope for Milwaukee is that we stop trying to be other cities. There is something special about Milwaukee and I think (for the most part) we all know it. We need to embrace our quirk and showcase what makes us great. Stop leading with the negatives about our city and lead with the positives (while still addressing and fixing the negatives).
What is your favorite MKE tradition?
I’ve never taken more happy hour meetings than while in Milwaukee. I’m not a huge beer guy, but our office fridge is stocked with beer and that seems to be fairly normal here. You’ll never hear me complain about that :).
What neighborhood do you live in and why do you love it?
I live downtown. I like it because I am connected to, and can walk to, just about everything I need. My area is not the most dog-friendly, which I don’t enjoy, but I’m also fairly close to the lakefront so it works out.
What’s your favorite hidden gem or secret fact about the city?
I’m a big coffee shop guy. So, of course, Rochambo Coffee on Brady Street. I also really love Tribeca Cafe. Two totally different vibes but shops that I frequent. You meet the coolest people at coffee shops.
What do you think is going to be a game changer for the city in the year of 2019?
I think we all have a part to play in the “Milwaukee Renaissance” and I think tech entrepreneurs (definitely a huge role to play) are mentioned enough so I would like to go with the less popular answer: creators. Milwaukee has a story to tell. And without that story, we will continue struggling with the same issues. So I believe Milwaukee creators have a huge role to play within the coming years.