NEWaukeean: Rachel Konetzke
What is your job and its responsibilities?
I have been working for Best Buddies Wisconsin for the past three years as a Senior Program Manager. Best Buddies is an international non-profit whose Wisconsin office is located in Wauwatosa. As a Senior Program Manager, I work with 18 metro area Middle, High School and Colleges and 1,200 students who participate in our school friendship program. I work with/empower our student leaders and faculty to promote an atmosphere of inclusion for students with and without disabilities in their schools through group and one-to-one activities.
What strikes you as the most unique thing about Milwaukee?
I have heard some people throw around the term “small-waukee” before. It never seems to fail that you will run into a friend at a Brewers game, Summerfest or randomly at your favorite restaurant. I am also always surprised how my different social circles cross over. With a metro area population of 1.5 million people this strikes me as something unique and really cool about this city. People seem to be so open, willing and interested in making connections with people which creates such a welcoming atmosphere in our city.
How long have you lived in Milwaukee & what brought you here?
I have lived in Milwaukee for the past 9 years. I moved here in 2005 from Appleton to attend UW-Milwaukee where I completed my undergraduate degree. When I was a senior in high school I visited Milwaukee for a prospective student tour at UWM and knew the minute I stepped on to campus that this is where I was supposed to be.
What is your favorite Milwaukee beer?
I recently had to go Gluten free and was super bummed because I thought I would no longer be able to have a few beers on the weekend anymore; because like any good Wisconsin girl, I love beer. Soon after going Gluten free I stumbled upon New Grist made by Lake Front and it has been a lifesaver!
What is your favorite Milwaukee tradition?
FESTS! I do not know if this is cliché or not but I love that as soon as the weather warms up there seems to be a different “fest” every weekend. There is usually always good music, good food and without a doubt, you will run into a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
What is the perfect thing to do in Milwaukee on a Sunday afternoon?
I love going to Colectivo on the lake and grabbing a chai. If it is cold I like to sit inside and people watch or read. If it is warm; sitting out on the patio or taking my iced chai to-go and going for a walk along the lakefront just can’t be beat.