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Sandra Botcher is a humble and passionate leader.
Sandra Botcher is a humble and passionate leader.

Rad Milwaukee Woman: Northwestern Mutual's Sandra Botcher

Welcome to a series introducing the women who were nominated by professionals and will be honored at "The Rad Women Celebration: Being Rad for Social Change." The event is hosted by the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Italian Conference Center. The idea was inspired by the bestselling book "Rad American Women A to Z," by Kate Schatz, who is the keynote speaker at the event. For more information, go here.

Sandra Botcher has served as the vice president of campus and event experiences at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance for 15 years. In a nutshell, she oversees all of the facilities, events / field meetings, security and more.

Botcher served or has served on the United Way Audit Committee, the board of COA Youth & Family Centers, United Way Women’s Leadership Council and works with We Got This, an organization that pays young men to clean up and garden in the central city.

Botcher won the Sacajawea Award in 2016 and the 2016 Woman of Influence Award.

"My mission is to help everyone in the company so they can achieve their mission," says Botcher.

Now that’s rad.

OnMilwaukee: What do you enjoy the most about your work?

Sandra Botcher: I really enjoy that the work we do has a huge cultural impact on our organization and allows us to help to shape the culture.

What does success mean to you?

It’s more about whether those around me succeed. As a leader, the most important thing I do is to help those around me become successful at what they do.

Who have you learned from the most?

Ray Manista, who is the senior vice president of general council at NML. Ray started as a boss and then became a mentor for me. He has helped me think about my own talents and ways they can be used differently. Ray is someone I have gone to as I’ve progressed with the company to stay focused on opportunities and what I need to do to continue to grow. He always provides truthful and meaningful feedback.

What does a "perfect" da…

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Echo & the Bunnymen at Turner Hall Thursday night.
Echo & the Bunnymen at Turner Hall Thursday night. (Photo: Kelsea McCulloch)

Echo & The Bunnymen brought the hits and the feels

Echo & The Bunnymen played a passionate nostalgia show for a sold-out crowd tonight at Turner Hall Ballroom. It was the first time the band played in Milwaukee since performing 32 years ago at the Northwest Side’s now-defunct Uptown Theatre.

Despite a rotating cast of bandmates, two original members remain: iconic vocalist Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant. The duo stood front and center on the foggy stage, backlit, dressed in black and exuding that "alternative" look and sound that defined the anti-mainstream 1980s. McCulloch’s voice was moody and strong and Sergeant's fretwork and guitar lines were as solid and hypnotic as ever.

Fans and fellow musicians alike agree that Echo & the Bunnymen is responsible for influencing many ‘80s alternative bands, from The Smiths to The Stone Roses. And yet, the crowd – many of whom were introduced to Echo via the "Pretty In Pink" soundtrack with "Dancing Horses" – seemed to be familiar with most, but certainly not all, of the band's material.

We know Echo & the Bunnymen and yet we don’t. Some of the songs are favorites, and some are simply familiar, but attending an Echo concert is not the same as a concert by The Cure or other cherished ‘80s bands where we know every word to every song. (Why is that?)

However, there were moments tonight of heartfelt and enthusiastic audience interaction during tunes like "The Killing Moon," "The Cutter," "Bedbug and Ballyhoo," "Bring On the Dancing Horses" and, of course, massive hit "Lips Like Sugar" which was one of the encores. Other cuts from the concert included "Going Up," "Crocodiles," "All That Jazz," "Rescue," "Play In the Margins" and "All My Colours."

McCulloch's appreciation for Jim Morrison from The Doors was evident because of his vocal style at times and his choice of tribute songs, which in the past included "People Are Strange" and tonight, a version of "L.A. Woman" in which he replaced the lyrics with "Milwaukee Lady."

Echo & The Bunnymen – forme…

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Everything's on sale at Clear Water.
Everything's on sale at Clear Water. (Photo: Clear Water Outdoors Facebook)

Clear Water Outdoor in the Third Ward is closing

Clear Water Outdoor, an adventure/sports retailer located at 250 N. Water St. in the Third Ward, will close by mid-October. The company's Lake Geneva and Delafield shops will remain open.

All sale items are priced 30 to 70 percent off this week. Fall and winter items are 10 percent off.

According to an employee, the space is too large for the business, but they are looking at a smaller space on Broadway, also in the Third Ward. Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more information on this when it becomes available.

Congratulations to Janel Hines of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation!
Congratulations to Janel Hines of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation!

Rad Milwaukee Woman: Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Janel Hines

Welcome to a series introducing the women who were nominated by professionals and will be honored at "The Rad Women Celebration: Being Rad for Social Change." The event is hosted by the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Italian Conference Center. The idea was inspired by the bestselling book "Rad American Women A to Z," by Kate Schatz, who is the keynote speaker at the event.  More information at womensfundmke.org.

Janel Hines is a rad Milwaukee woman who serves as the director of grant programs and strategic initiatives for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

Hines graduated from Rufus King High School and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her Bachelor of Art and Law degrees.

Hines is a member of Professional Dimensions. She is also a 2016 Professionals Learning About Community, Equity & Smart Growth (PLACES) Fellow with the Funder’s Network. The PLACES Fellowship challenges assumptions and exposes Fellows to new ways of thinking about the role of philanthropy in empowering historically underserved and low-income communities.

"Women aren’t waiting for change. We are making change in the workforce; visionaries strategically leading the way. It’s time the world recognized it," says Hines.

OnMilwaukee: What is your personal mission with the work that you do?


Janel Hines: My mission in the work that I do is to create opportunities to make people and places better. I was raised in a family that reinforced the importance of helping others and using your gifts to better the community. Law school was a natural choice. I became a criminal defense attorney to help balance the scales of justice. My work in misdemeanor and juvenile court helped me see how families cycle through the system.

Individuals and families needed services and resources to break the cycle. This took me into the nonprofit arena. Through social services, I saw the need for better policies. An opportunity to …

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