Every week in 2015, OnMilwaukee.com and local design company Too Much Metal join forces to introduce the latest member of the Milwaukee All-Stars – a team of unfamiliar winners living in the city who consistently and diligently make it shine. Each week, a new member will join the team – based on your recommendations – and at the end of the year all will come together in a Rally of the Raddest Milwaukeeans. We're not sure what that means quite yet, so for now, meet …
Dustin Zick is the social media manager for Marcus Hotel and Resorts in Milwaukee, which includes The Pfister, Hilton City Center and InterContinetal as well as all of the restaurants within the hotels.
"I basically post to Facebook and Tweet all day," jokes Zick.
In reality, Zick’s job goes beyond posting brunch photos from The Pfister Cafe on Instagram. He is also responsible for social media strategies, content development, The Pfister blog, external web content and customer relations.
"My job is the best when I get to engage with guests both online and in person," says Zick.
Zick was born and raised in Waukesha. He graduated from Carroll University in communications and planned to attend the Peace Corps the following year, but his father passed away.
"This was devastating and it derailed me from my path," says Zick.
Zick took some time off and worked odd jobs before he got serious about his career. He got his job with the Marcus Corporation in 2012. The year before, in 2011, another significant and life changing event occurred: Zick adopted a dog, Meadow, from the Wisconsin Humane Society, where he is currently volunteering to organize a fundraiser.
"It had been my mission since I was a child to have a dog of my own," says Zick. "She was considered a ‘senior’ dog because of her age. I love senior dogs. She’s a hound / shepherd mix who talks like a beagle."
OnMilwaukee.com / Too Much Metal: When did you fall in love with Milwaukee?
Dustin Zick: The moment I moved to Bay View. I spent months trying to find a place in the neighborhood to no avail. I was complaining about this to a coworker one day and he had just listed his place on Craigslist. After hearing about it, I said I would take it, sight unseen.
Working in Downtown Milwaukee for the Marcus Corporation has also made me fall in love with Milwaukee. I did not know the city very well beforehand and every day through my job I meet new people and find out about amazing places and things happening here.
OMC / TMM: What is your wish for a better Milwaukee?
DZ: I would like to see people really talk to each other more. And then do more things. There is a subset of the population that is very active, but most people are in their own little bubbles. I get this, I was in my own little bubble, and when you don’t think you have a reason to leave the bubble, you don’t. But when you do, when you try new things and visit new places, you find opportunities for change and improvement in the community and within yourself.
OMC / TMM: What is one of your guilty pleasures?
DZ: Sprecher Cream Soda. I gave up soda 3 1/2 years ago – until two months ago when I discovered Sprecher Cream Soda. There’s probably two dozen empty bottles strewn around my apartment right now. This needs to change.
OMC / TMM: What is you favorite or least favorite smell in Milwaukee?
DZ: I used to work in a cemetery, cutting grass and maintaining flowers, and to this day, fresh cut grass is my favorite smell. My least favorite smell is Walker’s Point on the days Walker’s Point doesn’t smell very good.
OMC / TMM: If you could high five one Milwaukeean, who would it be?
DZ: Dick Bacon. He’s mythological in a way. My dad used to tell me about him when I was growing up and I wasn’t sure if he was making him up or not. Dick Bacon was wonderfully bizarre in a harmless way. He was very Milwaukee.
Do you know a Milwaukee All-Star? OnMilwaukee.com and Too Much Metal are looking for true-hearted folks living in the city of Milwaukee who love what they do – and do it with zest and style. Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with recommendations.