A few years into the enormous success of YPM (Young Professionals of Milwaukee, now called Fuel Milwaukee), we started to get criticism for "just talking," "only holding networking events" and, oddly, for being 'too positive."
As the first president of the group, the critics (for me) were a sign that we were making a difference and having an impact. Soon, the group became one the largest of its kind in the country and spawned countless replicas in the area and around the nation. Nice work, Milwaukee!
It's interesting what success brings, isn't it? I, for one, find it brings more success and encourages more people to make stuff happen. This is why more of what Fuel Milwaukee – and now nearly 10 years later groups like Newaukee, Young Milwaukee and Art Milwaukee – have done is needed. Cities need chest thumping and often it's the newer civic groups that can bring it, unbridled.
So, it was great to hear several locals on stage Monday night at The Pabst Theater not only trumpet their successes but push the community to better promote Milwaukee's stories, people, places and things.
The second "Envisioning the Seen" was a roundtable, of sorts, on various civic issues. It was people talking, building relationships, pontificating and having fun. It was Milwaukee, on stage.
And, of course, many will say the group was "just talking." But through talking, relationships are built and even harsh realities can be made right. I've never been shy to promote greater Milwaukee and you shouldn't be either. This was, as it usually is at these types of events, a strong message from many of the panelists.
So today, I challenge you to better show case our fine city and area. Don't hate, don't long for what's not here but appreciate and promote all that greater Milwaukee has to offer. It's summer, after all, and life here is darn good and more people deserve to hear about it.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.