By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published May 09, 2008 at 4:43 PM

If you take mom to the Milwaukee County Zoo this weekend, you'll notice a drastic change up entering: the 29,500-sq. ft. atrium and area called the U.S. Bank Gathering Place.

The new space not only serves as a welcome mat and new gathering place, it connects the formerly separate offices of the zoo and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee. The canopied east entrance features trees, flowers and plantings and the western area boasts two new gardens.

Inside, there's a new restaurant, coffee shop (featuring Alterra coffee) and a renovated gift shop.

At a Friday VIP premiere, Bill Bertha, president of U.S. Bank-Wisconsin, said that the zoo and Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) deserved more recognition for what they have accomplished in the last seven years during the public-private New Zoo II capital campaign that improved more than 25 percent of the 209-acre zoo.

The Gathering Place is the ninth and final project of the campaign. "U.S. Bank made the largest gift to the campaign," said Dr. Gil Boese, Zoological Society president emeritus and campaign project manager for the Gathering Place.

In October 2003, U.S. Bank presented the Zoological Society with a $2.5 million check toward the Gathering Place and the overall $30 million capital campaign.

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

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.