Milwaukee All-Star: Eileen Seeger
Every week in 2015, OnMilwaukee.com and local design company Too Much Metal will join forces to introduce the latest member of the Milwaukee All-Stars – a team of unfamiliar winners living in Brew 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 …
Eileen Seeger has worked as a server at The Pasta Tree, as a staff assistant to U.S. Senator Herb Kohl and, for the last eight years, as an immigration paralegal at von Briesen and Roper.
"My career imprint is woven through the very fabric of some of the people and places that makes this city great," says Seeger.
She also recently launched "The Velo Femmes," a team of Milwaukee women who want to ride their road bikes really, really fast.
"I spent several years mentoring women from the sofa to the saddle, and still do; however, there were few options for women to get on their bikes and go fast without leaving slower women riders in the dust or getting dropped by our male counterparts, so we created a niche team of women who can handle a fast ride, but may not want to join a racing team," says Seeger. "I can't wait for the 'Femmes' to be a force on the road in 2015."
OnMilwaukee.com / Too Much Metal: When / how did you fall in love with Milwaukee?
Eileen Seeger: I grew up in Grafton. To my family, heading to Thiensville was a road trip. In high school I began to venture to Milwaukee's East Side, marvel at the houses and have nachos at the Coffee Trader on Downer Avenue. I knew one day I was going to live in this city. What I did not know at the time was that I would continue to choose to live in this city.
OMC / TMM: What do you do as an immigration paralegal?
ES: We secure visas for foreign national physicians to serve in medically underserved communities as well as work with the Milwaukee Ballet to obtain visas for some of the world's finest dancers. It was really cool to attend the recent Genesis competition and see how our work impacts Milwaukee's art culture.
OMC / TMM: What time of year / season is your favorite in Milwaukee?
ES: That is the best part about our fine city – from farmers markets to theater and music festivals there is always something incredible to do all year long.
Here are three of my favorites:
- The Santa Rampage bike ride. There is nothing that spreads more holiday cheer than 600 people in Santa suits on a beer-induced bike parade through the city.
- Taking my 78-year-old mom – who lives in a nursing home – to watch the Brew City Bruisers tear it up.
- Neighborhood impromptu summer dinner parties.
OMC / TMM: What's your favorite / or least favorite smell in Milwaukee?
SB: My favorite smell is brewer's yeast wafting over Miller Valley. My least favorite smell is whatever the hell that stench is going over the Hoan Bridge.
OMC / TMM: What's your hope for Milwaukee?
ES: I sincerely hope that we become an integrated city. I live in Washington Heights and am proud to live in a neighborhood where my neighbors don't look the same as I do. We all get along and when we need help we can count on each other to be there without fail. We simply need more of that!
OMC / TMM: Why do you do what you do?
ES: I coined this slogan for 2015: "Make a Big Difference." I have a career where we make a difference every day in people's long-term plans to live and work in the United States. That never gets old.
I have been told I am very good motivator. I use this gift to grow the presence of women's cycling in Milwaukee through teaching cycling classes at the Downtown YMCA or helping a woman put her helmet on for the first time.
The forming of The Velo Femmes has been an incredible creative and collaborative process. I could not have formed a cycling team all by myself, so it was imperative to partner with other women who treat cycling in all its forms as a lifestyle. What has emerged is a fantastic team of women who are willing to share their individual talents on and off the bike, from creating our personality profile, to logo and jersey design, to developing riding routes and our code of conduct. We are a team in every sense of the word.
OMC / TMM: What's one of your guilty pleasures?
ES: Honey latte at Valentine Coffee Company. Every day!
OMC / TMM: Name a Milwaukeean you would like to high five?
ES: Bob Uecker. "Get up, get outta here, GONE!"
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