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Dominic Inouye is the current Pfister Narrator.
Dominic Inouye is the current Pfister Narrator. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)

Meet the Pfister's writer; apply to be the hotel's artist

Check in early and stay late during OnMilwaukee's "Hotel Week" sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee. The next seven days will be packed with stories about historic area hotels, reviews, history, food and drink, staycations and more. Find out what it's like to be a tourist in this town. (Chocolate on your pillow not included.)

The Pfister Hotel’s Artist-in-Residence and Hotel Narrator (writer-in-residence, of which I was one) programs have been celebrated since their inception almost nine years ago. Both programs provide a paid, one-year position to a carefully selected visual artist and a writer to artistically represent the hotel.

The artist works from inside an open studio on the ground floor of the hotel and guests are encouraged to watch the artist work and engage with him or her. The narrator wanders the public spaces – including the Lobby Lounge and The Pfister Cafe – talking with and listening to guests to find content for The Pfister’s blog. Both the artist and the writer work on a variety of other creative projects during their tenure.

Currently, The Pfister is in search of its next Artist in Residence to move into the studio April 1, 2017. The deadline for applications is Dec. 5. Interested artists can download the application here. Abstract expressionist painter Pamela Anderson is the current Artist in Residence.

The Pfister Narrator will be chosen in early spring 2017, but OnMilwaukee recently checked in with current narrator, Dominic Inouye, who started the position on May 1, 2016. Inouye was also profiled today about his ZIPMKE project. He chats here about his life as a hotel writer: what he's learned, what he's doing and where he's going with the opportunity.

OnMilwaukee: What have you learned so far as The Pfister Narrator?

Dominic Inouye: This experience has been a lesson in many things. I’ve learned that sometimes I’m really shy. I guess I’ve always been. This job is about approaching guests and talking to them, and I’ve realized I’ve been mo…

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Margaret Henningsen is fearless.
Margaret Henningsen is fearless.

Rad Milwaukee Woman: The Woman's Fund of Greater Milwaukee's Margaret Henningsen

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.

Margaret J. Henningsen, a community activist who has run The Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee since 2011, will retire on Friday. 

Henningsen has won more than 100 awards during her career, including the Black Enterprise Magazine Trailblazer Award; Milwaukee Business Journal Woman of Influence and the Professional Dimensions Sacagawea Award.

Currently she is the board chair and founding sponsor of the I Have A Dream Foundation and a Friends of Housing board member. Previously, she has served on dozens of boards for organizations including Walnut Way Conservation Corp., Habitat for Humanity, North Avenue Community Development Corporation and many more.

Henningsen’s favorite quote, by an unknown author, sums up her own rad approach to everyday living.

"Life is not a cautious journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body but rather to skid in broadside – thoroughly used up, completely worn out, proclaiming ‘WOW! What a ride!'"

OnMilwaukee: What is your personal "mission" with your work?

Margaret Henningsen: My personal mission is that all people – but especially women and girls – are treated with respect and dignity and are able to control their own destiny.

What do you personally receive from the work you do?

A quote I like comes to mind: "We rise when we lift others." That’s how I feel.

How do you define success?

Actually, I don’t define it in terms of myself because I am never 100 percent satisfied with what I am doing. Maybe it…

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Carmen Pitre is many wonderful things, including rad.
Carmen Pitre is many wonderful things, including rad. (Photo: Facebook)

Rad Milwaukee woman: Sojourner's Carmen Pitre

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.

Carmen Pitre is the president and CEO of Sojourner, Wisconsin’s largest service provider for families dealing with domestic violence. Pitre leads a staff that provides crisis housing, system advocacy and individual support to thousands of women, men and their children.

Pitre is the recent past Chair of the City of Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and was an appointed member of the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Victim Rights Board. She is the current Chair of the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice Violence Against Women Advisory Committee and a founding member of the VAWA Human Trafficking Sub-Committee. She has served on the Medical College of Wisconsin Violence Prevention Initiative Steering Committee.

Pitre exemplifies rad-ness through her work, relationships and her gratitude.

"I am honored to have been nominated to receive this recognition," she says.

OnMilwaukee: What is your personal "mission" with your work? What do you personally receive from the work you do?

Carmen Pitre: Having grown up in a violent family, my personal mission is to help as many people as I can in life. I understand, in a lived way, what it’s like to be hurt, to be broken open, to grieve and to find your way back from these dark places in life. If you have had any of these experiences, you understand that you can only make it through because you’ve had someone helping you along the journey.

I have had so many wonderful people in my life. People who refused to give…

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Tammie Xiong is making a difference in her community.
Tammie Xiong is making a difference in her community.

Rad Milwaukee Woman: Tammie Xiong

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.

Tammie Xiong is the executive director for the Hmong American Women’s Association.

Xiong is also a board member for Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation, co-chair of the Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, co-founder of the first Hmong women’s giving circle in Wisconsin, co-founder of the Wisconsin Women’s Training Institute, member of the Wisconsin Minority Health Council and the Global Shapers Milwaukee, World Economic Forum.

For even more rad-ness, read on. Particularly her definition of success.

OnMilwaukee: What is your personal "mission" with your work? What do you personally receive from the work you do?

Tammie Xiong: My personal mission is to encourage and grow leadership of Southeast Asian women and youth here in Milwaukee in order to work towards achieving social justice for our community. What I receive from the work is hope that our community has the leadership to continue working towards creating a healthier and more vibrant future.

How do you define success?

I define success by what I am able to give to others in terms of support, mentorship and time.

Who has taught you the most in your life?

My mother and my father continue to profoundly influence my life, always encouraging me to stay humble, to love myself and to love and give back to community.

How would you like to see the workplace change for women in the future?

We need more women of color to be promoted in top leadership positions. We need their leadership.

What does a perfect day off from…

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