MKE IT Downtown

Silver Linings: Milwaukee Downtown Moves Forward with Hope

February 9, 2021 /   Heart hands over Milwaukee

2020 was a year unlike any other. While there were and still are many hardships, we’ve found our community rising to the occasion. We can always focus on the negative, but to find the bright spots in a dark year can be enlightening. We at Milwaukee Downtown share the silver linings we’ve found throughout this past year and our hopes for what’s to come.

“I have learned and witnessed much from the lessons of 2020.  My community is kind, caring and nimble.  My team is resilient and innovative and although our daily connections are not in person I feel that we are as cohesive as ever.  On a personal note I made the choice to get a COVID puppy, Monroe, who continues to bring me joy each day.  I have grown closer to my adult children as we share a bubble and continue to bond our relationships more as adults and friends than ever before.  Introspection reminds me of all the things that are most important, true intimate relationships, precious time together with ones that I love and sharing with those less fortunate  (Dynamic Laws of Prosperity).” ~ Beth Weirick, CEO

“It's crazy to think it will be almost a year since we went into lockdown! I remember thinking, oh no, this isn't good, and yet through it all, there are so many silver linings I could list: With so much personal free time, I was able to earn a second professional credential and tackle an extensive home projects to do list. I have a renewed focus on what matters most each day and as most of us would agree, this time hasn't been without challenges: In those times, I stop, take a deep breath & tell myself FORWARD (Wisconsin State motto).” ~ Lesia Ryerson, Executive Assistant

“I feel abundantly grateful for the silver linings found in the pandemic. Professionally, that’s included learning skills and developing tactics that I might not otherwise have used. There have also been some special traditions born from this season – like weekly virtual dates with friends to watch movies or play online trivia during the height of lockdown. I’ve loved extra time with my dog (he has too) and really making the most of our downtown parks. I’m also so inspired to see the strength and resilience of our community – especially healthcare and other frontline workers. I am hopeful that when we emerge from the pandemic, it will be with renewed gratitude for our loved ones and our fellow Milwaukeeans.” ~ Erica Chang, Marketing, Events & Social Media Director

Milwaukee-Downtown-group“To say 2020 was the most challenging year for so many is an understatement. However, the perseverance and resiliency witnessed in this community also gives me optimism moving forward. Significant developments were delivered during the pandemic, and just in the last week alone several new large scale projects were announced. We have an opportunity to build on this momentum & use this reset to elevate Milwaukee’s competitive advantages amongst our peers. I believe the future is bright.” ~ Matt Dorner, Economic Development Director

"2020 proved Downtown's resiliency is found in its people. In fact, Downtown is more a state-of-mind than a place. While the majority of our workforce may be working from home, we still feel an enormous sense of pride to be part of the Downtown community. I'll always remember how Milwaukee "leaned into the suck" -- we learned from one another, we supported one another, and we'll continue to move forward as one community. As part of my work-at-home lifestyle, I've strived to live a holistic life in mind, body, and soul, which ultimately led to six to seven-mile runs each day along the lakefront and joining other runners in the community in January. Although our time is spent in motion, it's nice to be grounded with people who share a common goal." ~ Gabriel Yeager, Downtown Environment Specialist

“This year I’ve spent more time outside exploring Milwaukee’s parks system than ever before. From walking routes to sitting by the lakefront, I’ve realized how gorgeous our city’s open green spaces are. It’s important that the parks stay accessible during this time so that the entire Milwaukee community can get out and enjoy nature.” ~ Terese Radke, Special Events & Marketing Intern

“One of my biggest silver linings of 2020 was slowing down enough to be reintroduced to my love of cooking and polishing up on my baking skills. I’m not nearly as talented as the competitors on the Great British Bake-Off, but pushing myself to try new techniques and recipes has made quarantining much sweeter.” ~ Lauren Koepsel, WaterStreet Creative’s Account Executive

“While the past year has been challenging on many levels, I believe it’s made our community more empathetic and caused us to be more present in daily lives. I’ve enjoyed more time outdoors, more time in the kitchen discovering new recipes, and more time with my rapidly growing toddlers. Kindness is having a major ripple effect and I welcome all the positivity that 2021 will bring.” ~ Rachel Farina, WaterStreet Creative’s Account Manager


About the Author: Terese Radke is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Special Events & Marketing Intern with Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, advancing downtown's strategic priorities through marketing, events and social media.

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