Milwaukee and Lake Michigan


John Hermes



John Hermes has been a leader in several facets of government and governmental affairs – as former elected official, governmental affairs strategist, and a leader in economic development efforts. John also has demonstrated excellence in leadership in community and regional issues. He was first elected Greendale Trustee in 1998 and thereafter served nine years as Village President, the Village’s Chief Elected Official. His expertise, leadership, and roll-up-his-sleeves work ethic led Greendale through the critical times of the late 1980’s economic downturn. He worked tirelessly during this time to reposition and return Southridge Mall to new regional dominance using best practices and creative economic development solutions. John was also a champion in bringing process improvement and lean business initiatives and practices to his local government.

John spent 33 years as a federal air traffic controller expediting the three-dimensional myriad of air traffic at several terminal facilities in the U.S., with most of his career spent at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport. Early in this career, John became involved in federal legislative efforts on behalf of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and has served in local, state, and national legislative and governmental relations roles. These legislative roles led John to community leadership in his historic community of Greendale, Wisconsin.

John has previously served as an elected-official member of Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Commission and currently serves as the elected-citizen Commissioner. He also serves as Vice President of Aerotropolis-Milwaukee Corporation and Chairman of the Root River District of the Boy Scouts of America.

As Principal of John Hermes Consulting, John now delivers his government expertise and experience to clients and communities toward assisting and facilitating private/public cooperation within the greater Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin region.

Kris Martinsek



Kris Martinsek is the principal and owner of Martinsek & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in the provision of public information, public relations & marketing and government affairs & public policy. She has more than 35 years of experience in the public and private sectors working on highly visible public projects providing information and organizing the public around issues to gain support and move projects forward. Prior to starting her firm, Kris worked for the City of Milwaukee and also served on the MMSD where she had the privilege of working on clean up and development of the Milwaukee River, the lakefront, and construction of the harbor island. She previously served on the Harbor Commission, the Wisconsin Women's Council, and a variety of not-for-profit boards.

James A. Bohl


James A. Bohl, Jr. has served the residents of the 5th Aldermanic District on the Milwaukee Common Council since April of 2000, and is currently in his 4th full term on the Council.

Jim is a native of Milwaukee’s northwest side. He graduated from Milwaukee’s Madison High School in 1989, before earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Marquette University in 1993 and 1996.

In his capacity as Alderman, Jim serves as Chairman of the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee, and is a member of the Public Works, and Steering and Rules Committees. Jim also serves on the city’s Local Business Action Team and chairs its Skywalk Design Committee.

Jim has served on a number of community boards over the years, including a lengthy tenure at VISIT Milwaukee and service as the Acting President/Vice-President of the Milwaukee Survive Alive Foundation Board. He and his wife, Calleen, have three daughters.

Prior to his election to office, Jim taught at James Madison University High School in Milwaukee and served as an aide to then Milwaukee Congressman Tom Barrett.

Kathy Ehley


Mayor Kathy Ehley is the 16th Mayor of Wauwatosa. She is dedicated to guiding the City’s growth in a fiscally-responsible way that balances economic growth with maintaining quality city services and strong neighborhoods. Kathy served for five years as the Executive Director of The Village of Wauwatosa Business Improvement District (BID) overseeing the creation of a strategic development plan for the commercial district and attracting new restaurants and shops, resulting in one of The Village’s strongest growth spurts. This is an area that has been profoundly impacted by flooding and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) flood mitigation efforts. As a successful business owner and commercial developer, Kathy revitalized a warehouse into thriving restaurant, retail and office space. She brings her expertise in building relationships and collaboration to her role as Mayor and as MMSD Commissioner.

Kathy is a tireless volunteer in the arts, education and civic organizations, having served on 20 local, regional and state boards. She currently serves on the boards of Milwaukee County Research Park, Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin League of Municipalities, Visit Milwaukee, Wisconsin Humanities Council, Wauwatosa Neighborhood Association Council and the Milwaukee County Capital Improvements Committee. She has been a development professional for the Milwaukee Ballet, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Milwaukee Public TV Friends.

Ben Gramling


Ben Gramling serves as the Director of Environmental Health for the Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers in Milwaukee, WI. His work complements the agency's delivery of health care and related supportive services by identifying and addressing conditions in the built and natural environment that have been linked to adverse public health outcomes on Milwaukee's south side. Ben provides strategic oversight and day-to-day management of the Department's Sustainable Development Program, which is working to transform the Kinnickinnic River Corridor - a part of Milwaukee that is home to more than 7,500 Sixteenth Street households - and Milwaukee's Inner Harbor. He also oversees the Department's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, a family-based outreach program that provides direct services to families affected by lead poisoning.

Ben was chosen as a 2008 Greiger Gibson Emerging Leader Meritorious Award Recipient by the George Washington University Medical Center School of Public Health and Health Services, and as a 2014 40 Under 40 Award Winner by the Milwaukee Business Journal. Prior to joining Sixteenth Street in 2001, he traveled extensively throughout Central America. He is a proud alumnus of Milwaukee Public Schools and holds a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

LaTonya Johnson





Senator Johnson is currently serving her first term as State Senator for the 6th District, which is located on Milwaukee’s Northwest side.  Prior to being elected to the State Senate, Sen. Johnson was State Representative for the 17th Assembly District for four years.

Senator Johnson has been a resident of Milwaukee for thirty years.  For the 10 years prior to be to being elected to the State Assembly, she owned and operated a child care center serving Milwaukee’s low-income children.  Improving the health, safety, and quality of life for Wisconsin’s children and their families is Senator Johnson’s top legislative priority.

For the 2017 – 2018 Legislative Session, Senator Johnson is a member of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services; Senate Committee on Education; Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce & Local Government; and will serve as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing & State-Federal Relations.
Senator Johnson has also been appointed to the Wisconsin Center District Board, the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, and the Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership Council.    

Before running for office, Sen. Johnson served as an Executive Board member for AFSCME’s District Council 48, President of AFSCME Local 502 Milwaukee Child Care Providers Together, and Chair of AFSCME’s Women Committee.  She has been a Financial Employment Planner for Wisconsin Shares, a member of the Special Committee on Public Assistance Program Integrity, and the drafting committee for the Wisconsin Shares Subsidy Policy Guide.

Carl F. Krueger


Mr. Krueger is also the Owner and President of Carl Krueger Construction Inc. and a recognized expert in the repair and restoration of fire and water damaged buildings.
• Certifications include Fire and Smoke remediation, Lead Safe Renovations, and CleanTrust (formerly IICRC) certified water remediation contractor.
• His company was established in 1991 and is recognized by Remodelers Magazine Top 500 as the 149th largest contractor in the United States and perhaps the largest in our Metro Area.
• Awarded Future 50” status by MMAC in 2009.
• Designated Contractor of the Year several times by NARI.
• Carl's daughter Diane is the first woman President of the Milwaukee NARI association.
• Member of National Association of Remodeling and Improvements Contractors, the Metropolitan Builders Association, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
He has been married to wife Charlene for forty- four years and has three adult children who all live in the Metro Area.

Eugene Manzanet


After serving eight years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Eugene Manzanet has dedicated his time and energy to serving the Milwaukee area as resource of information for financial education and community and economic development. As a current resident and homeowner of the near northwest side of Milwaukee, he originally was born in New York City and raised in the heart of the South Bronx. He has been in the banking industry for 22 years in a variety of roles and capacities. He currently serves as the Vice President Community Development Banking for PNC Bank, where he provides direct support to community social services organizations with financial resources to increase homeownership, enhances small businesses growth, and supports economic development through catalytic projects in southeastern Wisconsin.  
Eugene has served on numerous nonprofit boards and advisory councils throughout the Milwaukee area over the past 10 years. He is extremely passionate about his work within disenfranchised communities and is committed to making it his life’s work help enhancing the quality of life in Milwaukee. Although committed to community work, his true passion is raising his three boys, Gabriel, Emanuel, Mateo, and daughter, Malia, with his wife, Gladys. 

Eugene attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he developed his passion for social responsibility as a student majoring in history. He has continued his education locally at Cardinal Stritch University earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and he is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Leadership for the advancement of Learning and Service.  

Notable Community Service 

  • Commissioner for Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, 2014-Present 
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors for Journey House Center for Family and Youth Athletics, 2008-Present 
  • Advisory Board Director for Local Initiative Support Corporation, 2008-Present 
  • Treasurer Zilber Neighborhood Initiative for Clarke Square 2008-Present 

Notable Development Projects 

  • St. Marcus Lutheran School Expansion, 2011 
  • Journey House New Center for Family and Learning and Youth Athletics, 2012  
  • Journey House New Packer Football Stadium, 2013
  • West Lawn Housing Project, 2012 

Notable Awards/Appointments 

  • Mayoral Appointment to Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, June 2014 
  • PNC Circle of Excellence, 2011  
  • Milwaukee’s Business Journal 40 under 40 (2003)  
  • Congressional Intern for Representative Jose E.Serrano, 5th District of New York 

José G. Pérez


José G. Pérez was born in May 1968 in Milwaukee and grew up on the near south side, where he was raised by his Puerto Rican mother and grandparents. As immigrants to the U.S. in the early 1950’s, José’s family instilled a passion for hard work and a belief in the possibility of change in the first generation American.

José began his community work in Milwaukee in 1991, and early work experience ranged from investigating welfare fraud to developing gang prevention and youth development programs for non-profit organizations. José enrolled at Cardinal Stritch University and was the first Latino Student Government Association President and the first recipient of the Multi-Cultural Image Award that is now institutionalized at the university. He also interned for Congressman Kleczka in Washington D.C. through the Hispanic Congressional Caucus Institute (1996), for Milwaukee Mayor John O. Norquist (1997) and for the Milwaukee City Clerk’s office (1998) during the summers.

José obtained a B.A. in political science from Cardinal Stritch in May 1999. He soon became MICAH’s executive director and led the organization to create the Good Jobs and Livable Neighborhoods Coalition, consisting of labor and community organizations to ensure the Park East Land Corridor development would benefit the entire city. He also served as Hispanic/Latino Advisory Committee member for former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold.

In February 2004, José joined the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrialized Organizations (AFL-CIO) as a National Field Representative, and joined the City of Milwaukee, Department of City Development (DCD) in January 2006. He served DCD as an Economic Development Specialist working on business development, real estate development, planning, permitting and public housing until September 2009. Jose then became a Program Officer for the City of Milwaukee, Community Development Grants Administration, where he managed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects.

In addition to his university studies, José pursued many educational programs and certifications to enhance his understanding of community and leadership issues. He attended several institutes and received certifications in finance, real estate, economic development, multicultural entrepreneurship, youth service, management skills and advanced leadership.

José’s exemplary service, commitment and accomplishments have been recognized by many business and civic organizations over the course of his career. Most recently, he received The Business Journal’s Forty under 40 Community Leadership Award in 2008.

In 2012, he was elected to his first term on the Milwaukee Common Council.

José and his wife Rosaura have been married almost ten years and are proud parents of two young children.

John Swan III


John Swan III was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He graduated from John Marshall High School and in August of 1997 he became a member of Laborers International Union of North America, Local No. 113 working as a Labor Apprentice. John has been an active member of Laborers International Union of North America, Local No. 113 for nearly 20 years; he currently serves as President and Business Agent for Laborers Local No. 113 and serves as a representative on several Boards within the organization.

Before he was called upon to serve as a Business Agent for Local No. 113, John worked in the field on several major construction projects in the Milwaukee Area; a few of these projects include the Miller Park Project, the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant Project, and the Oak Creek Power Plant Project, where he served as a Superintendent. Some of his current responsibilities as President and Business Agent for Local No. 113 include mediating disputes, educating apprentices, checking construction projects throughout Milwaukee County, and organizing and building relationships with contractors to ensure a safe and prosperous jobsite.

John has partnered with Bradley Tech High School and Barack Obama High School to become a mentor to students who have an interest in the skilled construction trades industry; he does this with the hope of helping to prepare students for careers in the construction industry and teaching them the importance of work ethics, and job safety.

John is proud to call Milwaukee his home; he strives daily to make a positive impact in his community and focuses his work on helping to improve the social and economic growth and development of this city and county.