Make It Milwaukee: Mark Thomas Offers More Than a Good Brew

Article excerpt

Mention the city of Milwaukee thoughts often turn to beer. But there's more flowing in this Midwestern metropolis than just suds. The largest city in Wisconsin, Milwaukee is a major element of the state's economic, political, and social fabric According to Mark Thomas, senior vice president of circulation for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the city's cultural persona--from museums to sporting events--help define it "Leisure pursuits are one of the things we like to talk about here," he says, "Our park system is highly rated We even have a PGA tournament played at a public course."

Although the city's traditional industrial base has been declining for decades the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce reports that more than 50 Fortune 1000 companies have major operations here, including Briggs & Stratton, Harley-Davidson Inc Rockwell Automation, ms well ms the legendary Miller Brewing Co The city is also a place where Thomas says striving African Americans can make a real impact on the business and community scenes Groups like The Leaders Forum (of which Thomas is board president) help promote recruitment and retention of black professionals it] the region through events such as the Catfish Club Forum" luncheon series, held quarterly, Here, Thomas shares a glimpse of this city on the lake.

AROUND TOWN: Milwaukee

ACCOMMODATIONS

* "Many dignitaries and [U.S.] presidents" have stayed at the AAA Four Diamond Award-winning Pfister Hotel (424 E. Wisconsin Ave.; 414-273-8222) near the heart of Milwaukee's financial district. "The service is impeccable," says Thomas.

* The centrally located Hyatt Regency Milwaukee (333 W. Kilbourn Ave.; 414-276-1234) is "connected to the Skywalk, which you can take to The Shops of Grand Avenue."

* The Paradise Landing Indoor WaterPark, with its 31-person hydrotherapy spa, helps define the Hilton Milwaukee City Center (509 W. Wisconsin Ave,; 414-271-7250). Its top-notch dining, elegantly restored 1920s-era grandeur, and first-class service earn raves from business travelers. …