Q&A: Darienne Driver

Darienne Driver is the first female superintendent of MPS – and one of its youngest. It’s a pressure-cooker job, but she is prepped for the test. What has prepared you to be the superintendent of a major urban district at age 36? I started my career as a teacher in Detroit Public Schools. Having experiences at the classroom level, and seeing what worked and what didn’t work, is really what sparked this idea that I could do something about this. That’s what led me to the Urban Superintendents Program at Harvard University, and then to Philadelphia, where I did a…

Q&A: Sid McCain

Sid McCain is a former bigwig in the music industry and the daughter of a world-famous politician. What’s she doing in Milwaukee? You worked as a VP at major record labels like EMI, promoting and signing bands. Now you’re the promotions director of WMSE-FM radio. It has been a big change. I’m learning a whole new skill set. I love it. Station manager Tom Crawford is an amazing man. His knowledge of music surpasses anything I have ever been around. My previous job was almost like selling widgets. Music wasn’t creative; it wasn’t fun. It was about how many records…

Q&A: Mary Isbister

Mary Isbister and husband Eric run GenMet Corp., a mequon fabricating firm. But just who wears the pants? A female president of a manufacturing company is uncommon. Do you think the glass ceiling has been broken, or at least cracked? Personally, I have never had that problem. What surprises me is when I hand someone a business card – we don’t have titles on our business cards – they look at it and say, “What is your role in the business? Are you in HR or do you help out in the office?” In the Midwest, there is still a…

Q&A: Frank Gimbel

In his 50-year career, attorney Frank Gimbel has prosecuted the mafia and overseen the city’s arenas and convention center. He’s used to the hot seat. There are a lot of big plans on the drawing board for Downtown Milwaukee. One is to expand the convention center north to Kilbourn Avenue. Why? We’ve fallen behind. Our number of events and attendance has gone down because our peer competitors have changed their practical profile. The meeting planners are looking for more exhibit space. Columbus, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, those are cities we compete with. Indianapolis has gotten to be almost like Chicago…

John Dargle Jr.

photo by Sara Stathas How did you get into parks administration? I was born and raised in the military, so I traveled all over the world and got exposed to the outdoors. I was commissioned [through the ROTC] into the military right after college, but during that time, I didn’t want to be a PE teacher. [Parks and recreation] seemed to be a little bit bigger and broader opportunity. What was your rank in the military?  I was a captain in the Medical Service Corps. I did everything I wanted to do: airborne ranger, combat medic and aviator. The last…