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Never Miss a Chance to Do the Most Good

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What is your story? How did you end up in Milwaukee?Adam Van Opstall

I am an outsider that was blessed to come to Milwaukee through a new job opportunity. I grew up in Michigan, interned with Gordon Food Service while in college, and took an opportunity to move to Wisconsin as a sales rep with GFS after we opened our Kenosha Distribution Center in 2010.

What keeps you in Milwaukee/What do you like best about Milwaukee?

I met my wife in Milwaukee through an Elmbrook Church group. We are huge fans of this city. Great friends and co-workers, our church (Bent Tree Bible), an awesome restaurant scene, natural beauty, local passion, and the continued investment, generosity, and opportunity going on in Milwaukee are all things that we love about living here.

Favorite spot in the city?

I have so many favorite places in the city. Miller Park, Bucks’ games, and our favorite restaurants. However, nothing can top the proximity to Lake Michigan. I have run many miles along the lakefront path and could run a thousand more without ever tiring of the beauty of Lake Michigan along our growing skyline.

Milwaukee festival you are eager to attend each year?

My wife and I love Summerfest because we have made a tradition of out-of-state friends visiting us, staying at our place, and experiencing the joy of summer in Milwaukee, year after year. In addition to Summerfest, I always look forward to the Germanfest .

What drew you to Echelon?

Echelon kept showing up on my social media with people doing cool events and making a difference in the city. I respected what they were doing and wanted to learn more about the heart and reason behind the group. I was fortunate to have another Echelonian in my network, so I could get those answers and an opportunity to make a difference with the group.

Share with us a memorable experience you have had thus far with the organization.

Contributing to our community through hospitality and service has been so rewarding and memorable. The “Feed my Kids” initiative and the “5-Star Dining Experience” were creative, well-planned events that have helped many families in need this year.

What struggles do you see our city dealing with? What can our generation do to help?

We struggle with some things that have been nationally publicized lately. I think that the Sherman Park story was a catalyst to many in the city coming together to figure out how we can get better at supporting all areas of the city with care, investment, job creation, and education. There is more work to be done, but anyone can be the “hands and feet” of service throughout the city. Find an opportunity to serve and go for it!