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What is your story? How did you end up in Milwaukee?Ian Abston

Born in Green Bay, WI, I moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to begin my undergrad degree at UW-Milwaukee. I loved the city so much, I stayed and chose to continue my education at UW-Milwaukee by completing my Masters in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. I want to help make Milwaukee a better city.

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

The amazing-ness that is Milwaukee keeps me here! The music scene is outstanding, there are just too many good restaurants to choose from (that’s almost a complaint, LOL), our beers are a force to be reckoned with, and we have formidable sports teams (at least this season!). Plus, how can you not love a city that celebrates everything?!?

Favorite spot in the city?

My favorite spot is more like a whole length of spots. The Milwaukee River. It’s amazing how in one area you are surrounded by the beautiful architecture of downtown and in the next you’re enveloped by so much nature, you forget you’re still in MKE.

Milwaukee festival you are eager to attend each year?

It’s a tough call, but Summerfest. There is just no place on earth like it.

What drew you to Echelon?

The uniqueness of what Echelon does. Staying relevant in an ever-changing world is difficult. Echelon and the Salvation Army are not just doing that, but taking nonprofits to a whole new level. I see this in the invigorating Echelon events that are brand new to MKE. Through these events and other conversations, Echelon is truly helping build Milwaukee’s future leaders.

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

I haven’t had any yet, but I anticipate all of my experiences with Echelon being memorable. I can’t wait!

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

The availability of accessible, affordable and reliable transportation to/from the central city and between counties. Transportation services are crucial to providing all people with access to medical care, nutritional support, education, employment and community services — some of the things that most challenge central city and citywide residents. Our generation needs to not just take notice of the packed buses during rush hour, but we need to raise our voice with Wisconsin legislators to make an impact. The streetcar is a great start, but it is only one small step to help improve public transportation for all.