been 12 years since Gary Witt was named executive director and
president of The Pabst Theater. While his accomplishments have been
more than impressive, it’s clear that Witt’s first priority is the
betterment of our city. Witt shares his most memorable moments, the
importance of supporting local businesses and Milwaukee’s promising
1. What has been
your most memorable experience so far?
memorable) is the role that we have played in developing an
entertainment community in our city, and from that, the impact this
has had in assisting our city in gaining a soul and an identity. I
believe we help tell the story that this city is safe, it is doable,
it is exciting and that something is happening downtown that you need
to be here to experience.
developing and working as a part of the Pabst staff (has been
memorable). This team is self-contained and super-charged to get
things done. Their focus, determination, creativity and passion are
inspiring, and they make everything that we do possible."
2. What measures
does the organization use to engage and benefit the local community?
single decision that we have made from the very beginning was based
upon, ‘Will this be good for Milwaukee?’ For example, that is what
inspired our relationship with Colectivo over one with a larger
national chain. We believe that making our city stronger makes our
3. How do you
see Milwaukee’s entertainment community evolving?
business began over a decade ago doing $308,000 in sales; we did more
than $15 million in 2013. So much has changed in our city during that
decade. So many entrepreneurs are now choosing to do what they do
here. And as a result of that decision, they are doing it and making
an impact in the future of our city. Where else can you do that? Do
the work that you love to do and at the same time make a lasting
difference in a city? Bay View, the Fifth Ward, Riverwest, Brady
Street and the Third Ward are the engines that drive our city. I am
really pleased that we at The Pabst are a part of this movement."