Gitter smiles as he talks
about his journey to West Bend.
John Ehlke/Daily News
Gitter’s life has been comprised of different paths,
learning skills from those experiences that ultimately
led him to a career opportunity in the area.
was hired as the economic development manager for the
city during October, overseeing multiple aspects of the
city’s business outreach operations. The position
represents more than that to him, however. For Gitter it
is an opportunity to continue his passion in public
decided it would be smarter for us to own a home,” he
said when he and his spouse were living in Milwaukee at
the time. “Where was the happiest we had ever been? It
was West Bend. The downtown area up as part of the
conversation when we were deciding where we were going
to set our roots and where we were going to build our
Gitter grew up in Kewaskum and enrolled at the
University of Wisconsin- Whitewater for his first year
at college before transferring to the University of
Wisconsin-Washington County. He earned his associate’s
degree from the school and decided to enlist in the
guess there was always a lot of reasons to do it,”
Gitter said about his decision to enlist. “I have been
asked that a lot. I don’t have really have a solid
answer for it. It was 2005 when I joined, but I left for
basic in 2006. Sure, it was going to help out for
school, but I have always been a patriotic guy.”
was assigned to a military police reserve unit and was
deployed to Afghanistan. His unit would patrol the area,
perform customs duties and man checkpoints in the area.
in a conflict zone, he reminisces about times spent with
his friends. He spoke of moments when they played video
stories I like to tell are, we would take a Wii and set
it up and project it on the side of a semitruck,” Gitter
said. “We would play golf while in the middle of
Afghanistan, like the Tiger Woods golf game, that is the
type of fun we had when we over there.”
army afforded him the chance to enroll in college and
earn his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He later earned a
graduate degree from the same institution.
graduating, he began another career in the nonprofit
sector, working as a case manager for an organization in
Kenosha. He dealt with people going through the court
system, speaking with others and assisting with issues
within their lives.
liked to listen to what other people have going on, help
them problem solve,” Gitter said. “If they need
different resources, that was one thing I would always
make sure I would have available or present in a great
way to them.”
An American flag folded and displayed above the desk of
Economical Development Manager for the city of West Bend
John Ehlke/Daily News
After 10 months, he was promoted to a manage an offsite
location and eventually became an assistant program
director, ensuring that reports were provided to those
who funded the organization’s mission.
really liked the organizational aspect of it all,” he
said. “From there, I decided to go back in 2014 and get
my master’s in public administration.”
said he was always interested in the public sector and
opted to specialize in economic development.
“Economic development was the most fun I could have,
studying that,” Gitter said. “The projects, the puzzles,
everything that goes into what the city could do for a
business, what are the things that a city should do to
help grow, all of that. It is a great puzzle. It was
education would eventually lead him to the position he
has with the city.
is just a lot of fun,” Gitter said.