Coffee Break: Joe Poeschl

Learn more about:

Joe Poeschl
Program director, co-founder
The Commons
333 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee
Employees: Five

Poeschl was a partner in a Chicago-based design and development firm before starting The Commons in 2014.

He was born in West Allis, grew up in Slinger and later attended Marquette University and Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, where he studied advertising and design.

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He later attended an advertising portfolio school in Minneapolis to round out his creative portfolio.

He finds personal and professional satisfaction through The Commons programming. “We’ll watch young students, professionals and they’ll think, ‘I don’t know why I’m here.’ We get to take and kind of play with that mindset and very quickly squash it and then have it reassemble itself into this newfound confidence. As silly as it is, I do get a physical reaction to that – I have this stupidly long arm hair that will stand up and stuff.”

Poeschl has a family radiation detection kit. Why? Because he’s a collector who has accumulated odds and ends from rummage sales, thrift stores and flea markets. It’s a hobby that’s rooted in his high school days working as a receiver at a thrift store. “You got to see everything that humanity has ever collected before coming through these doors and it turned itself into this weird amalgamation of human beings and style and aesthetic. It probably influenced a lot of my designer brain because I like to analyze that sort of thing.”

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