Coffee Break with Peter Rieck Executive director, Milwaukee Community Sailing Center

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?

“Pursue a path of expanding our facility with new classroom, administration and meeting space to help us to meet the demands of our constituents.”

What’s new at your company?

“Our COMPASS program, which is designed to introduce at-risk children and their parents or guardians to the experiences of sailing and the lessons that captaining a boat bring to individuals. The goal of the program is to introduce sailing and remove any trepidation or concerns that may be associated with Lake Michigan and sailing. The Helen Bader Foundation has sponsored this trial program.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“Yes! The Sailing Center is embarking on a multi-million dollar capital campaign to expand our classroom, administration and meeting space (see page 8 for building rendering). This will enable the Sailing Center to offer more educational opportunities to the people of Milwaukee. The new 6,000-square-foot building should be completed prior to next year’s sailing season.” 

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“The main challenges will be to continue to offer quality programming in the uncertain economic times we are in and generate enough money to be able to do this.” 

What’s the hottest trend in your industry? 

“The hottest trend in sailing is community sailing – the opportunity for people to be introduced to the wonderful sport of sailing without the expense and commitment of owning a boat. We have a 30-year history of doing exactly that!”

Do you have a business mantra?

“I do not have a business mantra. It is the goal of everyone involved in our organization to treat people fairly, offer them a good product and do what ever we can to make sure that they have a good experience.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“I admire business leaders who conduct business with honesty, integrity and character. I admire business leaders who exemplify a job well done, at a fair price with a sincere appreciation for the other person.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“Trust your instincts and be fair and honest. If you remain fair and honest, everything else will fall into place.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I enjoy traveling, hiking, camping, and visiting family and friends.”


Peter Rieck
Executive director Milwaukee Community
Sailing Center

1450 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee
Industry:  Boating and sailing education
Number of employees:  4 full-time, 32 part-time seasonal
Family:  Single, youngest of six children

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