Ethan Elser

Getting There


Ethan Elser


Vice president and principal

PACE Equity 

Age: 30

Hometown: Milwaukee

Education: Bachelor of business administration from The George Washington University

Previous position: Director of corporate development

Favorite part of job?

“After working for Citigroup in my first summer internship, I felt as though something was lacking. It can be hard to tangibly see and feel the results of work in that industry, whereas real estate, you can see the fruits of your labor with a building developed or revitalized.”

What drew you to leadership?

“When I was in high school, I started a business selling things on eBay, mostly for my parents’ friends. This planted the bug about being a leader, even though I was only leading myself. I like the accountability, but also the ability to chart a course and execute on a vision. This is part of the reason I have gravitated towards smaller companies; it gives an opportunity to take a leadership role early, as well as the freedom to be nimble.”

What do you do in your free time?

“What is this free time you speak of? I don’t like to sit around, so I do a lot outside of work. I am a member of the board of directors at the Milwaukee Public Museum, as well as a co-founder of a new young professional organization there called the 1882 Society. I am also an amateur (emphasis on amateur) drone enthusiast. I’m also married with a 4-year-old son, so my free time is very limited, but I like it that way.”

What are you watching?

“I just finished ‘Ozark’ season 2, which was great, and ‘Jack Ryan’ on Amazon, which I admit I binged the whole thing over a long weekend. My wife and I are avid ‘Shark Tank’ fans as well.”

What would surprise someone about you?

“I love extreme sports. I’ve been bungee jumping on the world’s tallest commercial platform (which is in Macau), skydiving (which I did in Racine, actually), windsurfing, etc. My next goal is hang gliding.”

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