August 20, 2020

Pam Christenson: Director of Economic Development for Madison Gas and Electric. Co-Owner of Christy’s Landing bar and restaurant on Lake Waubesa

What do you do?

Director of Economic Development for Madison Gas and Electric. Co-Owner of Christy’s Landing bar and restaurant on Lake Waubesa

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

My parents – since I don’t get to see them nearly often enough in our COVID world and Barbara Streisand because my mom would FLIP if she showed up for that dinner (she’s the biggest fan girl ever!!!!)

What was your first job?  

Bowling Instructor.  I grew up on the southside of Milwaukee.  Everyone bowled!

Favorite Hoan/Nolen event?  

I have loved every single private dinner I have attended.  (Although the Concord Zoo visit was hard to top.)

Song you'd sing at Karaoke?

Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”

Favorite/least favorite part of your job?

Favorite - I love that I get to work on projects, programs and partnerships with amazing people that truly change the landscape of Madison both physically and metaphorically.  Least favorite -  Economic development is a marathon, not a sprint.  Things happen really, really slowly.  

Book/podcast you’re listening to right now?

Crushing Iron

Biggest pet peeve?  

It’s a tie between people leaving their blinker on or going slow in the passing lane on the highway!

What skill would you like to master?

Playing the guitar.

What’s the best way to start the day?

With a swim in the lake in summer or a run outdoors in the winter.

What is the most annoying question that people ask you?

Do I get to drink for free because I know the owner?  (when I’m at Christy’s)

Tell me where you would like to see the city in five years (as far as policies or culture, etc)?  

I would love to see a quick COVID recovery with conventions, conferences and visitors back in the city filling our hotels restaurants and other venues.

What drew you to join Hoan?

The amazing people that were already involved and the chance to break down the Madison vs Milwaukee barriers that have been there for decades.

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Professionally – the redevelopment of the Capital East District in Madison.  Personally -why you really DO need 18 pairs of black boots.

What do you wish your brain was better at doing?

Math and science

What are your hobbies, and how did you get into them?

Triathlons.  I started doing them when my husband made the mistake of saying, “You are not going to do a triathlon!” 50+ races later, I think he really regrets that comment.

What’s the best and worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Best – Stop worrying about the things that you cannot control.   Worst – You must have children.  Your life will absolutely not be complete unless you have kids.

What was the last show you binge-watched?

Six Feet Under

What’s your "Death Row Meal?"

Cupcakes.  Lots and lots of cupcakes.

What do you regret not doing in the last year?

Ironman Wisconsin.

How are you handling COVID/how has it affected you?

As an extrovert with an external facing job – it was really hard feeling like I was cut off from civilization at first! I also realized how many little things I took for granted.   I’m not letting myself lament the fact that it will likely be another four months before I return to the office. Instead – I’m just taking it one day at a time and finding something positive in each day.  

A genie gives you three wishes—what are they?

Keep all my loved ones in good health, the ability to eat whatever I want and not gain weight and my dog to live forever.

What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?  

Leading lady on Broadway

Favorite spot in Madison?

The very end of Picnic Point

When will you know you've "made it"?

I don’t think I will ever get to that point because we can always do better and be better - even in the most incremental amount – every day.

What's your favorite board/card game?  

Although rather inappropriate at times, I love Cards Against Humanity.  I also get fiercely competitive in Dominos.

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