Featured in Season 2 Episode 3 of "Good Things Brewing," Damian Buchman is an influential Milwaukeean working every day to make our city a home for every body. Damian is the founder of The Ability Center and the vision behind the RampUp Movement, which turned Milwaukee's Bradford Beach into the nation’s most accessible beach. He is currently working to create Moss Universal Park, America’s most accessible park.

He says, “The work I do is simply my way to honor my survivorship and those who lost their battle. Everybody deserves an equal opportunity to play – together!” Damian has been recognized as one of the Milwaukee Business Journal's 40 under 40 and the publication's "Trailblazer" in its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards, as well as the Donald Driver Driven to Achieve Award.


Milwaukee was named a top-three U.S. large city in Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards in 2024. What do you feel sets our city apart? What makes us unique? 

Milwaukee is a great city at the frontlines of collaboration and partnership. We're interested in working together to make our city better for us and best for our visitors.


Milwaukee was listed as one of National Geographic's best destinations for slow travel in 2023, meaning that the community plays an integral role in the visitor experience. The publication also noted the city's tight-knit creative community. What role does our community play in making Milwaukee a great place to live and visit? 

We're a city ready to collaboratively work together to uplift each other and our community. We're not in it for "me," we're here for "we." As the founder of a nonprofit organization, I've witnessed this transformation first-hand -- because when I founded The Ability Center in 2008, no one was willing to collaborate. But about ten years later, since 2019, we've been on an upward trend to help everyone win -- Not me, WE!


While noting a local renaissance in the form of development throughout Milwaukee, the piece also shares many of the iconic institutions and local staples. What is something you wish more people knew about Milwaukee? What are some hidden gems that you feel often go overlooked?

Renaissance and development or not, none of it matters without kindness and consideration. "Milwaukee nice" is a gem. What's likely unknown is our tremendous kindness and generosity, which have played a major factor in the development of our city!


Damian Buchman BTS Good Things Brewing


Did you grow up in Milwaukee? If yes, how have you seen it grow and evolve over your lifetime?

I didn't grow up in the city proper, but I did grow up in the county. The best thing about Milwaukee is that it truly is 15 minutes to anywhere. When you come here, exploring the suburbs isn't an hour-long trip. You can go to destinations north, south, east and west and be there within 15 minutes, giving you an incredible landscape to explore from nature to cityscape, Great Lakes to inland gems, pro sports to amateur sports, museums to monuments; Milwaukee offers unlimited opportunities.


What is your vision for Milwaukee as it continues its evolution? 

I want to make Milwaukee the most universally inclusive recreation destination in the world!


As a featured community member in "Good Things Brewing," you must be passionate about all our city has to offer. So, what do you love about Milwaukee and why? 

I love our proximity to a vast landscape of opportunity. From the sands of Bradford Beach, where you can feel like you're oceanside, to the 15,000 acres of Milwaukee County Parks, incredible neighborhoods and burrows, delicious restaurants, and incredible sports, there isn't anything Milwaukee doesn't have. It promises to surprise you every time!


With the title of “Good Things Brewing,” what do you have brewing? What is on the horizon for the community you are looking forward to?  

We will be home to America's first Universal Park where everyBODY can play TOGETHER!


Learn more about Damian by watching Episode 3 of Good Things Brewing!