Get To Know NKE: Rita DeMerit



Get to know NKE is a series focused on the faces behind the company.  It is intended to give you insight on those who plan and execute the wonderful events that bring connection and creativity to the city.  Hear their background, thoughts on the future of Newaukee, and more.  

“People from all walks of life come to the market, it is truly a unifying experience for the city and an embodiment of all of the great things that come from and live within Milwaukee.”



Rita DeMerit

What school did you go to or graduate from?

UW-Milwaukee, Strategic Communications / Public Relations, graduated in spring of 2013.

Where’s your hometown/ neighborhood?

My hometown is Appleton, WI and my current neighborhood is Bay View.

What’s your position at NKE?

I mainly do event planning at NEWaukee. I manage events like Milwaukee’s YPWeek events, the Night Market, The ART Bus, Detours, and more. I also do website maintenance, press releases and sponsorship execution associated with the events I plan, and general catch-all stuff for the office.

How did you hear about NEWaukee?

I heard about NEWaukee through my roommate at the time, Nicole, who was interning for them one summer (and still works here!). I was working somewhere else when everyone was let go and I ended up in the NEWaukee office, they said they needed help planning some stuff and I pretty much started the next day planning YPWeek 2014.

How long have you been with the company?

I’ve been with NEWaukee since January of 2014.

How would you describe NEWaukee’s mission in your own words?

I would say our mission is to create intentional collisions of people and place all over the city to get people more invested in not only their little corner of the city, but more invested in every place they go to and every person they meet.

What’s been your favorite event/initiative to create?

Definitely the Night Market. Having managed it since its first year, it’s been unreal to see how much it’s changed and grown over the years. My favorite part is walking around the market and seeing how much fun everyone is having, vendors and attendees alike. People from all walks of life come to the market, it is truly a unifying experience for the city and an embodiment of all of the great things that come from and live within Milwaukee.

How do you see NEWaukee growing in the future?

I see us continuing to do what we do now, hopefully on a larger scale, reaching a larger audience, and using our voice for more important issues, as well as finding more people across the state and even the country to adopt our model and implement it in their own communities however they see fit.

What’s your favorite album/artist?

I never ever have a straight answer for this, I think it’s impossible. According to my Spotify, I really love Frank Ocean, Solange, Lucius, Sade, Tame Impala, and Carly Rae Jepson. It really makes no sense.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what three items would you bring?

My husband, my cat, sunscreen.

Where’s your favorite space to go/hang out/eat in Milwaukee?

I really love going to Humboldt Park. Always something to see – the beer garden, random kickball and softball games, LARPing, Chill on the Hill and other gatherings, wildlife, etc. It’s a nice way to spend a few hours when you just want to be outside.