HR veteran bitten by wanderlust, nostalgia
Gil Pender, the protagonist in Midnight in Paris, laments not traveling often enough to the City of Lights and romanticizes the 1920s writers he idolizes. It’s fitting, then, that Claudia Paetsch (“PAY-tch”) lists the 2011 Woody Allen film among her favorites — the new vice president for human resources adores travel and classic musicals.
Claudia, equal parts nostalgia and wanderlust, is an HR veteran who came to Marquette this past spring from Northwestern Mutual. The Milwaukee native recently took a few minutes to talk with Marquette Today about her family, travels and that time she was pen pals with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller.
Family: Jim (spouse); sons John and Joe.
Hobbies and interests: I enjoy traveling, geocaching, hiking, lawn bowling, family games and beer gardens (technically not a hobby, I guess).
Favorite movies: Midnight in Paris and old movie musicals like Singing in the Rain, West Side Story, and The Sound of Music.
Heroes: My parents. They raised five kids and provided a loving home that encouraged lifelong learning, curiosity, doing what’s right, community/professional engagement, a sense of humor and the value of family. I credit my parents with supporting our individual paths and at the same time ensuring we stood together for each other. I feel blessed that my parents are healthy and vital seniors.
Favorite quotes/mottos: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” —President Barack Obama
Currently reading: I typically have a few books going at the same time. I’m reading Churchill: Walking with Destiny (I’m at the Battle of Britain portion) and Bear Town by Fredrick Backman.
Favorite vacation spots: I love to travel! Favorite places in the U.S. include California (all parts of it), New York (city and upstate) and southern Florida, especially in the winter. Favorite international spots include London, San Sebastian, Vienna, Brussels, Munich and Amsterdam.
Biggest career learning experience: How you do things is as important — and sometimes more important — than what you do.
Fun facts: First, I was fortunate to go on an air refueling flight during which the crew refueled stealth bombers. That was amazing and terrifying at the same time!
Second, we were studying Death of a Salesman in my high school English class, when I challenged my teacher’s interpretations of the symbolism. He said if I didn’t believe him, I should ask Arthur Miller. So I did. My teacher and I both flipped when Arthur Miller actually wrote me back, and Miller’s reply was simply priceless. That framed letter still hangs in my house.
Read all about young Claudia’s correspondence with the famed playwright in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.