Phone:414.933.6161 ext. 127
Niki Espy earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and brings a passion for teaching people of all ages about the environment, stewardship, gardening, natural resources careers, and community improvement. She leads Neighborhood House’s highly regarded Environmental Education Program and supervises our Teen Program, Health Initiatives as well as other community-related offerings.
Niki has an extraordinary gift for engaging youth and teaching them in a highly entertaining manner how to use critical thinking, creativity and problem solving to create workable solutions, skill sets that are necessary to succeed in 21st-century jobs and our modern marketplace. Niki helps participants understand how their choices affect not only their local neighborhood but also the global environment.
Currently, Ms. Espy serves on the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network board as well as chairs their Governance Council. Niki is also President of Urban Anthropology, Inc., a member of the Community Advisory Board for the All of Us Research Project and a cohort for the U.S. Tennis Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Program. Previously, she served on the Board of Directors of the Riverside Nature Center, the predecessor to the Urban Ecology Center of Milwaukee where she continued as a board member. Ms. Espy worked as an educator for the Milwaukee Public Museum for eight years. She also was awarded a Smithsonian Scholarship to the American Indian Community Outreach and Collaborations held in Lac du Flambeau, WI.
She has 28 years of experience working with children and adults in various settings teaching environmental education, including developing lessons and activities for use with the United States Forest Service, Nature’s Classroom Institute, and NH. As an educator, Niki has been an integral part of Neighborhood House’s Environmental Education Programs, and initially, as a coordinator, developed many beneficial relationships with organizations, schools, and individual teachers.
Niki has an extraordinary gift for engaging youth and teaching them in a highly entertaining manner how to use critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving to create workable solutions, skill sets that are necessary to succeed.
Phone:414.933.6161 ext 156
Esther Portnoy joined Neighborhood House in 2019 as the Assistant Land Steward. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Conservation and Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She began her professional career as a Park and Recreation Specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
In 2021, Esther was promoted to Land Stewardship Manager. Her responsibilities include managing NH’s 90 acre Nature Center in Neosho, WI. There, she is leading efforts to restore the land to its original and natural Wisconsin habitat. She also oversees NH’s urban gardens and new green infrastructure grounds.
One of her priorities is to create accessible, meaningful and inspiring experiences for youth and their families at both at NH’s Urban Garden Park and Nature Center.
Phone:414.933.6161 ext. 136
Phone:414.933.6161 ext 163
Phone:414.933.6161 ext 139
Under a unique partnership arrangement with a neighborhood school, NH Facility Manager Alex Letser shares his skills and facility management time across the two partner organizations, Neighborhood House of Milwaukee and nearby Pathways High. With skilled hands and a broad range of technical knowledge, Alex supports all those who make use of Neighborhood House’s diverse facilities.
Alex earned an associate degree in Civil and Industrial Engineering from the Technical College of Civil and Industrial Construction, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Industrial Engineering from the Institute of Civil and Industrial Engineering. Both schools are in his native Ukraine; Alex is a first-generation American citizen.
His career in engineering and project management began more than thirty years ago with a construction consulting company, where he worked as the Assistant Project Engineer and later the Design Engineer. He also served as Project Engineer for an agricultural machinery plant, where he was responsible for organizing and training those who maintained the equipment and facilities. Additionally, Alex brings more than fifteen years’ experience in commercial and residential building maintenance in the U.S.