Our Team

Our Team

Committed to fostering success in central city Milwaukee children

Next Door’s highly qualified team of approximately 260 employees serve two early childhood center-based sites and a home visitation program offering prenatal services and early childhood education. In addition, our Child Care Partnership program features Next Door staff who support teachers and families at our 11 early childhood partnership sites in Milwaukee County.

Our team includes classroom teachers, home-based Parent Educators, Family Advocates, special education and behavioral health specialists, instructional coaches, nutrition services and Books for Kids. Together, they are helping our students build a strong foundation for success in school while ensuring their parents have access to important community resources to raise strong families.

We’re proud to announce that the Milwaukee Business Journal honored Next Door as one of its 2020 “Best Places to Work.” The program honors companies and organizations based on high rankings from employee surveys. Next Door earned its recognition in the Extra-Large category (200 employees or more) and was the only nonprofit organization in the group.

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Executive Leadership

  • Dr. Tracey Sparrow

    Dr. Tracey Sparrow

    President

    Dr. Tracey Sparrow joined Next Door as President in 2015. She previously served as Vice President for Children’s Programs at the Milwaukee Center for Independence and as President of the Milwaukee Academy of Science charter school. Dr. Sparrow received her doctoral degree in education, leadership and service from Cardinal Stritch University and a master’s in organization theory from UW-Milwaukee.

  • Bonny Wesson

    Bonny Wesson

    Vice President of Finance

    Bonny Wesson joined Next Door as Vice President of Finance in 2019. She has 20 years of urban education experience. Bonny most recently worked as Chief Financial Officer of Milwaukee Academy of Science. Prior roles include Business Manager at Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM) and an accountant/auditor with a firm specializing in Milwaukee-area non-profit organizations. Bonny has a CPA license and a BBA from University of Wisconsin- Whitewater.

  • Cristina Crogan

    Cristina Crogan

    Vice President of Development and Communication

    Cristina Crogan joined Next Door in 2017. She brings nearly 20 years of experience in development and communications to her current role. Prior to Next Door, Cristina worked at the Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation and the Milwaukee Public Museum. She has a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

  • Myranda Syrjanen

    Myranda Syrjanen

    Vice President of Programs

    Myranda Syrjanen came to Next Door in 2005 as an Early Head Start teacher. She later became the Director of Next Door's Child Care Partnership program and currently serves as Vice President of Programs. Myranda has a master's degree in early childhood education from University of North Dakota, a master’s credential in infant studies from the Erickson Institute and a bachelor's degree in speech language and hearing sciences from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

Program Leadership

  • Nichole Spooner

    Nichole Spooner

    Director of Comprehensive Services

    Nichole Spooner joined Next Door in 2010 with ten years of early childhood teaching experience. She started at Next Door as a Family Advocate Specialist and later served as a Disabilities Services Coordinator and a Health Advocate Specialist. In 2019, Nicole became Director of Comprehensive Services, overseeing physical and mental health services for Next Door students and families. Nichole has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Alverno College.

  • Melissa Brockie

    Melissa Brockie

    Director of Family Services

    Melissa Brockie came to Next Door in 2018 with over ten years of social work experience. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Loyola University Chicago and a master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University. Melissa’s experience includes behavioral health, homelessness and victim services for children, adults and families.

  • Lydia Reeves

    Lydia Reeves

    Director of Childcare Partnerships

    Lydia Reaves joined Next Door in 2005 as an assistant teacher for the Educare Milwaukee program. Since then, she has worked her way through various roles including lead teacher, family advocate, instructional coach, Childcare Partnerships manager and now Director of Childcare Partnerships. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee in Early Childhood Education. She also earned a graduate certificate in Infant Toddler Mental Health from Erikson Institute in 2014.

Administrative Leadership

  • Carolyn Porter

    Carolyn Porter

    Director of Operations

    In 2019, Carolyn Porter became Director of Operations at Next Door overseeing areas including facilities, maintenance and nutrition. She previously served as Senior Associate for the Executive Office and Board Relations. Carolyn has nearly 20 years of experience in public and non-profit management. She earned a bachelor's degree from Marquette University and a master's degree in Public Administration from University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.

  • Jesse Weathersby

    Jesse Weathersby

    Director of Information Technology

    Jesse Weathersby currently oversees Information Technology across all of Next Door's campuses. He came to the agency in 2000 and began working as an IT Manager. Before Next Door, Jesse served as a Project Manager for the BancTec Corporation, which provided technology services for the Midwest region.

  • Lucretia Dillon

    Lucretia Dillon

    Human Resources Director

    Lucretia Dillon came to Next Door in 2005 after her previous Human Resources roles at COA Youth & Family Centers and Rosalie Manor Community & Family Services. She earned a bachelor's degree in business management systems­-human resource management from Milwaukee School of Engineering, a master's degree in management from Cardinal Stritch University and an additional master's in counseling from Mount Mary University.

  • Monica Brooks

    Monica Brooks

    Director of Compliance

    In 2016, Monica Brooks became Next Door's Director of Compliance after serving two years as the agency's Head Start Director. She has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood education. Prior to Next Door, Monica served as Quality Implementation and Evaluation Manager at the Social Development Commission. She has a bachelor’s degree in business from Mount Mary College and a master’s in project management from Keller Graduate School of Management.