Lilith Fowler is the Executive Director of Harbor District, Inc., a new organization created to revitalize Milwaukee’s harbor and surrounding area. Lilith’s career has focused on the intersection between business and community development, including work at a fair trade coffee company and the San Francisco Public Market. She served as the first executive director of Menomonee Valley Partners, where she helped launch an award-winning redevelopment effort. In 2017, she was recognized by the Milwaukee Business Journal as a “Woman of Influence.” She serves as the treasurer of Milwaukee Riverkeeper and has also served on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, the Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin, and the Maryland Avenue School Fund.
Lilith grew up in San Francisco and has a BA from Pomona College and an MBA from Georgetown University. She and her husband Lincoln live on Milwaukee’s east side with their two children. In her decade as a stay-at-home mother of two, she enjoyed having time for gardening and cooking and spearheaded the transformation of a 14,000 sq ft school parking lot into a green playground.
Dan Adams is the Planning Director for Harbor District, Inc. In this role, Dan works with a variety of partners to coordinate efforts at redeveloping the Harbor District, including the development of a Water and Land Use Plan (WaLUP) that serves as the shared vision for the future of the District.
Dan previously worked for Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Inc. (LBWN), a non-profit community development organization serving 3 neighborhoods on Milwaukee’s near south side. While at LBWN Dan spearheaded Quality of Life planning efforts as part of the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative, planning and implementing numerous community improvement projects over his 5 years at LBWN.
Dan holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his spare time, Dan serves on the boards of Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail and the Epic Center Community Organization. He is a proud father of two beautiful girls and a native Milwaukeean who is excited to be working to revitalize his hometown.
Aaron Zeleske joins Harbor District staff as Natural Environment Program Manager. In this role, Aaron leads our efforts to improve the ecological functioning of our corner of the city, with emphasis on habitat for fish and wildlife and encouraging green infrastructure practices.
He comes to us after spending over seven years working for local environmental organizations River Revitalization Foundation and Urban Ecology Center. Before entering the environmental field, Aaron spent several years working in youth development and taught high school in the Marshall Islands. He has a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Marquette University, where he was a recipient of the Trinity Fellowship. Outside of work, he attempts to divide his time between cycling, ceramics, woodworking, and taking care of three dogs.
Natalia Hernandez joins our staff as the Outreach Specialist for Harbor District, Inc. Her role is to inform and engage nearby residents, community members, and other stakeholders in the development of the Harbor District as well as developing and managing events and school programs.
Natalia holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in International Studies and Human Resources Management. During her time at Whitewater, Natalia worked on a number of projects, one of which she spent time in Thailand researching the rights of Indigenous tribes and Women. In her spare time, Natalia serves on the Advisory Board for a Milwaukee based organization called The Kellogg PEAK Initiative. She also helps run her parent’s grocery store/carry out restaurant located on 14th and Greenfield in Milwaukee’s South Side. Natalia enjoys spending time with her family, being on the water or in the garden, and traveling around the world. She is a strong advocate for community inclusion and believes in the amazing outcome that will come out of the revitalization of the harbor.
Makensie is a graduate student at UW Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences. She is working as the Harbor Districts’ Habitat Hotels and Events Intern. During the summer, she is monitoring and collecting data on the Habitat Hotels via kayak and helping plan the Harbor Districts’ summer events. She previously received her bachelor’s degree in Conservation and Environmental Science from UW Milwaukee during which she worked for the US Forest Service as an Urban Connections intern. Additionally, she spent the last 2 years working at Discovery World as a School Group Educator.