Lisa Akers Elected; Bylaws Vote Update

ILCALogo_full_text (2)Editor’s Note: This update was sent to all ILCA members on 16 June 2014. If you are an ILCA member in good standing and did not receive the email, please check your promotions box (Gmail). If you still did not receive the email, it is particularly important that you complete the steps for confirming your email listed below.

The ILCA Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Lisa Akers has been elected by a near unanimous vote (98%) as the new Director of Marketing. Her three-year term will commence July 2014. The Board of Directors welcomes Lisa and looks forward to working with her to continue ILCA’s mission: to advance the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research.

During the voting process, ILCA discovered several voting irregularities pertaining specifically to the vote on revisions to ILCA’s bylaws. There were reports of the ballot being misread, or misunderstood, and at least one known instance of a single member submitting multiple votes. While these inconsistencies did not statistically impact the outcome of the Director election, they do raise some question as to the validity of the bylaws vote.

A second issue surfaced during the election process regarding the inability of voting members to selectively vote on specific bylaws changes. Those individuals who objected to specific changes felt obligated to vote “no” for the entire proposal or not vote at all.

The ILCA Board of Directors is grateful that, during a spirited members’ discourse on the LM blog, ILCA members brought these issues to our attention.

Thus, the BOD has decided that the bylaws vote should be repeated under a modified format. First, internal controls will be changed to allow voting members to cast a single vote only that cannot be changed once cast. Second, the bylaws vote will be reformatted to allow voting members the opportunity to vote selectively for individual bylaws changes.

The modified vote will take place between 24 June and 6 July 2014. To ensure the fullest participation possible in the revised election and the most accurate voting process possible, each ILCA member is asked to confirm their ILCA profile email address and IBCLC status no later than 22 June 2014. To do so, please comply with the following steps:

  1. Proceed to the ILCA website and complete your Member Login
  2. Select the “Edit My Profile” link at the top of the page
  3. Verify your email address
  4. Select “Update” at the bottom of the page
  5. Select the “Custom” link at the top of the page
  6. Change your “IBCLC?” status from “False” to “True” (if appropriate)
  7. Insert your “IBCLC ID #” in the space provided
  8. Select “Save” at the bottom of the page

The first role of the ILCA Board of Directors is to uphold ILCA’s mission: to advance the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research. ILCA will continue to be led only by those who hold IBCLC certification. The Board of Directors, committee chairs, and liaisons must all be IBCLC certified. We know that those in our profession are best suited to leading and advancing the profession. If you are concerned about threats to the IBCLC credential, it is critical that you remain a member of ILCA (or join if your membership has lapsed). ILCA, and our partner affiliates Canadian Lactation Consultant Association (CLCA), Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ), and United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA), are working hard with governments, non-governmental organizations, insurers, other healthcare providers, and other organizations involved in breastfeeding support and promotion, to ensure that the IBCLC is the globally recognized professional authority in lactation.

One measure of excellence within an organization is its ability to adapt. The Board of Directors recognizes that it is essential that ILCA remain relevant and responsive to its members around the world, and continue to work with the hundreds of organizations throughout the world that can help us achieve a vision of world health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care.

To this end, the ILCA Board of Directors is urging each voting member to carefully consider the merits of each bylaws change proposals and make your voice be heard. We also heard you call for a more robust discussion of the issues. We are grateful to everyone who has spoken up about these issues so far. Your comments have shown your deep commitment to your profession and your desire to be active, not passive, members of your professional organization.  To those who have surfaced questions and points of view, you have been heard. To those who have yet to express your opinions, the ILCA Board of Directors stands ready to hear you as well.

Editor’s note: your comments matter! Have questions about the proposed bylaws change? Please post them below. 

4 Responses to Lisa Akers Elected; Bylaws Vote Update

  1. Renee Beebe 17 June 2014 at 15:56 #

    Of course she won by 98%. she was the only candidate! and I’m very upset that I didn’t get the ballot to begin with nor did I receive this letter. My profile is accurate and my dues are paid. I also know I’m not the only one who didn’t receive the ballot. I hope you rectify this situation very soon.

    • lactationmatters 17 June 2014 at 17:55 #

      Renee ~ Thanks so much for letting us know you are having an issue receiving the emails. If you haven’t yet, please check your “spam” or “promotions” folder (if you use Gmail). If, after checking here, you haven’t received this letter and your profile is accurate, please contact so it can get sorted out. This is exactly why we have posted this blog post and sharing on social media – to ensure that all members have the opportunity to vote. We encourage you to share this post widely!

  2. ECBrooks 17 June 2014 at 18:38 #

    Renee, let me suggest that you mark your calendar for 25 June 2014. By then, the new ballot to vote anew on the bylaws should have been delivered by email to everyone around the world. If you don’t see one in your email (checking the spam folder too) then simply contact the ILCA Office at The staff is there eager to help, and were able to unkink many glitches during the last ballot.

    The ILCA Board is thrilled that Lisa Akers has been elected as the new Director of Marketing! She will be installed in July 2014 at the Annual General Meeting at the ILCA Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. While it seems obvious that she won, as she ran unopposed, the bylaws for ILCA and the laws of the state of its incorporation require that we hold a publicly-announced election, count ballots after the announced close, and declare a winner.

    –Liz Brooks JD IBCLC FILCA (ILCA Pres 2012-14)

  3. Gini Baker 23 June 2014 at 11:59 #

    Just a reminder to each ILCA member that “we” are the organization and if “we” want more qualified candidates on the ballot, “”we” need to bring their names forward. Lisa Akers is a well qualified candidate and a dedicated ILCA member.

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