Here at ILCA, we are grateful for the time and energy of those who serve on our Board of Directors. This week, the terms of three of our board members come to an end. Join us in sharing our congratulations and gratitude with these amazing ILCA volunteers. Today, we share our gratitude for Al Wolf who has served on ILCA’s Board of Directors for 3 years as ILCA’s treasurer.
Albert Wolf has been a pediatrician and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 2000. Since that time, he has helped form the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh, a regional breastfeeding center with sixteen IBCLCs on staff that work directly with their pediatric practice, Kids Plus Pediatrics. The Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh’s ongoing position as the first and only Advisor to the United State Breastfeeding Committee allowed him to work in nonprofit and advocacy roles before coming to the ILCA Board of Directors. In 2011, he helped to co-found the National Breastfeeding Center, a consulting company that works with physician offices, hospitals, businesses, and organizations to teach how to provide breastfeeding services in a financially sustainable manner.
How did you first get involved with ILCA in a volunteer capacity?
I first got involved with ILCA after a conversation with Liz Brooks (Liz was ILCA President at the time) at a USBC (United States Breastfeeding Committee) meeting. I was just finishing my MBA at the time, and was talking with Liz about my interest in the intersection of business, practice management, medicine, and breastfeeding. Liz gave me one of her trademark chuckles (as if to say “have I got a job for you!”), and then she said “have I got a job for you!” She suggested that since ILCA was going to be looking for a Treasurer in the next election cycle, that I might be interested in applying. It sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to combine all of those areas I was interested in, so I jumped at the chance, and that’s how I ended up serving on the Board.
What has been your most fulfilling accomplishment as a board member? Your most challenging?
It’s hard to say anything has been an accomplishment of mine, because in everything I’ve worked with here I’ve had the privilege of having amazing staff and fellow Board members helping me out, so it’s really been team accomplishments. If I had to pick one thing we’ve accomplished over the last three years, I’d have to say it would be getting ILCA in a financially stable position. We’ve reviewed, renegotiated and/or renewed nearly every contract with nearly every entity we work with, updated and improved ILCA’s savings/investing strategy to make it safer and more efficient, and built up our operating reserves so that ILCA can focus on the bigger issues that are important to its members instead of worrying about how we were going to remain solvent. Again, I can’t give enough credit to the staff and my fellow Board members for their help getting ILCA to where we are today, they all are really an incredible group of people to work with. The biggest challenge for me has been learning about the world of breastfeeding. In my career as a pediatrician and IBCLC, I’d never needed to think about all of the different people, groups, organizations, etc. that are involved in lactation beyond how I as a pediatrician could help moms and babies in my practice. Being a part of ILCA has really opened my eyes to all of the different ways people across the globe work to promote and support breastfeeding, so I could better advocate for everyone. So it was definitely a challenge, but it was certainly well worth it!
What is next for you?
With two daughters aged 15 and 17, I plan on spending more time with my family these next few years before my wife & I become empty nesters. Assuming running a pediatric practice allows it, that is… work always seems to find a way to fill up all 25 hours each day, there are always so many things to do!