Archive | ILCA Staff

Two Years Later: Feeling the Change

Lactation Matters Post Titles (6)

A little more than two years ago, the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) Board of Directors made a deliberate and bold decision to change the path of ILCA. Two years later, that change is having real-life impact on our members and the world. We are grateful for your ongoing support of the new ILCA vision, and want to share with you the changes we have seen so far. One thing is for sure: it is no longer business as usual at ILCA.

Our journey began with the recognition that the clearest path to promoting the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) was through creating greater global impact: World heath transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care. Our new vision had its intended effect. ILCA was able to launch into a much larger global arena with increased collaboration and potential impact.

To make the most of that potential impact, the board began the process of reassessing organizational values and aspirations. The end result is a new tactical direction: a strategic map establishing new priorities, goals, and objectives.

The board recognized that the current board, committee, and staff structure were designed many years ago under a different vision with only a minor global agenda for ILCA. The board responded by eliminating board director titles, thus eliminating “silos” of operations within the board; by completely redesigning the committee structure; and by realigning the ILCA staff to better meet the new organizational goals and objectives.

As new committees have formed, they are being asked to ensure that planned activities are strategically aligned with organizational priorities, which, understandably, often conflict with prior activities. These new priorities have overtaken those from the past, and we are feeling the change.

ILCA’s commitment to global impact is now reflected in our vastly expanded advocacy efforts. Funding in this area has been increased two-fold and will result in ILCA’s highest-ever participation in international forums in 2016.

In the past two years, ILCA has expanded its global partnerships from 3 national—regional organizations to 17! In terms of mere presence, ILCA global exposure and potential impact on lactation consultants at the local level has nearly doubled with newly formed relationships in countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and South Africa.

ILCA’s new emphasis on equity and diversity is creating a new cultural awareness and focus on equitable access. Leading by example, ILCA committed to broaden the cultural and linguistic appeal of educational opportunities by dedicating funds to expanding the pool of international conference and webinar speakers and providing greater access to existing educational materials through more translations of key resources.

One way ILCA is broadening our global impact and appeal is by expanding our capacity to provide members with greater access to a broad spectrum of evidence-based research. Rather than diverting critical resources to the development of position papers, ILCA will now make greater use of member content experts to build functional areas of expertise, which can help identify and highlight quality evidence-based resources that are useful in a local and global context. This bottom—up versus top—down flow of information makes greater use of member expertise and will significantly expand our capacity for information sharing. Watch here for more information and next steps. We will need the expertise of our membership to make this effort a success.

The changes at ILCA—and the impact of these changes—is unprecedented. As we continue on this path toward greater global influence, we must guard against our natural tendency to maintain the status quo, to stick with the familiar and continue business as usual. In today’s world of growing interdependence, our success in transforming world health through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care will largely depend upon our ability to expand our global collaborative community of like-minded organizations. This expansion can best be achieved by continuing our efforts to examine and alter our internal functioning so that our core values of equity and diversity are increasingly manifested in all that we do.

Renaissance historian Niccolò Machiavelli once shared, “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” We have knowingly set a new course with an awareness the journey will be challenging, the confusion lessened by transparency, and the impact unsurpassed.

Let there be no mistake, ILCA is committed to a new path and sustained by the knowledge that together we can do even more than has been imagined.

dick1Dick Padlo, ILCA Executive Director, was raised in the suburbs of Chicago. He started his professional career by enlisting in the U.S. Air Force and a short time later, earned an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy. After graduation, Dick held numerous leadership positions before serving as a base commander in Germany. He moved into the private sector, managing a Fortune 500 enterprise, and later built a technology start-up into a financial success. His transition to the nonprofit sector involved a successful effort to help revive an international nonprofit by guiding the board in a strategic initiative to refocus their organizational vision and streamline their mission. More recently, Dick designed the strategy and infrastructure for a regional collaboration among cross-sector coalitions to develop a common regional agenda to help those in poverty build a better life. Dick holds a Masters degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University. Dick’s wife, Dedra, is a former special education teacher and mental health therapist who now works as a holistic health coach. Dick and Dedra have one son, Scott.


Introducing ILCA’s NEW Education Manager: Cynthia Good Mojab

Cynthia visualKnowledge is a core value at the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®). We believe knowledge guides our practice, strengthens our value, and supports our role in transforming world health. Our Education Manager is charged with ensuring that our members have access to the top experts in our field and the latest thinking in evidence-based practice.

This critical role has most recently been held by Judi Lauwers who is now transitioning to overseeing ILCA’s accreditation process. We are proud to announce that Cynthia Good Mojab, MS, LMHCA, IBCLC, RLC, CATSM, will be joining the ILCA team as Education Manager on 30 September 2015.

To help our community get to know Cynthia and the unique talents and perspectives she brings to this role, we caught up with her during her most recent speaking tour to learn more about her. Please join us in welcoming her to this new role at ILCA!

Lactation Matters (LM): Tell us what brought you to your work as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®).

Cynthia Good Mojab (CGM): I was first drawn to the profession because of my own experience with breastfeeding and with receiving and giving lay breastfeeding support.

I knew then how important accurate information and compassionate support are to parents considering, initiating, or continuing any version and degree of lactation, including direct breastfeeding, exclusive pumping, donor milk feeding, at-breast feeding, and partial breastfeeding. (Since becoming an IBCLC, my understanding of lactation has expanded to include chestfeeding and at-chest feeding.)

I knew that breastfeeding is the original paradigm—the ecological niche—for nurturing human health and development. And, I knew that the diverse contexts in which families live play a huge role in their access to information, support, opportunities, and resources—all of which influence infant feeding possibilities and decisions.

I felt that becoming an IBCLC would enhance my ability to provide information and support to families, both through my becoming able to provide professional lactation services and through improving my capacity to provide lactation-compatible mental health care in the role I already held as a clinical counselor.

LM: What projects have you been working on recently?

CGM: I have just completed a three-city speaking tour for La Leche League Canada’s 2015 Health Professional Seminars, One Size Does Not Fit All: Customizing Care for Breastfeeding Families. In Halifax, Ottawa, and Toronto, I presented on ethical decision making in cross-cultural contexts; helping families make informed decisions about vitamin D and the breastfed baby; perinatal depression; and how context affects infant feeding decisions.

In preparation for the tour, I enjoyed conducting a review of the Canada-related literature to try to customize each presentation to better meet the learning needs of Canadian perinatal care providers. As I’m sure you can imagine, preparing for this tour has been the focus of my attention for some time!

In addition, I’ve recently created (and presented) a few new presentations, including Brief Breastfeeding Encounters: Effective Counseling Techniques When Time is Limited; Heartbroken: Loss and Grief in the Perinatal Time Period; Loss, Grief, and Breastfeeding Counseling; and Cultural Competence or Cultural Humility? A Roadmap for Lactation Specialists. I’m now in the midst of creating two more presentations, Perinatal Mental Health Screening: A Primer for Lactation Specialists and My Brain is Doing What? Bias, Ethics, and the Lactation Specialist, both of which I will present in 2016. And, I am grateful to have been selected as a plenary and concurrent speaker at the 2016 ILCA conference in Chicago, IL, USA. So, I am always engaged in one or more literature reviews and the creative endeavor of sharing information that I have found useful in my own work and that I hope will also be helpful to my colleagues.

My work as an educator, clinical counselor, and IBCLC is guided by my commitment to social justice. So, my presentations, publications, and services regularly address, to one degree or another, human diversity and the impact of systems of privilege/oppression (e.g., racism, classism, heterosexism, cisgenderism). Recent related projects include my commentary, Pandora’s Box Is Already Open: Answering the Ongoing Call to Dismantle Institutional Oppression in the Field of Breastfeeding, which was published in the Journal of Human Lactation’s special issue, “Equity in Breastfeeding,” in 2015. I also co-authored Undoing Institutional Racism in Perinatal Support Organizations: First Steps for Eliminating Racial Inequity in Breastfeeding Support, which was published in “It Takes a Village: The Role of the Greater Community in Inspiring and Empowering Women to Breastfeed” in 2015.

Since 2014, I have served as a member of the Lactation Consultant Equity Team—part of an evolving initiative to address inequity in access to the IBCLC credential. And, from 2012 to 2014, I served as a design team member for the 2014 Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC)/ILCA/IBLCE Lactation Summit, Addressing Inequities within the Lactation Consultant Profession. I also created and provided the pre-Summit webinar-based training, Ready, Set, Listen! Preparing to Hear the Missing Voices of the Lactation Consultant Profession.

LM: Of all of the projects you could be working on, what made you decide to accept a position with ILCA?

CGM: Through my collaborations with individuals and institutions working to reduce inequity in access to the IBCLC credential and to breastfeeding support, I have become increasingly aware of ILCA’s efforts to do its part. For example, ILCA’s 2015 Strategic Map presents a new and clear intention—and, more importantly, a guide—for actively incorporating the core values of knowledge, diversity, and equity into every aspect of the organization’s functioning.

This is exactly the kind of institution-wide, internal change that is needed to eliminate widespread inequitable organizational outcomes across the field of breastfeeding. I hope that by serving as Education Manager I will be able to contribute to meaningful and measurable improvements in access to the IBCLC credential and to the educational support that is needed to help grow the profession globally. I am truly excited about and grateful for this new opportunity!

LM: What do you see as priorities for IBCLC educational opportunities?

CGM: There are arguably few areas of knowledge and skill needed by IBCLCs that are not somehow intertwined with culture and that cannot be viewed through a social justice lens (e.g., addressing the impact of bias, privilege, and oppression). And, I mean “culture” in its broadest sense, not just confined to ethnicity: any complex system of learned and shared behaviors, beliefs, approaches to communication, customs, and feelings that distinguish one group of people from another even as huge variation exists within those groups. So, IBCLC educational opportunities (e.g., webinars, conference sessions, publications) focused on issues of diversity, cultural humility, and equity are critically important. At the same time, they are not enough.

IBCLCs—and aspiring IBCLCs—also need access to educational opportunities focused on a broad range of topics that routinely incorporate issues of diversity, cultural humility, and equity, just as they are (or should be) inherently interwoven into the experience of breastfeeding and the practice of lactation consulting in the real world. Making this shift will require educators to expand and deepen their self-understanding, focus, literature reviews, and presentations in ways that may be new and unfamiliar to them and many learners.

But, IBCLCs are ethically obligated to “provide care to meet clients’ individual needs that is culturally appropriate,” “present information without personal bias,“ and “treat all clients equitably, without regard to age, ethnicity, national origin, marital status, religion, or sexual orientation.” We cannot engage in the ongoing journey to increasingly honor these ethical mandates, nor can we contribute to the work needed to help diversify our field, if we do not have the training and support to do so.

It is my hope that, over time, an increase in educational opportunities that incorporate issues of diversity, cultural humility, and equity will help increase the number of IBCLCs who are skilled in applying a social justice lens to their work within their communities and institutions. We need every shoulder to the wheel if we are to measurably increase equitable access to the IBCLC credential and our collective capacity to effectively meet the needs of diverse communities around the world.

In addition to shifting the content of IBCLC educational opportunities, I would also like to see the development of more IBCLC educational opportunities that are created by and for specific populations globally. No one knows the needs of a community better than the members of that community. And, among the barriers to the IBCLC credential outlined in the Summary Report of the 2014 Lactation Summit: Addressing Inequities within the Lactation Profession are lack of access to affordable education and education in one’s own language. So, I think that another priority for IBCLC educational opportunities is the collaborative development and testing of pilot programs intended to increase access to educational opportunities that are affordable and culturally and linguistically appropriate for IBCLCs and aspiring IBCLCs in more corners of the world.

Cynthia headshot 2014Cynthia Good Mojab, MS, LMHCA, IBCLC, RLC, CATSM, is a clinical counselor, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, author, researcher, and internationally recognized speaker. As one of a small group of mental health care providers in the world who are also IBCLCs, she has a strong interest in lactational psychology. She is the Director of LifeCircle Counseling and Consulting, LLC where she focuses on perinatal mental health care. She formerly served as Research Associate in the Publications Department of La Leche League International and was on the faculty of Parkland College. Cynthia has authored, contributed to, and provided editorial review of numerous publications related to breastfeeding, culture, and psychology. She provides education, training, and consultation services to individuals and organizations seeking to increase cultural competence/humility and dismantle institutional oppression. She has lived biculturally and bilingually for nearly 30 years.


Moving On

By Amber McCann, IBCLC


Two years ago, I received a message from Decalie Brown, a board member of ILCA, asking me if I would consider coming along side the organization to give leadership for their blog, Lactation Matters. My dear friend, Robin Kaplan of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center, had birthed the blog a year earlier and taken it through its infancy. She had been afforded the opportunity to kick-off The Boob Group podcast (if you aren’t listening, it is a fantastic resource for the mothers we serve!) and was handing off her ILCA responsibilities. My knowledge of Robin and the caliber of her work coupled with a true desire to be a part of walking ILCA through the changing tide of online communications led me to give a hearty “YES” to Decalie.

And thus began my wonderful term as blog editor for Lactation Matters. I had the opportunity to attend two amazing conferences (one in Orlando and the other in lovely Melbourne, Australia) and connect with countless ILCA members worldwide. I grew as a clinician and an advocate. I got to rub shoulders with many of those who have gone before me in the field and paved the way. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

Our Clinician in the Trenches Series: Early in my time with Lactation Matters, I was tasked with highlighting the work of ILCA members who were working with new mothers and babies in their communities to support them at the start of their breastfeeding journeys. We developed this series to ask the question “What Does a Typical Day Look Like for an IBCLC?”. The responses we got were varied and inspirational. So many of you are doing the hard work, over and over and over, to provide the families in your communities education, support, and advocacy. Bravo to you!

Engaging with Dr. Virginia Thorley: While working on a blog post about her latest book, The 10th Step and Beyond, I struck up an email relationship with Dr. Virginia Thorley. If you’ve ever been afforded the opportunity to engage with her, you know that she has a wealth of wisdom and a library of stories. My background is in sociology and I’m driven not by the science of lactation (though I do strongly respect its value) but by the connection it brings. I found a kindred spirit in Dr. Thorley. I was blessed to share dinner, face to face conversation, and her company while in Melbourne. I treasure those moments and her willingness to pour a bit of her magic into me.

IMG_3272Our 2013 World Breastfeeding Week Series: The theme in 2013 highlighted the many ways that support is provided in the community: through the workplace and employment, through government, through family and social networks, through crisis response, and through the health care system. We highlighted each of these methods in its own post and more than doubled our weekly posting average to focus on them all! We had a wonderful response and more views on the blog in a week than we’d ever had.

As I pass the baton to my colleague, Jeanette McCulloch, I do so with gratitude. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my gifts with ILCA and I look forward to continuing to serve in the future. I couldn’t be more confident that Jeanette will take the foundation that was built by Robin Kaplan and I and grow the ILCA presence higher and higher. As I give up my responsiblities with ILCA, I’ll use the time I get back to explore my new hometown of Pittsburgh (and eat my way through all of its amazing restaurants) and find new and exciting ways to support the mothers in my community. I’ll never be far from ILCA. They help me everyday to “empower mothers and save babies’ lives.”

Photo credit: Amber McCann, IBCLC


ILCA Seeks Media Coordinator

ILCAILCA is seeking an experienced communicator to engage and increase dialogue amongst members and the public, through social media outlets and member communications.

Overview: The position oversees planning, composition, layout and production of communications in all social media venues and member communications. This position develops ILCA communications and assesses audiences, market and social media vehicles; making recommendations for coordinated, effective dissemination of messages to ensure consistent messaging within ILCA. Specifically, this position serves as the editor for ILCA’s Lactation Matters Blog, has oversight of ILCA’s social media program, and is responsible for the development of a new weekly ILCA’s “Top Five” newsletter. This position may also assist with other strategic communication and marketing initiatives as needed within the organization.

Reports To: ILCA Executive Director

Status: Contract, part-time position – approximately 15 hours per week


  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Communications, Journalism, and/or related field required.
  • 2-3 years of experience in marketing, public relations, advertising and/or related field.
  • IBCLC certification strongly preferred.
  • A high-level of experience and proficiency with social media outlets, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others is required. Expert knowledge in social media management tools is desired.
  • Candidates must be innovative, creative self-starter, have excellent oral and written communication, analytical and organizational skills; strong attention to detail and excel in learning and providing lactation field information. The ability to meet deadlines, collaborate with others, make decisions and work independently is needed. Strong proficiency with Microsoft Office programs is required, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other programs as needed.

Specific Duties:

  • Define and execute a proactive social media strategy to significantly increase ILCA’s social media presence and improve the member/public image and visibility of ILCA.
  • Develop, collect, edit and/or write content as well as layout, design and distribute Weekly Member Communications (i.e. Top 5 emails) – 1 email/week; approximately 4-6 hours per week; including content that was once communicated through listservs and e-Globe newsletter: ILCA news, Conference information, Members in the News, Store Promotions, News to Use, Membership Info, Awards, etc.
  • Daily monitoring, maintenance and growth of existing ILCA social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and new ones if deemed appropriate.
    • Twitter/Facebook post – 1-2 posts/day; approximately 4-5 hours per week; focus on sharing value-added news and information, and limited air time to promoting ILCA events (approximately 1 in every 10 posts for ILCA promotion).
    • LinkedIn posts – as needed or determined; this platform focuses on generating discussion and networking between members; work will focus on generating discussion if needed, administering the site and accepting new members, and managing the discussions to ensure responses.
  • Serve as editor of ILCA’s Lactation Matters Blog – 1 post/week; approximately 4 hours per week; focus on sharing human interest stories and information, and limited time to promoting ILCA events or news.
  • Analyze and communicate usage statistics from ILCA’s media outlets to track engagement and provide monthly metrics.
  • Monitor industry information and competitor presences/perceptions, research new blogs and other social media channels for relevance/trend identification, and report on relevant online data.
  • Collaborate with ILCA staff to ensure proper online messaging and relevancy, and ensure consistency of messages across multiple media vehicles.
  • Develop guidelines to ensure effectiveness of media efforts.
  • Manage relationships with media outlets and journalists.

If you are interested in this position, please send a cover letter and resume to


Introducing Marcy Cottle, ILCA’s New Assistant Executive Director


ILCA is proud to welcome Marcy Cottle as our new Assistant Executive Director. We look forward to her work with us to further the IBCLC profession and support breastfeeding families all over the world. We’ve asked her to introduce herself to us on Lactation Matters.

Greetings! I am excited to be part of ILCA as the new Assistant Executive Director. This is a welcome addition to my personal and professional journey – allow me to introduce myself!

The majority of my career has been spent developing people and processes, simply put. I have worked with some great leaders in the training and development arena, including the late Dr. Paul Hersey. It was through my association with Doc and his company that I learned the power and responsibility of influence.

My most recent positions include working for the Muscular Dystrophy Association as a Regional Coordinator. I was responsible for training internal teams, establishing key donor relationships, and delivering MDA family services. Over a year ago, I re-established a consulting company that specializes in providing resources for the nonprofit, organizational development, and business development arenas.

My family and I live in Wake Forest, NC. I came to North Carolina 19 years ago, via the Chicagoland area and fell in love with both NC and my husband! We have been married for 14 years this year and have a wonderful little girl, Brynn, who turns 4 in March. My husband works for the United States Post Office and Brynn started Montessori preschool this year. Hobbies of mine include cooking (she-crab soup a specialty), reading (Christy – my favorite) and exercising ( finished my first half marathon in December – truth be told, that is neither my favorite distance nor number).

Working for ILCA allows me to continue a portion of my professional experience in the nonprofit arena. I am excited to be associated with such a great organization that is active in improving health across the globe. I look forward to working with ILCA for years to come!

Lastly, I will leave you with a favorite quote…

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.” William James


Introducing Dick Padlo, New Executive Director of ILCA

What is a Guy like Me Doing in a Place like This?

Dick Padlo, Executive Director of ILCA

Dick Padlo, Executive Director of ILCA

This is my first blog for the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA). For that matter, it’s my first blog for anyone. Wanting to avoid any embarrassment to the association and myself, I felt consulting with our wonderful Lactation Matters editor, Amber McCann, would be a good place to start. Given her tremendous success in helping to build the popularity of our blog and our readership, I was certain she would have some sage advice for my “introductory” blog. She did. I won’t repeat exactly what she said. It’s more what she didn’t say. So reading “behind” the lines, I interpreted her message to mean: “What is a guy like you doing in a place like this?”

What is a guy like me…?

Raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, I enlisted in the United States Air Force right after high school. Earning an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy afforded me the opportunity to get a great education, to see the world, and to serve my country and a few others along the way.

After serving as the last Base Commander at Zweibruecken Air Base, Germany, I left the military and entered the private sector as a management consultant. Working with senior executives in private industry, nonprofits, and local governments, I specialized in organizational development; strategic planning; and change management—helping organizations become what they could be. Later, putting into practice my leadership experience and organizational development skills, I held several executive leadership roles in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

During my professional development certain events occurred that helped to shape my values and beliefs. In traveling to numerous remote areas of the world, I was struck with the disparity in the fulfillment of basic human needs among the “haves” and the “have nots.” While working with SOFTLY International and community leaders in the outreaches of Honduras, I watched my own son literally lift impoverished children from the ground to place them in their first bed and to give them hope for the future. For my son, and others who participated, it was a heartbreaking contrast to the life we had come to take for granted.

Time and time again, the reality of my global presumption of certain inalienable human “rights” was called into question. And, as I held steadfastly to this premise, over time, I had to acknowledge we are, as yet, far from this ideal. So began a deepening awareness of my personal “responsibility” for working with others to make it so. From this, I became committed to working collaboratively to build a world in which every individual can live with dignity and be afforded the opportunity to thrive.

Why in a place like this…?

Deciding to join the ILCA team was a “no-brainer.” An organization with a compelling international cause and unfulfilled potential aligned well with and my personal capacity, capability, and commitment to help organizations achieve desired outcomes through collaborative leadership.

Despite the inarguable physiological, psychological, and economic value of lactation, there remain large segments of the world population that have not yet benefitted. And, despite the efforts of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) community and others so aligned, there remains the unfulfilled need for greater awareness, training, education, and lactation services. As clearly outlined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the The Child, the next generation has a right to a healthy and productive life, and we have a responsibility to do our part.

I am persuaded there is no greater achievement in life than to become what you are and to find its purpose in helping those in need. Serving as Executive Director for ILCA presents for me the perfect opportunity to make use of my leadership talents, organizational skills, and collaborative agenda to make an important difference. It is the recognition of a basic human “right” and the realization of my personal vow to take “responsibility” for bringing it to fruition.

My hope for ILCA

I believe all people of all countries share certain inalienable rights, and each of us has a personal and collective responsibility to ensure these rights prevail. In the months and years to come, I envision a new paradigm. I imagine a world in which all children are physically and emotionally nurtured and enriched because the community of organizations, who share our purpose, found a way to work together—to identity common values, and to build an inclusive environment to pursue our shared vision. And, with your help, I envision ILCA and its members becoming the cornerstone of a grass roots effort to mobilize resources world-wide in building a collaborative initiative within the global lactation advocacy community around a common agenda and shared objectives.

Thank you for this opportunity to serve the IBCLC community. I look forward to working beside you knowing together, we can do more than has been imagined thus far.

Quote/note credits to:


Meet Our ILCA Staff – Ashley Lehman

My name is Ashley Lehman and I am ILCA’s Electronic Media Coordinator. I am originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland but moved to North Carolina when I graduated from Elon University in 2008. I received a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Art. After I graduated from Elon, I worked as a Media Supervisor at an insurance marketing company. In early 2010, I joined the ILCA team as an administrative manager, assisting with the publications and membership departments. In my free time, I love to watch movies, spend time with my husband and our dog, Daisy, and vacation at the Walt Disney World resort every chance I get.

As I mentioned, I am ILCA’s Electronic Media Coordinator and that encompasses a lot of different job responsibilities. The main part of my job is updating and maintaining the ILCA website. This includes accepting and approving ILCA Advertising applications to post on the Worldwide Education Calendar and Career Mart. In addition to updating the ILCA website, I also manage ILCA’s Continuing Education website, process Independent Study Module answer sheets, manage ILCA CERPS onDemand webinars, work with the Social Media Coordinator to maintain ILCA’s social media pages, and send out listservs to the ILCA membership. I also answer a majority of the phone calls that come into the ILCA office.

A typical day in the ILCA office for me starts at 8am, although I’m not sure you could really call it a “typical” day since each day is a little different than the next. The day normally starts with me checking voicemails and emails. I make sure to respond to every email as soon as possible to ensure that our members are getting the assistance they need in a timely manner. Then I move on to updating ILCA’s website and the Continuing Education website. I also am in charge of sending all ILCA listservs so if there are any to be sent out that day, I get them ready to go. Throughout this typical day, I am the first person to answer the phones and assist members with various questions about ILCA. At lunch time, the staff all get together and eat in our conference room. It is a great time for us to get to hang out and talk about non-work related things. However, lunch time conversations have been known to turn into brainstorming sessions on ILCA related subjects such as improving membership, conference and webinars. We get a lot of great ideas during these brainstorming sessions!  It is always great to collaborate with other ILCA staff. After lunch, it is back to checking emails, answering phones and updating the websites. If it is a webinar day, then I am putting on my headset and getting ready to introduce our webinar speaker. I finish up the day with more updates to the website, answering phones and responding to emails. At 4:30pm my day in the office is complete and I am back again tomorrow to do it all again.


The ILCA Conference Scholarship Fund

Written by Glenna Thurston, ILCA Membership Coordinator

San Diego 2011 Conference LT – RT .Cathy Carothers (ILCA Pres) Natalia , Rita , Kathy Parkes (ILCA Treas)

The feeling of being invested in has truly empowered me to move forward in the work that I do.” – Rita Rahayu Omar, BSc, IBCLC, Malaysia

“It was the wind at my back that I needed to overcome all the obstacles in my path.” – Irena Zakarija-Grkovic, MD, IBCLC, Croatia

“I couldn’t believe that other people would make my dream come true.” – Natalia Razakhatskaya, IBCLC, Belarus

These quotes are from some amazing women who are previous ILCA Conference scholarship recipients. Donations from our wonderful ILCA members paved the way for their inspiring and life-changing experiences.

The 2012 Conference is coming up quickly and we want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to attend. If each of ILCA’s more than 6,000 members donated just $5, we could offer over $30,000 in ILCA conference scholarships to women all over the world.

Please take just five minutes today to make a small donation to the ILCA Conference scholarship fund, To make donations, click here  (If you prefer, you may send a donation to ILCA by check or call 888-452-2478 to donate by phone.) Also, please encourage your colleagues and local Breastfeeding groups to participate in providing this great scholarship opportunity to women like Rita, Irena, and Natalia.

Read below to hear more from scholarship recipients about what the scholarship meant to them.

Thank you,

Glenna Thurston

ILCA Membership Coordinator

“Being a recipient of the ILCA conference scholarship has opened my eyes to the spirit of giving of ILCA members. The humbleness, spirit of sharing, the love, respect of all participants is something I will never forget. In a nutshell, it defines us not just as a professional but as a person. ILCA genuinely cares about the advancement of knowledge. Personally, the feeling of being invested in has truly empowered me to move forward in the work that I do. I believe that when you have people who are willing to help further education, it’s really a blessing…and there will always be a way and you will be lead towards that.” – Rita Rahayu Omar, BSc, IBCLC, Malaysia; 2011 ILCA Conference Scholarship Recipient

“Never before have I felt so special and privileged. It was the wind at my back that I needed to overcome all the obstacles in my path.” – Irena Zakarija-Grkovic, MD, IBCLC, Croatia; 2007 ILCA Conference Scholarship Recipient

“Never hesitate to try such a great opportunity. You deserve it. I couldn’t believe that other people would make my dream come true. I will always appreciate this treasure from my destiny!” – Natallia Razakhatskaya, IBCLC, Belarus; 2011 ILCA Conference Scholarship Recipient

“Given a chance to be at ILCA conference in 2009 made me so grateful and inspired me to initiate more productive programs back in Malaysia. Together with like minded friends we had initiated Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program and conducted a Lactation Conference in 2010. These are definitely inspiring more and more breastfeeding programs in our country. Thank you so much.” – Nor Kamariah Mohamad Alwi, Malaysia; 2009 ILCA Conference Scholarship Recipient

“I passed my IBCLC exam in 2011 and now I am working in the private hospital as a LC. It is something completely new and unheard here, a special person for breastfeeding support who is not a nurse, midwife or a doctor. Sometimes it is not easy to help mother-baby dyads even when mothers are very motivated to breastfeed, as many Labor and Delivery practices still need improvement and sometimes they just need more encouragement and support. Now I understand how important for me was the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center Tour. I have now a picture how all this breastfeeding support works in a large hospital. It helps me a lot when I face challenges on my new job.” – Victoria Nesterova, IBCLC, Ukraine; 2011 ILCA Conference Scholarship Recipient

“My scholarship allowed me to attend my first ICLA conference. I would not have been able to attend otherwise, as my family had had many unexpected expenses due to frequent hospitalization of my husband that year, and the hospital for which I worked was unwilling to support any continuing education activities. The conference helped to reinvigorate me, and get me recharged to go back to do my job with new ideas as well as connect with other IBCLCs, with whom I have been able to keep in contact with. In fact, I no longer work for the non-supportive hospital and have a much more fulfilling job as an outpatient consultant with a free-standing pediatrician and working for a more supportive hospital part-time.” – Pam McArthur, RNC, CCM, IBCLC, USA; 2009 ILCA Conference Scholarship Recipient

“What an honor it was to receive this scholarship.  The conference was so informative; also it was so wonderful to be among all the many other people with a goal of gaining knowledge to help breastfeeding Mothers and Babies.” – Judy Swoboda, RNC, IBCLC, TX, USA; 2010 ILCA Conference Scholarship Recipient


Meet Our ILCA Staff – Amanda Joslin

As part of a new series, Lactation Matters will highlight the many amazing staff and board members of ILCA!  For our first article, we introduce to you Amanda Joslin, Director of Conferences.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I started working for ILCA in February of 2011. How time flies! A year later, I still love what I do every day and have learned so much about the importance of breastfeeding. I studied at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration (International Business) and Bachelor of Arts (Spanish). I began my career in marketing for a kitchen ventilation company. During my time there, I became the Manager of Marketing Services and planned my first meeting. I was in charge of planning a sales meeting for about 250 sales personnel in Chicago, Illinois. I had no idea what I was doing and I had to learn along the way. I realized, at the completion of that meeting, that becoming a meeting planner was what I had a passion for.

What position do you hold at ILCA and what are your responsibilities?

As ILCA’s Director of Conferences, I work with the Conference Program Committee chair and Education coordinator to coordinate and implement our annual conference and meeting. I have a variety of responsibilities, including preparing meeting specifications, arranging room blocks, coordinating the food and beverage, and facilitating speaker arrangements. I am also involved in the creative direction and fulfillment of the program website, registration brochure, save the date, exhibitor prospectus, conference handbook, signage, on-site materials, and receptions. I negotiate and manage all vendors including entertainment, transportation and printing services. Another one of my responsibilities is researching sites for the upcoming Annual Convention locales. This includes narrowing down a list of prominent locations by conducting site visits, contract review and negotiation, and preparing a summary of proposals for board decision. I am currently working on my Meeting Planner Certification, which I hope to complete in the fall.

What is one thing people may not know about you?

One thing people don’t know about me is that I love to dance! I get ready in the morning and dance to music. I listen and dance to music while in the shower. I try to dance sometimes in my car, but it’s hard sitting down. I’ve always wanted to take a professional hip hop class, but I’m too scared I would be awful at it. Secretly I wish my mom had kept me in dance or ballet longer when I was younger!

I’m looking forward to our upcoming meeting in Orlando, Florida this July. I’m really excited about the new initiatives we have planned and looking forward to seeing everyone again!

What has been the most rewarding highlight while working at ILCA?

Completing my first conference in San Diego in July of 2011. My biggest conference I had coordinated before ILCA was 250 people, and I thought that was huge!

If you could dream of something for the ILCA office, what would it be?

A pool!! Or a hot tub would do – our staff loves hot tub time at the end of a long day at conference!

Amanda Joslin | Director of Conferences


Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

Translate »