Organization and Bylaws
The United States Breastfeeding Committee is an independent nonprofit coalition of more than 50 organizations that support its mission to drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States.
The leadership of the USBC is guided by the following policies:
- Diversity Values Statement
- Conflict of Interest
- Code of Ethics for Board & Staff
- Board & Staff Leadership Code of Conduct
The USBC recognizes that an organization is only as good as its volunteers and leaders. We are incredibly grateful for the time, talent, and resources contributed by our exceptional Board of Directors, committee chairs, and other volunteer leaders.
2017-2018 Board of Directors
Mona Liza Hamlin: National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color*
Term: 2016-2020 (3 year succession/rotation)
Jeannette Crenshaw: Lamaze International*
Chair, Awards Committee
Emily Taylor: Women-Inspired Systems' Enrichment*
Chair, Constellation Steering Committee
Suzanne Haydu: Association of State Public Health Nutritionists*
Acting Chair, Finance & Audit Committee
Felisha Floyd: National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color*
Jeanette Kowalik: Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs*
Chair, Membership Engagement Committee
Brenda Reyes: HealthConnect One*
Chair, CRASH Committee
Pauline Sakamoto: Human Milk Banking Association of North America*
Catherine Sullivan: Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute*
Chair, Governance Committee
Laurel Wilson: Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals Association*
*The USBC Board of Directors is elected from among the National Nonprofit Members' representatives.
- Inside the "USBC boardroom": Board positions (i.e., seats) are held by individuals, and so board members do not reflect or represent their member organizations' interests or positions. The duty of the USBC Board of Directors is to serve and carry out the best interests of the USBC as a whole.
- Outside of the "USBC boardroom": USBC Board members may continue to wear the "hats" of their member organizations (or other affiliations). Therefore it is important to recognize that they are likely to be in the role of representing the positions of these other organizations in public forums. This might include, but is not limited to, when speaking at other conferences/events, when speaking to the media or policymakers, within USBC-affiliated Constellations, and when at the "all USBC" membership table.
- Unless otherwise explicitly designated (and then only for a specific instance), only the USBC Board Chair and Executive Director are authorized to speak on behalf of the USBC. USBC Board members are advised to declare their "hats" when outside of the "USBC boardroom" when there is a possibility of confusion or misperception of their affiliations.
Committees Chaired by Non-Board Members
- Conference Program Committee, Co-Chairs: Ifeyinwa Asiodu & Kimberly Moore-Salas
- CRASH Committee, Co-Chair: Sahira Long (Chair is a board member, see Reyes above)
- Ethics Committee, Chair: vacant
- Nominating Committee, Chair: Allison Walsh
USBC Board of Directors Biographies
Mona Liza Hamlin is currently Parent Education and Lactation Services Program Manager at Christiana Care Health System and owner of The Baby Space, LLC. She previously worked as a Clinical Nurse Educator and the Lactation Consultant at Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. Through both her professional experience as a NICU nurse and her personal experience as a breastfeeding mother, Mona realized the importance of breastfeeding support. Fueled by her professional and personal passions to ensure that all mothers have access to quality breastfeeding support and resources, Mona used her experience to segue from bedside nursing to lactation. Mona's fundamental belief is that equitable access and quality care are provided to all women, especially those at highest risk. After earning the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) credential, Mona developed the Nemours Lactation Support Program, which provides inpatient, outpatient, and employee breastfeeding services. As an educator, Mona has provided Baby Behavior training and advanced lactation education to health care providers, nurses, WIC staff, and community members. Mona serves as a member of the Delaware Healthy Mother & Infant Consortium and is a current board member for the USBC and the Breastfeeding Coalition of Delaware. She is proud to be a founding member of the National Association of Professional & Peer Lactation Supporters of Color (NAPPLSC), an organization aimed at addressing breastfeeding disparities and improving breastfeeding amongst communities of color. Through The Baby Space, her most recent endeavor, Mona serves her local community offering private consultation with a holistic approach. Mona enjoys being a wife and mother to two amazing boys.
Jeannette is a registered nurse with a doctor of nursing practice degree (DNP), a masters in administration and management (MSN), and a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). She is a member of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTTUHSC) DNP and Master’s faculty (Lubbock, TX, 2012-present), where she prepares nurses from various practice settings to lead collaborative efforts for policy and practice changes that advance the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Triple Aim (improve patient and family experience of care, improve health of populations, reduce cost of health care).
Jeannette directed family education programs at three hospitals in a large health care system in North Texas (Texas Health Resources; 1995-2005), developed and marketed collaborative programs between the health system and academic settings in a corporate role with Texas Health Resources The Center for Learning and Career Development (2005-2009), and taught in the DNP and the MSN in nursing administration programs at University of Texas at Arlington, TX (2009-2012).
Her non-USBC leadership roles include board member, vice-president, chair-elect and president, Lamaze International (2001-2008); secretary, Texas Breastfeeding Coalition (2012-2014); president, Dallas Area Breastfeeding Alliance (2003-2005); founding chair and current member, Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth (now Lamaze Institute for Healthy Birth) (2003-present); secretary, Texas Breastfeeding Coalition (2011-2013); Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (AAN); member, AAN Expert Panel on Breastfeeding (2012-present); and, guest faculty, NICHQ/Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) Breastfeeding Collaborative (2013 and 2014). In addition to serving as an external stakeholder for the TDSHS position statement on infant feeding, Jeannette has provided legislative testimony at the national and state level, met with federal, state, and local legislators, and served as an official spokesperson with the media on a variety of public health issues.
Emily Taylor specializes in innovating, implementing, and evaluating initiatives to improve the quality of health services for women and children. As founder and Director of WISE (Women-Inspired Systems' Enrichment), Emily provides consultation on applying the IHI Model for Improvement, leadership development, curriculum creation and implementation, building team resilience and capacity, teaching clients use data to drive change, and facilitating quality improvement collaboratives.
Emily's career has focused on reducing socio-ecological constraints to breastfeeding in the United States with particular emphasis on health care delivery systems. Through WISE, Emily currently works on Maternity Care Quality Improvement Collaboratives throughout the United States.
Prior to founding WISE, Emily served as Deputy Director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute from 2007-2014. There, she served as Director of the National Collaborative for Advancing the Ten Steps and the Breastfeeding-Friendly Healthcare Project. Emily has also published numerous research studies, including topics such as impact of infant formula marketing, sexual abuse survivors' experiences with breastfeeding, and organizational readiness to change.
Emily earned a Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from UNC Chapel Hill in 2007. She completed the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Improvement Advisor Professional Development Program in 2012. Emily is also certified childbirth doula and Lamaze childbirth educator, and volunteered these services for families in under-served communities from 2003 - 2012. Emily is deeply passionate about anti-racism work, and is grateful for various opportunities to expand her understanding of this important work.
Emily was an active member of the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition from 2006-2015, and served on the Board from 2008-2014. She was most active in implementing the Business Case for Breastfeeding, the Mother-Baby Friendly Clinic Award, and Ban the Bags. She has recently moved to Massachusetts where she hopes to become active with her state and local coalitions.
Suzanne Haydu, Nutrition and Physical Activity Coordinator, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH) Division, California Department of Public Health (CDPH), integrates and coordinates healthy eating, physical activity, and breastfeeding promotion within MCAH. Suzanne’s undergraduate degrees are in art and community nutrition, she has a dual MPH in nutrition and health education, and she is a registered dietitian. Suzanne began working in public health as a farm-home instructress program coordinator/instructor in Malawi via the Peace Corps. This included developing an appropriate technology unit, running the first aid clinic, volunteering at a local childbirth center, and teaching nutrition. She has been the WIC Directors at the Native American Health Centers and Maxicare. She was the Perinatal Program Coordinator and Clinical Nutritionist at the Martin Luther King Family Health Center in Richmond, California. Suzanne is passionate about collaboration and breastfeeding promotion. She started work at MCAH in 1992, providing nutrition technical expertise and leadership for the Comprehensive Perinatal Program and Sweet Success.
Highlights of her work included establishing a statewide breastfeeding promotion advisory committee and developing and producing two California breastfeeding reports. She was the lead author for the Infant Feeding chapter of the California Food Guide. Suzanne developed new nutrition initiatives, found funding, authored contract scopes of work, and provided technical assistance to contractors regarding breastfeeding, folic acid, oral health, African American anemia, and adolescent nutrition. She has been involved in planning all California Childhood Obesity and Breastfeeding Summits. She designed and provided oversight of Birth and Beyond California, a hospital breastfeeding quality improvement, technical assistance and training initiative and was lead for authoring and finalizing the CDPH lactation accommodation policy. Suzanne was a primary co-author of the 2007 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on decline of folic acid intake among Latinas and women with low education in California, and she was responsible for development of a statewide campaign to address this decline. She currently is an adjunct Instructor at the School of Medicine, Department of Nutrition, Case Western Reserve University. Suzanne was the 2013-2014 President of the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) and was the first Chair of their Maternal Child Health Nutrition Council. Suzanne enjoys her free time as an abstract water color painter and doing "hot" yoga, but relaxes best when traveling to remote parts of the world.
Felisha Floyd is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with a bachelor’s degree in Public Service/Human Service and associate degree in Psychology from Macon State College. She possesses over 12 years of community-based health care experience, ranging from health care to WIC community-based breastfeeding support. She currently holds the position as the Lactation Coordinator at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center overseeing the day-to-day operations of the lactation program over four departments. She also helps families to breastfeed in her private practice, Beyond Breastfeeding.
Currently, Felisha is a founding member and president of the National Association of Professional & Peer Lactation Supporters of Color (NAPPLSC). She also serves as a board member and secretary for the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition, an active member with the Florida Lactation Consultant Association (FLCA), a selected member of the First Food Cohort at the Center for Social Inclusion, and a member of the USBC CRASH Committee. She was recognized by the USBC as a recipient of the inaugural Drs. Ruth Lawrence & Audrey Naylor Legacy Scholarship in 2014. She is the creator of the social media and online community breastfeeding support group affectionately known as "Blactavist" (Black Lactation Activist) which empowers efforts to help increase breastfeeding rates in the African American community.
Felisha is also a proud active duty Air Force military spouse and grateful mother of three exclusively breastfeed children.
Dr. Jeanette Kowalik has over a decade of progressive public health experience representing the life course. She began her career as an intern in healthcare administration at the City of Milwaukee Health Department. Jeanette realized she needed to increase her ability to serve the community so she returned to school. Dr. Kowalik attended Northern Illinois University's Master of Public Health (MPH) program while maintaining full-time employment in the field.
Post completion of her MPH, Jeanette attended the Management Academy for Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; she began her doctoral program in health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee shortly thereafter. Her initial focus was infant mortality disparities among African American and Latinx adolescents; this shifted after she realized the significant gap in research regarding recruitment and retention of the public health workforce to serve these young women. Jeanette completed her coursework and dissertation while working for the Wauwatosa Health Department, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and the Chicago Department of Public Health.
In the fall of 2014, Dr. Kowalik returned to Wisconsin and served as UW-Madison's Director of Prevention and Campus Health Initiatives prior to her transition to AMCHP in 2016. Dr. Kowalik’s diverse set of experiences in public health has reinforced her need to focus on women’s and infant health as the earliest point of intervention.
Brenda Reyes is the Program Manager for HealthConnect One (HC One). A well-respected and knowledgeable breastfeeding advocate, Brenda conducts breastfeeding peer counselor trainings and trainings for front-line staff at health and social service agencies, presents workshops for WIC and MCH case management staff, and collaborates with a variety of partner agencies to provide effective and engaging peer counseling services for breastfeeding women in Chicago. She manages partner relationships, creates tools for reporting and evaluation, and works with the HC One program team to develop goals and monitor progress. She also develops systems to monitor program finances and contracts. Brenda began her work trained as a doula in 1999 by the Chicago Birth Weavers and then worked contractually under the Chicago Birth Weavers for Erie Family Health Center, serving primarily monolingual Spanish speaking families by providing prenatal childbirth education and doula services. She was trained as a breastfeeding peer counselor by HC One in 2000, providing services at Stroger (formerly Cook County) Hospital. In 2001, she became HC One’s Peer Counselor Program Coordinator, designing and delivering training for breastfeeding peer counselors in underserved and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods across Illinois. In 2011-2012, Brenda worked on Communities Putting Prevention to Work and on Chicago's Healthy Places initiatives, forming part of the team that developed the Hospital Breastfeeding Toolkit for the Illinois State Perinatal Breastfeeding Quality Improvement Project. Brenda has served as both Secretary and Treasurer of the Chicago Region Breastfeeding Task Force and is a current member. She acted as lead for HC One's Message and Messenger Project to increase umbilical cord blood donations among African-American and Hispanic families. She has served on the Advisory Board of the Center for Sustainable Health Outreach and on the Illinois WIC Peer Counselor Advisory Committee. She currently serves as HealthConnect One's representative to the USBC and as membership chair and member of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color since January 2015. She is currently participating in the Center for Social Inclusion National First Food Racial Equity Cohort. Brenda has maintained her Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) certification since March 2002, and became a Registered Nurse in 2012 after completing the Daley College Nursing Program.
Pauline is the current Past President of the Board of Directors for the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. She has been a member of the Executive Board of HMBSNA for 10 years. As a member, Pauline has served as a lead in the Strategic Planning Committee 2016-17 and member of the Guidelines, Research, and Conference Committees. She also serves on the Medication and Microbiology Advisory Group for HMBANA. She has served terms on the USBC Board of Directors. She feels the greatest accomplishments during her terms is the continued work on inclusion and equity and rapid infrastructure development to address breastfeeding needs for all women and children in the US. As the HMBANA Representative to the USBC since 2008, she has been a member of the Emergency Preparedness Taskforce and Chair of the Membership Committee, and has been committed to the CRASH Committee and other activities.
Pauline continues to be the executive Director of the Mothers' Milk Bank in San Jose, CA. Since 1998, her work has propelled the oldest operating milk bank in the US to become one of the highest distributing nonprofit milk bank of donated breastmilk. Her work includes membership in the Technology Advisory Committee for PATH, global milk banking, and more recently, the UN Breastfeeding Innovation Team. She has been instrumental in developing non profit milk banks and the guidelines for safety and quality of donor milk. Equity in access of donor milk and supporting breastfeeding mothers so ALL infants have access to optimal nutrition is her goal.
Catherine Sullivan has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from East Carolina University and a Master in Public Health-Nutrition from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a registered and licensed dietitian and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She has been working in the fields of nutrition and breastfeeding for twenty years. Catherine has served as a local agency WIC Director, Food and Nutrition Extension Agent, Clinical Assistant Professor in an academic medical center, North Carolina State Breastfeeding Coordinator, and most recently as Acting Director at the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, where she is on faculty. She is the course coordinator for CGBI’s CAAHEP/ LEAARC accredited Pathway 2 Lactation Training Program. Over the years she has served on the executive committee of the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition and is currently the perinatal region representative. She co-chairs the North Carolina Lactation Consultant Association, the main advocacy arm of NCBC. Outside of her home state, she is the incoming Chair of the Women's Health Dietetic Practice Group for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and serves on the USDA Expert Panel updating the FNS breastfeeding curriculum.
Laurel Wilson owns MotherJourney in Morrison, Colorado. She has her degree in Maternal and Child Health - Lactation Consulting. With over 23 years of experience working with women in the childbearing year and perinatal professionals, Laurel takes a creative approach to working with the pregnant family. She is co-author of best-selling books, The Greatest Pregnancy Ever: The Keys to the MotherBaby Bond and The Attachment Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Bonding with Your Baby. She is also a contributing author to Round the Circle: Experienced Doulas Share What They Learned the Hard Way. She currently spends a great deal of her time working with hospitals seeking Baby-Friendly status as a consultant and educator.
Laurel has received her training with Union Institute and University, Healthy Children Project, Doulas of North America (DONA), Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators, CAPPA, Birthworks, Whole Birth Yoga, and Prenatal Parenting. She strives to provide the latest techniques, research, and programs to her clients by attending yearly conferences and workshops in the birth and lactation field.
Laurel is board certified as a lactation consultant, childbirth educator, labor doula, lactation educator™, Prenatal Parenting™ Instructor, and Pre and Postpartum fitness educator. She is the CAPPA Executive Director of Lactation Programs and trains approximately 350 professionals a year in the 20-hour Lactation Educator™ Course for CAPPA certification. She also represents CAPPA to the USBC-affiliated Lactation Support Providers Constellation. Additionally, she recently served as Customer Advocate for InJoy Birth and Parenting offering continuing education for professionals via webinars, podcasts, and speaker presentations for three years.
Laurel speaks at professional conferences around the world on subjects ranging from hot topics in breastfeeding to epigenetics and the prenatal environment. Additionally, she offers perinatal classes to families in private and hospital settings, with teaching strategies she created to facilitate better understanding of the change processes during the childbearing year.
Laurel has been joyfully married to her husband for more than 24 years and has two amazing sons, whose difficult births led her on a path towards helping emerging families create positive experiences. She believes that the journey towards and into motherhood is a life changing rite of passage that should be deeply honored and celebrated.