Lisa Mandell has been working with breastfeeding mothers and babies for over fifteen years, first as a volunteer breastfeeding counselor through La Leche League, and then as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Lisa has a private practice seeing mothers and babies, works as a corporate lactation consultant, and has also worked as a lactation consultant in hospitals and a pediatrician’s office. She has been involved in her United States Lactation Consultant Association chapter as President, as CERP Coordinator, and providing information for those wishing to become IBCLCs. She is pleased to use her education and experience in business and marketing, as well as her passion for breastfeeding, to help in her work on the ILCA Board of Directors.
How did you first get involved with ILCA in a volunteer capacity?
I applied to participate in ILCA’s Marketing Strategy Planning Meeting in 2007, and was thrilled to be selected. After spending an intensive weekend working on marketing strategies with some of the ILCA Board, I then joined the ILCA Marketing Committee as a volunteer, working with Director of Marketing, Decalie Brown. In 2011, when secretary Liz Brooks was finishing her term, she asked if I might be interested in applying for the position. I was, and have enjoyed serving six years as ILCA’s secretary.
What has been your most fulfilling accomplishment as a board member? Your most challenging?
There have been a number of exciting things that have happened with the ILCA board in my tenure. Certainly one early accomplishment, that was both challenging and fulfilling, was making the difficult decision in December 2011 to strengthen ILCA’s Advertising Policy with regard to the International Code. We worked to more clearly identify that ILCA will not accept funding from any entity that was not compliant with the International Code or has financial relationships with a non-compliant entity. This has continued to evolve over the years, and continues to be difficult to evaluate and apply these ideals, but I am pleased that ILCA continues to choose to make compliance with the International Code an important element in the work we do. One of the more challenging tasks as a board member has been to manage the financial stability of ILCA. When I joined the board, due to the global financial crisis, revenues had decreased and reserves were low. The board made difficult decisions to cut programs and costs where possible, and has been able to increase operating reserves to a desired level. Moving forward, ILCA is again facing declining revenues, but has the operating reserves to manage through any difficulties as the board evaluates best steps for moving forward.
What is next for you?
I will continue my work as a private practice lactation consultant, working to “transform world health through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care” one family at a time. I love the work I do, and am honored to do it. I will miss the opportunity to work with my board colleagues (and especially the new directors joining the board), but will look forward to hearing about the work ILCA is doing and reconnecting at future ILCA conferences.