Lactation Management Training: From Novice to Expert

Get acquainted with our staff. They have been chosen for their knowledge, expertise and experience. We are proud of every one of them!

Kirra Brandon, MD

Medical Director

Kirra Brandon is a physician and, like so many of us in the field, inspired by her own breastfeeding experience (she has nursed all five of her children for more than 113 months and counting!). She also brings considerable experience with Online education. She and her husband, Gus Stern, bring experience in providing Online education for health care professionals. As LER’s Medical Director, Kirra will be focused on expanding lactation education for all through increasing access around the globe and to a wide variety of health care professionals.

Angela Love-Zaranka, BA, IBCLC, RLC

Program Director

Angela brings nearly thirty years of experience in lactation support, education, and leadership.

A La Leche League Leader since 1990 and a Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 1997, she provides significant leadership to the profession. She has served as a board member for the credentialing organization for lactation consultants worldwide (IBLCE) and more recently the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA). Additionally, she has consulted for several non-profit organizations, hospitals and governmental agencies on access to lactation care and policy implementation. She has created lactation programs at military hospitals and provided a leadership role in the accreditation and redesignation of a Baby-Friendly Hospital. In her role as an IBCLC, she has provided clinical lactation support to thousands of families

She holds an undergraduate degree from Trinity College in Washington DC and is working towards a Master’s of Science in Administration, specializing in non-profit management.

A valued member of the teaching staff for more than 15 years, she continues to be inspired by lactation research, the latest trends in the profession and the families served by lactation support providers around the globe. One of her goals for LER is to advance lactation management information and skills to everyone from breastfeeding counselors to advanced lactation practitioners.

Sonja Kueppers

Information Technologies Consultant

Sonja Kueppers, a mother of two and experienced breastfeeding peer counselor, is a Jill-of-all-trades. She has extensive professional experience in the Information Technology field and is our Information Technologies Consultant. At Lactation Education Resources, she is primarily focused on developing our web-based systems.

Steve Young

Project Manager

Steve has a BS in Business from Metro State University of Denver and has a passion for computing. Steve is assisting with tech support, content delivery and other technical projects. He is a proud father of five breastfed kids.

Juanita Spears

BFHI Program Manager

Juanita manages the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative project. She is your point of contact for all items related to Baby-Friendly and the FirstLatch website, which supports the Online Baby-Friendly courses. Juanita has an extensive background in business, education and account operations. View the FirstLatch page which contains the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative proposal.

Contact Juanita at BFHI@LactationTraining.com

Annette Nash

BFHI Project Assistant

Annette is the right-hand assistant to Juanita in the Baby-Friendly Hospital program enrolling students and providing support to group managers. She is the mother of 2 very beloved breastfed babies who are now 10 and 12 and thriving in life.

Contact Annette at Project-assistant@LactationTraining.com

Nickole Unterzuber Bowman

Business Manager

Nickole is responsible for all of the business operations of Lactation Education Resources and FirstLatch. Her experience includes human resources, operations, and project management.

Wendy Lawrence

LER Manager

Wendy manages our Lactation Consultant Training program. She may likely be the friendly voice you hear on the phone when calling our office. She holds an Associate degree in Education and is the mother of two smart, strong, beautiful (and breastfed!) growing girls.

Contact Wendy at LER@LactationTraining.com

Dalaney Young

LER Administrator

Dalaney is responsible for assisting will phone calls and company projects. She has her BA in Maternal and Child Health and practices as an IBCLC. She has five energetic and fun loving children.

Julie Grimes

Customer Service Specialist

Julie breastfed her own son for 2 and a half years and has been a breastfeeding peer counselor for nearly a decade. She works on a variety of projects for LER, but you’ll most likely hear her friendly voice if you call the office or send us an email.

Amy Black

Director of Clinical Internship Program

Amy coordinates our Clinical Internship Program. Amy is a mother of three happily breastfed children, has a degree in finance and German and spends her "spare time" working at a local Virginia hospital as a NICU and Mother Baby Unit IBCLC.

Contact Amy at Interns@LactationTraining.com

Becky Nield

Content Manager

Becky is responsible for coordinating, editing and publishing all coursework for LER and First Latch. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Idaho State University. Becky has 3 amazing daughters, all happily breastfed, and 2 fantastic step-children.

Jeanette McCulloch

Social Media Coordinator

Jeanette is a board certified lactation consultant in private practice with Birthswell in Ithaca, New York. Jeanette has been combining communications work and women's health advocacy for more than 20 years. She brings together strategic communication skills with a love of social media and a real-world knowledge of birth business and activism.

April Smith

Content Coordinator

April works directly with Becky editing audio and visual components of the course content. She has a B.A. in Liberal Studies, and an extensive background in business and hospitality management. Her breastfed son is now a thriving young adult.

Nekisha Killings MPH, IBCLC, RLC, CBS, Doula

Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Nekisha has led in equity education across a variety of fields over the past 20 years. From consumer goods to the non-profit and religion sectors, she utilized her writing and facilitation chops to impact the way that employees and volunteers approached their work and communities. Through motherhood, Nekisha made a natural transition to focus her work in maternal and child health equity; becoming an IBCLC and earning her MPH with a focus on breastfeeding disparities in the US. Nekisha contributed the chapter titled Cultural Humility in the latest Core Curriculum for Interdisciplinary Lactation Care. She is co-founder of Nikki & Nikki: Lactation Career Consultants, which equips aspirants of color to become lactation professionals. At the heart of Nekisha’s work is volunteerism. In addition to lending her strategic vision to many boards of directors over the years, she donates her lactation support services to marginalized families. She was awarded the United States Air Force 2015 Spouse of the Year honor for her groundbreaking volunteerism efforts.

Kim Weber

Customer Service Assistant

Kim Weber is a mother to 3 wonderful breastfed children, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She has a Master's Degree in Social Work, and also works as a Mother Baby Unit IBCLC in a local hospital. You may "meet" her if you call the office or send us an email.

Sekeita Lewis-Johnson, DNP, FNP-BC, IBCLC

Nurse Practioner

Dr. Sekeita Lewis-Johnson is a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Birth Doula. For over 20 years, her primary focus has been labor and delivery and maternal-child nursing. She is one of the Founding Members of Southeast Michigan IBCLCs of Color and owner of Mommy and Me Lactation Consulting, LLC. She is an Instructor and Lead Nurse Planner for LER. Dr. Lewis-Johnson is an avid advocate for equitable and just policies and practices especially related to black maternal-child health disparities. Passionate about maternal-child health and breastfeeding, she provides lactation and doula services within Metro-Detroit and surrounding areas. Her main goals are to prevent obstetrical harm, and to assist breastfeeding families to achieve their desired feeding goals.

Jill Stemm

IT Support

Jill is a married mother of two breastfed children that holds a degree in Information Technology and Computer Programming. Her daughter was born premature and was never able to take a bottle due to a genetic disorder that caused an anomaly with her esophagus so she was fed breast milk through a feeding tube to help build up her weak immune system.

 


 

Vergie Hughes, RN MS IBCLC FILCA
Founder

As LER's Former Program Director, Vergie Hughes brought a long history of experience in Maternal Child Health including labor and delivery, postpartum and pediatrics, and 30 years of involvement in lactation management.

We are grateful for her critical role in establishing and growing LER's stellar community of educators, staff, and students. We continue to look to the mission, vision, and core values that were established during her leadership.

We wish her well in enjoying her much deserved retirement, alongside her husband and LER's former Chief Technical Officer, Doug Thom.