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Report from the Board:
A Letter to Leaders

Lynne Coates
Chairman, LLLI Board of Directors
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 39 No. 1, February-March 2003, pp. 2, 24

Dear Leaders,

I’d like to share some news and announcements with you. Much of this information has been available on LLLI News.

Change in Executive Director
LLLINews, December 11, 2002

From Anne Gaskell, LLLI Executive Director:

I have resigned as Executive Director of La Leche League International as of December 31. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the LLLI Board of Directors for their unfailing support in challenging times and their wisdom in providing me with direction. I look forward to continuing to work with many of you as a transition consultant in the coming months to further our mission and philosophy.

From Lynne Coates, Chairman, LLLI Board of Directors:

I have accepted Anne's resignation with great reluctance on behalf of the LLLI Board. Anne has made a major contribution to the well being of La Leche League and its mission and philosophy. I speak for all of us when I express heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. We are pleased that Anne has agreed to continue in a consultancy role for the coming months.

Additional Update:

The Executive Director (ED) position is designated in LLL policies, and the authority of the ED rests with the LLLI Board of Directors during a vacancy in that position. The LLLI Board has the responsibility to determine how the position will be filled. The LLLI Board voted, with the Chairman abstaining, to authorize me (Lynne Coates) to serve as Acting Executive Director until a new Executive Director is hired. I am serving in a volunteer capacity, both because the LLLI Bylaws require that a member of the Board cannot be a paid staff member, and because I prefer to serve as a volunteer. As noted in the LLLINews announcement about her resignation, Anne will be continuing in a consultancy role for specific projects until the end of March. We anticipate starting a search process for a new ED within a few months.

Renewal Initiative

The LLLI Board’s leadership statement—adopted at the February 2002 LLLI Board of Directors meeting—encourages the use of the draft renewal initiative's set of principles. We continue to hear back from Leaders about working with the draft principles. Do they help or not? Please send your thoughts and experiences to any LLLI Board member.

As with other Leaders, those who are exploring the use of the principles are expected to observe and follow the current LLLI Policies and Standing Rules, LLLI philosophy, and the LLLI Bylaws. In addition, Leaders follow the appropriate policies and guidelines for the Areas, Divisions, and Affiliates in which they live. If you find that there are areas of conflict between the current Bylaws, PSR, and philosophy and the proposed set of principles, the LLLI Board would like to hear about these difficulties.

Many Leaders have written letters to the Board of Directors about the Renewal Initiative. If you’d like to read some of the responses from Board members to these letters, you can see them on the LLLI Board webpage, www.laleche The letters are not intended to be a definitive update, but rather to be a sharing of thoughts.

The discussion about the Renewal Initiative in the last six months has been interesting, at times intense, and sometimes highly emotional. From its inception, La Leche League has encountered differences of opinion about a variety of topics. We have so much in common—a philosophy of mothering through breastfeeding, experiences in breastfeeding and mothering our children, and an interest in helping other mothers learn about the joys of breastfeeding. Even when we disagree, we can respect those we differ with, and approach questions with objectivity and a desire to learn more from each other. La Leche League deserves the best we can give, as do the mothers and babies we serve.

Actions Taken at the October 2002 Board Meeting

"Board Actions" refers to motions that are passed by the LLLI Board. Most motions are introduced and voted on after discussion and consideration at our regularly scheduled Board meetings. Rarely action may be taken by the unanimous written consent (LLLI Bylaws, Article VI, Section 12) of the full Board or by the Executive Committee. Another option for taking action, used even more rarely, is by telephone conference call (Article VI, Section 13). Adopted by a unanimous vote:

LLLI Statement of Support for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners

La Leche League International (LLLI) recognizes the value of a qualified lactation consultant as part of the health care team working with a breastfeeding mother and baby. The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) credentialing process establishes and assures the standards for the knowledge, attitudes, and skills essential for this role. LLLI recognizes the IBLCE credential as the standard of excellence for the certification of lactation consultants.

The IBLCE recently issued a similar statement about mother-to-mother support organizations including La Leche League:

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners recognizes the critical role served by mother-to-mother support organizations such as La Leche League and the Australian Breastfeeding Association in support of mothers and babies in the initiation and duration of breastfeeding. These organizations also serve a vital role in providing the experiential base for developing the breastfeeding expertise of mother-to-mother support group leaders/counselors and lactation consultants. In addition, these organizations provide essential continuing education for leaders/counselors/lactation consultants and others, disseminating knowledge and information based upon empirical research and clinical experience.

These are mutual statements of support between organizations. Background information is available on the LLLI Web site,

This action was taken on a motion from the Professional Advisory Board Committee:

Upon the receipt and acceptance of his resignation, the La Leche League International Board of Directors and Founders sincerely thank Hugh Riordan, MD, for his many years of service on the Health Advisory Council of the Professional Advisory Board as a pioneer and staunch supporter of breastfeeding and the organization. With great pride and appreciation, we invite Dr Riordan to emeritus status on the Professional Advisory Board.

Other announcements
A Tribute to Dr. Kimball
LLLINews, January 10, 2003

Dr. E. Robbins Kimball, one of the original members of the La Leche League International Professional Advisory Board, died on December 27, 2002. As a pediatrician, he was one of the early advocates of delaying solids as a means of avoiding allergies. In his pediatric practice in Evanston, Illinois, his support and encouragement helped many women to breastfeed at a time when the rate of breastfeeding was declining. He was also instrumental in setting up the Evanston Hospital breast milk bank during the 1950s. Upon reflection Dr. Kimball said he felt one of his most important contributions in life was helping mothers to breastfeed. He was given the La Leche League Award of Excellence in 1991 and the Founders' Award in 1997.

Motions Anticipated at the Annual Session of the LLLI Board of Directors (February 27-March 3, 2003, in Schaumburg, Illinois)

We expect to vote on
• A motion to approve the LLLI budget for the fiscal year starting April 1, 2003 and ending March 31, 2004.
• A motion to select the auditor for the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2003.
• Motions from the Professional Advisory Board Committee about memberships on the various councils of the Professional Advisory Board (Health Advisory Council, Legal Advisory Council, Management Advisory Council). Members serve for five years, and are eligible for renewal of their membership at the completion of a term.
• Board officers. All officer positions serve for one year and an election for officers is held at every Annual Session. This is an "off year" for elections for zone Board seats; the next election for seats from the zones will be at the 2004 Annual Session when the United States Western, Europe, and Canada zones will present candidates for election. Nominations from these zones will be due to the LLLI Board Nominating Committee in September 2003. In 2005, the Eastern United States, Asia/Pacific, Africa/Middle East, and Latin American zones will present candidates for election. Please contact your zone representative for more information on the nomination process (See box for contact information.) or you may contact any member of the LLLI Board of Directors.

The Board may consider additional motions at the Annual Session.

Lynne Coates

LLLI Email Lists

LLLINews is an email distribution list for LLL administrators around the world. The purpose of the list is to disseminate information for Leaders that LLLI wishes to share with them. The intention is that administrators will then pass the information on to the Leaders they support, either via Area/Affiliate email lists or individually. Leaders, please contact your support Leader if you do not receive LLLINews messages.

The LLLINews list is a wonderful way to share late-breaking news quickly, and is also a convenient way to distribute LLLI media releases, notices of new books and products, and other announcements.

Leaders, members, and the general public (nearly 2,000 at this writing) are welcome to subscribe to the OnLLLine Chronicle, which is LLLI's monthly email newsletter. Information of a more general nature is shared here, such as new items on the LLLI Web site, publicity for conferences and workshops, Catalogue sales, new publications, and Affiliate activities. Subscription information can be found at:

[Note: Email addresses on this page have been updated since publication.]

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