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LLLI Honors People Who Make a Difference

From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 24 No. 4, July-August 2007, pp. 182-183

Every two years, La Leche League International (LLLI) gathers nominations from La Leche League Leaders all over the world and presents honorary awards to the extraordinary people whom we feel have contributed most to supporting breastfeeding. This year's winners will be honored in July at the LLLI 50th Anniversary Conference in Chicago, Illinois, USA. We would like to introduce these outstanding champions of breastfeeding to you here in New Beginnings. Their work has helped provide you with the information and support that La Leche League provides to breastfeeding families around the world. Take a minute and find out about the people who continue to make a difference for mothers and babies.

La Leche League International Award of Appreciation

This award is given to an individual or group whose support of LLL has been outstanding. This year the winners are Randy Zaller and Michael Luberto of the Luberto Zaller Group (LZG). The Luberto Zaller Group is a sales, marketing, and licensing agency specializing in holistically building brands in the United States and Canadian retail marketplace. LZG creates opportunities for new or existing products to be presented to buyers at major retailers throughout North America. LZG is handling the licensing of the La Leche League "brand" for products such as the new line of lingerie by QT and a line of baby clothes.

LZG came to La Leche League with an idea. They found LLLI after Randy's wife called a Leader for help. They were impressed, did research, and were surprised that our organization wasn't as well known as they thought it should be. Randy brought in some other folks who, with him, saw the opportunity and potential. Everyone involved worked to find the right way to make the licensing opportunities help the LLLI mission. Randy and Mike are so dedicated to LLLI that they participated in WHO Code training and understand LLLI's commitment to the protection of breastfeeding. Congratulations, Randy Zaller and Mike Luberto.

La Leche League International Award of Excellence

This award goes to an individual or group with outstanding work or accomplishment in the breastfeeding field. This year's winner is Dr. Peter Hartmann, Professor in Biochemistry at The University of Western Australia. Dr. Hartmann's research has a strong emphasis on the comparative biochemistry of lactation. He has studied milk synthesis and hormonal control of milk production in cows, ewes, rabbits, rats, goats, sows, and quokkas. His research in human lactation began with his daughter's birth in 1971 and his appointment to UWA as a lecturer to medical students in 1972.

Dr. Hartmann has published extensively on the synthesis and secretion of milk over the entire lactation cycle of women -- from conception to weaning. Currently his research is directed toward understanding the control of milk secretion in women with the aim of developing clinical protocols for the assessment of the normal function of the lactating breast. In addition, research is continuing on the assessment of the efficiency of electric breast pumps. His research is highly respected internationally and he has been invited to present his research findings at conferences in many countries, including USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand. He has published 116 refereed papers containing original research findings, five chapters in books, 27 major reviews, 26 conference reviews, and 134 conference abstracts. Dr. Hartmann and his wife, Robyn, have a daughter, Melinda, and a son, Ben. Congratulations Dr. Hartmann!

La Leche League International Award of Achievement

This award is for those whose actions have initiated significant change in promoting or protecting breastfeeding. This year it's being presented to Sarah Amin and Susan Siew of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA).

Through their work with WABA, Sarah and Susan have had a significant and important role in furthering breastfeeding promotion, support, and protection on a global level that has reached many different populations. Both are extremely talented, committed, hard working, and passionate women. They have been co-Directors of WABA for the majority of their time at the WABA Secretariat, and have contributed in different ways to breastfeeding. Sarah has been involved in World Breastfeeding Week campaigns, has coordinated WABA's network governance, and is involved in women, work, and breastfeeding activities. In addition, Sarah is the author of Nurturing the Future: Our First Five Years. Sensitive to problems and needs of women, especially those living in developing countries, Sarah helped to establish the WABA Gender Project and initiated gender trainings for breastfeeding advocates. She also facilitated the formation of the Global Initiative for Father Support.

As Co-director, Susan uses her skills and education to coordinate the WABA media and communications program, having been trained in design and communication. She is very actively involved in WABA activities that address advocacy and social mobilization, such as her presence on the UN Breastfeeding Team (of which LLLI is a member). Advocacy is her strong point and she efficiently networks at international meetings and conferences for the furtherance of breastfeeding. She was responsible for the book, Images of Breastfeeding Worldwide. She possesses a high level of meeting planning skills and was very involved in the WABA Global Forum in Thailand, 1996, and the Forum in Tanzania, 2002. Her sense of justice has served the global breastfeeding community well. Congratulations to Susan and Sarah!

La Leche League International Award of Recognition

This award is for those whose independent and positive promotion of breastfeeding has captured public attention. The winner this year is Dr. Katherine Dettwyler. Dr. Dettwyler is an anthropologist currently teaching anthropology classes at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania, and at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. She continues her affiliation with Texas A&M University, where she taught from 1987 to 2000. She is the author of Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa, which recounts tales of her fieldwork on child health in Mali. Dancing Skeletons was awarded the 1995 Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology. She is also the co-editor of Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives, which includes her own two chapters "Beauty and the Breast: The Cultural Context of Breastfeeding in the United States," and "A Time to Wean: The Hominid Blueprint for a Natural Age of Weaning in Modern Human Populations." In 2003 she co-edited an anthropology reader with Vaughn Bryant titled Reflections on Anthropology: A Four-Field Reader. Initial results of her research on extended breastfeeding in the United States were published in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology ("When to Wean: Biological Versus Cultural Perspectives"). She is the author of many other scholarly articles. She is a frequent speaker at universities and conferences. She and her husband live in Delaware. They have two sons and a daughter.

La Leche League International Award for Leaders

This award is for an outstanding La Leche League Leader. This year, on our 50th anniversary, who else should be honored but the original Leaders -- the seven Founders of La Leche League! Viola Lennon, Mary Ann Kerwin, Betty Wagner Spandikow, Marian Tompson, Edwina Froehlich, Mary White, and Mary Ann Cahill jointly receive this award in honor of being the very first La Leche League Leaders and the women who saved breastfeeding.

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