Founding Board of Directors
Marilu Henner is a well-known actress and NY Times bestselling author who has starred on stage (Grease, Chicago, Annie Get Your Gun, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife) in several hit TV series, (Taxi, Evening Shade, the Marilu show, and now, Shape Up Your Life on Discovery’s FitTV network), films (Blood Brothers, Between the Lines, Hammett, LA Story, Johnny Dangerously, Perfect, The Man Who Loved Women, Rustler’s Rhapsody and Noises Off, among many others), commercials, television movies and specials, including movies that shed light on “deadbeat” dads and moms, and on the issue of women who are stalked and battered. Her New York Times and national bestselling books include “Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover” and” The 30-Day Total Health Makeover”, “I Refuse to Raise a Brat”, “Healthy Life Kitchen, Healthy Kids, Healthy Holidays”, and “By All Means Keep on Moving”. For seven years, people have been able to log on to www.marilu.com and get the complete Total Health Makeover(R) experience, including information, message boards, and even live chats with Marilu and her team of experienced coaches. For more than twenty years she has championed a vigorous, healthy lifestyle and has inspired millions of people along the way. She is the mother of two breastfed boys.
Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, IBCLC is intensely interested in infant nutrition and breastfeeding, and is the first male physician to sit for and pass the International Board of Lactation Certification Exam. Dr. Gordon is a highly influential expert and leader in the arena of breastfeeding advocacy while maintaining a very successful private practice in Santa Monica, California–a practice sought after by many of Hollywood’s leading new mothers! Dr. Gordon is an associate professor at UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and lectures all over the world, promoting breastfeeding, infant nutrition, attachment parenting, infant massage and all behaviors that lead to happy, healthy children and families. Named by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Television and the Media as “the most influential doctor in America,” Dr. Gordon is also CBS TV’s Medical Consultant for Children’s programming, and continues to consult regularly for television and movies. He has appeared on “Good Morning America”–alongside Cindy Crawford. Dr. Gordon contributes to AOL with the Ask the Pediatrician weekly chat, writes a monthly column for “Fit Pregnancy” magazine and has recently contributed to “New York Parent,” “Parenting” magazine and has been quoted in the L.A. Times, New York Times, London Times . . . and many other times. His books include “Good Food Today, Great Kids Tomorrow,” “Brighter Baby,” “Good Night! The Parents’ Guide to the Family Bed,” “Hug Your Baby,” and “Listening To Your Baby: A New Approach to Parenting Your Newborn” He also wrote the forward to “Smart Medicine for a Healthy Child” and “The Encyclopedia of Vitamins and Supplements” (both published in 1999). Dr. Gordon is married with a teenage daughter.
Farley Boyle is the founder and Executive Director of C.H.A.S.E. for Life, a not-for-profit dedicated to saving children’s lives by making the education of infant/child CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver free and readily available to the community, as well as to promoting that all first-time parents learn the basics of C.H.A.S.E. (CPR, Heimlich & Awareness Safety and Education) before being discharged from hospitals with their newborns. Ms. Boyle’s 15 year modeling career includes shows, commercials, catalogues, covers, campaigns and commercial advertising for Gap, Old Navy, L’Oréal, St. John, Levi, Donna Karan & Avon. Formerly represented by Wilhelmina Models, she is now represented by Images Modeling Agency and is a familiar face at Liz Lange (having modeled through three pregnancies), and has also worked for other leading pregnancy, maternity and nursingwear clients such as Target, Motherhood, Motherwear, Me & b, Lamaze, American Baby, Parents, Baby Talk, Plum and Bundle magazines. Ms. Boyle recently starred in an episode of the series Runway Moms on the Discovery Health Network. She has a B.A. in communications from Jacksonville University and is married with three breastfed young children.
Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC— see Current Board below.
Current Board of Directors
Stephanie Brandt-Cornais, Director of Social Media and Marketing. Stephanie is the founder of Mama and Baby Love, an online resource real food, motherhood and healing. She is a mentor, healer, writer and entrepreneur. Her childhood and teenage years were full of abuse and neglect and when she was 17, she vowed to heal herself so that she could be a healthy mom and wife for her future family. Motherhood has been a tough road for her, from miscarriages, to extreme difficulties with breastfeeding, to her daughter’s Sensory Processing Disorder, and she has learned so much from her struggles. For the past 14 years, through her private healing practice and mentoring, website, books, ecourses and live workshops, she has helped other moms heal so they can be the best moms they can be. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Yoga Instructor, Certified Itsy Bitsy Yoga Facilitator, Certified Infant Massage Instructor, Certified Reiki Master Energy Healer and Certified Doula. She was a Birthing From Within Mentor from 2005 to 2010. In 2012, she was trained in Mayan Abdominal Massage by the Arvigo Institute and will take her advanced training in the spring of 2014. She is also trained in Trauma Release Excercises and apprenticed with an Acupuncture Dr to learn Cupping, Acupressure and allergy clearing healing techniques. She will be a Certified Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Educator by the end of 2014 and has studied extensively with other healers to learn mentoring, talk therapy techniques and how to help moms process and release abuse and traumas. All these trainings and certifications have greatly influenced her life and parenting style and her greatest joy is to be of service to other mothers.
Michelle Hickman, a/k/a the “Target Mom,” Director of Take Action, BFB’s advocacy wing. Michelle manages the BFB Nursing Harassment Hotline — 1-855-NIP-FREE, the first 24 hour call-in line to document, and offer support and guidance for moms who experience harassment, humiliation and discrimination while nursing in public and at work. Michelle also directs Best for Babes’ largest nationwide fundraiser, the Miracle Milk™ Mother’s Day Stroll. Michelle organized the largest retail establishment “nurse-in” in history after she was told to leave a Target store in Texas because she was nursing her infant, and repeated attempts to reach the company and receive a proper apology and assurances of policy change for future mothers, went unmet. Michelle’s experience became a “calling” and she now leads a Super Babe army of more than 7000 followers on the Target Nurse-In Facebook page, many of whom have been the subject of bullying and legal and cultural Booby Traps, or who are interested in helping to see justice served for other moms. She has led the legislative change charge in Texas, helping to rewrite current law to clarify moms’ and babies’ rights to nurse in public, and to add an enforcement provision for offenders. Her magnetic personality and smarts have made her a media and mom darling. Michelle is often interviewed by the press for nursing harassment incidents, and she has consulted on several other proposed state legislation bills. Michelle lives in Texas with her husband Terri, and four kids (three of whom continue to enjoy Mommy Milk).
Jodine Chase, Deputy Director of the BFB Business Alliance, the C.A.R.E.-Code Alliance. Jodine owns a public relations firm that specializes in news analysis for a select clientele. She is a longtime breastfeeding advocate with five children and three grandchildren. She has provided a variety of news briefing services for the breastfeeding community and currently curates Human Milk News, and is list mother for several information sharing lists in Alberta relating to efforts to re-establish donor human milk banks. She joined the Alberta Breastfeeding Committee in 2011 and her focus has been providing support to develop ABC’s communications strategy. She is a founding member of the Breastfeeding Action Committee for Edmonton (BACE), Human Milk for Human Babies, and a supporter of the nascent Calgary Mother’s Milk Bank in Alberta. Her most recent campaign has seen her take on the frat-boy monolith of Facebook, and while she hasn’t beaten them into submission, at least she has made them blink, and actually talk to mothers who understand breastfeeding is not about sex but is the natural way for people feed their children.
Marsha Walker, C.A.R.E.-Code Alliance Review Panel Chair. Marsha is a registered nurse and international board certified lactation consultant. Her 30 years of work with and for breastfeeding families encompasses both the clinical setting and the legislative and policy arenas. Previously she has held the position of President of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), Director of the Breastfeeding Support Program at Harvard Community Health Plan in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and served on the Leadership Team of the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC). She is currently president of Lactation Associates, a private practice that provides education and consultation to health care professionals and is the Executive Director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy, Research, Education and Legal Branch (NABA REAL) which advocates for breastfeeding at the state and federal levels. She is ILCA’s representative to the US Department of Agriculture’s Breastfeeding Promotion Consortium and NABA REAL’s representative to the US Breastfeeding Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors of Baby Friendly USA and the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition. She is a frequent speaker on breastfeeding issues and a published author. She is married with two breastfed children and two grandchildren.
Gail Moak, Director of Development. Gail believes fundraising is about connections—bringing people together as well as connecting people with their passion. Whether it’s a community coming together for a barn-raising or a virtual community coming together on Facebook, whether it’s families walking for our collective health or businesses taking a stand for public breastfeeding—from bake sales to crowdsourcing, it’s all about connecting people. Ever since the preschool co-op decided that Gail’s chemistry degree meant a good fit as treasurer, she has raised many thousands of dollars for nonprofits working to benefit communities. She is passionate about breastfeeding as the “Mother of All Causes.” Over 15 years in peer counseling as an accredited La Leche League Leader led to administrative positions in volunteer support and event planning. Gail coordinated large parenting and lactation conferences, alumnae trips and reunions, and has supervised and mentored regional event planners. To give a framework to her years of experience, Gail studied nonprofit management (California State University, East Bay, 2009) and event planning (San Francisco State University, 2010). She is currently the online communication coordinator and a council member for the La Leche League Alumnae Association. Spearheading Breastfeeding USA’s fundraising program from its founding in 2010 to January 2014, Gail’s efforts were instrumental in giving the new organization a solid financial footing. Gail is delighted to connect her heartfelt passion for breastfeeding with the community of Best for Babes® supporters. Gail lives in Oakland, California. She is the mother of three adult sons. Inspired by the combined Best for Babes /Breastfeeding USA Team We’ve Got Your Back, Babe fitness challenge, Gail walked her first 5K race. Gail now regularly practices yoga and Pilates, swims, hikes, and still sweats for the love of moms and babies.
Eden Abrahams is an executive coach specializing in business-focused skill building and leadership development for senior managers and executives. She excels in helping executives establish clearly defined goals, and develop a game plan to achieve them. She has a particular expertise in helping executives communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders, whether responding to routine business challenges or in situations involving significant organizational change and uncertainty, including corporate crises, mergers and acquisitions and restructurings. She has worked with individuals and corporations in a broad range of sectors including financial services, biotech, consumer products, energy services, fashion and publishing. A former partner in a leading investor relations and financial public relations firm, Eden has more than 15 years of corporate communications experience, including senior strategy and communications positions at Medley Global Advisors, Merrill Lynch, The G7 Group and The Frick Art & Historical Center. Eden has a B.A. from Northwestern University in political science and Italian and an M.A. in European studies and economics from The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Hetrick Martin Institute. Eden is married with two children.
Maria Grant spent twelve years as a finance professional at Goldman Sachs before leaving recently to spend more time with her family. During her time at Goldman Sachs, Maria spent several years running their Equity Derivatives research team, which was consistently ranked #1 or #2 on Wall Street from 2003-2007. She also served as Deputy Director of the firm’s Americas Investment Research Division and sat on their Investment Review Committee. While at Goldman Sachs, Maria nursed and pumped for two babies and mentored many women through the nursing and working experience. She also served on the Board of Directors for La Leche League International and was part of the technical review committee for the eighth edition of “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding”, a national bestseller, published in July 2010. Maria’s work has been regularly featured in the Wall Street Journal, Barrons, and Bloomberg, and she has discussed investment strategies on CNBC. After her time in corporate America, Maria spent time traveling the country with her husband and two young children, including a nursing baby, and ran three marathons in three months for her favorite cause through Team Best for Babes. Maria now lives in Colorado with her husband, two kids, and a new nursling baby and currently serves on our Advisory Board guiding the development of Team BFB. Maria graduated from Davidson College, Magna Cum Laude, with Honors in Mathematics and earned a M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Alise Kreditor has spent more than two decades in the business of public relations, with a concentration in the juvenile category. Alise’s expertise stems from her ability to grasp many aspects of a client’s business quickly and then to present that business in alternative formats geared to the interest of the media outlet. She currently represents several U.S. subsidiaries of foreign mega-brands such as Mustela and Stokke, as well as U.S. based category leaders including Kalencom diaper bags and Halo SleepSack, and has represented the entertainment, luxury and OTC categories (i.e., Lightyear Entertainment; Omega and Rado Watches; Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch; Rolls Royce Moscow,and pHisoDerm.) Her concentration in the juvenile market grew as her family did, and in fact her children often served as guinea pigs to try new products. Alise graduated from Cornell University with a degree in French literature and history of art and also studied at La Sorbonne, Paris. She has served as president of Great Neck Community Concerts and is currently a Vice President at Temple Israel of Great Neck. She resides in Great Neck with her husband and their three children.
Amy Sestito CEO and Publisher of The Family Groove.