Training for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

Meet Our Staff

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.

Sekeita Lewis-Johnson, DNP FNP-BC IBCLC

Accredited Provider Program Director

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. For more information on Dr. Johnson, please click here.

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.

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.

Contact Juanita at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 16 and 18 and thriving in life.

Contact Annette at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nickole Unterzuber Bowman

Business Management and HR Director

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Becky Nield

Content Manager

Becky is responsible for coordinating and editing course work and lesson development at LER as well as managing the LER Facebook study group pages. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Idaho State University and is currently studying to become an IBCLC. She 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.



Vergie Hughes, RN MS IBCLC FILCA

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.