The Mother's Milk Cooperative is extremely fortunate to draw from the knowledge and experience of our esteemed start-up board. The board currently consists of four independent directors and six active member-directors. Our board members are volunteers who offer their expertise and time towards helping the efforts of the Coop.
Brandi Ebert grew up in the small town of Saint Helens, Oregon. She attended Saint Helens Senior High when she began working for Sunshine Pizza, a locally owned family restaurant. She has now been part of its management team for over 25 years, growing this small town family restaurant and making it one of the leading catering and food venues in Columbia County. Brandi takes pride in the longevity of her career with Sunshine Pizza and how her work has helped foster the establishment’s success.
Brandi’s support for her community and family go well beyond Sunshine Pizza. She is the proud mother of two amazing breastfed daughters. She has helped new mothers by sharing her own experiences and struggles, and advocating for the Mother’s Milk Cooperative. Having personally experienced low milk supply, she successfully worked to increase her supply substantially. Brandi is a working mother and pumps each and every day, not only to provide milk for her own daughter, but also to donate.
Amanda Mandola is a graduate of University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and University of St. Thomas. During her college years, she served in two leadership roles in student government and received a grant that paid for nursing school. As a level III NICU registered nurse she witnessed both the benefits of breast milk and the health decline in babies whom could not receive breast milk due to its shortage. As if this alone was not enough to make her passionate about breastfeeding, she also was able to witness the miraculous improvements breast milk made on her own son during his NICU stay.
Advocating for babies that need breast milk had become a calling. Mothers deserve the option of compensation for their hard work in providing breast milk for these babies. Amanda also currently serves as a school nurse, caring for toddlers, children, and adults, meanwhile managing to donate thousands of ounces of her own milk to families in need through the Mother’s Milk Cooperative. Amanda lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Mike, and son, Ethan. She is close to her parents, two younger brothers and sister. She enjoys reading, running, hanging out with her son, and watching the New Orleans Saints.
Laura Rickgauer Moore is a mother of four and preeclampsia survivor. She has years of experience in milk banks and breast milk donation. She brings compassion and understanding to mothers and donors alike with her unique perspective as both a donor and a mother to a premature child, experiencing first hand the life-saving benefits that donor milk provides. Laura has actively volunteered in many online support groups as well as local LLL and WIC offices across the country. Inspired by a family history of milk donation, Laura has supplied large amounts of donor milk in honor of her grandfather and the generosity of the milk donor who saved his life. As a military wife, Laura has learned why support in breastfeeding is so crucial for mothers like herself to succeed.
Laura volunteers in the state of Oregon where her family lives. She helps in her local community working with local breastfeeding mothers every day. In addition to her volunteer work, Laura has donated tens of thousands of ounces of breast milk with each of her four children. Her passion has empowered and motivated countless of mothers. Laura continues to speak out about her passion for breast milk donation and her personal struggle with preeclampsia, all in an effort to see the shortage of donated breast milk in the US resolved and breast milk donors appreciated and valued for the life-saving milk they provide. Laura hopes to leave behind a milk donation legacy of her own in which her daughters and other women will be motivated to follow, making our country healthier for mothers and babies by increasing awareness and availability of donor milk for babies who need it.
Anna Nieboer is a registered nurse, specially certified in inpatient obstetrics. She graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing from Hope College in 2010. Immediately after graduation, she welcomed her first child and joined the obstetrics team at Bronson Methodist Hospital, where she was already employed as a nurse extern (as part of the labor and delivery team!). Anna actively works to provide evidence-based care to her unit in order to improve outcomes for mothers and babies. She serves as the co-chair of clinical quality for the obstetrics unit. The initiatives she has led in evidence-based care related to skin to skin, breast-feeding, and natural labor techniques have all been incorporated into the obstetric care at Bronson Methodist Hospital.
Anna’s passion for holistic care of pregnant women, laboring mothers, and newborns positively impacts the way women give birth in the hospital setting. She is in the process of attaining her Doula certification to further improve her support of laboring mothers. Outside of the hospital, Anna volunteers with Kalamazoo's Crisis Pregnancy Center to provide breast-feeding and pregnancy educational to mothers in the community. She is a licensed foster care provider with her husband and provides foster care to newborns, pregnant teens, and toddlers. Anna is married with two young children. She lives in Kalamazoo, MI and enjoys time cooking for her family, walking outdoors, and visiting with friends.
Lyndsay Sargent calls herself your “average” donor and loves helping others by discussing her breastfeeding struggles and triumphs. With help and encouragement from a local friend and milk donor, Lyndsay was able to successfully increase her supply to meet and exceed the demand of her children, allowing her to become a milk donor. From frustration with milk production to the in's and out's of becoming a milk donor, she is always ready to help another mother. As a gluten-free and dairy-free pumping mom, she also reaches out to those who might need extra support with removing certain foods from their diet.
As a busy mom of four kids, it’s a must to have time and money management skills and Lyndsay manages her household all the while taking the kids to their various activities and providing their education through home-schooling. As a board member of the local Oregon Hunters Association, she has helped make decisions affecting local hunters and the spending of committee funds. When making decisions, Lyndsay aims to keep others’ best interests in mind, both within her family and throughout her other endeavors.
Melissa Wiegand is a 2005 graduate of Bradley University with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Upon graduation Melissa worked as a breastfeeding support counselor, nutritionist, and supervisor for low income families in Cook County through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Melissa went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Health and Wellness from the Union Institute and University in 2008 and her Doctorate Degree in Health Education from A.T. Still University in 2010.
Working first hand with breastfeeding mothers, Melissa has been able to see the positive impact that breastfeeding has on families, including her own. Melissa has a strong sense of appreciation for the non-profit sector working in education, social work, and as an Executive Director. Melissa resides in Washington with her husband Scott and their two children. Melissa is an avid reader and in her spare time enjoys hiking, traveling, and relaxing with her family.