MBA, BHS, BSN, IBCLC
Esther has over 27 years of experience in the childbirth and breastfeeding field. Her passion for the profession began first-hand by the onset of motherhood. Fueled by the priceless self-accomplishment of achieving successful exclusive breastfeeding for all three of her children; Esther has stopped at nothing to express her desire and purpose of educating, facilitating, and assisting mothers & organizations all over the Country to learning more about the benefits of breastfeeding.
Esther has her degrees in nursing specializing in Maternal and Child Health, Business and Health Care Administration / Management. Esther is a registered nurse, IBCLC, and Certified Lactation Educator™ and Childbirth Educator. Esther serves as the Florida Department of Health Broward County WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator, President of Broward County Breastfeeding Coalition, and faculty for the CAPPA CLE© program.
Esther list of awards and accomplishments extend from various organizations, individuals, as well as personal conquests. This led her on a personal quest to fulfill a vision of a ‘better maternal equipped community’ to open, own, & manage A Mother’s Choice Childbirth and Breastfeeding Services for 22 years. After making her mark on the community, Esther decided to join forces with the state and build the community from a federal perspective. She established the Florida Department of Health Broward County WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program in 2003. Esther has been awarded the 2013 Florida Department of Health Davis Productivity Award for implementing innovative ideas to improved staff education and training. Esther was awarded the Gold WIC Loving Support Award of Excellence for Breastfeeding Support and Practices and the Certificate of Appreciation from the USDA in 2015. With Esther’ leadership and management, In 2016 NACCHO (National Association of County & City Health Officials) recognized the Florida Department of Health Broward WIC Peer Counselor’s program as one of the Model community practices provided a diversity of peer or professional-led lactation support services which increased breastfeeding rates in the community.
In her private time, Esther is a very committed individual to her commitment and belief in God, believing that we all have a deeper part to play in our time here on Earth. She enjoys spending time with her family and having long walks on the beach. In addition, enjoys bike riding for its great health benefits.
MS, RD, LD/N
Dykibra Gaskin has worked in Public Health, specializing in Maternal and Child Health and Breastfeeding for over 12 years. She received her Master’s Degree in Human Sciences with a concentration in Clinical Nutrition and completed her Dietetic Internship from Florida State University in 2007, and began working for WIC the same year. During her internship, she developed an interest in breastfeeding, working under the great Susan Taylor, RN, IBCLC. She later sought and attained the CLC credential and was tasked with assuming the role of Interim Breastfeeding Coordinator and Designated Breastfeeding Expert for several years after having worked closely and under the tutelage of with local IBCLCs and the WIC IBCLCs and DBE’s before they left the agency. That hands-on experience allowed her to be a staunch advocate for breastfeeding, and provided her the ability to help provide moms with on-demand breastfeeding help so they could continue their breastfeeding journey and meet and exceed their breastfeeding goals. Currently, she serves as the Director of WIC in Leon County, serving the Tallahassee area and five other surrounding counties, where she has seen an increase in breastfeeding initiation and duration rates in her counties in her tenure as director.
She is active in the local Capital Area Breastfeeding Coalition, and the Breastfeeding Policy group. The latter, a group she co-founded back in 2015 to address work/life breastfeeding issues with the goal of helping moms reach their long-term breastfeeding goals. She is also a member of Melanin Moms Meet, and is working to help address Maternal Mortality in women of color, by working to increase the number of lactation professionals (CLCs and IBCLCs) and birth workers, such as Doulas to better serve pregnant and nursing moms. This is her third year as a Board member for FBC.
She has been married for 12 years and is mom to two beautiful girls, the oldest, breastfed for three and a half years and the youngest, over a year and counting. She enjoys traveling, attending church, and spending time with family.
Jessica M Gordon,
PhD, ARNP, CPNP-PC, CLC
Dr. Gordon has over 15 years of experience in maternal-child health nursing. Her focus in lactation began after implementing a perinatal program funded by the March of Dimes that successfully improved the breastfeeding initiation rate of mothers with newborns in the NICU. She is currently practicing at Pediatrics of Tampa Bay as a board certified Nurse Practitioner with certifications in pediatrics, lactation and infant family mental health. Mrs. Gordon has been published in Pediatric Nursing and Reflections of Nursing Leadership, and serves as the President of the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition, co-founder of the Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Task Force, Faculty at the University of South Florida and has been recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as a Health Care Hero finalist for her contributions to the health and wellness of women, infants and children in the Tampa Bay Area.
Chandra Haimbaugh, CLC
Marcda Hillaire, MPH, BA, CLC, IBCLC
Marcda Hilaire has a background in biomedical science with a Bachelor’s in Biology from Temple University. She is an Alumna of the STEMM Prep Program, formerly Physician Scientist Training Program where she interned with The National Institute of Health, Rosetta Inpharmics and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto Canada. She is a Gates Millennium scholar alumna.
She earned Master’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. During her graduate studies, she interned with the Hillsborough Department of Health Office of Health Equity and conducted a field experience with the Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Task Force on the “Anytime Anywhere” project, helping to implement 27 local businesses to participate in displaying decals with the international symbol of breastfeeding. She also interned with UNICEF Latin America Office in the department of Nutrition and Emergencies contributing to country scorecards with various breastfeeding indicators.
Ms. Hilaire served as the Breastfeeding Coordinator and Peer Counselor Coordinator in Palm Beach County WIC for 3.5 years. She has trained nationally and internationally with Gold Lactation Conference. She and her husband have two children, both were breastfed. Currently, Ms. Hilaire serves as an independent contractor in a hospital and owns a private practice lactation consultant company. She is a member of the Palm Beach County Breastfeeding Coalition, and has been a member of the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition since 2015.
She became a CLC in 2012, IBCLC in 2017 and serves as IBCLC Pathway mentor for aspiring IBCLCS. With a passion for the reducing racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding, Ms. Hilaire is working on spearheading a cultural breastfeeding support group for the Haitian community. She is an aspiring Chiropractic physician, having received acceptance into a local school of Chiropractic Medicine. She enjoys singing, writing, poetry, spending time with family, and advocating for breastfeeding.
Jennifer Jones, RN, IBCLC, BSN, MPH
Jennifer became a La Leche League leader in 1987 and subsequently became an IBCLC in 1993. Jennifer has continued to be an IBCLC in private practice and has worked with two Boca Raton hospitals through medical staffing privileges. Jennifer earned her nursing degree through Jackson Memorial’s nursing program in Miami, her BSN through Nova University. Jennifer looks forward to putting her Masters in Public Health degree to good use through her work with FBC. As treasurer Jennifer brings over 20 years of Quickbooks experience to FBC to assist with helping FBC.
Jamee Thumm, MPH, CPH, CLC
Like many others, the birth of Jamee’s children and her own struggles with breastfeeding and workplace challenges shifted her career. Frustrated with the inadequate support for moms from so many levels, she returned to school and earned a Masters Degree in Public Health specializing in Maternal and Child Health from the University of South Florida and became a Certified Lactation Counselor. After rebirthing Sarasota County’s breastfeeding taskforce, the Breastfeeding Advocates of Sarasota County (BASC), she started working at the taskforce’s lead agency–the Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County. At the Coalition she has lead several breastfeeding and interconception care initiatives and research projects.
She recently hung her shingle as a freelance public health consultant and virtual assistant, focusing on project management, grants, social media strategy, and podcasting. In her spare time she writes fiction and explores Florida with her family.
LL.M, La Leche League Leader
Born and raised in Guatemala, Rocio Velazquez is a wife and mother of 2 beautiful boys. She is a kindergarten teacher and attorney in her country, with a Master of Laws degree (LL.M) from Florida International University. Rocio has been a passionate breastfeeding advocate for 10 years, a La Leche League Leader, and is a breastfeeding counselor and educator. Her goal is to raise the importance of breastfeeding as a key to social development.
In 2015 she and her family settled in Miami and since then she has been supporting families who wanted to breastfeed, focusing on Hispanic families in Florida. Currently, she works at The Children’s Movement of Florida, a non-profit that advocates for high-quality early childhood education, access to health services for all children in the state and provide tools to support parents. For her contributions to health, human rights and human welfare in the community as a breastfeeding advocate, she was awarded the Alexandra Bach-Lagos 2018 Scholarship from the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.