Board of Directors 2017-2018
Liane C. Varnes, IBCLC, RLC
Liane first became involved with breastfeeding advocacy as a young mother in 1982. She was involved with La Leche League for several years, realized she had a passion for all things related to lactation , and subsequently volunteered at her local health department in Thomasville, GA. During that time, she taught breastfeeding classes and privately counseled pregnant and nursing women on a mother-to-mother basis.
In 1997 she moved to the Northeast Georgia Mountains and began volunteering as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor (BPC) for the local WIC office, and was later employed as a full-time BPC. She gained her clinical experience in various county WIC clinics, and helped train additional BPCs, eventually becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 2010.
She currently has a growing private practice in the northeast Georgia region, performing home visits for breastfeeding families. She has two beautiful adult daughters, and is married to Randy Varnes.
Audrey K. Thompson, RN, IBCLC, RLC, CCE, BBA
Audrey started her career in the healthcare field as a hospital consultant for clinical information technology, which inspired her interest in nursing. After being a Maternal-Child RN for 8 years, her passion for breastfeeding lead her to head the breastfeeding program at South Fulton Medical Center, providing education to nurses, classes to parents and lactation support for new moms. After becoming certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2012, she entered private practice, where she continues to help families meet their breastfeeding goals.
Audrey loves home-schooling her formerly breastfed 2 sons and daughter, and is active at Mt. Paran Church of God. Audrey often advocates for children with special needs, and mothers, babies and families everywhere. In her rare free time, Audrey enjoys singing, reading and traveling, and she adores all things Disney.
Kathleen (Kat) Chiu, IBCLC, RLC
Kat has been involved in the breastfeeding world since 1977. In 1980, she was accredited as a La Leche League Leader and a Certified Childbirth Educator, and in 1987, she certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). In the last 28 years, she has held positions as an LC in a pediatrics practice, a private practice, a group LC practice, and both postpartum and the NICU. She has also spent years teaching both breastfeeding and childbirth classes.
Kat is the proud mother of 3 beautiful daughters and 3 great sons-in-law. She enjoys reading, traveling, plus anything having to do with breastfeeding, mothers and babies. But most of all, she enjoys her 7 gorgeous grandchildren.
Christie Coursey, IBCLC, RLC
Christie is the Senior Lactation Consultant and Clinical Manager of Breastfeed, Atlanta, LLC. A busy mother of 2 formerly breastfed children, Christie’s love of lactation began with them. Christie’s expertise is varied, with past positions being both hospital based and peer support. As chair of the Private Practice SIG, Christie passionately advocates not only for moms and babies, but also for the lactation profession as a whole, and is currently mentoring two talented, aspiring IBCLCs.
Mel Williams, IBCLC, RLC
Mel Williams has been a La Leche League Leader for eight years. She became an IBCLC in 2010 and recertified in 2015. She has been an active member of SELCA for seven years. She currently resides in the Kennesaw, GA area with her husband Steve and their breastfed six kids, ages 19 months to 14 years. Mel is excited to be on the SELCA board as the state of Georgia moves forward with licensing of IBCLCs.
Mary Francell, IBCLC, MA
Mary is currently a Lactation Consultant at Kennesaw Pediatrics, having become an IBCLC in 2015. She is extensively involved with La Leche League, acting as Contributing Editor for Leader Today, La Leche League International, Area Professional Liaison for La Leche League of Georgia, and Leader of La Leche League Dunwoody.
In addition to her professional and volunteer work, Mary has done extensive studying of lactation topics. She is particularly interested in reading and writing about biologically normal breastfeeding and parenting issues, such as self attachment and Biological Nurturing.
Carol Hendrix, BS, IBCLC, RLC
Carol is currently working in Public Health as the WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator at the North Georgia Health District. She serves on the Board of Directors in SELCA, Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition, and the Northwest Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition. She spends considerable time counseling Spanish and English speaking mothers. One responsibility is supervising 17 Peer Counselors who refer cases out of their scope to her. With a passion for helping WIC moms return to work and continue breastfeeding, Carol has been actively involved in the Business Case for Breastfeeding since its inception in 2008 reaching out to the carpet mill industry in the North Georgia area. Based on her experiences in Public Health, she has presented at several conferences including ILCA, CDC, SELCA, and Emory. She was an integral part in the production of the Northwest Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition’s DVD, “Breastfeeding: A Guide to Success” released in 2009. Carol has two “Gen Z” children, ages 14 and 11.
Theresa Brown RNC-NIC, IBCLC, RLC
Theresa began helping breastfeeding families as a NICU RN in 1981. Upon being board-certified as an IBCLC in 1992, she helped establish the lactation program at Hamilton Medical Center. She provides consultation and instruction in basic breastfeeding techniques for new mothers and families. She also offers breastfeeding support and problem solving for NICU mother/infant dyads. Theresa facilitates breastfeeding classes for new parents, hospital staff and nursing students in area colleges. Theresa is a former Vice President and current Co-Treasurer of SELCA and the current Treasurer/Education Chair for the Northwest Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition. Theresa and her husband Harrison have three beautiful adult daughters, all of whom were breastfed and three wonderful breastfed grandchildren.
The SELCA Board of Directors wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the service of Amy Hammant, BS, IBCLC, RLC, CCCE, CD who chose to step down from her position as a Co-Outreach Coordinator for personal reasons; we wish her well!