Our Team

Behind every great organization, there’s a strong team of leaders that stand behind and push its mission forward.  At The Milk Bank, our team rallies around our babies, families, and the community.  Learn about Careers at The Milk Bank.

Freedom Kolb

CEO

Freedom Kolb, Executive Director

Servant leader and community organizer are the roles I have built my career around, but the job I cherish most is mom to three fierce and amazing children. I know first-hand the challenges with medical scares, breastfeeding challenges, juggling work-life balance, and the importance of finding a support system. That is why with more than 25 years in the philanthropic sector around the country, I am delighted to join the lifesaving work of The Milk Bank! I see our work as pro-women, pro-children, pro-family and an investment in our collective public health. I am so proud of the high clinical and customer service standards this organization has achieved and will be working toward leveraging these strengths to serve even more children and rally support for the most vulnerable infants. I invite everyone to join us at The Milk Bank and consider how you can lend time, talent, or treasure to combatting the staggering infant mortality rate. When I’m not in work mode you can find me at the barn, sporting events, or advocating for equity and inclusion around the Central Indiana community. fkolb@themilkbank.org

Sarah Long

Sarah Long

IBCLC, Clinical Director

Sarah Long

Sarah Long, IBCLC, Clinical Director

Since my relocation from the UK to the USA in 2008, I have worked tirelessly to create a career in the field I feel so passionately about. I graduated in 1997 from the University of Birmingham, Central England, with a Bachelors in Midwifery. My career as a Registered Midwife in the UK allowed me the honor of delivering and supporting moms in an incredible life event – birth. My passion for breastfeeding really began when I became a mother. The challenges I faced along the way taught me that all moms need good community breastfeeding support. This inspired me to increase my knowledge in lactation to enhance my practice as a Midwife. Following my immigration to the United States, I am proud to say I achieved my goal of becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Since then, I have been employed as a hospital-based IBCLC and provided private home visits as a Lactation Consultant. I am happy to say I found my calling here at The Milk Bank, where I can help support a population of moms and babies, who without a doubt will receive the unique gift of mother’s milk. slong@themilkbank.org

Jami Marvin

Jami Marvin

CLS, Production Director

Jami Marvin

Jami Marvin, Production Director

After my daughter was born in 2010, she spent a month in the hospital for brain surgery. During that time, the only thing that I could think to do was to breastfeed. It wasn’t easy in the beginning. She was taken to a separate hospital just a few hours after birth, while I was recovering from a c-section. I had just a couple of hours with her immediately after birth where we did skin-to-skin and she did latch and begin to nurse but it wasn’t for very long. I began my breastfeeding journey using a pump in a hospital miles away from my baby, just as many of our donors do. However, in my mind, since I couldn’t go through the surgery for her, I knew that I was giving her the best chance I could at getting through the surgery as a healthy baby girl. She made it through just fine and my husband and I realized the benefits that breastfeeding offered our daughter. I was able to use my knowledge of food service standards, and my love and passion for breastfeeding to start working at The Milk Bank. Since then, I have had two healthy little boys who were lucky enough to come to work with me at The Milk Bank every day until they were six months old. The opportunity to continue our uninterrupted breastfeeding journey for that long, and be a working mom was the best of both worlds. The support during my pregnancies and breastfeeding journeys with them has been amazing! I have loved working at The Milk Bank for the last 10 years and I look forward to growing with the organization. jmarvin@themilkbank.org

Jenny Pemberton

Jenny Pemberton

Business Director

Jenny Pemberton

Jenny Pemberton, Business Director

Why would a woman without children want to work with breast milk? I heard variations of that question more than once when I announced to family and friends that I had taken a job at The Milk Bank. I guess it was a legitimate question considering that all of my “babies” have four legs and fur and I had spent nearly twenty years working in Information Technology and Analytics. My answer was simple, I was tired of helping corporations make money, and I wanted to help make a difference in peoples’ lives.

I had heard about The Milk Bank several years ago from a friend and was impressed with the amazing service they provide. I’ve always had a passion for helping those in need and when I found out The Milk Bank was hiring, I knew I needed to be a part of this incredible organization and, as luck would have it, they felt I would be a good addition to their staff. I know that I have found my new calling.

I’m amazed by the brave, strong, passionate women who work here and am so proud to not only call them my co-workers but also my friends. Every day I am inspired by them and reminded that The Milk Bank is about more than just breast milk, it’s about the compassion offered to a bereaved mom as she deals with life (and her milk) after losing her child, it’s about the support given to a mom that has spent day in and day out with her baby in the NICU, it’s about the encouragement given to a mom who is about to take her first (or second or third…) baby home from the hospital. Amazing things happen here every day.

When I’m not at The Milk Bank you can find me creating art in my stained-glass workshop, planning our next travel adventure, or planting and harvesting apples, pumpkins and other vegetables for various local farmer’s markets and the U-Pick Pumpkin Patch at the farm my husband and I own and operate, Ducky Meadow Farm and Orchard.

jpemberton@themilkbank.org

Jenna Streit

Jenna Streit

Advancement Director

Jenna Streit

Jenna Streit, Advancement Director

Moments after my youngest daughter was born, we knew she needed a short stay in the NICU. A nurse turned to me and asked if I would like her to receive donor milk or formula. While my heart was aching that I wouldn’t be immediately nursing my daughter, I was grateful to choose donor milk. It made me feel like another mom had my back. A donor mom provided milk so that my daughter and I could rest, recover, and heal. This gratitude sparked my interested in joining The Milk Bank. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with supporters who are passionate about breastfeeding and chestfeeding, improving infant mortality, want to support bereaved families, and want to ensure fragile infants have access to life-saving breast milk. In my free time, you can find me chasing chickens, spending time with my daughters and husband, and experimenting in the kitchen. jstreit@themilkbank.org

Diane Wade

Assistant Advancement Director

Diane Wade, Outreach and Engagement Coordinator

While my career began in Human Resources, I am a lifelong volunteer committed to serving family & youth-centered organizations. I stayed home while my three children were young and logged a total of two and a half years of breastfeeding, where I came to appreciate why breast milk is referred to as “liquid gold!” I am in awe of our donors, who are giving a truly precious gift. I knew that when I returned to work, I would pursue my passion for the nonprofit sector. In 2017, I received my graduate certificate in nonprofit management from IUPUI’s O’Neill School for Public and Environmental Affairs and my Masters in Public Affairs in 2020. I love putting those skills to work every day, developing relationships with community organizations, connecting with volunteers, and sharing the stories of our incredible milk donors When I need to recharge, I love going to concerts, listening to podcasts, cooking, and hanging out with my family, which includes our Bernedoodle, Wendell. I am honored to work alongside my colleagues at The Milk Bank doing the important work of supporting moms and babies! dwade@themilkbank.org

Brock Badgley

Production Coordinator

Brock Badgley, Laboratory Specialist

I’ve worked in a few fields before I started at The Milk Bank. I worked in the food industry for the majority of my working life. The Milk Bank has given me the chance to make the world a better place with the skills I’ve developed while working at my other jobs. Getting to help put families at ease and just helping babies in general has been awesome and it really makes every day better! bbadgley@themilkbank.org

Amanda Briles

Program Coordinator

Amanda Briles, Program Coordinator

For as long as I can remember, I have always found joy in interacting with and helping children and babies. From my teenage years spent babysitting and volunteering in church nurseries, to nannying during college, to volunteering in Romanian orphanages and group homes, and on through nearly eleven years working in foster care and adoption – my passion and my focus have always been on making childhood as safe, healthy, and joyful as possible. After becoming a mother to two girls and navigating the highs and lows of breastfeeding them, that passion expanded to include supporting all babies’ access to potentially lifesaving and almost always life-improving human milk! Even though reaching my breastfeeding goals was very important to me, I know for certain that I would not have been able to do so without the loads of help I received along the way from lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, systemic supports (maternity leave, time to pump at work, etc.), and knowledgeable friends. I am thrilled to now be part of an organization which plays a crucial role in increasing safe access to human milk for the most vulnerable of babies!

I am equally honored to work on a team which supports moms who need someone in their corner, whether that’s by making their incredible donation of time and “liquid gold” as easy as possible or by attending to their needs after the loss of an infant. In addition to experiencing some post-partum mental health challenges after the birth of my first daughter, we also weathered a potentially fatal medical scare with my second daughter when she was just days old. Thankfully, all turned out to be well with her, but the terror I experienced during the weeks we were waiting for answers forever altered my perspective on life and gave me a visceral appreciation – just a glimpse – for what bereaved mothers and mothers of children with severe medical needs experience. I hope that my personal experiences and background in therapy will allow me to be a source of comfort and encouragement for all the moms I’ll interact with in this role.

Alicia Drier

Individual Giving Officer

Alicia Drier, Individual Giving Officer

According to my resume and college education, I should be a high school English teacher (and I enjoyed being exactly that for over a decade). But after my first child was born, I began work as a freelance copywriter and editor, professional work that ultimately offered a more flexible schedule for my growing family’s needs while still feeding my love of words. Now a mother of two, I find my biggest passion to be bringing people together – either around good conversations, great stories, or a cause worth uplifting. My work at The Milk Bank allows me to do all three, as I work to connect families in need to life-saving breast milk donations. In my spare time, you can find me drinking chai lattes, stress-baking, or wandering somewhere with lots of trees.

Jennifer Reese

Operations & Special Projects Coordinator

Jennifer Reese, Office Operations Specialist

I graduated from Butler University in 2008 with my bachelor’s degree and went on to become an “odd job” queen, doing everything from working in restaurants and various offices, to face painting for the Indiana Pacers. I finally landed in a small corporate office as a staff accountant where I worked my way up over the course of nine years, learning accounting and business. I was absolutely overjoyed when I was able to come aboard the team here at TMB in 2019 and apply my skill set to help an organization that I truly believe in. I had known about The Milk Bank for years through family ties, and my husband and I have loved to be connected and lend our support in any way we have been able. The Milk Bank became especially important to me, personally, after my first son was born in 2015. I was headed back to work full-time but was set on reaching my breastfeeding goals of providing at least one year of breast milk for my son. I showed up at The Milk Bank with nothing but my breast pump and 5,000 questions about how to make it all work, and with the support of the Breastfeeding Resources & Assistance @ TMB (BRA) program, I was able to get the answers and help I needed to succeed in reaching (and exceeding!) those goals. jreese@themilkbank.org

Mary Timmel

Regional Advancement Coordinator – Missouri

Mary Timmel, Regional Advancement Coordinator – Missouri

I am a passionate and experienced changemaker who has worked at the local, state, and national level to educate and advocate for policies that build a world where working people, families, and everyone can thrive. My years of work in Missouri, to lift wages, to expand healthcare access, and to engage Missourians in the process of creating a government that works for them, has been as fulfilling as it is challenging.  I am thrilled to be part of The Milk Bank, building on the foundation that has been built in Missouri and reach more families. 

When I am not working, I can be found reading, eating, teaching myself new crafting skills, entertaining, and enjoying movies. You can contact me at MTimmel@TheMilkBank.org

Dinah Allen

Advancement Specialist

Leah Bush

Donor Specialist

Leah Bush, Donor Specialist

I graduated from Murray State University in 2014 with my bachelor’s and 2016 with my master’s degree. I have worked with First Steps of Indiana, and then within the DCS world to provide therapy to at risk children.

When my daughter was born my milk did not come in easily and I was not producing enough to feed her. When the nurse asked me if I wanted formula or donor milk, I was relieved to know there was an option out there to give my child what she needed while I worked to get my supply. While I only had to use donor milk for a few weeks, knowing that a mother out there was willing to help me when I felt like I was failing my child meant the world to me. I was thrilled when given the opportunity to come aboard the team here at The Milk Bank and help donors in their process to donate their liquid gold and help so many babies!

When I’m not at The Milk Bank you can find me enjoying a local community event or spending time with my daughter, husband and my three dogs Murray, Sophie and Ulyesses.

Paula Duvall

Administrative and Clinical Specialist

Paula Duvall, Administrative and Clinical Assistant

I have been in the medical field in various administrative posotions for my entire career. I recently retired from a position I had been in for over 14 years. After being at home and not working for 6 months, I realized that I don’t like not working.  I needed to find a job where I could make a difference. I had never heard of The Milk Bank until I applied for my current position. I have been so happy and content in this job since day one. It is amazing working with such amazing and talented individuals. I’m happy to be part of this awesome team.

Tim Jackson

Laboratory Specialist

Tim Jackson, Laboratory Specialist

Tracie Martin

Operations Specialist

Tracie Martin, Operations Specialist

Christie Melton

Donor Specialist

Christie Melton, Donor Specialist

I have always felt a strong calling to serve others. I come from a long lineage of public servants and medical professionals who have worked tirelessly to protect not only their communities, but those nationally and internationally as well. After serving in project management, strategic engagement and learning and development roles in secondary education, non-profits, and state government, I made a career change into public safety. My time in public safety showcased the need for increased empathy, compassionate care and truly answering “the call.”

As a mother of three extraordinary boys, that call is what led me to The Milk Bank. I had heard of The Milk Bank and the remarkable work they did to truly serve the most fragile among us – critically ill infants. Honoring the journey of these incredible warriors and their families is very near and dear to my heart. My youngest son is a NICU warrior, too. He was born with a rare congenital heart defect called truncus arteriosus. After many hard-fought days and nights in the NICU, he underwent his first open heart surgery at just 17 days old. I have always said it was the hardest and most beautiful day of my life ­– it was the day I almost lost my son and the day I got him back. For days beforehand, I watched helplessly as he walked the tight rope, and I will never forget collapsing on the floor of the NICU while the neonatology and cardiology teams worked tirelessly to save my little boy. My heart warrior and the time we spent with the incredible team at Riley Hospital forever changed me. Thanks to the unbelievable support I received from the doctors, nurses, and lactation consultations at Riley, I was able to give my son (and his two brothers before him) the gift of breastmilk. What a truly exceptional gift our donors are giving to little ones who need it most. I salute your selflessness and the immense impact you are making on the lives of those receiving your life-saving donation. It is the privilege of a lifetime to be able to honor my son while also honoring your unique story and journey as we work together to save babies.

In addition to the greatest husband and children I could ever ask for, I love opportunities to brag on and talk about my beloved German Shepard, Bear.

Katie Porras

Outpatient Specialist

Katie Porras, Outpatient Specialist

Growing up in a large and loving blended family shaped my very abundant aunt life. When I learned of The Milk Bank’s outpatient program, the job responsibilities aligned with my passion for Womb Light® and Reiki energy work, and the wellbeing of women and children. While most of my professional career has been in the legal field, volunteering at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago validated my passion for helping families. My ability to serve our community and contribute to saving infant lives comes with immense honor. When I’m not at The Milk Bank, you can find me at Leaf & Limb in Broad Ripple offering healing sessions or dancing around town with Crossroads Dance Indy. I also love tackling mountain biking and hiking trails and snuggling my gaggle of cats.

Oliver Shields

Laboratory Specialist

Oliver Shields, Laboratory Specialist

STORIES FROM THE MILK BANK

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