Board of Directors

The dedicated professionals who are members of Attachment Parenting International's Board of Directors meet quarterly to develop policies and procedures, define the vision and mission of the organization, and advise staff when needed.

Barbara Nicholson, MEd

API Founder

Barbara Nicholson holds a master's degree in Education, specializing in learning disabilities. She has volunteered for over 20 years with La Leche League International, an educational and support organization for breastfeeding mothers. She is also trained as a facilitator in the Nurturing Parenting Program. Ms. Nicholson co-founded Attachment Parenting International in 1994.

She has spoken to a variety of groups -- including parent educators, psychology students, conference attendees, and juvenile probation officers -- about parenting as a prevention model for societal violence. Ms. Nicholson continues to work closely with API on fundraising and has served on the development committee for the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) Program at Vanderbilt University. Barbara is the mother of four adult sons and resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Lysa Parker, MS, CFLE

API Founder & Director Emeritus

Lysa Parker has a master's degree in Human Development and Family Studies, is a Certified Family Life Educator (C.F.L.E.), and is a trained facilitator for the Nurturing Parenting Program. Ms. Parker is the co-founder of API and served as the Executive Director from 1994 to 2007. She managed program development and public relations and continues to speak to various groups and conferences about parenting as a prevention model for societal violence.

With a bachelor's degree in Education, specializing in special education, she taught in California, Tennessee, and Alabama during her 20-year career, working with children with multiple handicaps and/or learning disabilities. Other experience includes several years of volunteer work with La Leche League International, a nonprofit organization that provides breastfeeding education and support, and as an API Support Group Leader.

She is the mother of two adult sons and an adult stepdaughter and grandmother to twin grandsons. She lives with her husband in Madison, Alabama. Lysa Parker is available for private consultations, personal parent coaching sessions, workshops, and speaking engagements. Visit her web site to learn more!

Janet Jendron

API's Board of Directors

Janet Jendron, President of the Board of Directors, has been a long-time supporter of API. She served for eleven years on the LLLI Board of Directors and many years on the LLLI Alumnae Association Council. Janet has also served on numerous other non-profit Boards, including church-related and wish granting organizations. She has written articles, contributed to books and spoken at conferences throughout the United States on a wide variety of issues related to her non-profit and paid work. The mother of four children ages 31 to 37, she spends as much time as possible with her nine-year-old granddaughter Mary Grace. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina and works full time at the USC School of Medicine in the SC Assistive Technology Program, where she specializes in information technology accessibility, conference planning, equipment reutilization and public relations.

Martha Sears, RN

Registered Nurse & Author

Martha, wife of renowned pediatrician William Sears, MD, is the mother of eight children, a registered nurse, a former childbirth educator, a La Leche League Leader, and a lactation consultant. Martha is the co-author of many parenting books and is a popular lecturer and media guest, drawing on her 18 years of breastfeeding experience with their 8 children (including Stephen with Down syndrome and Lauren, their adopted daughter).

Martha speaks frequently at national and international parenting conferences and is noted for her advice on how to handle the most common problems facing today's mothers with their changing lifestyles. She is able to connect with both full-time mothers and mothers who work full-time because she herself has experienced both. Martha takes great pride in referring to herself as a "professional mother," and one of her favorite quips when someone voices a concern about her having eight children in an already populated world is: "The world needs my children."

Martha and Dr. Bill have in the past been guests on many television shows including 20/20, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN, The Today Show, Dateline, The Dr. Phil Show, and The Doctors. Martha and Dr. Bill are best known for their Sears Parenting Library published by Little, Brown and Company: The Healthy Pregnancy Book, The Birth Book, The Baby Book, The Attachment Parenting Book, The Discipline Book, The Breastfeeding Book, The Fussy Baby Book, The Family Nutrition Book, The Premature Baby Book, The Baby Sleep Book, The A.D.D. Book, and The Healthiest Kid In The Neighborhood. She has also authored, for Harvard Common Press, 25 Things Every New Mother Should Know.

Karen Walant, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author

Dr. Karen B. Walant is the author of the book, Creating the Capacity for Attachment: Treating Addictions and the Alienated Self. Now in its fourth printing, this book has helped lead the way in the recent explosion of interest in attachment and attachment-based treatment. A pioneer in the application of attachment principles to addiction and spirituality, Walant most recently returned for a second engagement to speak at the Harvard Medical School Treating the Addictions Conference, receiving one of the highest speaker ratings.

Previously, she has been the keynote speaker for MetroHealth Hospital in Cleveland Ohio, in a conference entitled Disconnected in Today’s World: Loneliness, Addiction, and Attachment Disorder. She has led all-day clinical workshops on attachment and addiction, such as a full-day sponsored by the Marriage and Family Therapists Association in Amarillo, Texas. She has also spoken at Grand Rounds at Four Winds Hospital-Katonah, NY on topics related to attachment and psychotherapy.

Over the years, Walant has presented at numerous organizations including: The Rockland County New York Psychological Association, The Family and Children’s Aid of Greater Norwalk, CT, The Cincinnati Center for Self Psychology, The Georgia Psychological Association, St. John’s Episcopal Church Parenting Series in North Salem, NY, and The New York Council on Alcoholism. She has developed a parenting series entitled Connection, Cooperation and Communication, and speaks with parents at both public and private schools on issues of attachment, empathy, and emotional intelligence. She is a frequent speaker at The Family University at John Barlow High School and Ridgefield High School. She has taught at New York University School of Social Work and is a supervisor for private practitioners in the wider New York Metropolitan area.Walant is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Worker with a Ph.D. from New York University in Social Work.

She served nearly 20 years on the Advisory Board of Attachment Parenting International and is a contributor to their newsletter. She is the current President of the Parents’ Association and a Board of Trustee member at The Harvey School, and started the HarveySpeaks program, a unique Family University-style program adapted to the needs of the school. She maintains a private practice in Ridgefield, CT where she lives with her husband and their teen-age fraternal twin sons. Their daughter, Anna, is rising senior at Pratt Institute, studying Industrial Design, and their sons will graduate from Harvey in 2013. William will be attending Hamilton College in the fall, and Benjamin will attend Rhode Island School of Design.

Art Yuen

API's Board of Directors

Art Yuen is API's Knowledge Coordinator and an API accredited leader of API NYC. She holds a degree in finance-accounting and practiced business analysis and research in the financial industry before shifting her focus to the social sciences and parenting fields.  Art serves API in business roles and is increasingly involved in initiatives to develop, compile and disseminate API’s research base.  She lives in NYC with her husband and two children.

Stephen Knight, JD

Darcia Narvaez

Professor of Psychology at The University of Notre Dame

Darcia Narvaez is Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. She is an active blogger at Psychology Today (“Moral Landscapes”) and frequently blogs about parenting.  She often writes about the importance of evolved parenting practices that match up with attachment parenting: Primal Parenting/Stone-Aged Parenting/Evolutionary Parenting/ Paleo Parenting. These terms refer to the evolved nest for young children that matches up with their maturational schedules: soothing perinatal experiences, extensive infant-initiated breastfeeding, constant touch, caregiver responsiveness, free play, multiple adult caregivers and extensive positive social support. She brings together scholars from across disciplines for symposia and joint writing projects. She studies and writes about the effects of early life experience on moral development. Her 2014 book is Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom.

She is a leader in the field of moral development scholarship with ten academic books, several curriculum books and over 100 articles and chapters. See her webpage.

She is a Latina who grew up living in different Spanish-speaking countries but with Minnesota as a home base. In prior careers she was a church musician (organist, choir director), classroom and private music teacher (Brent International School in Baguio City, Philippines; King of Kings School in Roseville, Minnesota), middle school Spanish teacher (at The Blake School in Hopkins, Minnesota), and business owner. She also earned a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is a published poet. 

Margaret Feierabend

Community Leader and Advocate for Children and Families

With a Masters Degree in Community Health Education, a husband who is a physicianteacher of Family Medicine, Margaret began her community volunteer work in her home of Bristol Tennessee teaching childbirth and parenting classes. Currently she serves on Bristol Tennessee City Council (16 Years), and actively promotes building assets with families, children and youth. Her community accomplishments include being part of establishing several new programs and organizations serving the Bristol area. Bristol has the honor of being identified as one of America's Promise's 100 Best Communities for Children and Youth. 

Margaret is proud of and grateful for her three loving and caring children to whom she is very attached and she is excited about her new role as grandparent of twins.

Patti Lewis

Parenting and Attachment Support

Patti Hope Lewis brings accounting, event planning and Board experience to API, includingfive years on the Board of AnotherLook. She has many years of experience as a La Leche League International (LLLI) Leader in Atlanta, Georgia, where she's served as a parenting and attachment support to many parents in the areas of adoption and special needs. As the entrepreneur of her bookkeeping company, PJ Balances, and the Treasurer of the LLL Alumnae Association, she offers API unique experience. API can also benefit from her expertise as the CFO for Aspen Productions, a full service event company. Patti has three sons: Nicholas, 27; Kevin 24; Harrison, 18. She also enjoys travel, hiking, reading, gardening, ATV riding on dirt tracks and driving her Mazda Miata convertible.

© 1994-2014 Attachment Parenting International. All Rights Reserved. API is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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