I distinctly remember the first time I met Jim Akre in person. I had just finished doing an assessment for a hospital in Tennessee that was attempting to earn the Baby-Friendly Hospital recognition. I literally stepped off the plane, hopped into my husband’s waiting car, and sped off to meet Jim at a restaurant where I had never eaten before. I was weak and weary from the trip; very weak and weary, actually. I knew that Jim would be in the greater Washington DC area for only a very short time, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to meet him. I just didn’t think I looked very presentable, and my brain was fried. But I showed up anyway.
It was a memorable dinner. Prior to meeting him, Jim and I had had multiple, lengthy email exchanges, and even a transatlantic phone call or two. I had anticipated that when I met him I would find him to be intelligent, articulate, and opinionated. Indeed, he was, and is! What I had not anticipated was that he was-and is-warm and witty. It’s difficult to have any interaction with Jim without plenty of smiles and laughter.
We’ve had lunch or dinner together many times since. Most times, we’ve shared a meal when he has been in the greater Washington DC area where I live, or when we’ve both been at the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) conference. Once, we had lunch just outside of Rochester, NY. It’s a small world, you know? We discovered that his sister and my sister live about 5 miles away from one another. With his lovely wife, Pia, my husband and I had lunch at a charming restaurant right on Canandaigua Lake. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with Jim.
I know you’ll enjoy listening to the podcast with Jim.