Mimi Hernandez comes from a background as an herbalist and an ethnobotanist. Her teachings weave together science, tradition, and intuition in ways that speak to diverse learning communities. In her home range Appalachia, Mimi is probably best known for providing cultural heritage outreach to local mountain residents through mountain root lore. Mimi draws upon her rich ethnic background & the Latin American Granny Healers in her life. She believes that the handing down of plant wisdom is essential and it is her life's work to advocate for traditional and professional herbal pathways while building cultural bridges of understanding. She has had the remarkable opportunity to honor this work through past and present leadership roles within various educational communities including a former appointment as the Director of the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies at Frostburg State University and a current position as the Executive Director of the American Herbalists Guild.
AHG Staff and Volunteers
Heather Lee Compton was born in Chicago, but has deep roots in Western North Carolina where she has resided most of her life. A love of plants and the natural world was instilled in her by her parents from an early age. She graduated from Brevard College in 2002 with a BA in Fine Art. She enrolled in 2008 at the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism in Asheville, NC, finishing both the Fundamentals in Herbalism program and Traditional Herbalism certification program. Heather has published a book on Herbal Body Care with Sterling Press. She brings over 13 years of management experience in both the for profit and non-profit sectors to the American Herbalist Guild. Heather also works at a dance studio. In her free time she dances hip hop, bhangra, and hula; runs; makes art; gardens; volunteers and does social justice work; and plays with her animals: pitbull Lilith, kitty Luna, and snake Lazarus.
Gloria Black Anders grew up in East Asheville,NC. She spent most of her time in the woods, hiking and spending time with the plants. Upon High School Graduation, she attended Western Carolina University, and majored in Interior Design. After a very productive career in the design industry, an illiness in her family prompted her to return to her roots. Gloria returned to her home town of Asheville, and attended Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism, and completed the Fundamentals of Herbalism and The Traditional Herbalism program. Most recently she completed The Clinical Program with The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. Gloria works with clients, is a wildcrafter and medicine maker. The larger picture dream would be to be a part of a free clinic, offering holistic health care to the underserved in the community.
Anna Claire Lotti is a holistic clinical herbalist living in the mountains of Western North Carolina, by way of the beaches of South Carolina. From an early age, Anna Claire has always been inspired by and in awe of the natural world. She attended the University of South Carolina, earning a BS in Marine Science, with an emphasis on biology and marine mammals. Her studies next led her to explore graduate coursework in human nutrition, and finally, to the path of Herbalism. Anna Claire is a graduate of the Holistic Herbalism and Advanced Clinical Herbalism programs at the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine, and also completed a 450-hour herbal apprenticeship with CoreyPine Shane, RH (AHG). In addition to serving as the Special Projects Coordinator with the American Herbalists Guild, Anna Claire also works as the Production Manager at Pine’s Herbals, offers herbal consultations from her clinical space at Alchemy Asheville, and will soon be launching her own herbal enterprise, Dancing Sage Apothecary. In her free time, Anna Claire can often be found tending to her organic garden, exploring new hiking trails, and dreaming up recipes in her kitchen.
Ren is the office intern at AHG. Throughout the years, a number of roles have contributed to Ren’s skill and knowledge in the herbal field. While working as a Raw Vegan Chef in Florida, he took a correspondence course with Susun Weed which opened his door to the herbal world. He then realized that in order to further this passion, he would need to move to Asheville, NC where he studied the traditional course of herbalism at The Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism. From that point onward, Ren has been sharpening his skills and increasing his practical knowledge through continuing self-study of medicine making, botany, and phytochemistry. Additionally, working in the wellness department of the French Broad Food Co-op has allowed him to apply and strengthen his knowledge base by working with a large selection of bulk herbs and remedies. Ren recently decided to make another of his dreams come true: completing a four year Classical Chinese Medicine program at Daoist Traditions. He has completed the Massage Therapy diploma program at A-B Tech, and the next step will be moving on to Daoist Traditions.
Growing up in northern Florida, Susan Marynowski spent lots of time outdoors and developed a keen appreciation for the wonders of nature. She has studied and practiced herbal medicine since the early 1990s, holding two herbal medicine certificates and advanced training in cancer therapeutics, metabolic syndrome, herbal botany, and functional blood chemistry analysis. Susan teaches herbs and nutrition at the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery. Susan takes an eclectic and Vitalist approach in her teaching and with clients in her small practice. Susan has sponsored a number of herbal weekend intensives in Florida and is a regular favorite at the Florida Herbal Conference.
Susan’s formal education includes a fine arts degree and a M.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Public Education from the University of Florida. Concurrent with environmental consulting work, she developed an interest in the botany and healing properties of native plants. She now exercises her artistic and ecological eye toward understanding the patterns of both natural and human ecosystems. Susan lives near Gainesville, Florida.
Michelle Neubel was born and raised in Chicago, IL, and has always had an affinity for plants and all things in nature. Her parents instilled a healthy lifestyle; particularly, her mother as how to use food as medicine, and folklore medicine which was passed down through her maternal lineage. She now resides in Tennessee; occasionally, hosting nature walks and other outdoor activities as an Outdoor Chattanooga Ambassador. Michelle graduated from Chattanooga State Community College with a degree in Chemistry and Math, and minor in Art. She enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville continuing her study in Chemistry/Math and PrePhysical Therapy. Being inquisitive for the study of old cultures and botany was the reason for Michelle’s ignition to further explore the true science behind the relationship of combining herbalism, plant intelligence, nutrition, study of skin, and the benefits of wild foods, and how it pertains to healing the body. This journey is what led Michelle to obtain an aromatherapy certification in 2009 from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and an esthetics certification from Chattanooga State in 2011. Michelle continues her studies completing hours in Chronic Disease and Herbal Remedies with the American Herbalist Guild, and will soon have her Clinical Herbalist Certification. She is studying the science of food colors and their effect on the immune system, and will soon complete an Esthetics State Board Certification.
Michelle owns a small family business nestled at the beautiful scenic foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. A part of what inspired Michelle to specialized formulations using full spectrum (whole) bioactive botanicals was this southeastern view, and the use of old family and cultural knowledge to battle skin sensitivities. She and her family have suffered from these sensitivities, and she wants to help others by sharing her products. Michelle also enjoys drawing, painting, singing, music, and she and her mother love gardening, cooking, helping people, and teac
Jennifer O’Hagan is a clinical herbalist and founder of Woodland Naturals located in Hope, NJ. She integrates traditional herbalism, nutrition, bodywork, emotional/spiritual healing following Maya traditions, and various integrative therapies. She is active as an educator in her community, is a co-founder of the North NJ AHG Chapter, and a co-founder of the Changewater Wellness Center (a clinic that provides clinical experience to advanced herbal students, while serving the community with low cost counsel and herbs). She is a practitioner and educator for the Arvigo Institute offering advanced classes in the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® and Maya Spiritual Healing. She also worked in the computer industry as a project manager for 32 years. Her hobbies include horseback riding, hiking, animal tracking, and aimless wandering through the woods.
KP mentored in Ayurveda with Yogi Bhajan for 32 years. Along the way, he incorporated deep studies in Western and TCM herbalism. His school has been training professional herbalists for over 30 years. Karta Purkh has presented over 150 times at professional conferences, has written over 3,000 articles on health topics and is the author or editor of 30 books on health, including his latest, The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs. He is curriculum director and lead instructor in the Portland Community College Nutritional Therapy Program and heads the herbal education department of the Northwest Institute of Ayurveda. He lives in the Northwest with his family.