AHG Staff and Volunteers


Mimi Hernandez, RH (AHG)
AHG Executive Director

Mimi Hernandez comes from a background as an herbalist and an ethnobotanist. She has a Master of Science degree in Herbal Medicine from Tai Sophia Institute and a Certificate in Non Profit Management from Duke University. Mimi believes strongly that keeping plant wisdom alive is essential and has dedicated her life's work to serving as an advocate for both traditional and professional herbal pathways while building cultural bridges of understanding. 

Heather Lee Compton
AHG Assistant Director

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 long distances competitively with a local running team; makes art; gardens; volunteers and does social justice work; and plays with her animals: pitbull Lilith, kitty Luna, and snake Lazarus.

Sarah Houdek
Special Projects Manager

Sarah has found joy and wonder in the natural world since childhood.  She completed her BA in Philosophy from University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2006, writing her senior thesis on environmental care-based ethics and expanding moral communities to include non-human forms of life.  She brings years of professional and non-profit experience.  Some of her interests beyond herbalism are: social justice work, cooking plant-based foods, gardening, watching birds, studying astrology and world religions, writing, and reading novels.  She enjoys living in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her husband and masked tuxedo cat, Mogget.

Lucy McNichols
Office Assistant

Lucy McNichols grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. They fell in love with plants while farming in California and continued their studies at Prescott College majoring in community health. In 2017 Lucy completed the Hawthorn Institute's foundations herbalism program. They continue to study herbalism, astrology and flower essence work. Lucy is inspired by the healing justice movement and also enjoys dancing, art and going on hikes.

Patricia Kyritsi Howell
Admissions Coordinator and Co-Chair, Symposium Committee

Patricia Kyritsi Howell, an AHG Registered Herbalist since 1997, recently accepted a staff position as Admissions Coordinator. In this role she acts as liaison between Registered Herbalist applicants, the members of the Admissions Committee, AHG staff and the Education Committee, to facilitate communication and provide support to members pursuing RH membership. As a volunteer for the American Herbalists Guild, she is currently serving her eighth year as co-chair of the Symposium Committee and formerly served two terms on the Governing Council. Patricia is a practicing herbalist, the author of Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians, director of the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies and co-owner of Wild Crete Travel. As Herbalist in Residence at the Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center she coordinates programs that emphasize the rich traditions of Appalachian herbalism. Though her roots are in the Great Lakes region, she has made her home in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of northeast Georgia for the past 26 years.

Shabina Lafleur-Gangji
JAHG Editor

Shabina is a mixed Indian, Persian and French herbalist who has been involved in healing justice work and movements for liberation for the last decade. She works to support people in reclaiming their traditional knowledge through their connection with ancestral plants and has used herbal medicine as a way to fundraise for BIPOC-led movements for freedom.

She is a graduate of the Living Earth School of Herbalism and the School of Ayurveda and Panchakarma in Kerala. She has studied alongside herbalists such as Dr. Nadine Ijaz, Janette Cormier and Scott Reid. She is currently in her final year at Humber College’s Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner Program. Shabina hopes to continue the important work of accurately applying energetic qualities to invasive herbs growing on Turtle Island, reclaiming traditional Ayurvedic acupuncture and, of course, fighting for total liberation.

Michele Marlow
Webinar Assistant

Michele is a clinical herbalist based in Oklahoma and also has two Bachelor degrees in Health and Wellness, and in Complementary and Alternative Health.  In addition to being AHG's webinar assitant, Michele teaches herbalism classes and is the clinical director for Herbal Medics Academy.  She is also the virtual strategist and online business manager for Kings Road Apothecary, as well as the online administrator for Botanologos Online School.  She has an established local business, Wild Prairie Apothecary; and volunteers for local organizations on her off-time to help meet the needs of the public.  Her favorite hobbies include collecting herb books, collecting bookcases for her herb books, collecting mason jars for her herbs, and collecting plants for her garden.