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 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.
Like the American Herbalists Guild, Greta's origins are in the Santa Cruz mountains. She was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, attended college in Los Angeles, and then spent a decade working as an educator and yoga teacher in San Francisco, CA. In addition to her role at American Herbalists Guild, Greta has an active Ayurveda practice, Asheville Ayurveda, publishes articles regularly on the topics of Ayurveda and herbalism, and co-owns Iyengar Yoga Asheville. Greta has held a long-time interest in herbalism and is thrilled to be on staff with the American Herbalists Guild!
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.
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.
Mel Kasting practices and teaches clinical herbalism from her home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. She is passionate about making herbal medicine accessible to everyone through her work with the free clinic at the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine, where she is also the clinic director and the editor for their Journal of Functional Herbalism. Before she came to ESHM, Mel spent four years immersing herself in the study of botany, plant ecology, and clinical herbalism at The Columbine School of Botanical Studies and has since then worked with clients and free clinics across the country. She was also the office manager for Columbines and an intern of Howie Brountein’s. In 2018, Mel completed the requirements to become a member of the AHG and is also the AHG Symposium Academic Coordinator. With one foot in academia and the other in the free clinic, Mel is grateful to be using her talents to affect lasting change in the world of herbal medicine.
Michele obtained her clinical herbalism certificate from Kathleen Maier’s 3-year program at Sacred Plant Traditions in Charlottesville, VA. In addition to her herbalism education, Michele also has two Bachelor degrees in Health and Wellness, and in Complementary and Alternative Health. She currently lives in Guthrie, OK with her three children and her husband. Michele teaches herbalism classes and is part of the administrative staff at Herbal Medics Academy. She has an established local business, Wild Prairie Apothecary; and volunteers for local organizations on her off-time. 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.
Nikimbre' grew up deep in the heart of Texas, where she spent her childhood running wild in the fields. She enrolled in 2017 at Appalachia School of Herbalism, where she received a certificate in the Fundamentals of Herbalism. When she is not working at the American Herbalists Guild, office, she spends her time working in the herbs department at the French Broad Food Co-op of Asheville, N.C., taking herbal and primitive classes, and interning on a farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Patricia Kyritsi Howell, an AHG Regitered Herbalist since 1997, served two terms
on the Governing Council and has been co-chair of the Symposium Committee
for the past seven years. Her primary role is to oversee all non-academic symposium
activities and serve as primary contact for venue staff as part of the AHG symposium
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.