These are the 2018 Candidates for Governing Council. Voting begins on Wednesday, Sept. 12 PST and concludes on Wednesday, Sept. 26 11:59 PST. You may vote for up to five Registered Herbalists and two General Members. If you are a current member and do not receive a ballot in your email by the end of the day on Sept. 12, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. If you are not a current member, renew or join today and you get a vote!
* Candidate bios and platform statements are published as submitted to the AHG. These statements have not been edited or altered.
Registered Herbalist Candidates
Kristine Brown, RH (AHG)
Bio: Kristine Brown, RH (AHG) has a growing client practice, and teaches locally and around the country. Based in Troy Illinois, Kristine is the author/illustrator/creator of the children’s online monthly award-winning PDF Herbal Roots zine since 2009. She creates kid’s programming, including programs at various conferences and co-creates the Herbal Activity Hub at the occasional AHG Symposium.
Kristine also makes and sells all natural handmade goat milk soaps, other herbal body care products, homeschools her 7th and 9th grade children and spends a great deal of her time drawing plants.
Platform Statement: My name is Kristine Brown and I’m a registered herbalist. I gained my education through countless hours of self-study and I strongly believe this is a viable path for becoming a professional herbalist. Based in the Midwest, I have worked hard locally over the past 16 years to introduce an herbal awareness, teaching adults and children. I am committed to bringing herbal education to children because I believe that our herbal future is best protected by introducing children to herbs at an early age. This is reflected in my commitment to creating kids programs at various venues, including the AHG Symposiums. I founded the IL/MO AHG Chapter and have been the president for 3 years. We focus on outreach through workshop offerings that are open to the public, and education at area festivals. In February of 2018, I joined the AHG Education Committee because I support the idea that all types of herbal students can become registered members. My passion is education; for both adults and children. I want to lend a hand in creating an educational path for all.
Bevin Clare, RH (AHG)
Bio: Bevin Clare, M.S., RH (AHG), CNS, is a clinical herbalist, nutritionist, mother, plant lover, and a Professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). As an herbalist and educator, Bevin trains clinical herbalists through their clinical internship at MUIH and brings herbs into the lives of many students, clients, and practitioners with her national and international presentations. She holds a MSc in Infectious Disease from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is a board member of the United Plant Savers, a group working to protect at-risk medicinal plants in North America. Bevin has been the President of the American Herbalists Guild since 2015 and the Vice-President since 2010.
Platform Statement: We have so much work to do to achieve our vision for the AHG, and we are working hard on this path of creating a community which better represents “American herbalism” and nurtures opportunities for herbalism as a viable vocation for all. My own growth and leadership in the AHG is a result of the contributions of the members, councilors, and volunteers who bring the organization to life. Should I be reelected and continue in my position as President of the AHG, my goals are many, but are all a product of my listening to council and members. I am dedicated to work to support those following this path in herbal medicine with their diverse interests and roots and to create support structures to ensure their success. I’m dedicated to herbal medicine as a tool for social change in our systems of medicine and health, and as an example for an unlicensed field to create a model of competency and professionalism which eschews the reliance on a single paradigm of understanding or validity. And my goal is to create a “home” for herbalist and herbal medicine so we can come together, should we choose, and support one another. Bevin has been the President of the American Herbalists Guild since 2015 and the Vice-President since 2010.
David Harder, RH (AHG)
Bio: David Harder, RH (AHG) helped found and currently practices Clinical Herbalism at “Changewater Wellness Center", a clinic that provides clinical education and experience to advanced herbal students, while serving members of the community needing low cost counsel and herbs.
He is a co-founder of “Herbal Exchange” the NJ AHG Chapter. David has been a Registered Herbalist of the American Herbalist Guild since 1999. He has been an active AHG Board member since 2010.
He and his wife, Linda opened and operated Nature’s Way a natural foods store in Easton, PA from 1975-2016. On play days with mild weather, gardening, herbal wild crafting and cycling, take him out doors. More recently summer travels have been spent exploring the U.S. and hanging with grandkids. Inclement weather allows time for research, woodworking and music.
Platform Statement: The AHG Council, Executive Director, Staff and Volunteers have been working hard to fulfill their responsibilities to our membership's "Mission, Vision and Values". As a Council member and Treasurer for all but one of my 8 years on council I can say that: we have grown membership and membership benefits, we have sustained respect in the larger herbal community as an "organization" that is working to advance the craft and availability of herbalism in this country while to being available, sensitive to and respectful of the needs of our membership.
In my past term council appointed me the responsibility of "Treasurer" to help assure a sound annual budget with necessary checks and balances. This past year I've formed and chaired a "Governance Committee" which has reviewed and created documents for the organization to help us remain "legally compliant" as a non profit, with our Bylaws and competent in serving you, our membership and their needs. A next term for me would allow me to continue the above work. Thank you in advance for the opportunity of continued service as an AHG Council member.
Erica Kuo, RH (AHG)
Bio: Erica Kuo, RH (AHG) is a certified Master Gardener (Montana State University, first focusing western herbs Registered Herbalist (American Herbalists Guild in Taiwan and China . She worked as a healthcare journalist for 8 years and held Master Degree of Communication Studies at University of Leeds in UK. She also had 7 years of experience in NGO such as Cancer Patient Foundation and Pharmacists Association of Taiwan. At that time, she earned scholarship from Taiwan government to study NGO management at Portland State University. She has had passion to devote herself to herb education. She will contribute her PR, NGO knowledge to AHG for fundraising, project grant application, and advocacy.
Platform Statement: She is the first nomination candidate from oversea outside USA. With strong enthusiasm to herbalism, botanical study, she hopes to bring diversity, international aspect, community engagement to AHG. She already submits the application of setting up Asia AHG Chapter to promote the safety of using western herbs to Asians who used to use Chinese herbs, but that caused highest prevalence of hemodialysis in Taiwan comparing to USA because Chinese herbs were contaminated by heavy metal, and under poor storage condition. She’d like to enhance the influence of AHG around the world by advocating the idea of herbalism, “knowing your community herbalists”, empowering the people’s right to use herbs to maintain wellness.
Furthermore, she likes to enhance AHG influence on social media and make events on social media to bring people’s attention through the article and the phenomenon of herbal study.
Ashley Litecky Elenbaas, RH (AHG)
Bio: Ashley Litecky Elenbaas, RH (AHG) is a Clinical Herbalist and owner of Sky House Yoga & Herb School, a donation-based wellness collective in Silver Spring, Maryland. Ashley holds an MS in Clinical Herbalism from Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH), where she graduated in 2008 and is a professional member and registered herbalist (RH) with the AHG. Ashley's passion for plant medicine and her affinity to myth and story started at a young age. She now spends her days leading herbal apprenticeship programs, managing a staff of over 15 holistic care professionals, gardening, and seeing herbal clients. Ashley is a self-motivated worker, cheerful, and is an active advocate of the plants and the people who protect them.
Platform Statement: It is a delight an honor to serve on the board of the American Herbalists Guild. As the chair of the outreach and mentorship committees we have taken great steps to increase our exposure, share the mission and work of the AHG with broader audiences, and to assess the needs of our current members. In 2015 we offered a wide variety of new webinars, revamped our mentorship and professional member application process, and welcomed hundreds of new members to the Guild. It has been a pleasure to work on the behalf of my fellow herbalists, especially those who believe in the more subtle healing powers of the plants. We are striving to become and even more diverse, inclusive, and unified organization. If re-elected I will continue to advocate for diversity among professional members and a more inclusive and simplified application process for professional membership. I will also take a more active role working with member schools to create a more streamlined means for graduates to gain the clinical hours they need for professional membership with the AHG.
General Member Candidates
Renee Crozier Prince, General Member
Bio: Renee Crozier Prince is a clinical practicing herbalist specializing in critical cancer care. She is co-owner of Acupuncture and Herbal Therapies and co-director of Traditions school of Herbal Studies. She has been trained in several indigenous practices and has traveled all over the world learning, supporting and encouraging herbal bio diversity, ethnobotany and conservation. She founded and ran, for 15 years, a community food pantry and street herbal medic unit. She is a fifth generation Floridian with an extensive history in tropical indigenous folk herbalism. Her goal has always been to be in service to the community and the Earth.
Platform statement: I was born into service. All aspects of my being are to be in service to the earth and its inhabitants. I believe that the most important mission we have is to learn from the master plants and work in community with the earth and each other. My goals are to increase community, diversity and inclusiveness with in the herbal field as well as to raise clinical competency throughout our profession. I strive to encourage herbal diversity as well as human diversity in our field. I believe that this is imperative and only encourages positive outcomes on all levels. Our community, our ecosystem, our planet will only prosper more from these values.
Denise Cusack, General Member
Bio: Denise Cusack is an herbalist, writer and grower in Wisconsin. She grows hundreds of medicinal herbs and is expanding her educational gardens at her new farmette. She’s an avid learner with over 20 years experience studying herbs, holistic nutrition, and growing. She began practicing in 2015 after years of writing about medicinal herbs. Denise is Executive Director of HWB, volunteering as Clinical Herbalist with the Veterans Resiliency Holistic Clinic. Involved in youth education since 2004, she homeschools her sons. As a general member of the AHG since 2016, she’s working towards becoming a registered herbalist. For more, visit WhollyRooted.com.
Platform Statment: As the volunteer Executive Director of Herbalists Without Borders (HWB), I work with herbalists internationally in support of a growing health justice movement. I am interested in joining Council because I believe that my 25 year background in business and design, combined with my experience in nonprofit governance, grassroots activism within the herbal community, and my own herbal practice are assets for this position. I bring a number of skills to the table, including: my extensive knowledge of educational materials for both organizational and personal use; branding and the use of social media as well as web-based integrative technologies. As the ED of HWB, I understand the value of a well-run [free] clinic and the importance of successful outreach to both general and professional members. My non-profit experience also includes membership and fundraising. I have a BA in Business Administration, and have been a general member of the AHG for three years. I would like to be a part of the expansion of the AHG, and play an active role in the continued inclusion of marginalized communities, including traditional healers and those with indigenous knowledge. I believe in institutional change via education, responsibility, dialog, and inclusivity. Thank you.
Henriette den Ouden, General Member
Bio: Henriette is first of all a herb grower and then a clinical herbalist. Henriette and her wife Chris own Habanera Farm, Maryland’s first licensed herbal tea processing center in a rural area of Maryland. She works for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where she is charged with creating a commercial show herb garden and training of new herb farmers. Henriette is also a clinical herbalist and teaches community groups and high school students and is a visiting instructor for the Pharmacy School of the UMES. Henriette has a Master’s degree Herbal Medicine from Maryland University of Integrated Health.
Platform Statement: In my four years as a board member I have been part of the Diversity Committee. This has been a major motivator for me to sign up for reelection for 2 more years. I think it is extremely important for the AHG to establish a true diversity and I like the challenge of the ongoing work for this. I also think there is more work for me to do representing grower and producer members. I believe there are many small farmers/producers/herbalists like myself who experience the same challenges regarding regulations, quality control and marketing. The AHG strives for the best herbal education possible and I will include the importance of sustainability and quality in herb growing, wildcrafting and herbal products manufacturing in this.
Jasmine Lucero, General Member
Bio: Jasmine Lucero is a busy homeschooling mother of eight who loves the Lord, her family, and herbal medicine. After traveling the globe with her husband for 20 years courtesy of the Air Force, she settled in a small South Texas town where she can finally enjoy a bountiful herb garden and tend to her bees, chickens, and goats. Her heart's desire is to find ways to minister to others with herbal medicine.
Platform Statement: If elected as an American Herbalist Guild council member, I would like to share my talents and experiences to help extend the reach of the guild through technology, insight, and understanding. Over the years, I have enjoyed working as a digital manager for a large non-profit state organization, a website designer, social media manager, and accountant. Being a military spouse for over 20 years, I was afforded many unique opportunities to lead community outreach projects and organize and lead homeschool and spouse support networks on military bases. Living overseas for 6 years allowed me to work and interact with diverse cultures and people from all over the world. It is my hope that the skills and experience I possess would be of great benefit to the guild and the herbalists it serves.
Michele Marlow, General Member
Bio: Michele is a clinical herbalist based in Oklahoma. She obtained her clinical herbalism certificate from Kathleen Maier’s 3-year program at Sacred Plant Traditions in Charlottesville, VA. Michele also has two Bachelor’s degrees; one in Health and Wellness and the other in Complementary and Alternative Health. She also continues to study in the fields of childhood development and neuroscience. Michele teaches herbalism classes and has an established local products business. Due to her detail-orientation and love of organization, she has found a niche professionally, and is an integral part of the administrative staff for the AHG, Herbal Medics Academy, and Kings Road Apothecary.
Platform Statement: As the current webinar assistant for the AHG, I spend a great deal of time trying to expand our reach by finding people who do not know that the AHG is here, what it does, and what it has to offer. In the time that I have worked for AHG, the webinars have seen a sharp increase in participation due in part to this extensive effort to reach new people. In other areas of my professional life, I enjoy doing a variety of different tasks that include assisting with budgeting, online platform building, creating teaching material, creating and grading exams, extensive customer relations, business building, product marketing, data collection, and expanding outreach efforts. These skills would be a valuable asset to council and could help in several different areas. My goal is to use my unique skillset and knowledge of these different areas to offer ideas that will help us build an even bigger and more diverse community, improve school and student involvement, and grow relationships throughout our community. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to potentially be a part of something greater.
Maribel A. Rodriguez, General Member
Bio: Maribel is a lifetime apprentice of nature; her mission is to offer healthy alternatives to everyday needs, including herbal remedies as part of a holistic approach to wellness. Maribel is a board-certified holistic nutritionist, a clinical herbalist, and a wellness coach. Maribel holds a MS in Nutrition and Integrative Health, and a Masters Certificate in Herbal Studies from Maryland University of Integrative Health; a Master of Health Care Management from Central Michigan University; and an Integrative Health Coach Certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Maribel is a veteran of the US Army, she holds a MS in National Security Strategy from the US Army War College. She is the owner of Marble Arch Gardens Holistic Nutrition.
Platform Statement: Rooted in the knowledge that I have gained throughout the years; my intent is to continue to advance my herbal experience and endeavor to become a well-versed individual in the art and science of herbal medicine, so that I may share that knowledge and truly contribute to the health and wellness of my local community and those I work with. Knowing that I am carrying on the herbal legacy of my grandmother. She kept her family and many in her community healthy because she cared enough to teach others what to do with an herb. I believe that to teach an understanding of the gift, and capacity of herbs to heal is the way of the future; a going back to nature, as our wise ancestors imparted their herbal knowledge to the next generation, so must we, continue to carry that legacy. I share David Winston’s dream of an herbalist in every community. Why not? It continues with me, and with each one of us that believes in the healing power of herbs. It would be an honor to serve, to share, to learn and advance together towards the common AHG goal and belief that we are contributing to the evolution of herbalism in our country and in the world.