Candidates for 2020 Governing Council

All individual AHG members in good standing were emailed a ballot on September 25. You will have until October 9 at 11:59pm Pacific Time to cast your vote. You may need to check your spam folder, as the ballot was sent via Election Buddy. Please vote for your selected candidates via the e-ballot. If you did not receive your ballot please email us.

These are the 2020 Candidates for Governing Council. You may vote for up to five candidates. 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

Talal Al-Hamad, RH (AHG)

Bio: Talal Al-Hamad is a man of many talents. He is an herbalist with a diverse background in many natural healing modalities. He utilizes a unique east meets west approach to imbalances and disease, with great efficacy. He has been a student of various holistic modalities including:

-Traditional Western Herbalism
-Islamic Herbalism
-Flower essence therapy & Aromatherapy
-Yoga (Pranayama, Mudras & Asana)

Herbalist by day and jazz guitarist / fanatical foodie by night, Talal has an innate passion for healing and has devoted his life to developing his treatment protocols and furthering his knowledge of medicinal herbs. Having conquered his own health challenges with his knowledge, it is easy to see how his passion for healing others is truly sincere. 

Position Statement: Thank you for considering me to be a part of the AHG Team. My goal in becoming an elected AHG council member is to help the organization meet and exceed its mission statement to the best of my abilities. In addition to being a Person of Colour and a none US citizen I believe I can truly add immense value to the organization. I am hoping to potentially join and contribute to the : development & diversity equity & inclusion committees with potential hope to assist with your incredible symposiums as well. My passion for herbal medicine and my head strong approach to issues has been valued by many and I believe would be a strong asset to your team.

Bevin Clare, RH (AHG)

Bio:  Bevin Clare, M.S., R.H., CNS, is a clinical herbalist, nutritionist, author, mother, plant lover, and a professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. As an herbalist and educator, Bevin is the Program Director of the MS in Clinical Herbal Medicine 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 and has studied herbal medicine around the world, blending her knowledge of traditional uses of plants with modern science and contemporary healthcare strategies. She is the author of Spice Apothecary (Storey Books, 2020). She is a board member of the United Plant Savers, a group working to protect at-risk medicinal plants in North America. Bevin is the current President of the American Herbalists Guild where she works to promote clinical herbalism accessibility and professionalism. You can find her musings at and on Facebook and Instagram @spice.herb.wander

Position Statement:  For over two decades I have been an active part of the AHG, and it has been a joyful, complicated, and meaningful part of my life. The organization has changed greatly in these years, and I look to the future with hope and excitement to see what will come next and who will take us there. With the help of council, I have begun succession planning, and intend to step out of my position as president and into a council seat at the end of 2021. In the interim time, I’ll be working intimately with the next president (as appointed by council) to assure a smooth and stable transition for the organization. I intend to remain on the governing council for at least the remaining year term to engage on ongoing projects and initiatives as well as to set the precedent for councilors to step into, and out of, officer roles without stepping away from the organization. In the coming years we have many new directions I’m excited to head, as well as to maintain and strengthen those we have established. Our work around diversity, equity and justice will be paramount in the coming years as we right the sails of the guild into a future which is more representative of our hopes than our reality. We will be offering our new level of membership to create a place for more herbalists and their unique skills, and I’m excited to see this come to fruition after many years of discussion. And lastly, I’m deeply pleased to be able to create an intentional transition and the newness which comes in the process. 

Keren Dolan, DCN, RH(AHG), CNS, LDN, FACN

Bio: Dr. Keren Dolan is a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN) in Maryland, a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS®), a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition (FACN), a Registered Herbalist (RH) through the American Herbalists Guild, and a Regional Director of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. She has published several peer-reviewed articles and has the privilege of serving as adjunct faculty in the Nutrition and Herbal Medicine Department at Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). Keren has been in clinical practice in Northern Virginia since 2007, specializing in functional nutrition with an emphasis on western clinical herbalism and holistic aromatherapy. She lives, plants and plays in Northern Virginia with her husband and three children.

Keren holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia, a certificate in Holistic Aromatherapy from the West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy, an M.S. in Therapeutic Herbalism, a PMC in Clinical Herbalism, and a DCN from MUIH.

Position Statement: The American Herbalists Guild (AHG) has served as a touchstone and a beacon for herbal medicine. As a home for healers, our membership has tremendous diversity in thought, experience, and background. We respect and embrace that there are different ways of knowing with even more ways of interpreting what we know. As an organization, AHG plays a unique role in providing a vehicle for herbalists to self-regulate while building industry partnerships that support government protections for our rights to practice. I feel honored and privileged to be one of a community of healers spanning the breadth of human experience. In our “oneness” we are connected to one another and our world through the continuum of life, while we also honor the distinct gifts and challenges we each contribute to the whole. As a practitioner, researcher, and educator I am motivated to use my training in service to our profession. By drawing upon our knowledge, as well as the wisdom held by the global herbal community, we can use our collective skills to bring healing wisdom to our world. If I am given the opportunity to serve on the governing council, I would join my fellow members in supporting justice, fairness, and opportunity, while protecting our human right to tend and be tended by the earth's medicine.

Erica T.C. Kuo, RH (AHG), Master Gardner, MIFPA, CA (NAHA)

Board member of AHG Council (2019-2020)

Bio: She graduated from University of Leeds in the UK with the degree of MA in Communication Studies. She is the first  American Registered Herbalist (AHG) in Taiwan and China.Before becoming a herbalist ,she has been working over 17 years in medical media and NGO, and she loves to promote healthcare and empower people to get healthy wellness in daily life.  With enthusiasm, she dedicates to advocating and sharing of phototherapy and she is passionate to apply her expertise of herbal care to integrate all kind of holistic therapies such as herbalism, hydrosol, aromatherapy to empower Chinese community with natural healing ability to promote the diversity of herbalism. She is also the founder of Chinese Chapter of AHG and the editor of Alternative Medicine and Complementary Therapies. She published several herbal books in Mandarin on She lives in Washington state USA since 2019 summer and found the Rosemary Garden.

Position Statement: Erica T.C. Kuo wholeheartedly dedicated to the education and safety of herbal and aromatherapy . She grew up in Taiwan and moved to USA in 2019. She found the Rosemary Garden LLC that provides organic, natural artisan herbal, aromatherapy products. Because there are many poor quality and fraudulent products in Asia, she also found the Chinese Chapter AHG to advocate the holistic therapy to empower people with the natural, effective and safety herbal education. She hopes she can nake sure that everyone has equality right to get access to the herbalism and become qualified RH.

Ashley Litecky Elenbaas, RH (AHG)

Bio: Ashley Litecky Elenbaas, RH(AHG) a clinical herbalist and educator teaching online classes and training courses. She is a founding partner, director, and teacher at the Sky House Herb School has taught at Earthsong Herb School, Sacred Roots Botanical Sanctuary, and at the Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Ashley has been an avid student of physiology and plant energetics for over fifteen years.  She has been practicing as an herbalist since 2008, blending the use of our native medicinal plants with ancient Greek specific indications. She is a graduate of the Maryland University of Integrative Health program in Clinical Herbalism (2008) as well as having studied extensively with Matthew Wood.  She has been a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild since 2013, and served on the AHG Council (board of directors) since 2015, serving as chair of the AHG Education Committee.

Ashley is also a registered yoga teacher, gardener, and novice flower arranger.  She enjoys family trips with her husband Adam and their daughters Virginia and Summer and quirky rescue dog, Rhea.  Position Statement

Position Statement: As the current chair of the Education Advisory Council and an elected council member since 2015, I am honored to work on behalf of the membership to ensure equity and transparency in the admissions process and in our educational materials.  Since being re-elected in 2018, I have worked with the admissions committee and the executive director to revise the admissions process, move it to an online format, and update the website with clear and consistent instructions. If re-elected, I will continue to work on these items and promote the work of our dedicated Registered Herbalists and ensure the launch and marketing of our new Associate Membership category for those who are currently studying and practicing herbal medicine and are seeking professional recognition.

General Member Candidates

Denise Cusack

Bio: Denise Cusack (she/her) is a practicing herbalist, medicinal herb grower & conservationist, writer, and artist. Denise volunteers as Executive Director of Herbalists Without Borders, volunteers with the Veterans Resiliency Holistic Clinic, and currently serves on the AHG Governing Council as Secretary. Denise is the caretaker of Lunar Hollow Farm (a UpS Botanical Sanctuary) where she grows and preserves medicinal plants and endangered natives. Lunar Hollow is also where Denise manages a large US Community Apothecary serving free clinics, manages a seed library, grows food for her family, and creates resources for the herbal community.

In her spare time Denise homeschools her teenagers, spends time with her family, forages her land, paints her favorite medicinals, putters in the garden, and always continues learning. Denise works to support and empower health justice, food justice, and social justice community actions around the world. To learn more, visit

Position Statement: I am running for a 2nd term on the AHG Governing Council. I have over 25 years experience with nonprofits, have an herbal practice, and grow medicinals at my botanical sanctuary.  I work with herbalists internationally via HWB, and feel health justice is a critical part of our herbal community. In my past 2 years on Council I have really enjoyed working with other councilors and have served as AHG Secretary, and on committees including Governance, Executive, Development, and work related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

My skillset includes: free clinics, herbal activism, branding, social media, nonprofit membership, fundraising, grantwriting, governance, herbal clinics, marketing, and more. I have a nonprofit certificate from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and am continuing my education in nonprofit governance, grant making, and, of course, herbalism. I also have a BA in Business Administration.

I would like to continue my involvement on AHG Council, playing an active role in the continued inclusion of marginalized communities, including traditional healers and those with indigenous knowledge. I believe in growth and change via education, accountability, dialog, and inclusivity. 

Denise Cusack

Executive Director, Herbalists Without Borders

Herbalist, Veterans Resiliency Holistic Clinic

Owner, Wholly Rooted & Lunar Hollow Botanical Sanctuary


Adrienne Totino

Bio: Adrienne Totino is a clinical herbalist, yoga and meditation teacher. She operates Wellness With Adrienne in Pittsburgh, PA. Adrienne offers consultations to those looking for holistic ways to prevent and treat health issues. She gives advice in three parts: herbal medicine, dietary, and lifestyle recommendations. All recommendations are custom, based on the individual needs of the client.

Adrienne grew up in an holistic household, raised on herbal remedies and foods for healing. She received her yoga and meditation certification from the Sivananda Vedanta Centre in 1999 and has been teaching ever since. Adrienne went on to complete the East West professional herbalist course and a 2-year mentorship with Holly Hutton. She then received the East West Clinical Herbalist certification. Adrienne’s goal is to educate others about herbal medicine and to continue helping people thrive in their own health and well-being.

Position Statement: I am interested in joining the council as a way to deepen my connection with the herbal community at large. In addition, my visions for working with the AHG are twofold.

First, I am committed to educating people about herbal medicine. Having grown up and lived in the mid-Atlantic region, the concept of medicinal herbs is not common knowledge here. I enjoy teaching people the basics of “alternative” medicine, broadening their views of health and wellness in general. I would like to use my platform with the guild to bring herbal wisdom to a wider base.

Second, I am eager to advocate for increased diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the field of herbal medicine. More than DEI, I would like to help facilitate leadership roles for BIPOC and people in the LGBTQ+ community.

When the most vulnerable among us are thriving, we all thrive. I hope my contributions to the AHG council will bring herbal medicine to places where it is lacking, while also elevating the voices of marginalized people.