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PO Box 4186
St. Paul, MN 55104
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Hi there! I have been studying plants, herbs and weeds for about 15 years now.
I have my own herbal apothecary, called theHERBAL Cache. I love learning and then sharing that knowledge with others. I have teach classes, hold webinars, write blog posts and make videos. I forage a lot of the plants I use in making my herbal products.
I wanted to serve on the North Country Herbalist Guild board because I want to help make a difference and bring knowledge to our community.
When I am not working, I love watching movies, gardening, reading, camping and spending time with my family.
My name is Judit O’Keeffe. I was an active member of the Guild even before the Pandemic started. I joined soon after we arrived in the Twin Cities area in 2013. I believe that supporting the Guild is immensely important for the herbal community here in the Twin Cities and would like to join the Board to make further contributions to it.
At the monthly meetings, I enjoy the wide variety of topics offered and the opportunity to interact with like minded people.
I have volunteered for fundraising in my son’s school several times. I contacted business and helped set up the event.
I am also a student of herbal medicine. I studied with many teachers: Lise Wolf, Mathew Wood, Martin Bulgerin, Rosemary Gladstar and Michael Tierra. I am taking a professional Flower Essence course right now. I also have a Masters’ degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology.
My hobbies are gardening, dancing, photography and scrapbooking.
My name is Rachel Zerby, and I live in Columbia Heights, MN. I currently work full-time as an audiologist for Allina Health, but I am also working towards my Registered Herbalist (RH) credential through the American Herbalists Guild, with the goal of one day seeing clients as a clinical herbalist.
I first became interested in herbal medicine through an interest in foraging and wild food, a hobby that started for me while in graduate school, but has now become more of a lifestyle. I love getting outside as much as I can to discover new plants and mushrooms, usually with my husband Alan or my mother Kate, both of whom also enjoy foraging. At the moment, I am studying herbalism through both the Herbal Academy and the Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism online, as well as taking occasional in-person classes with herbalists in the Midwest such as Jessie Belden. I joined the NCHG just recently, but have loved the resources and connections it has provided already for me, and am eager to give back and to connect with other herbalists in the upper midwest. In the past, I have been a board-member-at-large for the Minnesota Academy of Audiology (MAA), and would apply that experience to my work for the NCHG.
Emily Pearson Ryan
Born and raised in Minnesota, Emily Pearson Ryan is a 2002 graduate of Macalester College and spent her years before children engaged in youth work, teaching, and community activism.
After using plants as medicine informally for many years, Emily began studying with herbalist Lise Wolf in early 2021.
She felt called to clinical practice after having several experiences that revealed deep cracks in the allopathic/biomedical healthcare system, and continues practicing under Lise’s mentorship.
Emily sees clients of all ages for a wide range of concerns and is especially drawn to helping people be supported by plants during times of transition – pregnancy and birth, menopause, grief and dying or any big life change. She uses listening, intuition, and pulse testing to match people with helpful plant remedies.
Emily centers her work around being in service to the plant world and to her community. She remains a folk herbalist at heart, wishes for everyone to learn a bit of herbalism, and is always looking for new teaching opportunities.
Emily has studied at the Orphan Wisdom School since 2016 and works as a doula at both births and deaths. She is a gardener and a caregiver and loves to cook for large groups of people. She lives in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis with her partner and three kids.
Please contact Emily through her website, www.lowlandplantmedicine.com.
Laura Shaw Sanden
Laura is a Master and Teacher of Unlimited Body, Unlimited Breath, and a certified Western Herbalist. She is trained in Flower Essences, Homeopathy, Ho’oponopono, Buddhist Psychology, and Jungian Psychology. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Development from St. Mary’s University.
Her search for the keys to healing has led her to many diverse experiences, including sleeping in a cave in Tibet, breathing for 45 minutes while submerged in freezing water, and walking on fire seven times without being burned.
Laura has been in practice for over 20 years and teaches both locally and nationally, most recently: at Minnesota’s Herbal Festival, at the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy, on public television as part of the Mind-Body Lecture Series, and at The Minnesota Waldorf Holistic Health & Wellness Conference.
She has work experience in non-profit at the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and volunteer experience including chairing the Minnesota Waldorf Schools annual Holiday Fair.
Laura has significant writing, board and fundraising experience, professionally and as a volunteer. In addition to her work as President of the Guild, Laura currently serves on the Orono Softball Association board as Fundraising and Community Development Director.
Laura has a private practice in Excelsior, Minnesota at Peak Life Clinic. She lives in Orono, Minnesota with her husband, two home-birthed daughters, and a Papillon named Cowboy.
Carolyn began serving as Vice President of the NCHG Board of Directors in January 2020. She has been in consultation practice as an herbalist since 2013. Her educational background in herbal medicine includes intensive study and apprenticeship with herbalist Lise Wolff since 2008, study with various other herbalists and holistic health practitioners over the years, immersive internships in herb cultivation with both Herb Pharm and Red Clover Herbal Apothecary, incorporating plant medicine into her masters thesis, and working in health foods retail specializing in herbal supplements. Her favorite plant is the dandelion, and other interests include reading, hiking, and learning wilderness skills which she finds greatly enriching to her herbal practice and understanding of plants.
Betsy Nelson – Food Stylist / Herbalist / Chef
Hi! I am Betsy Nelson – freelance food stylist, recipe developer, cooking teacher, Ayurvedic chef and certified herbalist. Why do I wear so many hats? I have always loved learning and exploring how our food relates to our health and well being.
I have always been interested in food, especially plants that are the sources for nourishing our bodies, as well as our minds and spirits. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Psychology and Studio Arts, which may seem like an odd background for a food person, but I find the process of cooking to be very much a creative process and a great way to connect with others. I have continued my education studying Ayurveda and Western herbalism with a variety of local and national teachers, as well as completed/participated in a Wellness Coaching Program through the Mayo Clinic. Teaching cooking classes to learn how to incorporate foods and herbs for supporting our health as well as foraging for wild edibles, is a passion of mine and I love to take people on walks in the woods to go out and see what nature has to offer!
Marina Povlitzki is an herbalist and yoga instructor. She has always been fascinated with plants and their healing powers and is grateful to have studied herbalism with Lise Wolff, Erin Piorier & the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism, as well as Flower Essence Therapy with Loey Colebeck & Martin Bulgarin. Marina has a small herbal practice out of her home office in St. Paul, MN. She has a background in education, and is a former Special Education teacher. Currently, she teaches yoga, dance, and a variety of different herbal workshops around the Twin Cities at studios including LifeCore Yoga, Healing Elements + Yoga Fresh. Marina has a strong background in movement, anatomy, and Ayurveda. Her physical classes focus on functional movement as well as energetics. When she is not teaching or seeing clients, she is busy developing eco friendly, herbal wellness and body care products. Marina is looking forward to serving on the board this year and helping to continue North Country Herbalist Guild’s mission of providing excellent herbal education opportunities in the Twin Cities!
You can learn more about Marina at www.plantmagick.com.
Vincent A. Wisniewski
Vince has been involved in the natural healing community in Minnesota since the early 90s. Following a two-year degree in Machining in the late 80s, he began to formalize his keen interest in healing by earning a certificate in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture from the Northern School of Chinese Medicine in 1992.
Vince was one of Matt Wood’s early students and attained an herbal medicine certificate from Matt’s Oak Leaf School of Herbal Medicine in 1995. He also earned a certificate in Homeopathy from the British Institute of Homeopathy in 2002. Vince worked at the iconic Mastel’s in St. Paul where he filled in any remaining gaps in his education. He was in private practice in St. Paul and in Michigan for over ten years.
Vince enjoys playing chess, and despite his modesty, is quite an accomplished player, winning the 2015 US Open for Chess in Florida in his division (1800 & Under), He is very humble about this accomplishment and claims that he just got lucky.
Vince works for the MTC driving a city bus and lives on the Eastside of St. Paul with his two rescue dogs, Cinnamon and Speedy.
Vince has served on the North Country Herbalist Guild Board of Directors for over five years.