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OHA Board of Directors

President: Rick DeSylva DNM, CH, RH

Rick has been involved in the natural health food industry for over 30 years, both as a registered herbalist, and as a manufacturer of premium quality NHP's made from wild-crafted and certified organically grown botanicals. He is a founding member of the Ontario Herbalists Association (OHA), the Canadian Council of Herbalist Association (CCHA),and sits on their Board(s), as well as that of the Ontario Doctors of Natural Medicine Association (ODNMA), and the Natural Health Products Protection Association (NHPPA)

Rick practices a branch of herbalism known as botanic medicine, which views herbs as very specialized foods for the cells of the body. He has lectured on this topic in Australia, Russia, the USA and Canada, and continues to teach and write about this discipline in various magazines, and schools of natural healing. His company, The Herb Works is located in Rockwood, Ontario, where he specializes in treating chronic degenerative ailments.

Vice President: John Redden RH

John Redden is a Western Medical Herbalist with an eclectic background.

He has over thirty years experience growing and wild crafting herbs, manufacturing remedies and clinical practice. As a member and former vice-president of the Ontario Herbalists Association, he co-founded “A Celebration of Herbs”, Toronto’s largest herbal event.

For six years, John served as the editor of the Canadian Journal of Herbalism, the national herbal medical journal for professional herbalists and interested lay enthusiasts.

He is a hands-on teacher of numerous aspects of holistic herbal medicine and teaches popular and advanced classes in his workshop / laboratory and at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

Treasurer: Elizabeth Boyd RH

Growing up on a farm in Southwestern Ontario gave Elizabeth very strong ‘weed’ identification skills.  Most of her early jobs were in agriculture which exposed her to more Ontario plants, but as she started to explore the world of herbs she quickly discovered that most of the ‘weeds’ were actually very useful herbs!  From this background, Elizabeth prefers to use herbs in her practice that grow in Ontario and can be harvested fresh.  Elizabeth has been practicing herbal medicine from her home office in Burlington since graduating from the Institute of Traditional Medicine (ITM) in 2011.  

Elizabeth’s background also includes a degree in Chemical Engineering and Management from McMaster University and some time with TD Bank working as an Agriculture Account Analyst.  She uses her finance skills as the volunteer treasurer for the Burlington Women’s Basketball League and the bookkeeper for Clarkshome Farm.  Elizabeth is a Professional member of the Ontario Herbalists Association.

Privacy Officer: Susan Elliotson RH

After many years as a law clerk with a life-long interest in plants, Susan returned to school to study Phytotherapy in the diploma program at the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, Mohawk College. Now in private practice in Caledon, surrounded by the herbs she uses, she is a professional member of the Ontario Herbalists Association, serving on the Professional Members Committee and writing a regular column for the Canadian Journal of Herbalism. She is also a professional member of the American Botanical Council.

Susan regularly leads herb walks, speaks to private groups on different aspects of herbs, taught Herbal Pharmacy as a faculty member of Mohawk College (Hamilton) and is a faculty member of The Institute of Holistic Nutrition (Toronto), teaching Introductory Herbal Medicine and Advanced Herbal Medicine Applications.

Marianne Beacon RH

Marianne Beacon is a Registered Professional Herbalist, Advanced Bowen Therapist, Reiki practitioner, Transpersonal Therapist and teacher. She has been training in the healing arts since 1994 and has a Diploma in Clinical Herbal Medicine, as well as over 2000 apprenticeship hours alongside traditional and professional herbalists and midwives.

Her focus is a Western Herbalist approach using whole plant medicine and flower essences. Marianne uses her skills in Bowen therapy both as a standalone therapeutic technique and as a complement to her herbal practice. Bowen is a soft tissue therapy which particularly helps with pain and has been used to treat both chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and acute injuries including concussions.

Marianne brings a heart-centered approach to her work and she uses a combination of talk, touch and herbal therapy to offer a holistic approach to healing providing many safe and natural options for her clients. With multiple modalities available to her, Marianne offers the breadth and depth of her experience and knowledge to her clients in a co-creative and caring atmosphere. Clients are always in control of their own path to healing.

Chris Lamont RH

Chris is a herbalist of the Western Tradition, who focuses on clinical work and the manufacturing of herbal medicines. He studied at the International College of Herbal Medicine, founded by Isla Burgess and graduated with a Diploma in Clinical Herbal Medicine. He has also been apprenticing and studying with John Redden since 2007. Chris became a registered herbalist and member of the Ontario Herbalists Association in 2014.

Chris believes in helping people restore their health, prevent illness and promote their innate vitality by empowering them through knowledge and a reconnection with nature.

Lianna Vargas RH

Lianna is a young herbalist who has been learning avidly about plants since completing secondary school. She has studied in the field with Michael Vertolli and in clinic with Diane Kent while continually seeking to deepen her understanding through engagement with the natural world.

Her focus has been on getting to know the local plants, connecting with Nature, and getting back to the basics in hopes to help forge a more sustainable future. Her background is mainly in visual arts and mathematics, with some additional training in architecture. She has many interests and skills she has been developing alongside her training in herbal medicine such as wildlife tracking, organic gardening and traditional crafts. She currently has a clincal practice in the West end of Toronto.