ArborVitae’s administrators come from a variety of backgrounds, each using their unique skill sets to ensure ArborVitae provides the highest quality education and training in herbalism.
A clinical herbalist and flower essence therapist with an additional specialty in food and nutrition therapy. She has had a private practice in Union Square of Manhattan, NY since 1999. From 2001 till 2015, Claudia has served as the Weston A Price Foundation NYC Chapter Leader, providing community education and resources for nutrition and traditional foods. Claudia also teaches regularly about herbs, flower essences and traditional foods in practitioner study groups, workshops and conferences.
RH is a clinical herbalist with a private practice in Brooklyn and in Sullivan County, NY. Richard has been practicing as an herbalist since 1997, with a background in both Chinese and Western herbal traditions. He is currently on the faculty at David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies in Washington, NJ and has been a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) since 2003, and joined the AHG Council in October 2012. He is co-founder, co-director, of ArborVitae.
Diana Isidoro graduated with a B.S. in Nutrition Science at Brooklyn College. She quickly learned that her true passion lied with holistic healing and herbalism and she began to soak up knowledge from workshops throughout the city ultimately landing her at ArborVitae. She initially fell in love with the energy of ArborVitae as a student attending our Community Classes and is excited and humbled to take on the role of Administrative Director.
Sam Perry runs a clinical herbalism practice from his office at the Radicle Herb Shop in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to clinical work, Sam leads a plant and mushroom walk series in Prospect Park in collaboration with Sacred Warrior. He also represents the medicinal herb farm RavenCrest Botanicals every Saturday at a farmer’s market in the Lower East Side’s Seward Park. He is a proud alumni of Arbor Vitae’s 3 year professional program and is thrilled to join the team as Teaching Assistant.
April Matney is responsible for many of ArborVitae’s financial tasks such as managing student payments and ongoing Accounting. She has a bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Parks, & Leisure Services Administration from Central Michigan University and has spent many years working with nonprofits and consulting for small business owners. April is a proud Michigan native but is currently living and working remotely from Louisville, KY with her husband and two rambunctious boys.
Shannon Van Loon is dedicated to the work and mission of ArborVitae and is one of the first members on the Board of the Tree of Life Guild. Shannon’s background and expertise is in strategic planning for organizations with a mission that serve or enhance our communities and world. She currently oversees all financial aspects of ArborVitae’s operations and helps ArborVitae to grow wisely and efficiently
Michele is a clinical herbalist based in Oklahoma who holds two bachelor’s degrees; in Public Health and in Complementary and Alternative Health. She teaches herbalism classes and volunteers for various special needs support groups and charities in her community. Her favorite hobbies include collecting herb books for her bookshelves, collecting bookshelves for her herb books, collecting mason jars for her herbs, and collecting plants for her garden.
Laura Palay (formerly Laura Smith) is responsible for the coordination and tracking of student and instructor payments. She has worked with ArborVitae since February of 2014, when the school was in its first year of operations. Laura graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s in English Language, Literature and Writing, minoring in Japanese Language and Culture. She is an animal lover, avid reader, and enjoys crocheting, sewing, drawing, and other creative projects.