Our teachers make learning a truly organic process.
Visionaries. Luminaries. Scholars. Influencers. All dedicated practitioners of wellness.
Executive Director & Founder
Amy Galper, B.A., M.A., Dipl. AT, the pioneering educator behind NYIOA, has been a Certified Aromatherapist since 2001, as well as a passionate advocate, entrepreneur, formulator and consultant in organic beauty and wellness.
It’s a journey that began long before the pursuit of wellness was common, and led her to a vast knowledge of essential oils and their applications as a way to connect to the body through the senses. In 2001, after having trained with Jade Shutes (former president of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, or NAHA), Amy earned her Certificate in Holistic Dynamic Aromatherapy from what is now The School For Aromatic Studies. Today she is also the NYC Director for NAHA.
As an entrepreneur, Amy applied her mind-body vision to the world of beauty, developing an award winning, yoga-inspired line of body care products called Buddha Nose, one of the first organic brands to create national awareness of the need for toxin-free beauty and body care products. She also produced a series of interactive pop-up shops called “The Yoga Beauty Bar” to celebrate artisan organic beauty brands while educating women to make more conscious beauty choices.
Over the past several years, Amy has also built a vibrant consultancy practice, offering her expertise—in ingredient research and sourcing, product formulation, wellness event planning, USDA Certification and more—to a number of beauty and wellness brands. As the Education Director and Natural Beauty Expert for Credo Beauty, she supports the Credo Team as they pioneer the new paradigm for Clean Beauty.
Amy has appeared as a featured speaker at the Indie Beauty Expo, Women in Flavor & Fragrance Conference, and EcoSessions. She has been a guest lecturer at NYU, and is currently part of the Visiting Faculty at Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism in New York City, and is an online Instructor at The School of Aromatic Studies.
She has been featured on FOX NEWS, CUNY TV, and FAT MASCARA, and has been quoted as an aromatherapy expert for dozens of articles and posts about essential oils as seen in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Dr. OZ, Prevention, Well and Good, Mind Body Green, People and many many more.
Along with her training in aromatic plant medicine, Amy has a certification from the Ohashiatsu Institute, a B.A from Smith College and an M.A. from NYU—as well as a love of going off the grid with only her husband and a lot of relaxing essential oils.
Florian Birkmayer, B.A., MD is a Wounded Healer and the co-developer with Cathy Skipper of AromaGnosis, which synthesizes Jungian Depth Psychology and aromatherapy. A holistic psychiatrist, he has an extensive background in trauma and addiction as well as Equine Assisted Therapy. He views himself as a bridge-builder between different medical worlds and works closely and respectfully with a wide range of healers. He received his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He completed his psychiatry residency at the University of New Mexico. He has previously served as the director of the Dual Diagnosis Clinic at the University of New Mexico Psychiatric Center and as the director of the Substance Use Disorders program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albuquerque, NM.
For more info visit: aromagnosis.com
Mindy Green, RA has 40 years of experience in the herb and natural products industry. A nationally certified Registered Aromatherapist, she has served on the education committees of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists and the Aromatherapy Registration Council.
An active educator and writer, Mindy’s focus is on botanical therapies and essential oils; she has authored three books and over 60 published articles, and is a lecturer at Dr. Andrew Weil’s innovative Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. She is also a founding member of the American Herbalists Guild, and is on the advisory board for the American Botanical Council and the American College of Health Care Sciences. Currently, Mindy runs her consulting company, GreenScentsations.com, and works for Pharmaca, an integrative pharmacy in Boulder, CO.
Richard Mandelbaum RH is a clinical herbalist with a private practice in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to seeing clients, he teaches clinical classes in herbal medicine and field botany. He is a founding partner at the ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism in NYC, and is on the faculty at David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies in Washington, NJ, and the Tristate College of Acupuncture in New York.
Richard has been an avid student of native medicinal plants for over 25 years, and has been a practicing herbalist since 1997, blending Chinese and Western traditions. He has been a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild since 2003, and joined the AHG Council in October 2012. Currently he chairs the AHG Mentorship and Diversity committees. Richard is also active in issues related to fair trade, sustainability, and social justice. You can find him at www.richardmandelbaum.com.
Michael Scholes is an International Aromatic Consultant, therapeutic formulator and natural perfumer who is the president of the Virginia based Laboratory of Flowers, an Eco Essential Oil Supply Company that specializes in organic essential oils and supplies for the body, bath, skin, hair and environment as well as healing products for the practitioner and individual. Within the Lab is the “Library of Fragrance” containing 500 master formulations.
In 2000 Michael helped create an Aromatic fragrance “World Sensorium” that was released in over 200,000 scent strips over Times Square at midnight on December 31st, 1999. His Trinity 33 Blend is a blend of all the fragrances mentioned in the bible and is currently used in the healing ministry of Trinity Church in Upperville, VA.
Michael currently divides his time between formulating, writing, lecturing, consulting, product development, essential oil research and resourcing essential oils worldwide and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jade Shutes holds a Diploma in Holistic Aromatherapy, Holistic Massage, Anatomy and Physiology, and Reflexology from the Raworth College of Natural Medicine in Dorking, UK, and a Diploma in Aromatherapy from the International Therapist Examining board (ITEC). Today she is the Director of Education for the East-West School for Herbal and Aromatic Studies.
A practitioner and educator on natural healing for over two decades, Jade opened her first aromatherapy school, The Institute for Dynamic Aromatherapy (IDA), in New England in 1990. She has also taught at Bastyr University, Duke University, Ashmead College, San Diego Hospice, and throughout North America. Recognized as one of the vanguard of professionals who helped introduce aromatherapy to the US, she has since played an active role in the setting of standards for aromatherapy education in North America.
Cathy Skipper is English by birth and spent her adult life in rural France, where she farmed, trained and worked as a herbalist and aromatherapist and taught practical herbalism, botany and aromatherapy at the L’Ecole Lyonnaise de Plantes Medicinales’ in Lyon. She also participated for four years in an experimental approach to energetic healing called 'Life cell' under French Kinesiologist, Caroline Gupta. Her plant training in France included a two-year course with Claude Lefebvre on Plant Communication. She left France last year to live and work in New Mexico with her partner Florian Birkmayer.
Cathy’s own work involves building bridges between aromatic medicine and herbalism as well as recognizing the importance of healing the healer and reconnecting with nature. In her teachings, she marries theory, practical work and energetics with an underlying intention of helping students develop an intuitive relationship between themselves, the plant/essential oil and the patient as an impetus for healing.
Her work with Florian is centralized around the work of Carl Jung and the psyche, aromatic molecules and the mind.
Cathy is co-author of the book Aromatic Medicine.
Michal Spiegelman is a Reiki Master Teacher, Certified Professional Life-Coach, an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner and the founder of Balanced Moments.
She is trained in color-healing, reflexology, aromatherapy, shiatsu, and meditation. Michal studied different healing modalities in Israel, Germany, England and the US. Michal has connected hundreds of people with Reiki throughout the years and is a certified Life-Coach through the Institute for professional excellence in Coaching (iPEC). As a Life- Coach, Michal empowers people to create profound change with ease and light so they can tap into their unlimited potential and live a balanced and fulfilled life.
You can contact her at email@example.com.
Gay Timmons has participated in the organic industry in various business capacities including certification, as a lobbyist, and as a consumer/activist. Since 1991, she has worked as a producer and marketer of organic ingredients and an advocate for regulatory protection for organic producers and consumers. Her introduction to the field began as a ten-year job co-managing an organic farm and production facility. In 2000 she founded Oh, Oh Organic, Inc., a company committed to the development and delivery of sustainable agricultural ingredients for the cosmetic and personal care industries. She also supports ASCO, a USDA accredited certifier to oversee internal compliance and policy. She served as the Chair of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee, serving on that committee for eleven years and served as Secretary on the CCOF Board of Directors and Chair of the Processor Chapter for eleven years. Gay graduated from UC Davis and lives with her two daughters in Los Gatos, CA.
Daniel Krasofski, LMT, CAS has been captivated from an early age by holistic health, expanding his studies with the AVEDA Institute Minneapolis. He currently has 25 years of Ayurveda, natural perfumery, aromatherapy, yoga, product/treatment development and international teaching for some of the worlds top resorts: Four Seasons, Fairmont, Elizabeth Arden, Canyon Ranch and Ritz Carlton. His years of experience with Canyon Ranch allowed him the opportunity to learn from world authorities in holistic fields and methodologies. In 2001 he began his study with California College of Ayurveda, and the following decade, developed products/treatments as Creative Director of Ona Spa. He enjoys a bicoastal clientele for bodywork and scent creation.
In 2011 his passion for scent creation led to studying with many teachers including: the AVEDA perfumers, Natural Perfume Academy, Natural Perfume Institute, Ayala Moriel, Ashely Kessler and Perfumers World among many others. Professional Perfumer Certification in 2016 & working closely with the Institute for Art and Olfaction (IAO) since its beginning as teacher, student, consultant and supporter; his expertise has also been utilized as a three time judge and presenter for the annual Art+Olfaction awards. As a Perfumer and Scent Artist he works with multidisciplinary artists to create scent as an emotional trigger on television, movies and stage- current work is focussed on translating literary classics such as Shakespeare into scent-scapes for actors & audiences.
Amandine Peter has lived with plants as long as she can remember. She grew up in the countryside with nature as her playground, and remembers playing all day long with her siblings and cousins in her grandfather's garden, picking fruits and vegetables from the ground and eating them, and helping her grandfather hand-pick beetles to keep them out of our potato plants. Her mother used to diffuse eucalyptus essential oil in the winter to keep the family safe from germs and purify the atmosphere. She started to study essential oils in her teens because she was a very sensitive person who used to be sick every two months, with all sorts of benign ailments. She was also diagnosed with depression and anxiety. After incorporating essential oils into her life, she is now physically, mentally and emotionally healthy and connected to her body and to mother nature.
Amandine rejects everything that is processed and unnatural, because our bodies are not prepared to deal with the synthetic substances we find in basically everything. She makes all my cosmetics, and does not eat processed food. She believes that essential oils are precious allies to remind us how powerful plants are, and how right it feels to use them to enhance our general health, especially in a preventive way.
Amy Anthony B.A, is a certified clinical Aromatherapist with a private practice in Manhattan, NY. Her focus is on customized aromatherapy and education: she consults with clients and teaches classes and workshops at the NYIOA and around the NY metro area. Amy also enjoys formulating customized delivery methods that encourage the safe, practical use of aromatherapy for her clients—like lip balms, fizzing bath balls, shower bars, body butters, creams and more. More can be found about her aromatherapy practice at A.roma.
Amy has been a gardener since the age of 5 and has continually found ways to connect with plants since moving to NYC in 1999. Her connection with plants brings a holistic, plant-based approach to her teaching and practice of aromatherapy. She spends time between NYC and the North Fork of Long Island, where she can be found getting dirty at the East Side Outside community garden or her own garden on Long Island. She also spends as much time as possible in her garage, with her copper still, to obtain beautiful, artisanal hydrosols from plants she grows or other locally sourced botanicals.
Amy is also a certified master composter, has volunteered and helped run Saint George’s Common Table since 2012 and is a doula with The Doula Program to Accompany and Comfort since the fall of 2016. She studied herbalism under Jim Mcdonald and continues to explore the world of herbalism.
Elisabeth Vlasic, please call her Libby, is a clinical aromatherapist, and a certified essential oil educator. Additionally, she is currently undergoing a 3 year Herbalism program at 'Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism' in New York City. Her love and profound respect for Mother Nature started as a young child growing up in Australia, running around the foot of eucalyptus trees, always in awe of the beauty our mystical world provides. Fast forward to now, and what has manifested is a love of essential oils and all the benefits plants offer one+all in support of a healthy and happy life.
Libby spends her time between upstate New York in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and bustling New York City, with her husband, her little boy and 2 dogs. Learn more at Wythe and Berry
Fernanda Menegassi-Lojac, B.S., R.N., is a clinical aromatherapist and owner of North Fork Natural. Fernanda's love for aromatherapy began as a desire to integrate holistic wellness into her everyday life while working as a registered nurse. Her desire to experience more with essential oils led her to pursue an Advanced Clinical Aromatherapy Certificate at New York Institute of Aromatherapy.
Fernanda’s background in nursing along with her passion for natural healing allows her to integrate essential oils into her therapeutic wellness and skin care products. North Fork Natural is located in Cutchogue, NY on the North Fork of Long Island. There she handcrafts natural soaps, skin care and wellness products that are formulated with aromatherapy in mind.
As an aromatherapist, Fernanda spends her time formulating, educating and consulting. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, walking on the beach, and spending quality time with loved ones while enjoying the North Fork of Long Island.