OHA Board of Directors

President: 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.

Vice President: 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 clinical practice in the West end of Toronto.

Treasurer: Barbara Anderson

Barbara is passionate about herbalism and has been studying herbs over the last 15 years.  She is  currently transitioning from being a teacher, mother, and financial consultant to working in a health based business.   She is pleased to be able to use the skills and knowledge gained as a chartered accountant in her previous career to help forward the cause of herbalism.  

 She lives close to the escarpment  with her 3 children and loves to spend any free time hiking and plant watching with her dog and anyone else who can tolerate the frequent plant discovery stops.

She was a general member on the Board of Directors in 2003 -2005 and managed the Herb Faire in 2004.   She believes that the OHA can continue to promote and support its professional members, support its student members, and be the voice of herbalism in Ontario so that fewer people have to ask. “ what is a Herbalist?”. 

Secretary: Elena Pintillie

Elena Pintilie completed her studies in holistic nutrition in 2013, and has since been complimenting her nutrition knowledge with herbal education through various courses and workshops. She is passionate about health, wellness and all things natural; and hopes to guide her future clients to take health in their own hands - find their unique optimal health and balance through wholesome real food, daily use of herbs and herbal blends/preparations. 

Elena has been an active volunteer with the OHA for several years, and is a student member of the OHA.

Director: Chris Lamont RH (Schools & Applicants Liason)

After working for many years as a professional musician, Chris expanded his way of life by pursuing his love of nature through the study of Herbal Medicine. He studied under renowned herbalist, Isla Burgess and now holds a diploma in Clinical Herbal Medicine from the International College of Herbal Medicine in New Zealand. He followed his studies with a 12-year herbal apprenticeship, where Chris trained extensively in the manufacturing of herbal medicines. Chris became a registered herbalist and member of the Ontario Herbalists Association (OHA) in 2014. Determined to be actively involved in the profession, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the OHA in 2015. He has clinical practices in both Toronto and Dundas, Ontario.

Director: 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 Introductory Herbal Medicine and Advanced Herbal Medicine Applications at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition (Toronto).

Director: Shanti Balasubramaniam RH

With over 25 years of experience, Shanthi is the founder of Ajara Ayurvedic Wellness Center. She is an Ayurvedacharya from the University of Madras, India where she served both as a Professor and medical officer. Before moving to Canada, Shanthi was head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the renowned college for Ayurveda, Sri Jayendrasaraswathi Ayurveda College, India.

She has been conducting lectures for students and the general public about the values of this ancient science. Her objective, while living and working in Toronto, has been to make a difference in the Holistic Health Care System by applying her education and professional wisdom.