SHP Advisory Group

Josef Brinckmann Working in the medicinal plant sector since 1979, Brinckmann presently serves as ‘Research Fellow, Medicinal Plants and Botanical Supply Chain’ for Traditional Medicinals, Inc. (Sebastopol, CA), a manufacturer of herbal medicinal products. Brinckmann serves as an Advisory Board member of the American Botanical Council (ABC) and contributing editor of ABC’s HerbalGram journal. He is a member of the Medicinal Plant Specialist Group, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, and serves as Vice Chair of formerly (2008-2021) served on the Board of Trustees of the FairWild Foundation, a Switzerland-based nonprofit standards setting organization for the sustainable wild collection of medicinal and aromatic plants. Brinckmann is also a member of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Botanical Raw Materials Sustainability SubcCommittee. He received the 2013 AHPA Herbal Insight Award, the 2016 ABC Champion Award, and in 2016 was conferred an honorary degree of ‘Doctor of Humane Letters in Healing and Sustainability honoris causa’ from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.


Bill Chioffi has 21 years’ experience with the production of herbal supplements including all phases of vertically integrated botanical manufacturing of liquid extracts and concentrates, international and domestic regulatory and Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP) auditing experience, social responsibility/sustainability management and program development, agroforestry and supply chain development planning, political advocacy, clinical research guidance and education. He is the director of Botanical Consulting International and has served on various boards including the Executive Committee of AHPA as Vice Chair and the Board of Directors for two terms. His interest in sustainability is grounded in his long-time commitment to conservation as a founding board member of the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmers Coalition and current advisor to United Plant Savers. It is Bill’s hope that the herbal products industry begins to adopt strict policies on the sourcing of botanicals to protect the environment and the people who work so diligently to raise and collect our plant medicines.


Alison Czeczuga is a community activist, sustainability professional, mom, and lover of the natural world. With over 15 years’ experience in the natural products sector, Alison is passionate about using business practices to advance society’s most pressing problems. She currently serves as the Sustainability & Social Impact Manager at Gaia Herbs, where she leads the sustainability strategy across the company to ensure a positive environmental and social impact across all operations. At Gaia Herbs, her focus has been on advancing the company’s climate action plan, regenerative farming initiatives, and social justice and farmer empowerment programs. She currently serves on the boards of the Sustainable Food Trade Association, Climate Collaborative, Organic Grower’s School, and Sustainable Herbs Project. Alison holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University where she majored in International Affairs with concentrations in International Development & Contemporary Cultures & Society.


Bethany Davis is the Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs for MegaFood. She is the President for the Coalition for Supplement Sustainability, a group of supplement and ingredient companies that united to support a non-GMO and sustainable supply chain. She serves on the Board of Trustees of ABC and of AHPA. Bethany is deeply engaged with regenerative agricultural practices, sustainability. and transparency as they relate to the supplement industry. She holds a MS in Regulatory Affairs and Health Policy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston and is a certified coach with the Conscious Leadership Group.



Trish Flaster, ethnobotanist and botanical ingredients expert serves as Executive Director of Botanical Liaisons, LLC, an ethnobotanical consulting firm focusing on new products based on traditional knowledge and development of authenticated botanical reference specimens. She developed the first virtual herbarium for economic plants and is Chair of the Cannabis Review Board for American for Safe Access. Trish also conducts field studies on sustainable supplies. For 33 years, she has been the the Editor of Plants and People, the newsletter of the Society for Economic Botany. Trish is cofounder of IDDI, She has a strong background in horticulture, quality assurance, and developing new products ingredients. She holds a master’s degree in ethnobotany from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Edward Fletcher, President & COO of Native Botanicals, Inc., has worked in the horticultural industry for over 35 years, starting with propagating and growing native American wildflowers in his family’s ornamental nursery business in North Carolina. He established and developed the cultivation department for Wilcox Natural Products into what many considered the best in the industry, managing over 3,000 hectares of crops around the world. His favorite part of this work is working with farmers, growers, producers around the world to educate and assist them in proper cultivation, harvesting and post harvest handling techniques to produce the best possible raw material. Edward is previous Chairperson and current member of the AHPA board and as well as the Botanical Raw Materials Committee Chairperson. He has worked with USAID as a Medicinal Plant Expert on the Island of Dominica to develop a line of medicinal teas based on the traditional knowledge of the Kalinago Indians. Ed continues to work on the issues and efforts to improve the quality of botanical raw materials, focusing on the cultivation and post harvest handling techniques.


Jackie Greenfield is a Plant Biologist and Global Sourcing Specialist. For over 18 years, she owned and operated an organic herb and flower farm in Pennsylvania; then worked for NC State University developing cultivation systems for native botanicals, and assisting farmers with medicinal herb and organic production practices. She then served as the Sourcing and Sustainability Specialist to manufacturing companies in the herbal extract, tea, food, and beverage industries, helping companies develop their long-term sustainability programs to protect and preserve their supply chain. Jackie has traveled worldwide, collaborating with organic farmers, grower co-ops, and strategic business partners, to promote plant conservation through cultivation. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the AHPA Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals.


David Hircock is Executive Director Corporate Affairs, Estée Lauder Companies, having initially started with its Aveda subsidiary. He has worked extensively around the globe as a respected expert on issues related to human rights, conservation of biodiversity, and working with indigenous peoples, particularly related to the supply chains of raw materials and services. A passionate advocate for human rights, David has worked closely with Kailash Satyarthi’s (Nobel Peace Laureate) teams in India since 2005, committed to the eradication of child labor and slavery.


Holly Johnson, PhD is the Chief Science Officer for the American Herbal Products Association. She previously served as Laboratory Director for Alkemist Labs, an accredited natural product testing lab specializing in botanicals. Holly took her PhD in Pharmacognosy and was awarded a US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fellowship for training at the University of Illinois-Chicago NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements. She did extensive ethnobotany fieldwork and botanical collecting and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institute for Ethnomedicine in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Holly is currently active in sustainability initiatives at AHPA and in standards setting activities with AOAC and USP for foods and dietary supplements. She a member of the United States Pharmacoepia’s Medical Cannabis Expert Panel, serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of AOAC International, and also the Advisory Boards of the American Botanical Council and the American Herbal Pharmacoepia. Holly has over 20 years experience in the lab and in the field with natural products and botanicals and has spent many happy years conducting research and teaching at the University of Hawaii.


Sarah Laird A forester and ethnobiologist by training, Sarah Laird’s interests cover a range of interrelated issues, including forest-based traditional knowledge, livelihoods, conservation and governance, and the commercial use of biodiversity. Since the mid-1990s, Sarah has collaborated with local communities around Mt Cameroon on ethnobiological research and knowledge exchange programs to support and conserve threatened traditional management practices and cultural forests. Sarah also works on the international trade of medicinal plants and other non-timber forest products (NTFPs), including their governance, certification, markets, and sustainability, and since 1990 on the ethical and conservation implications of the commercial use of biological and genetic resources, including through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Sarah is Co-Director of People and Plants International, a Bioeconomy Research Associate at the University of Cape Town, and Co-Directer of the Voices for BioJustice Programme.


SHP Advisory GroupDanna J. Leaman, PhD. Danna, a conservation biologist/ethnobotanist, is an independent consultant affiliated with the Canadian Museum of Nature as a Research Associate. Dr Leaman received her PhD in biology from the University of Ottawa, Canada, in 1996 based on ethnobotanical research in East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.  A member of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), she is Co-Chair of the Medicinal Plant Specialist Group and Red List Authority for medicinal plants. She is a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the FairWild Foundation, established in 2008 to promote sustainable wild collection of medicinal and other commercially useful plants, fungi, and lichens. When at home in Canada, she lives in summer in beautiful woods near Perth, Ontario, in winter in the Elk Valley, British Columbia.


Susan Leopold, PhD. Susan is an ethnobotanist and passionate defender of biodiversity. She is the Executive Director of United Plant Savers. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Botanical Dimensions and the Center for Sustainable Economy, a Board member of the AHPA Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals (ERB Foundation), an advisory board member of ABC, and a member of the IUCN medicinal plant working group. She is a proud member of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia and the author of the children’s book Isabella’s Peppermint Flower, teaching about Virginia’s botanical history. She lives on and manages a productive farm, the Indian Pipe Botanical Sanctuary with her three children in Virginia, where she raises goats, peacocks and herbs. She is an avid recreational tree climber, in love with the canopy just as much as the herbs of the forest floor.


Sebastian Pole came across the remarkable world of traditional herbal medicine in 1991 on meeting an Ayurvedic doctor in India. That insight into Ayurveda opened his eyes to a whole new world. After meeting Pukka’s co-founder Tim Westwell, Pukka Herbs started life in 2001 as a simple idea: connect people with the incredible wonders of herbs and do as much good as possible. Pukka Herbs is now one of the most successful organic herbal tea companies in the world. As well as formulating all Pukka Herbs’ organic herbal teas and supplements, Sebastian also has run his own herbal practice since 1998. Sebastian is a registered member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners. Fluent in Hindi, a registered yoga therapist, an obsessive gardener and passionate about running a business that brings benefit to everyone it connects with, Sebastian is on a mission to bring the incredible power of plants into people’s life. Sebastian is Advisor to the FairWild Foundation and American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.


Anant Darshan Shankar is the Managing Trustee of the Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) and Vice Chancellor of the Trans-Disciplinary University (TDU), Bangalore. During the last 25 years FRLHT-TDU has inspired the creation of the largest in situ conservation program, of 110 MPCAs for conserving wild gene pools of threatened medicinal botanicals of India. TDU also leads translational research in the field of Ayurveda-biology a new transdisciplinary domain that combines systemic perspectives of Ayurveda with the molecular approaches of biology. His work has received several national and International Awards like the Normal Borlaug Award (1998), Columbia University’s International Award (2003) for revitalization of traditional systems of health-care in India, and Padma Shri, by the Government of India in 2011.


Erin Smith is a clinical herbalist and ethnobotanist and has been working with medicinal plants for 30 years. She has worked internationally with indigenous communities on traditional medicine, natural resource management, community-based conservation, and traditional knowledge, including with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and as the former Managing Director of Global Diversity Foundation – North America. She has taught internationally on herbal medicine, ethnobotany, and the human/nature relationship for over 15 years. Passionate about botanical sourcing, social impact, and sustainability issues in the natural product industry, she is co-chair of the Sustainability Sub-Committee at the American Herbal Products Association and is Director of Herbal Science & Research at Banyan Botanicals.


SHP Advisory GroupAnastasiya Timoshyna is TRAFFIC’s Senior Programme Coordinator – Sustainable Trade, based in Cambridge, UK. She has over ten years of experience of working on issues of wildlife trade, with a focus on implementing best practices in sustainability of harvesting and trade in wild-collected plants in the source and consumer countries. This involves engagement with companies from arond the world and relevant policy work, including in the contexts of implementing CITES and CBD. Anastasiya has experience with standards and certification schemes, in particular the application of the FairWild Standard for harvesting/trade in wild-collected plants. She is a Co-Chair of the IUCN/SSC Medicinal Plant Specialist Group and a member of the Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group.


Jan Von Enden is Head of Group Sustainability – Supply Chains at Martin Bauer Group. He has a background in tropical agriculture and spent most of his career in coffee producing countries, such as Peru, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Papua New Guinea and others. As part of the Executive Management of a coffee focused family foundation, he has been designing and leading industry – governments supported sustainability programs with the objective to enhance the economic and social well-being of small-scale coffee farming families worldwide. Having joined the botanical sector recently, he is now dedicated to apply his experience in a new setting.



Steven Yeager is trained as a field botanist and wild harvester. Steven is Director of Quality at Mountain Rose Herbs where he oversees laboratory operations including their identity program as well as assuring Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance. He serves on the following board of directors including AHPA, AHPA’s ERB Foundation, United Plant Savers, and the Native Plant Society of Oregon. Steven is co-owner of the Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, Oregon and has been an instructor with the school since 1997.