Meet the volunteers who serve AHTA

Leigh Anne Starling, LCPC, CRC, HTR – President

Leigh Anne is a registered horticultural therapist, certified rehabilitation counselor, and a licensed clinical professional counselor. She holds a BS in horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic and State University and an MS in rehabilitation counseling from San Francisco State University. She currently works in a mental health setting where she incorporates horticultural therapy into her practice. Leigh Anne provides instruction to horticultural therapy supervisors. She chairs the AHTA’s Professional Registration Review Board.

AHTA Past Presidents

2013-2015
MaryAnne McMillan, HTR
 

2010-2013
Gabriela Harvey, HTR

2007-2010
Lana Dreyfuss, HTR

2002-2007
Nancy Easterling, HTR

1999-2002
Karin Fleming, HTR

1998-1999
Maria Gabaldo, HTR

1996-1998
Martha Strauss, HTM

1994-1996
Rebecca Haller, HTM

1992-1994
Gene Rothert, HTR

1989-1992
Nancy Stevenson, HTR

1987-1989
Douglas Airhart, PhD, HTM

1986-1987
Judy Carrier, HTR

1984-1985
T. Kent Titze, HTM

1983-1984
Ken T. Stoutamire, HTM

1980-1983
Merle M. Moore

1979
William Townsley, PhD

1975-1979
Paula Diane Relf, PhD, HTR

1973-1975
Earl Copus

Patricia Cassidy, HTR - Vice President

Patty is a registered horticultural therapist and lives and works in Portland, Oregon.  Patty earned her therapeutic horticulture certificate at Legacy Health System. She currently practices in several senior retirement communities and is president of the Friends of the Portland Memory Garden. She is author of The Illustrated Practical Guide to Gardening for Seniors, published in the fall of 2011.   Patty chairs the AHTA Membership Work Team and the Horticultural Therapy Certificate Accreditation Review Board.

 

Lana Dreyfuss, LCADC, LPC, SEP, HTR - Treasurer

Lana is a registered horticultural therapist, licensed professional counselor, and somatic experiencing practitioner. She received her MS from University of Maryland-College Park. Currently Lana works in mental health, specializing in addictions and trauma. Her private practice, Creative Resources of People, utilizes somatic experiencing and horticultural therapy.

Ranita Keener, HTR - Secretary

Ranita is a registered horticultural therapist and has been a member of AHTA since 1987.  She holds a BS in horticultural therapy from Kansas State University. Ranita has been employed at East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) in Augusta, GA since 1987 and has practiced horticultural therapy there with adult mental health and forensic individuals.  Ranita currently hold a position as Clinical Services Coordinator for forensic services at ECRH.  She chairs the AHTA Awards Review Board.

MaryAnne McMillan, HTR - Immediate Past President

MaryAnne is a registered horticultural therapist.  MaryAnne is employed at Rutgers Garden and is a horticultural therapist at Allies Inc. in Hamilton, New Jersey, where she coordinates horticultural therapy programs for the Farm Day Program for adults with diverse needs. She also coordinates internships through these programs with Rutgers University and Temple University. MaryAnne earned her Horticultural Therapy Certificate at the New York Botanical Garden. She is the AHTA Nominations and Elections Review Board Chair.

 

Jonathan Irish, LPC, HTR - Board Member

Jonathan is a licensed professional counselor and a registered horticultural therapist. He earned his MA at Denver Seminary and attended the Horticultural Therapy Institute in 2014. He is employed at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, WI, as the horticultural therapy coordinator. Jonathan runs horticultural therapy groups for inpatient and residential patients with eating disorders, trains other therapists, creates and modifies curriculum for the various patients served by Rogers, and helps design therapeutic landscapes.

Rene Malone, CTRS, HTR - Board Member

Rene' is a registered horticultural therapist and certified therapeutic recreation specialist. Her business, The Therapeutic Vine, was started in 2008. Clients have included children and adults with intellectual disabilities, seniors, adults with substance use and mental health disorders, and children with behavioral disorders.  René is currently the Editor-in-Chief for the AHTA Magazine.

 

Derrick Stowell, CTRS, HTR - Board Member

Derrick is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist and a registered horticultural therapist.  He is the Education Director for the University of Tennessee Gardens.  Derrick directs community programs including horticultural therapy for a variety of populations including adults with autism, intellectual disabilities, and mental health challenges, also children with food allergies.   Derrick is currently pursuing his PhD in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Science at the University of Tennessee with a focus on horticultural therapy.

Jennifer Smith, HTR - Board Member

Jennifer is the Public Programs Manager and registered horticultural therapist at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Jennifer started her career instructing nature-based classes to low income seniors and the senior living community. Her department has grown to serve diverse audiences such as children in long term rehabilitation, the cancer support community, and kids in crisis. Jennifer received her BS in Plant and Soil Science-Landscape Design from SIU-Carbondale. She serves as the AHTA Conference Work Team Leader.

Gary Altman, HTR - Board Member
altman_g@yahoo.com

Gary is a professionally registered horticultural therapist.  He earned his horticultural therapy certificate at Rutgers University.  Gary is pursuing a MS in Rehabilitation Counseling at Rutgers and is a part-time lecturer of horticultural therapy studies at Rutgers University. Gary has 10 years of experience working in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation and currently facilitates pre-vocational and vocational horticultural skills training to individuals with autism spectrum disorders at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University.

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Debra Edwards, HTR - Board Member
debra75@rocketmail.com

Debra is a registered horticultural therapist and received her horticultural therapy certificate from the Horticultural Therapy Institute, and a BS of landscape architecture from Auburn University. Debra has 17 years of experience in landscape design and maintenance and now works as an activities coordinator and horticultural therapist in Nashville, Tennessee. The populations she serves include residential and adult day clients at Abe's Garden Alzheimer's and Memory Care Center of Excellence.


 
Ciri Malamud, CRC, HTR - Board Member
Tandassociates@gmail.com

Ciri is a certified rehabilitation counselor and a registered horticultural therapist.  She is currently conducting therapeutic garden programs in NYC Parks (Brooklyn) for young disabled adults who have aged out of the NYC education system.  Ciri is a co-founding partner of TandC Associates, LLC, consulting with programs of psychosocial rehabilitation and horticultural therapy in the United States and overseas (Norway, Haiti, and Australia) to promote self-empowerment and progress through informed choices.

Nancy A. Minich, RLA, ASLA, HTR - Board Member

Nancy is a registered horticultural therapist and registered landscape architect.  Nancy is the principal of an award-winning consulting landscape architecture, planning and horticultural therapy firm, where she focuses on designing public horticultural therapy programs and gardens. Nancy’s design and therapy work has been published and featured in the press. She manages the horticultural therapy program at Delaware Valley University in Pennsylvania and teaches at New York Botanical Garden.   Nancy is the Fundraising Work Team leader.