Board of Directors

The members of the Board of Directors are elected by the Membership annually. Some positions are elected for a two-year period.

Inga Wieser, MS, MA, APAIA, MH - President

Inga Wieser completed her bachelors and masters degrees at Michigan State University in education in 1978.  In September 2013, she graduated with honors from the American College of Healthcare Sciences with a degree in Complimentary and Alternative Medicine earning a double major in aromatherapy and herbal studies.  She continued her education becoming a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor and earning a Masters Degree in Herbal Medicine.  She continues to travel around the world taking classes and attending seminars for the latest and most comprehensive education to pass on to her clients.  She served on the Board of Directors of the Alliance of International Aromatherapist and as Education Committee Chair, before being elected to President.  She teaches Complementary and Alternative Medicine at The College of Southern Maryland and speaks around the United States.  She seeks to help others through education and support with the use of essential oils, herbs, diet, lifestyle practices, and homeopathics in her clinic.  Email President
 

Paula Begel, NYS LMT/BCTMB,CA - Vice President

I have been a Physical Therapy Assistant since 1992, a NYS licensed massage therapist, and Nationally Board certified LMT since 1996. Before that I was a certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor, martial artist, instructor. My experiences in the clinical setting include Phlebotomy and laboratory assistant. I have had education and experiences in both the medical and holistic worlds. I was exposed to Aromatherapy in massage school. At that time, my school was owned and operated by Andrea Butje and Cindy Black. How fortunate for me to have these ladies appear 10 years later in my life to get my Aromatherapy certifications and Merdian Massage certification. I was honored to be in Cindy’s first class and have my name mentioned in the book! My love of essential oils grew more as I continued learning from Andrea, Rhi, Robert and all the other greats! I started with an MLM and quickly realized there was so much more to learn. As I continue to teach, I also continue to learn. My full time work is currently massage therapy, personal Aromatherapy consultations, blending and teach classes as a CEU provider.

I have been a director on the Board of Directors and have been involved in every committee. My experience serving on two conference committees gave me a great insight as to how much work and dedication is needed to be a top notch organization. We need to be the voice of reason and continue to educate people about the many uses of essential oils. We also need to be clear with our intentions to ourselves, the industry and the issues of sustainability as we continue to expand the vision of AIA and our roles in the community. It is an honor to serve on the board again. Email Vice-President

 

Jennifer Eden Clark - Secretary

Jennifer is the founder of Learn Essential Oils and author of Essential Oil Basics: The Complete Pocket Guide to Safe & Effective Essential Oil Use. She has used essential oils for over 20 years in personal care products and with her family and friends. She was certified and received her master’s diploma in aromatherapy from ACHS in 2011 and been in private practice since then. She has been a Registered Aromatherapist since 2010 and completed two courses in Advanced Clinical Aromatherapy with Rhiannon Lewis in France. She enjoys furthering her education through practice, reading, conferences, and distance learning.  Email Secretary

 

Carol Scheidel, RN, CCAP - Treasurer

Carol Scheidel has a passion for aromatherapy & a passion for professionalism.  She is a Registered Nurse and became a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner in 2005. Carol assumed ownership of RJ Buckle, LLC in March 2016, when Jane Buckle, RN, PhD retired.  She previously practiced clinical aromatherapy in a large hospital in Fort Worth, Texas where she was also the nurse ethicist.  Carol continues to consult and teach aromatherapy and ‘M’ Technique®. She has presented at international aromatherapy conferences in Mexico, Japan, France and Hong Kong. She has been a member of AIA since 2011 and has served on the AIA Board since 2014. Email Treasurer

 

Lora Cantele, RA, APAIA - Executive Director

Lora Cantele is a Registered Clinical Aromatherapist and Certified Aromaflexology practitioner/instructor. Her work as former president of AIA has helped the organization flourish to become a leading voice in advancing an ethical practice of Aromatherapy for personal as well as clinical use. During her tenure at the AIA (2006-2011) she successfully lead the development and implementation of AIA's Aromatherapy educational standards to take the level of aromatherapy education in the USA to new heights. With her return to the AIA board in 2016, Lora continued to elevate the presence of AIA in the international community and served AIA members by engaging them to see how AIA can best meet their needs. In 2017 she became the Executive Director where she continues to support the AIA and its mission and goals. Email Executive Director

 

David Kropp, Certified Aromatherapist-Director

He creates and sells natural Aromatherapy products through his company, Essentials by DK and sells them and essential oils at markets and vendor shows in the Oneonta, NY area. All of his products are natural with no added synthetics or additives. You can also find him teaching about natural products and essential oil safety at special workshops. I feel I can bring something to the table for AIA. I am passionate about essential oils, Aromatherapy products, and safety.  Email Director

 

 

Nyssa Hanger - Director

Nyssa Hanger, MA, LMT, RA, is a second-generation aromatherapist and the Assistant Director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy. Founded in 1989 by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, the Atlantic Institute provides premier education in aromatherapy and is one of the oldest aromatherapy schools in the country. Nyssa was a founding member of the United Aromatherapy Effort in 2001 and has continued to be an active member since. An international speaker on aromatherapy, she writes the aromatherapy column for Massage Today.

Nyssa holds a Master's Degree in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida. She is also the founder of Upward Spiral Center in Tampa, FL. Email Director

 

Venetsana (Venessa) Levin, Registered Aromatherapist-Director

Venessa is a Holistic Practitioner, Forever Student, Educator and Owner of Grateful Aromatics, LLC. A graduate of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy (Tampa, FL), she has also earned the Advanced Diploma in Aromatic Medicine with Mark Webb (ITHMA).  Her passion is empowering others to use the potent and healing gifts of aromatics safely and effectively. In addition to Grateful Aromatics, she also enjoys being a member of the team at Naturopathic CE, a naturopathic learning community and the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy helping to support their continuing education needs.

I strongly believe in the Alliance’s mission to advance the research and professionalism of Aromatherapy worldwide; I believe I can help contribute to this mission. We share the common goals of educating the public, promoting responsible use of Aromatherapy, and elevating the integrity and professionalism of the industry as a whole. The public needs us now more than ever and it is my goal to help this organization achieve the highest level of excellence possible. Email Director

Denise Joswiak, BSN, RN, HNB-BC, CCAP, CA - Director

Denise Joswiak created the Aromatherapy program for the Allina Health system.  She has enjoyed teaching patients, families and nurses throughout her 34 years as a nurse. At Allina Health, Denise currently teaches classes involving self-care and integrative therapies.  Denise is the Integrative Health Clinical Site Lead for United Hospital and sits on the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing Nursing Council.  She is co-facilitator of the United Hospital Holistic Nursing Council.  Denise co-authored two research articles and three poster presentations regarding implementation and effectiveness of aromatherapy in the hospital setting.  Her passion is learning and teaching about aromatherapy. Email Director

 

Nancy Lubin - Director

Nancy has studied many wellness modalities as diverse as Homeopathy, Five Element Theory, and Zentangle. As an avid organic gardener, she makes many of her own wellness tinctures and remedies. 

Her first Aromatherapy certification (2013) is from Aromahead Institute,  with continuing education in advanced courses from Rhiannon Lewis, and  Mark Webb’s Aromatic Medicine Diploma course. In addition to her Aromatherapy training, she is a Certified CO-Active Life Coach and Certified Zentangle teacher. Email Director

Colleen Thompson

Colleen Thompson, RA, EOT - Director

Colleen Thompson has worked in the field of Aromatherapy since 1995 and has been a Registered Aromatherapist® since 1997. Colleen has owned 3 aromatherapy stores over the course of her career however her main focus these days is teaching Aromatherapy Certification through her school Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies. Colleen has sat on many Boards in a variety of capacities. Email Director