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Meet The NTA Team

When it comes to teams, we got pretty lucky! Come meet our passionate change-makers and real food aficionados that make up the foundation of all that we do here at the NTA. Learn a little more about their background and role at the NTA, and even their favorite healthy fat!

The Leadership Team

Meet Michael Belz

Job title: Chief Executive Officer

Meet Maile Oatman, FNTP

Job title: Director of eCommerce

Get to know me: Gen X Gemini born and raised on sourdough, independence, and rain in the pacific northwest. Adventure seeker and travel junkie at heart, currently finding wonder through the adventure of parenting (while simultaneously scheming future vacations). Learning, collaboration, and nerding out on new ways to use technology lights me up – there is no greater satisfaction than creating a new process that is well documented and makes everyone’s life easier (besides a fresh margarita).

My favorite fat: Avocado

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Guacamaile – I’d have the power to turn anything toxic into avocados, lime & salsa.

Meet Mallory Acosta, FNTP

Job title:Director of Academics

Get to know me: Hi there! My name is Mallory and I feel most at home in a rainy climate with plenty of opportunities for wearing sweaters, drinking tea, and listening to my vinyl collection. Most of the time you will find me in the kitchen, nerding out with a new book, or exploring the wonders of nature with my family. My own health struggles as a teen led me to develop a strong passion for herbal remedies, real food, and a deep appreciation for the resilient power of the human body that I am excited to share with others in my work with the NTA and my personal business endeavors.

My favorite fat: Olive oil

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Garden Ninja – I’d have the ability to masterfully grow any plant (especially tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and pickling cucumbers) regardless of its climate needs and other requirements. As someone who aspires to have a self-sufficient mini-farm AND has a black thumb, I could seriously use this superpower!

Meet Jen Minnich, FNTP, MPA, BCHN

Job title: Director of Instruction

Get to know me:Hi! I’m Jen and passionate about impromptu dance parties, the ocean, long savasanas, and all things energy. As a practitioner, I create a holistic approach that weaves together energetic balancing, shadow work, reiki, sound, and functional nutrition to transform wellness at all levels. I love facilitating individuals and groups as they embrace the most nourished and vibrant versions of themselves. You can find me in Seattle, WA where I work with clients in-person and online, leading retreats and workshops, and teaching for the NTA!

My favorite fat: Olive oil

Admissions

Meet Jasmine Lutes, FNTP

Job title: Admissions Manager

Get to know me: Hi, I’m Jasmine! As a PNW girl, you can find me in the mountains, woods, or the beach as often as possible. I love gardening and sharing my garden goodies with friends and neighbors. My most favorite person in the world is my 6 year old daughter, who shares my love of kitchen dance parties and creating art.

My favorite fat: Avocado

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Sunshine Girl – shining light on others and turning that frown upside down!

Meet Desiree Baptist, FNTP

Job title: Admissions Coordinator

Get to know me: Hi, I’m Desiree and I have lived all over the US but was born and raised in Chicago. I lived (and still consider it home) in Belize for 15 years and have moved back to the Pacific Northwest. I love to travel, have adventures, garden, cook, inspire people, and spend time with my family.

My favorite fat: Avocado

Meet Shakeena Bradley, FNTP

Job title: Admissions Advisor

Information Technology 

Meet Mike Latimer

Job title: Chief Technology Officer

Marketing, Communications, & Partnerships

Meet Kennedy Hirst

Job title: Marketing Coordinator

Get to know me:I was born and raised in Iowa and now live wherever my fiance’s career as a baseball coach takes us! I have a background in Graphic Design, English, and Marketing, and thanks to my life-long love of sports, I have always had an interest in health and wellness. Outside of work, I love to go to coffee shops, watch Saturday Night Live, cook and try out new recipes, and take my dog, Lola, for walks.

My favorite fat: Butter

Meet Ayla Freitas, NTP

Job title: Marketing Coordinator

Get to know me: Hey! I’m Ayla (rhymes with Kayla). I love yoga, lifting heavy things, dance parties, the historical fiction genre, long walks with my husband, and calling my parents (a lot). My professional background is in marketing, but I’ve also dabbled in event planning and writing. Things that get me fired up: body neutrality, accessibility in the wellness industry, and the show Survivor.

My favorite fat: Ghee is the fat for me!

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Able to speak any language! Ah, to be able to communicate with anyone in the world…

Alumni & Community Affairs

Meet Jessica Whitmill

Job title: Community Affairs Manager

Get to know me: Hi there, My name is Jess, and I’m a former theatre kid who competed in Food Science in 4-H growing up in Eastern Tennessee! I’m an advocate at heart, always fighting for causes I believe in, whether that’s access to better educational opportunities for kids or access to clean food and holistic healthcare options. Currently, I’m living in Northern Colorado, so my weekends consist of exploring mountain towns, tea shops, farmers markets, hiking, and kayaking. I’m also a reiki practitioner, and I’m working on becoming an NTP. After going through my own health struggles, I found the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (whole foods/paleo), and if it wasn’t for (F)NTPs, I would have been totally lost. I’m excited to give back to this community that gave so much to me – in helping me restore my health!

My favorite fat: Avocado every day!

Meet Noni Hill

Job title: Community Affairs Coordinator

Get to know me: I’m a Nashville native raised on homemade dinners and vinyls from the 60’s. I’m a minimalist at heart but tend to hoard health-related books like it’s my job. In my new home of Portland, OR, I’m grateful for my steady weekend routine that includes long walks in the park, films, rainy nights, and exploring new restaurants. As a practitioner, I strive to bring a sense of calm and clarity to my clients healing journey through paradigm shifts, reflective conversation, and nutrition support. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to extend my area of work to the NTA, which was the pivotal first stepping stone in my own healing journey.

My favorite fat: Butter all the way

Human Resources & Operations

Meet Jess Gibson

Job title: Human Resources Director

Meet Valerie Bell

Job title: Executive Assistant

My name is Valerie and I am a through-and-through Pacific Northwest local. You can usually find me working in my garden, taking walks with my husband and dogs or rehearsing for an upcoming musical performance.

Meet Ming Yiong

Job title: Finance

Academics

Meet Mallory Acosta, FNTP

Job title: Director of Academics

Get to know me: Hi there! My name is Mallory and I feel most at home in a rainy climate with plenty of opportunities for wearing sweaters, drinking tea, and listening to my vinyl collection. Most of the time you will find me in the kitchen, nerding out with a new book, or exploring the wonders of nature with my family. My own health struggles as a teen led me to develop a strong passion for herbal remedies, real food, and a deep appreciation for the resilient power of the human body that I am excited to share with others in my work with the NTA and my personal business endeavors.

My favorite fat: Olive oil

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Garden Ninja – I’d have the ability to masterfully grow any plant (especially tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and pickling cucumbers) regardless of its climate needs and other requirements. As someone who aspires to have a self-sufficient mini-farm AND has a black thumb, I could seriously use this superpower!

Meet Kate Bavuso, FNTP

Job title: Curriculum Manager

Get to know me: Hi, I’m Kate! I’m a PNW native with a love of botany, food experimentation, taking pictures, building blanket forts, and organizing whatever I can get my hands on.

My favorite fat: A tie between avocados and hazelnuts

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Renovation Ranger – I love taking under-loved spaces and turning them into wonderful, inviting places.

Meet Ma’an Romana

Job title: Instructional Technology Coordinator

NTA Instruction Team

Meet Shakeena Bradley, FNTP

Job title: Associate Instructor

Amanda Jones, MS, FNTP, A-CFHC

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: I graduated from NTA in 2013 and began practicing in my hometown of Wimberley, TX, before joining the NTA Instructor team in 2018. I love working in nutrition because so many of my personal values and interests intersect around food, including permaculture design and regenerative agriculture. Serving as an instructor requires me to be a life-long learner, which I am grateful for. In my NTP practice, I’ve specialized in cardio-metabolic imbalances and optimizing brain health for aging women, but as every NTP knows, it all comes back to the foundations! I am also a certified ADAPT Functional Health Coach and hold a BA in Communications and MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine.

Meet Mishabae Mahoney, FNTP, LMT, RYT

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: As a Life long learner I have covered a lot of ground. I have studied and certified in several massage/body work modalities, expanded my work in offsetting and recovering from trauma and stress in general with long term studies in meditation and yoga. I’m certified as a Hatha and Kundalini yoga Instructor and have taken additional courses in Ayurvedic Nutrition and cooking. I love the way nutritional therapy supports all we do and is the first step to take in resolving even the most complicated health issues. Currently, my love of Energy Medicine has spurred me on to develop unique practices and protocols that align beautifully with our FNTP work. As a Life long learner, I have my work cut out for me. It will take this lifetime to explore all the possibilities.

Meet Jen Minnich, FNTP, MPA, BCHN

Job title: Director of Instruction

Get to know me:Hi! I’m Jen and passionate about impromptu dance parties, the ocean, long savasanas, and all things energy. As a practitioner, I create a holistic approach that weaves together energetic balancing, shadow work, reiki, sound, and functional nutrition to transform wellness at all levels. I love facilitating individuals and groups as they embrace the most nourished and vibrant versions of themselves. You can find me in Seattle, WA where I work with clients in-person and online, leading retreats and workshops, and teaching for the NTA!

My favorite fat: Olive oil

Meet Katy Smith, FNTP, RWP, Grad Dip Psychology

Job title: Associate Instructor

Hey, I’m Katy, all the way from tiny little New Zealand which is where my love for travel started as there is no choice but to fly far away if you want to see the world. I had to get super sick for me to find whole foods and value my health the way I do now, which is why I love helping others to learn there is another way and this is not just what they have to deal with. If I am not geeking out on nutrition work and client files, I’ll be hanging with friends with a cold brew (or mezcal) in hand chatting all things health!

Meet Thomas Gilliford, BA, NTP, Structural Integration Practitioner

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: Hi, I’m Thomas! When I’m not playing with my 5 year old you’ll most likely find me trying a new restaurant or finding a way to eat cinnamon rolls that doesn’t make my stomach hurt. Don’t worry, when I figure it out I’ll share the info with you because that is my passion: finding ways to live the lives we want to live in as simple a manner as possible.

My favorite fat: Butter

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Blue Lantern. Just like Green Lantern but blue, because blue is better than green.

Meet Dusty Lapp, MA, FNTP

Job title: Instructor

Dusty Lapp is a father of 4 girls, Lead Instructor for NTA, NTP, and Certified Gluten Practitioner. He has a Masters Degree in Life Coaching and Mentorship and undergrad degree in Christian Leadership and Management and is part of the John Maxwell Leadership Team. He has been a practicing NTP since 2011, owns a leadership and business coaching company and a few other businesses. For the past 20 years he has been passionately pursuing spiritual, physical, relational and financial health.

Meet Kim Morell, FNTP

Job title: Lead Instructor

Get to know me: Hi!! I’m Kim and I am a classically trained chef, nutrition junkie, and a big believer of health at every size!! My passion is teaching clients how to nourish and support their body from a place of love and self-care, not deprivation and punishment.

My favorite fat: Ghee

If I were a superhero, I’d be: As an FNTP, I already feel like a superhero!

Meet Leah Williamson, FNTP, RWS, AIP

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me:

My favorite fat: 

If I were a superhero, I’d be:

Meet Shanna Nemrow, FNTP

Job title: Associate Instructor

Get to know me: I am here because I personally know the life changing power of nutrition and lifestyle. After battling undiagnosed health issues for years, then hitting my rock bottom and being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I regained my health through nutrition, lifestyle, and a growth mindset. I am living proof that what we eat and how we live matters. After learning first hand the power of food and lifestyle, I am grateful everyday for the opportunity to share this important work with others! I truly love the NTA, and feel incredibly honored to be part of this Instruction team! As a practitioner, I love to empower clients to take their health into their own hands and find JOY in their journey! In addition to being a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I am also an AIP Certified Coach and my specialty is autoimmune health and wellness. I work with clients one on one remotely, run an online group coaching program, cohost a podcast, and offer many free resources on my website and YouTube channel. You can find me in Park City, Utah where I love to spend time unplugged in nature, hike in the summer, snowboard in the winter, slow dance barefoot in the kitchen with my husband, belly laugh with our teenagers, explore new trails with our dog Zoey, and curl up with a book in my favorite worn out sweats! I love to travel, skydive, scuba dive, and am always up for an adventure!

Meet Nicole Jenkins, FNTP, BSHN

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: Hey there. I’m Nicole and I am a midwest girl who loves to good cheese curd, giving hugs and connecting with strangers. I live for hikes in the woods, camping near a river, dancing to live music, and gardening in my backyard.

My favorite fat: Ghee

Meet Allison Mädl, FNTP

Job title: Lead Instructor, Student Experience Coordinator

Get to know me: I am a Lead Instructor for the NTP Program, and also the Student Experience Coordinator for the NTA. I run a small private FNTP practice focused on women’s health, including preconception and pregnancy nutrition. Before coming to work for the NTA, I was a high school English and Spanish teacher in public schools for 9 years in southern CA and WA states, and I taught English as a Foreign Language for a time before that in Costa Rica. Teaching was my passion before a passion for nutrition entered my world, and I’m so lucky to be able to unite the two. I came into the whole-food nutrient-dense nutrition world by discovering the GAPS diet in 2010, and it helped me resolve many years of chronic health conditions. It also guided me, unintentionally, to realize the concept of bioindividuality, that one diet doesn’t work for everyone. There are foods on the GAPS list that I tried my best to eat but which eventually taught me about food sensitivities when I didn’t feel well. When I found the NTA, I realized it was just the education I needed to advance my understanding of these and so many other subjects. I am the proud mother of a clever and goofy young son, who keeps my husband and I on our toes. We live in beautiful North Idaho.

Meet Krista McCafferty, NTP, BCHN

Job title: Instruction Manager

Get to know me: Home centered, heart-centered, spirit seeker, energy senser, crystal collector, plant caretaker, trail hiker, people watcher, book reader, let me pet all the dogs, chilling in the PNW, always cooking, and always eating 🙂

Meet Jessica Pantermuehl, FNTP, CHHC

Job title: Instructor, Career Development Course

Get to know me: Hey there! I’m Jessica, a Texas native, Los Angeles transplant, and the Lead Instructor for the Career Development Course here at the NTA. When I’m not devouring the latest books in business, marketing, or functional nutrition, brewing up ferments like a mad scientist in my kitchen, or basking in the sweaty glory of my infrared sauna, you can find me helping practitioners launch and grow their businesses here at the NTA and as the founder of the Holistic Entrepreneur Association.

My favorite fat: Avocado

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Jessmosis – I’d be able to put my hand on a stack of books and osmose all of their contents and knowledge.

Amanda Jones, MS, NTP, LMT

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me:

My favorite fat: 

If I were a superhero, I’d be:

NTA Board of Directors

Meet Adam Tenenbaum

After receiving his B.A. in English Literature from Northwestern University, and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), Adam co-founded and served as President and General Counsel of a gourmet food enterprise. He later transitioned into public service working for various State agencies in Illinois. Adam has also served as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel & Assistant Secretary for Berkeley Research Group (BRG), a global advisory and expert consulting firm, where he provided legal advice on complex matters in regards to both US and international law. During Adam’s tenure at BRG he helped grow the business to almost 1000 employees and over 32 offices throughout the U.S. and internationally. Currently, Adam is a Professor and Program Lead of Paralegal Studies at South Puget Sound Community College where he teaches courses related to law and business. Adam also serves on the Board of Directors of the Hands on Children’s Museum of Olympia.  When not teaching, Adam enjoys spending time with his wife Liz, a yoga instructor, their six-year old daughter Ada, and their new puppy Gunther.

A note from Adam:

I’m excited to be joining the Board of Directors at the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA). The mission of the NTA is close to my heart.  My grandfather was a pioneer of the vitamin and health food industry taking a small grocery store in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s and building it into one of the first, and largest, national health food distributors in the United States. In addition, I’m excited at the opportunity to bring my entrepreneurial and legal experience to an organization that serves a dedicated and growing community of learners who focus on holistic nutrition. I feel these are exciting times for NTA and am looking forward to joining the team and playing a role in the growth and further development of this innovative organization.

Meet Sharon Weinberg

Sharon Weinberg has extensive experience in the finance and banking industry and comes to the NTA with 40 years of commercial banking experience.  She has held several positions throughout her career, specializing in executive management and business lending. In her free time, Sharon enjoys volunteering, playing tennis and pickleball, meditation, traveling, and cooking.

A note from Sharon:

I look forward to my new position on the Board of Directors for the NTA because nutritional knowledge should be in the hands of everyone. Growing a community of impassioned educators and supplying them with the tools to make their businesses successful really moves me. I have worked with many companies throughout my career and have a passion for small businesses. I look forward to sharing my experience to strengthen the entrepreneurs within the NTA community. The NTA is heading into a time of transition and growth, which creates opportunity. Communication and trust are critical to successfully navigate the future. I hope to provide additional guidance during this transition by sharing my strategic leadership experiences.

Educating and empowering nutritional providers to spread the word and impact the lives of so many others is a very rewarding prospect and I look forward to contributing to this fine, established organization.

Meet Kristin Rowell