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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 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.

Information Technology 

Meet Wyatt Backholm

Job title: Sr. Technology Manager

Get to know me: 

My favorite fat:

If I were a superhero, I’d be: 

Meet Melissa Yee, FNTP, AIP, M.Ed

Job title: Strategic Projects Director, Infusionsoft Whisperer

Get to know me: Fun fact: my first job was a bicycle newspaper girl in middle school! Since then I’ve worked in education, tech, and now nutrition. Born in San Francisco, I migrated a few hundred miles south to sunny Los Angeles and Santa Ynez where I live with my lovely fiance, two awesome boys, and our spunky pup. Love solving problems that make the world a better place, random DIY projects, laughing so hard I cry, and catching avocadoes in that magical moment between perfect and sludgy. My happy places: analog downtime with my fav people, sweaty dance parties, surfing in warm water, nature adventures.

My favorite fat: Raw cream

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Meltiplyer – With a snap of my fingers, I’d be able to make more of anything you need. Bacon, chocolate, puppies, time…

Human Resources & Operations

Meet Laura Sanders

Job title: HR Generalist

Get to know me: 

My favorite fat:

If I were a superhero, I’d be:

Marketing, Communications, & Partnerships

Meet Katie Merritt, NTP

Job title: Marketing Manager

Get to know me: Born, raised, and currently living in the Midwest (Go, Hawkeyes!). I’ve worked in events and higher education marketing and enrollment for almost nine years and have enjoyed every minute. My interest in health and wellness started at an early age and eventually led me to complete the NTC program (now NTPO) in Nov. 2016. Outside of marketing, I’m also a personal trainer, enjoy intense workouts with friends, being an aunt, coffee shops, my kitchen, and exploring the great outdoors with my chubby Goldendoodle, Louie.

My favorite fat: Coconut oil

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Super Snacker – I’d think about all the delicious and healthy snacks and they’d magically appear!

Meet Kelsey McReynolds, FNTP

Job title: Marketing Coordinator (Unofficial Yes Girl)

Get to know me: I’m a Northwest girl to the core! I LOVE hiking mountains with my boyfriend and pup and spending every minute I can, outside. Even if that means working from my hammock. I have a wide and random set of skills (cue Liam Neeson voice) that include, practicing as an FNTP, recipe development, food photography, social media marketing, content writing, video editing, and even singing and songwriting. I’ve always been a multi-passionate person which make my superpowers make sense or I suffer from scatterbrain! 🤪

My favorite fat: Grass-fed butter

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Googly-Girl: I’m the girl who knows a LOT about random stuff that can (most of the time) provide to be useful. If you give me a broken webpage, a video that needs editing, a lead list that needs decoding, I’ll make it my mission to solve it! Or if you need help tracking down that one thing you saw last week about that other thing, I’m your girl!

Meet Alison Marras, NTP, RWS

Job title: Referral, Marketing & Partnerships

Get to know me: I’m Alison! When I’m not adding up referral rewards, you can find me cooking, blogging over at foodbymars.com, dancing on IG with my 10mo. old daughter, or practicing yoga. Becoming an NTP has allowed me to help inspire women to take control of their health holistically and deliciously and working at the NTA has given me the opportunity to empower our community in broadening our ripple effect through the Referral Rewards Program!

My favorite fat: Ghee

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Food Martian – I make “health food” taste like it’s out of this world.

Academics

Meet Mallory Acosta, FNTP

Job title: Sr. Student Experience and Curriculum Quality Manager

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 Nicole Kraft, FNTP

Job title: Instructional Technology Coordinator

Get to know me: I was born in Maine, but have lived in the PNW for 23 years and consider it my home through and through. My favorite place to be is at the beach, which is just a short walk from my house! If I’m not there, you’ll find me hanging with my family, perfecting my wood-fired pizza skills, listening to music or walking with friends.

My favorite fat: Butter

Community Engagement & Events

Meet Shawna West, FNTP

Job title: Community Affairs Manager

Get to know me: Mountain gal, city woman, diverse professional, community member, family first enthusiast, believer, bike rider, runner at heart, food endeavor-er and life long learner.

My favorite fat: Avocado

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Pineapple Pilot – natively and organically grown pineapple preparation and service offered worldwide – we serve it up!!

Meet Kaitlyn Chock, FNTP

Job title: Community & Event Assistant

Get to know me: I was born and raised in Hawai’i, now live in Portland, Oregon, and am trying to make my way to Brooklyn, New York. I’m a yoga teacher and aerialist who loves to complicate recipes and make things from scratch. I’m always down for noodles, handstands, and a conversation about regenerative agriculture. Outside of the NTA, I’m an event producer, sous chef, and writer at Closed Loop Cooking, where we write about sustainability and food, aiming to help people reduce food waste and single-use items through recipes, how-to’s, and stories. 

My favorite fat: Avocado

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Kanak Attack – Ability to diffuse tension and any problems by generating snacks out of thin air thus keeping everyone happy and fed.

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

NTA INSTRUCTION TEAM

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 Lyndal Harris, NTP

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me:

My favorite fat: 

If I were a superhero, I’d be:

Meet Janine Martin Horst, FNTP, CGP, AIP, BCHN

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: I’m a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, a certified GAPS Practitioner, an AIP Certified Coach and a Lead Instructor with the Nutritional Therapy Association. Through her private practice in Salem, Oregon, Taproot Wellness, she specializes in digestion, detoxification, and nutritional support for autoimmune disorders. Passionate about the transformative powers of good food and targeted nutrient therapy to address all manner of health challenges, Janine helps clients and students tap in to the innate intelligence of the human body to address bio-individual health needs and goals. Janine strongly believes in NTA’s foundational approach to health, combining a solid understanding of ancestral nutrition, bio-individuality, and a whole-body approach to healing. The NTA classroom is one of her favorite places to be, and witnessing the many “light bulb moments” that take place each year has been one of the most fun and powerful experiences of her life. She is honored to be part of each student’s journey and to welcome them into NTA’s healing community.

My favorite fat: Butter

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Captain Calm – I”ve been told my whole life that I have a calming influence and in these uncertain times, it makes my heart happy when students tell me that I helped them find calm in the midst of the storm of life and school.

Meet Victoria LaFont Jackson, FNTP, Candidate MS HNFM

Job title: Instructor, Chief Question Asker

Get to know me: Hi everyone! I’m Victoria, a curious practitioner, science writer, food lover, and budding medical philosophy enthusiast. I’m the woman behind Paradigm of Practice, and you can find me blogging and asking questions at www.paradigmofpractice.com.

My favorite fat: Olive oil

If I were a superhero, I’d be: I’ll be Victomole, sidekick to Guacamaile!

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Meet Jen Minnich, FNTP, MPA, BCHN

Job title: Instructor

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 Janelle Johnson-Grove, NTP, MSEd

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me:

My favorite fat: 

If I were a superhero, I’d be:

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Amanda Jones, MS, NTP, LMT

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me:

My favorite fat: 

If I were a superhero, I’d be:

Meet Dusty Lapp, FNTP, MA

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: Idaho guy at heart, husband, father, worshiper, ex bullfighter, current kid wrangler.

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Captain Renewal- helping people renew their thinking and expand their vision for life.

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Meet DeAnn Laube, BS, NTP, LMP, PBP

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me:

My favorite fat: 

If I were a superhero, I’d be:

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Meet Allison Mädl, NTP

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: I became an FNTP in 2013, but my journey into the world of nutrition started much early in life with a passion for making mud pies and grass smoothies. I see the teacher-student relationship as a two-way street and am always amazed by the diverse perspectives, wisdom, and life experience that show up in our classrooms. My goal as an instructor is not just to help students succeed academically, but to help them build a sense of open curiosity, awe, personal resilience, self-compassion, body positivity, and humor – all qualities that serve us well in this wild and wonderful world of nutrition.

My favorite fat: Ghee

Meet Kate Mahoney, FNTP, BCHN, IHS

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me:  I’m a functional supplement specialist and supplement quality expert with almost 20 combined years of experience in the remedial use of nutrients, including five years of extensive education about supplement quality. After LOTS of encouragement from my fellow NTA grads for over six years, I finally founded the Academy of PSC in 2020 where I provide supplement education for practitioners around the world, and for consumers starting in 2021, with a focus on supplement quality. My history includes being a recipe developer for people with specific dietary needs for nearly three decades, and when I’m not educating about supplements, I am often found experimenting in the kitchen with enjoyable results about 95% of the time, heh. A goal that speaks to my soul is empowering people with information to help them make informed decisions about life, health, and wellbeing for themselves and their loved ones.

My favorite fat: CHOCOLATE aka cacao butter but preferably with the cocoa 🙂

If I were a superhero, I’d be: My loved ones dubbed me with my nickname and superpower years ago: Kate the Great and my superpower is fortitude! “Take a licking and keeps on ticking” summarizes me in a nutshell!

Meet Mishabae Mahoney, FNTP, LMT

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me:

My favorite fat: 

If I were a superhero, I’d be:

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Meet Krista McCafferty, NTP, BCHN

Job title: Instructor

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 🙂

My favorite fat: Butter

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Meet Kim Morell, FNTP

Job title: 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 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.

Meet Rebecca Proulx, NTP, LMT

Job title: Instructor and Admissions Advisor

Get to know me: PNW Native, book lover, adventure seeker, knowledge gatherer, I thrive on discovery, enjoy helping others by sharing knowledge. I belive in embodying grace in life, though I am not always graceful! I consider it an honor to be in service and to assist others on their path towards greater wellbeing.

My favorite fat: All healthy fats!

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Herbalesssence (not shampoo!) – Able to search, find, and gather herbs and herbal knowledge for the greater good.

Brook Reyns, BS, FNTP

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: Hi, I’m Brook! I’m all about calm…it’s my superpower. Even in the midst of chaos, I can find it. I love to investigate most things through the lens of stress and how we can change our response to it. And when I’m not doing that, I’m likely acquiring more pets – we have 6! All the pets along with my teenaged girls and husband in a calm cocoon, cooking and eating my way through piles of beans and sourdough bread is my favorite place to be.

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Meet Jordan Schmidt, FNTP, BCHN

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: Hello! I’m Jordan. My partner and I run a regenerative pasture and livestock farm in the Hudson Valley NY. I love the on the groundwork of figuring out how to create abundant nutrient-dense ecosystems all the way from soil to people! When I’m not working with clients or students you can find me in the garden or the pastures, sharing meals with family and friends, studying nutrition, dancing or teaching yoga at our small-town library.

My favorite fat: Olive oil

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Captain Connections – can instantly show someone their place and purpose in the web of all of life!

Meet Leanne Scott, FNTP,CGP, IHS,FDN-P, RWS, AFP, BCHN

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: Director NTA Australia and New Zealand, Community builder, truth seeker, spontaneous hugger!

My favorite fat: Duck fat

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Meet Melissa Shafer, LMP, FNTP

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: Yes, Please: chocolate, still loving massage after 18 years, waterfalls, camping, light gardening, cooking, watching my clients change their lives, all things potato, hugs, chai lattes, laughing really hard, reading all the books, making art, feelings. Heck No: gluten (team celiac and thriving!), complex baking, phoney baloney people, bad sleep, bad chocolate, diet culture.

My favorite fat: Mayo

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Grit Girl – a nickname that my son gave me years ago, and it’s close to my heart.

Meet Katy Smith, NTP

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me: Hey, I’m Katy, all the way 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!!

My favorite fat: Butter baby!

If I were a superhero, I’d be: This is easy…when I was 2 I was Batman obsessed but Dad renamed me Fatman for my cute baby belly, so I would run around with a cape say na na na na na na F-A-T-M-A-N…now 30 odd years later I’d choose to be F-A-T-G-I-R-L…my superpower is to spread the love for good healthy fats and body positivity instead of body shaming for our sizes!

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 Meredith Kinsel-Ziter, FNTP, BCHN

Job title: Lead Instructor, Curriculum Wordsmither

Get to know me: Hi there! I’m a Kentuckian by way of Vermont, where I live now with my family. I like to call myself a southern introvert because I love the simple, quiet things in my life the most (gardening, cooking, reading), but I’ll talk your ear off if you get me started. I love philosophy, music, doing everything within my reach to make this world feel like a safer place, and nerding out on biological science research. More about my nutrition practice can be found at www.remedymethod.com.

My favorite fat: Pili nuts

If I were a superhero, I’d be: Mama Mia – I’d be really good at dancing, singing, and eating my way through beautiful Greek islands. It would be a hard job, but I’d take one for the team.

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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 Charlotte Hill, NTP

Job title: Instructor

Get to know me:

My favorite fat: 

If I were a superhero, I’d be:

Meet Lily Fortin, NTP, HHC, CGP

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 Jamie Belz, NTP

Jamie Belz is an NTP, an entrepreneur, a clinical consultant, a public speaker, a wife, and a mother of five vibrant children. As a radio personality in Juneau, Alaska, Jamie realized her passion for inspiring others to live healthy lifestyles. As a former Director of Marketing and Public Relations for a hospital, she focused on community health initiatives and developed programs for area schools. It was during this time that she discovered her place in holistic health. Jamie is now a business owner based in Minnesota. She owns Revolution World Fitness, a faith-based organization offering a wide variety of nutritional services including group education under Revolution Corporate Wellness, 10-4 Wellness (for fire, police, emt, and dispatch), The BFF “Building Fit Futures” Program in elementary schools, and Journey to Healthy Living in the YMCAs. Jamie also works with Biotics Research Corporation as a clinical consultant. Jamie has a huge heart for helping other NTPs develop business strategies and connect with licensed health professionals. She founded Revolution Wellness Group as a way of offering free resources and facilitating those symbiotic relationships.

A note from Jamie:

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I join the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA) Board of Directors. My passion for the NTA began with my personal enrollment in the NTP program in 2016. As I navigated the coursework, my mantra became, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I don’t know what I don’t know.” This was my way of opening my mind, accepting my past, and truly harnessing vigor and positivity about the new [to me] information I was gaining. The more I learned, the more my blindspots were brought into view. This curriculum provided true evolutionary change for my own wellness journey and ultimately, will benefit my future generations. Words alone cannot fully capture my passion and excitement to be a part of the successful growth and perpetuation of this incredible organization.

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