Meet the volunteers who serve AHTA

Lana Dreyfuss, LPCC, LCADC, SEP, HTR
she / her / they / them

Lana is a licensed professional clinical counselor, licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor, somatic experiencing practitioner, and horticultural therapist registered. She/they holds a MA from the University of Maryland in counseling. Currently working at United Indian Health Services in northern California, living gratefully on Tolowa Dee-ni’ land and serving Native American community members providing behavioral health services to include the modality of horticultural therapy. Lana has been serving on the AHTA Board of Directors and work teams since 2004.



Matthew Janson, HTR, CTRS

Matthew Janson is a registered horticulture therapist and certified therapeutic recreation specialist. He received his certificate from the Horticulture Therapy Institute and holds a BS from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, with a degree in parks and recreation management-therapeutic recreation and exercise science. Matt has therapeutic experience working in behavioral health and with veterans in hospice, long term care, and physical rehabilitation on a range of therapeutic issues integrating both recreation therapy and therapeutic horticulture.


Nicole Giron, CTRS, HTR, MPH
she / her / hers

Nicole is a registered horticultural therapist, receiving her certificate from the Horticulture Therapy Institute, as well as a certified therapeutic recreation specialist. Nicole holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Nebraska Medical Center where she works as the Director of the Recreation Therapy program at UNMC’s Munroe Meyer Institute. Nicole works with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and incorporates horticultural therapy into her practice with the primary focus being on a farm to fork cultivation.



Rebecca Pulliam Francis, EdD, HTM

Rebecca Francis is employed as the Associate Dean of the College, and Director of Adult and Online Education at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, KY. She received her Doctor of Education and an MS degree in plant pathology from NC State University, a BS degree in IPM from the University of Kentucky, and has her North Carolina teacher certification. Rebecca has been a member of AHTA since1992 and professionally registered since 1995.


Immediate Past President

Linda Brown-Kuhn, HTR

Linda is a New Jersey-based registered horticultural therapist and a certified forest therapy guide. She received her certificate in horticultural therapy from Rutgers University. Linda is currently an independent contractor. She has worked with various populations of Veterans at two VA Medical Centers: those with substance abuse issues, Alzheimer’s disease, mental health issues, homeless veterans, those in hospice care, those with spinal cord injuries and female veterans who experienced sexual abuse in the military. She also works with young women coping with substance use issues.

Donna Hunt

Donna Hunt graduated from St Martin's University with a degree in Biology. She has a MA in Political Science from Webster University and a MA in Adult Education from Loyola Marymount University.  She was in the first class of the Horticultural Therapy program at the University of Florida. Donna currently coordinates the maintenance and events at Hope Garden on Robins AFB GA. She is also working towards achieving her HTR.


R. Nicole Magor M.S

Nicole is a passionate newcomer to the profession of horticultural therapy. She is a master gardener, has a master’s degree in non-profit management and social entrepreneurship, and a certificate in horticultural therapy from HTI.  Nicole works in psychiatric rehabilitation doing organizational capacity building and program development. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland and is excited to contribute to the expansion of the profession in the Mid-Atlantic region and nationwide.


Sara Rodriguez, LMFT 

Sara is a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in California. She has worked in the mental/behavioral health field for 17 years. Sara received the Excellence in Research Award from the University of La Verne. The research focused on resiliency as opposed to a pathology emphasis in treatment. Currently, Sara is the clinical therapist in a garden program at a community mental health center. Therapeutic horticulture has been the focus of her work for 5 years.


Laura Rumpf, HTR
she / her / hers

Laura is a registered horticultural therapist living in Southern Maine. She received her certificate in horticultural therapy from the Horticultural Therapy Institute. Laura is currently an independent contractor. Populations she has served include, among others, those with dementia, students with developmental disabilities, veterans, and those with brain injuries. Laura also collaborates with the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department’s Dementia-Friendly program and the University of Washington Memory and Brain Wellness Center.


Binxia Xue, PhD, HTR 

Binxia, Ph.D. in Engineering and Master in Architecture, serves as an associate professor and doctoral supervisor in the School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology at Harbin, China. He received his certificate in horticultural therapy from the Horticultural Therapy Institute. He is professionally engaged in the design and research of the restorative environment and healing space in urban planning with abundant accumulations both in the theory and practices of healthy living environment and horticultural therapy theory and project planning.


Brendan Yukins

Brendan Yukins, LSW, is a therapist in Chicago, IL. He is a co-president of Chase Park Community Garden (7 years) and staff therapist at The Expansive Group specializing in sexual & intimate partner violence with LGBTQ populations. He holds a Masters in Social Work from Loyola University and is currently a PhD student in Couple and Family Therapy at Adler University. Brendan's research is in Nature-based therapy and he enjoys bonsai gardening on his back porch. 


April Ellis LCSW, HTR

April is a licensed clinical social worker and a registered horticultural therapist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her certificate in horticultural therapy from the Horticultural Therapy Institute. She has worked as a med/surg hospital social worker.  She was director of social work at the geriatric psychiatric hospital in San Francisco where she designed the HT program and built two therapeutic gardens.  She is currently the clinic director at Ellie Mental Health outpatient clinic in Redwood City where she is integrating HT with psychodynamic therapy and EMDR. She enjoys designing therapeutic gardens and playing with her 2 pet ducks. 


Charley Jordan, CW4(R), MAS

Charley is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Four and the owner and operator of Jordan Farms in Woodlawn, Tennessee. Charley earned a Masters of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he is an undergraduate adjunct assistant professor of aeronautics. Following his retirement, Charley found his passion as a flower farmer and advocate for other veteran farmers in Tennessee. Charley volunteers his time by serving on several local community advisory committees and educating others about agriculture. Charley received his certificate in horticulture therapy from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and is currently an instructor for the Ft. Campbell Soldier Recovery Unit Rehabilitative and Adaptive Garden Program.


Kelly Warnick

Based in the Midwest, Kelly has a multi-faceted background in greenhouse, garden center, design and floriculture settings, in addition to research, writing and legal advocacy. Prior to her work in the field of horticulture, Kelly spent ten years as an appellate attorney representing health care systems and advocating for change. She has a Certificate in Horticultural Therapy from HTI, an A.A.S. in Horticulture, and is currently completing her HTR internship with the Chicago Botanic Garden where her emphasis has been in serving the older adult, Veteran, and youth populations. Kelly is committed to delivering engaging, evidence-based horticultural therapy programming that fosters connection and development and serving as an advocate for the future growth of the HT profession.


AHTA Past Presidents

  • 2021-2022  Derrick R. Stowell, PhD, CTRS, HTR
  • 2020-2021  Erin Backus, CRC, HTR 
  • 2015-2020  Leigh Anne Starling, LCPC, CRC, HTR
  • 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 Straus, 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