Natural Ingredient Resource Center

Advisory Panel for NIRC

NIRC Panel
Lisa Valentine
Kelly Holland Azzaro
Melanie McCullough
Deborah Seewald
Vicki Parsons
Dori Ball
Gina Rafkind
Dottie Simmons
Terri Dorsey

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NIRC Advisory Panel
Lisa Valentine is a Reiki Practitioner, Aromatherapy Consultant and Small Business owner of Mystic Moon Soap Company. She also works in the field of investment and insurance with over 15 year’s experience.

While designing a new Web site for her 5 year old company, Lisa makes and sells private label products such as cold-process soaps, lotions, creams, salves, conditioning lip treats and bath items to local area spas.

“I use only essential oils for fragrance and for their therapeutic values. I create all of my products with the intent to provide healing to the consumer on some level. Whether it be calming because of the aroma, soothing because of the oils and butters, or healing because of the combination of all of these things”

Kelly Holland Azzaro, is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Registered Aromatherapist, Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner and Bach Flower Practitioner. She and her husband Marco a Board Certified Licensed Acupuncturist have a Holistic Healing Center in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. With over 20 years experience in the healing arts profession they both share their passion for Aromatherapy & Traditional Chinese Medicine ..we are simply here to guide clients on their own path to health and wellness.

Kelly creates her own line of aromatherapy products Ashi Aromatics for facial and body skin care, along with therapeutic blends created for people and their pets. Since High School my fascination with using natural ingredients like fruits and oils for hair and skin care at home spa treatments blossomed into custom blending products based on clients needs. Why wear a synthetic perfume when you can create a unique aromatic blend.

Kelly is also the current Vice President for NAHA National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.
Melanie McCullough is a manufacturing technician/process planner for a major manufacturing company with over 25 years experience in the field. Health problems and the yearning to eliminate a majority of synthetic chemicals in her environment inspired Melanie to research and prepare products for her own use. With encouragement of friends and family, she opened her own small business, Herbal Natures. Herbal Natures, a 5-year-old e-commerce business offers goat milk soaps, self-preserving lotion, body butters, lip balms, mineral cosmetics and various sundries to complement these items. An organic gardener, Melanie provides products that contain organically grown ingredients, when available. “Many of the scents in my products come from essential oils, herbs or botanicals; offering calming for the spirit, rejuvenation for the mind, and pampering for body.” Melanie’s educational background is in applied management and business. She is also an American Society of Quality (ASQ) certified quality associate (CQIA).
Deborah Seewald is an accountant for an engineering firm. Over the past four years, she has rediscovered her artistic and creative 'hippie' self and formed a company, Devorah, that makes bath and body products with herbs, herbal extracts and infusions, steam distilled essential oils, cold-pressed fruit and nut oils and butters. Everything is lovingly made from scratch in small batches to ensure quality and
freshness. This not only creates a better, healthier product for her customers, but also supports ecological sustainability. Currently, while her website is under construction, she sells her products to an ever widening base of customers in several states. When Debbie's five daughters were young, she maintained an organic garden, canned what she grew and made her own baby food. She also sewed clothes for
herself, her children and designed children's clothes with a friend, which were sold in several stores in Chicago. She laughingly states that she was oftentimes referred to as Earth Mother as she could be
seen most often with a baby at her breast and one or more hanging about her skirts. Her daughters have been "wonderfully supportive" and are always eager to try any products that she creates. She reads avidly
any tome on skin, chemistry, herbs and their uses, essential oils and aromatherapy in order to insure that she has the knowledge to formulate the best products for her customers.
Vicki Parsons along with her husband Mac started Neem Tree Farms in 1992 so they’d have a good reason to spend more time outdoors instead of working at their traditional corporate jobs. Today, they supply living neem trees to customers across the US and EU and market a full line of neem products, including several all-natural remedies Vicki learned to formulate with help from herbalists in the Natural Ingredient Resource Center. She expects to complete a book and complimentary CD on the myriad uses of neem in mid-2006 based on research available through the National Institutes of Health.

“The biggest challenge with neem and other herbs is explaining how and why they work to people who are accustomed to a man in a white coat passing out little pills,” she says. “Some days I feel like I’m selling snake oil, but then I’ll get a call from a customer who can go back outside again because neem helps her deal with chemical sensitivities or another woman who can work in her yard because it helped her arthritis and it makes it all worth it.”

Gina Rafkind Gina Rafkind is a Licensed Cosmetologist & salon owner, Aromatherapy Consultant, Certified Reflexologist and Acutonics Provider (sound healing). She has been formally involved in the Aromatherapy field since 2000 and has studied under Katherine Graf, a Certified Aromatherapist. She is proud to be a member of the Advisory Panel of the Natural Ingredient Resource Center. Her love for Aromatherapy started when she bought her first Aromatherapy book over 12 years ago. Her search for body care products with natural ingredients led her to start mixing up some of her own potions.

Gina is the owner and founder of VedaSun ~ a company whose mission is to be your Aromatherapy Luminary and inspire you to Break Out and unleash your vibrant inner being by enhancing your awareness practice of using your senses as a pathway to presence. At VedaSun you will find Aromatherapy Skincare that is handcrafted by women who have a love and passion for providing other women with the ultimate, spa-quality skincare. There is over 10 years of research and formulating experience that have gone into these products. They are created with ingredients that are naturally-derived and plant-based with many obtained from the Dead Sea which contains some of the most beneficial skincare ingredients.

You can learn more about Gina's journey and sign up for her free special report: BREAK~OUT, BE~FREE!, 4 Empowering Steps to Inspire you to Break~Out and Unleash Your Vibrant Inner Being So You Experience Profound Happiness and Deep Contentment Everyday by visiting VedaSun.

Dorothy (Dottie) Simmons has been making natural cold-process soaps since 1979. Her interest in herbs and natural bodycare began in 1971 in response to her own chemical sensitivities and health issues. Her educational background is mainly in Graphic Design.

Simmons Natural Bodycare, a family business, began in 1982 as an adjunct to the home-based business, Simmons Handcrafts, which includes Graphic Design and the sale of home scale renewable electric systems. Dottie works with her husband, daughter, and son-in-law creating and selling natural soaps and bodycare both wholesale and retail. The shop where Simmons products are manufactured and shipped is part of the rural homestead where they raise organic fruit and vegtables, poultry, livestock, and pets all in an alternative energy environment.

With a focus on creating non-toxic and natural products to cover the basic bodycare needs of everyone, particularly those with allergies and
sensitivities, Dottie researches and creates the formulas as well as doing the marketing, product design and all other aspects of running a small business. She is also an avid gardener, mother and grandmother, and volunteers in her community for the rural emergency medical response organization.

Dori Ball is an Executive Marketing Assistant for a professional sports association and Founder and President of Earth Elixirs, Inc. Her career began in television and radio, producing and hosting broadcasts ranging from sales, daily news to conventions and trade shows, before progressing to advertising, including business management and marketing. Always an advocate for all things natural, in 2002 her passion for organics, including diet, prevention and healing, became a major focus in her life when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Creative Mixtress that she is, Dori began formulating natural products for herself, family and friends, which hobby soon became a full time business and Earth Elixirs was born – a bath and beauty company committed to handcrafting wholesome alternatives to the artificial and chemically based products that riddle society while promoting sustainability. Her business has blossomed from cold processed soaps and natural skin care to the recent release of her Enhance Crushed Mineral CosmeticsTM line. Dori is currently busy creating her website and is expecting a launch date of July 1st 2006.

An animal lover, Dori volunteers at Animals at Heart Rescue and the Humane Society of the United States, personally making a difference for four-legged victims of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and other lesser storms that nonetheless devastated Florida in the last few years. She also routinely gathers support for various animal rights and protection legislation. In addition to researching new products such as deodorant, natural perfume, toothpaste and natural cleaning products for the home, Dori will also be developing a line of aromatherapy candles and 100% natural pet care.

“I believe the NIRC is the perfect collaboration of great minds to promote and educate natural goodness. I am proud to be involved with this wonderful group. Why? Because Natural Matters!”

Terri Dorsey is webmistress of Natural Ingredient Resource Center. She is also a Certified Integrative Aromatherapist, Herbalist and Massage Therapist. As a former configuration management analyst and senior metrology consultant to the department of energy, department of defense and the telecommunications industry, Terri jumped off the corporate treadmill and moved to the ‘middle of nowhere’ to pursue her true passions about 12 years ago.

“After being exposed to the harsh realities about the damage we do to Mother Earth in the name of energy and defense, I just had to embrace a more down-to-earth lifestyle.”

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