The Original Pioneers

Adam Riva

Founder, CEO, @dragonflyeffectnaturals

By the time Adam turned 18 years old, he had been involved in a small start-up company with a new twist on the traditional multi-level marketing model which attracted over 50,000 members in under 3 years. A couple of years later he helped found a raw vegan food company. He has run his own freelance film and website development company, Adam Riva Films, since he was in his teens. He is a health freedom activist, a journalist, and a public speaker. He is also editor of, a philosophy-oriented news website that has attracted more than 1.5 million article views.

On January 1, 2015, he founded Dragonfly Effect Naturals after demand for his homemade toothpaste began to spread via word of mouth. His innovative approach to create mission-driven multi-purpose products with a transparent business model has established Dragonfly Effect Naturals as a respected up-and-coming company in the natural foods industry.

Bonnie Kavanagh

Bonnie Kavanagh is a second generation nurse and herbalist with over 35 years experience in health care.   Bonnie is a graduate of the Rosemary Gladstar Art and Science of Herbology Apprenticeship and now teaches this program and other herbal and gardening classes at 7 Arrows Farm in Attleboro, Massachusetts where she is the community herbalist. Bonnie has been a presenter at many conferences including the Northeast Women’s Herbal Conference, the Mid-Atlantic Women’s Herbal Conference, the International Herb Symposium and the Rhode Island Herbal Conference. She loves to introduce people to the many benefits living a plant inspired life can offer. In addition to her herbal work Bonnie is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Fairland Farm, LLC a privately owned cranberry farm in Southeast Massachusetts.  Bonnie is a member of the board of directors for the Hope Street Farmers Market and is passionate about educating people on the benefits of supporting local agriculture and artisan food businesses in her community. Being a part of the Plant Pioneers Movement is a dream come true for this consummate plant lover.

Judith Millar, B.S. Ed., MH, RMT

Sacred Ground Herbals

Judith Millar, B.S. Ed., Herbalist, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 1985, from The College of New Jersey. In 2011, she retired from a successful and rewarding teaching career of 31 years.  She is an Environmental Educator as well, having been trained by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to facilitate workshops for students and faculty. She was chosen as “NJ Conservation Teacher of the Year” in 1999 for work in developing school-based conservation and habitat preservation programs.  Her love and interest in plants and holistic health practices led to the study of Medicinal Herbalism.

She is a practicing community herbalist, with a focus on Traditional Western Herbalism, although her eclectic approach includes Ayurvedic, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Native American Plant Medicine, Reiki, Flower Essence Therapy, and Essential Oil therapies.  Education is a key component of her practice, and a primary goal is to empower people to manage most of their own health care needs through natural, affordable, and locally available means.  She offers health consultations through her home practice, Sacred Ground Herbals in Brick, New Jersey.

Christina Toro

Originally from Puerto Rico, Cristina Toro is a professional artist who lives in upstate New York. She has exhibited widely and received many honors including a New York Foundation for the Arts painting fellowship. Her paintings, deal with intuition, the invisible world of the heart, natural medicine, and plant magic.

Lacy Johnson

Lacy Johnson was born and raised in Texas and moved to the Catskill area in 2015. The move led her to her current studies in herbalism. She is a first year herbal medicine student who in her spare time likes to be outside with her husband, Josiah, and Husky dog, Moqui.

Ulysses Jackson

Ulysses Jackson is an artist, scientist, and coatings formulator with over 10 years industry experience. In his personal research he is focusing on phytochemistry and secondary metabolites. He believes that plants have secrets, and that there is as much to be discovered in the meadows surrounding his home as on any remote expedition.

Peter Coates

Composer, Sound Designer, Musical Collaborator

Peter studied the koto in Japan, becoming sensei in 1997. Over several decades he has also pursued an interest in synthesizers and generative music.

In the summer of 2015, Peter relocated to the rich creative culture of the Hudson Valley from the UK and became involved with the Plant Pioneers.

Heidi Reagan

Life Coach, Energy Healer, Speaker

Heidi is sometimes referred to as the “Insightful Muse”for her ability to use pragmatic tools, fine-honed over fifteen years of practice, research and development to guide her clients through life altering transitions as a life coach. Heidi’s fusion of real-life experiences and her heart centered techniques connect her clients at an intimate, focused and individual level. Now entering the world of plant sounds and music, she is incorporating this aspect into her healing work.



Renee’ Barchitta

Renee’ has a BA in Sociology and a (MPA) Master’s in Public Administration.  As a former Delaware County STOP-DWI and Traffic Safety Coordinator/Educator, created a Public Information and Education campaigns and programs by working with: Media, SADD Chapters, Sponsoring Victim/Survivor Panels, TV and radio Public Service Announcements, developed curriculum, Victim Impact Booklets, pamphlets and was the Editor and Photographer of the NYS STOP-DWI Coordinators Newsletter. As a former NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Representative, helped produce NYS traffic safety grants, assisted one quarter of the Counties’ in NYS’s traffic safety grants, and developed alcohol and underage programs.

As an advocate she is a member of the Albany County Core Family Council, and the (RID) Remove Intoxicated Driver (grass roots) National Board. Associate for ASEA Redox Signaling Molecules Biotech Company advancing life. Organic Vegetable gardener in the Catskill Mts. The quarter acre garden using beds for healthy high yield low weed gardening. She is a vegetarian and gluten free cook and baker.

Darwin M. Johnson

Darwin M. Johnson is an IT Consultant working in the Catskills. He moved here full-time from Brooklyn 2 years ago, but has been spending time in Delaware County for the past 9 years. Darwin studied Physics at the University of Iowa and has been working as an IT Consultant for the past 15 years. Darwin served as the IT Director for the Somaly Mam Foundation before his move to the Catskills. Darwin likes to make experimental banjo music in his spare time and hang out with his cat Sydney.