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Board of Advisors

The Board of Advisors allows ASNI access to specialized knowledge and experience, providing ongoing expertise in the areas of science, economics and holistic health. The current members were carefully chosen, not only for their exceptional knowledge, but also for their experience with and appreciation of AFA. Deben Tobias brings specialized knowledge in the areas of business management and financial planning. Lesley Tierra is a recognized world-class authority on herbs from many world traditions. On the board, she offers the Company advice and suggestions on the custom formulation of products for specific health care conditions and challenges. Renée Loux Underkoffler is an entrepreneur, author and raw-foods chef who teaches at several institutes and schools. Allen Adkins is a successful and highly creative businessman who has succeeded in several areas of expertise.



Deben Tobias, B.Sc. Economics
After receiving a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Deben founded Finance Corp. in 1965, which grew to be the largest insurance premium finance company in New England. After ten years as CEO of Colony, he sold his interest and traveled around the world, stopping to found an adult education center in London, and manage a holistic health clinic in Boulder, Colorado.
In 1993, he became the chief financial officer of Bolder Heuristics, Inc., a custom software development firm that later made the INC. 500 list of fastest growing companies in America. After retiring from Boulder Heuristics in 1998, Deben founded The Center for Values-Based Business, a business consulting, mentoring and leadership coaching service. The Center’s mission is to support entrepreneurs, leaders and managers in integrating deeply held personal and organizational values into their business decisions. He also co-founded The Saltwater Institute with Tom Chappell, founder and CEO of Tom's of Maine, and a group of other business executives. The Institute is a non-profit that offers innovative leadership trainings, In addition, Deben is the co-founder, treasurer and chief financial officer of Spirit in Business, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces global conferences and events to catalyze and advance emerging ideas for integrating ethical values and spiritual practices with organizational leadership.

Leslie Tierra, L.AC, AHG
Lesley Tierra is a California State and nationally certified acupuncturist and herbalist. She shares a world-renowned practice with her husband in Santa Cruz, California where she combines acupuncture, herbs and food therapies along with lifestyle and inner-growth counseling. Lesley is the author of The Herbs of Life, Healing with Chinese Herbs, A Kid's Herb Book and co-author of Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicine, Volumes I and II with Michael Tierra.

Renée Loux Underkoffler
Renée Loux Underkoffler is the founder of Euphoric Organics, a company that provides products, consultation and solutions for sustainable, healthful living. The Euphoric Organics Foundation was created to support sustainable and environmental programs, and educational initiatives to improve local economies and community-based interests. Renée has received formal training and conducted independent study in integrated nutrition and culinary arts, and teaches at several institutes and schools. In addition, she has pioneered as a restauranteur and has authored several books, including Living Cuisine, The Art and Spirit of Raw Foods (Penguin, 10 Speed Press). Renée bases her work between the north shore of Maui, Hawaii and New York City.

Allen L. Adkins
Mr. Adkins is a successful and highly creative businessman who has succeeded in several areas of expertise. He first became a marine engineer, working on super tankers, and retired from the merchant marines in 1974. He then began a career in the health and healing field in the mid-70’s in Hawaii, having been one of the earliest pioneers of raw food nutrition and wheatgrass juice and sprouts for health. He created the world’s first freeze-dried wheatgrass juice product in 1979. Mr. Adkins studied Sanskrit and Ayurvedic Medicine in Nepal with Dr. Manna Vajra and began practicing Ayurvedic Medicine in Hawaii in 1977 and manufactured what were among the very first Ayurvedic medicines made in the west.
Mr. Adkins moved to the Silicon Valley area in 1980 and started a high tech career in interactive media. The system he and others created was patented, and Mr. Adkins sold his interest in this company (Interactive Research Corp.) and subsequently founded Optical Media International in 1985. Optical Media International (OMI) acted as a pioneer in CD-ROM technology throughout the eighties and nineties. In 1995, Mr. Adkins sold OMI to a public company after 10 years as founder, president and CEO. He relocated to Maui in 1999 and started research and development that led to the development of a number of revolutionary world-class health and healing products. Mr. Adkins started Conscious Alchemy, LLC in 2004 to develop and market these products.

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