Our People



Oscar Miro-Quesada, Founder

Oscar Miro-Quesada Solevo is a respected kamasqa curandero and altomisayoq adept from Peru, visionary founder of The Heart of the Healer (THOTH) Alliance (www.heartofthehealer.org), originator of Pachakuti Mesa Tradition cross-cultural shamanism, and co-author (with Bonnie Glass-Coffin, Ph.D.) of Lessons in Courage: Peruvian Shamanic Wisdom for Everyday Life. An internationally acclaimed shamanic teacher, healer and earth honoring ritualist, don Oscar is also OAS Fellow in Ethnopsychology, UN Invited Observer to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and Member of the Birth 2012 Welcoming Committee convened by Barbara Marx Hubbard. He has been guiding ethnospiritual apprenticeship expeditions to sacred sites of the world since 1986, with special emphasis on Peru and Bolivia. He is a popular faculty member at educational centers in the USA and abroad, dedicating his life to the revitalization of aboriginal wisdom traditions as a means of restoring sacred trust between humankind and the natural world. A seasoned navigator of non-ordinary states of consciousness, don Oscar is well prepared to help people from all walks of life access realms of Being where multidimensional powers and forces are available for healing self, others, and our beloved Mother Earth as a whole. His work and shamanic training programs have been featured on CNN, Univision, A&E, and the Discovery Channel.

“When we surrender the need to figure it all out, and cultivate the ability to let it all in, then our earth walk becomes a sacred dance of healing service on the planet. More than the world needs saving, it needs loving.”
don Oscar Miro-Quesada 

“By doing one learns; with study one refines; through dreaming one creates; in loving one fulfills—such is the secret art for tending to the perennial garden of our soul.”
don Oscar Miro-Quesada

>>>>>Read more about Don Oscar here.<<<<<




Jeff Schmitt, Chairperson

Jeff Schmitt, PhD chairs the Heart of the Healer Foundation Board of Directors and is Professor of Biochemistry, Physiology & Pharmacology, Translational Sciences and Associate Director for Research in the Center for Integrative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Jeff is a 32-year veteran scientist, entrepreneur with over 100 publications and patents to his name. He has participated in raising over $100M toward research and innovation to improve human health. Jeff played a key role in the launch of 4 companies and a research Institute (The Bent Creek Institute of the University of North Carolina). As founder of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, he has helped innovators leverage numerous new technologies into the marketplace. He is a dedicated practitioner and student of the folk healing traditions of Peru and North America. Jeff enthusiastically works with nonprofits to increase effectiveness and organizational capacity.


Lisa_BlakleyLisa Blakley, Director

Lisa is the former Director of Commercialization in the Office of Research at Florida State University (FSU) focusing on business development and startups in Life Sciences. Prior to FSU, Lisa served as CEO for a 12-county, 3-city entrepreneurial network in NC where she helped mobilize a nanotechnology accelerator, launched national Supply Chain and Nanotechnology Conferences, and managed a region-wide high tech accelerator with startups in Information Technology, Medical Devices and Nanotechnology. She has served on the Boards of two of the NC startups. Lisa is also a co-founder of and served as Chief Marketing Officer for two Information Technology startups in Silicon Valley, one of which was sold to MacAfee.

Prior to helping universities and entrepreneurs, Lisa worked in senior positions at Bank of America in its San Francisco headquarters and her last position was Managing Director of Global Market Development for large corporate and investment banking. Lisa has a BA in Mathematics from Duke University and a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In addition, Lisa has served on the Executive Committee of the California American Diabetes Association where she was responsible for statewide fund raising. She has also worked with a variety of other non-profits and startup companies.

christine-comafordChristine Comaford, Director

As an Entrepreneur, Christine has built and sold 5 of her own businesses with an average 700% return on investment, served as a board director or in-the-trenches advisor to 36 startups, and has invested in over 200 startups (including Google) as a venture capitalist or angel investor. Christine has consulted to the White House (Clinton and Bush), 700 of the Fortune 1000, and over 300 small businesses. She has repeatedly identified and championed key trends and technologies years before market acceptance.

Christine has also led many unconventional lives. Her background includes being a: Buddhist monk, software engineer (at Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Lotus), entrepreneur, and venture capitalist.

Christine is a leadership columnist for www.Forbes.com. She has appeared on Good Morning America, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, FOX Business Network, PBS, CNET and is frequently quoted in the business, technology and general press at large. PBS has featured her in three specials (Triumph of the Nerds, Nerds 2.0.1, and Nerd TV). CNET has broadcast two specials covering her unconventional rise to success as a woman with neither a high school diploma nor college degree. Christine believes we can do well and do good, using business as a path for personal development, wealth creation, and philanthropy.


patty dillon

Patty Dillon, ARRT – Treasurer

Owner/President of Travel Health of Georgia, INC d/b/a Passport Health. Studied at University of Texas Houston, MD Anderson Hospital and is registered in Radiologic Technology. Apprentice of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition since 2004. Avid supporter of the Heart of the Healer working on the ground in the US as well as Peru to fulfill the vision of THOTH’s Rainforest Initiative.



Bonnie Knezo, Secretary

Bonnie has been on a spiritual quest virtually all of her life and a mesa carrier for 11 years – grateful apprentice of don Oscar Miro-Quesada. For over 30 years a licensed attorney, most recently partnered with husband-attorney, Steve, she is a Walker Between Worlds. She is the mother of four; gaining her “foundational” experience as member of various Parent Councils and yearly fundraising campaigns for The Westminster Schools in Atlanta. Bonnie is passionate in applying her various skills and legal mind to help THOTH grow and flourish and expand. As a founding member of the regional Qollasuyu Council as well as Secretary of THOTH, she inspires other professionals who are attuned to Earth-centered spirituality to help realize “one humanity living in balance with the Earth and Her inhabitants.” Bonnie’s deep interest and curiosity about the nature of things, including Nature Herself, is an asset to any Board dynamic…there is no better way, she feels, to get out of the box than to look with stillness at the Living World, the true Source of All that might be deemed pure “Magic.” 


Jennifer Schofield, Director

Jennifer brings a professional skill set of working with governments and businesses to put renewable energy technologies into practical use. In 2004 she began apprenticing the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition through its textiles and human communicants and through this tradition, each day has become an experiment in seeing through to the heart. Jennifer considers the community of earth stewards who have associated themselves with THOTH to be her family and it is a privilege to align with those who align with restoring our earth.


Erin Smith

Erin Smith, Director

Erin is a medical herbalist and ethnobotanist, studying medicinal plants for over 20 years, with a MSc in Ethnobiology. She has been consulting internationally on traditional medicine, ethnobotany – with a specific focus on biocultural diversity, community based conservation, traditional ecological knowledge and medical herbalism. Her experience includes being Former Managing Director of Global Diversity Foundation-North America and has also consulted with the Food and Agricultural Organization and Global Initiative for Traditional Systems (GIFTS) of Health. She is currently based in Boulder, Colorado.



BlaesingJason Blaesing, Education and Cultural Advisor

Jason Blaesing, AM engages Peruvian healing as a practicing curandero (healer), and as a researcher of traditional medicine in the Andes. He began his apprenticeship in 1995, learning the Pachakuti Mesa and kamasqa curanderismo from don Oscar Miro-Quesada, and has for over a decade spent part of each year on the Peruvian coast and northern highlands, working under the tutelage of several healers, chiefly don Victor Bravo Cajusol, while maintaining a full-time healing practice in the US. He has taught the Pachakuti Mesa since 2003, and in 2009 finished the book which undergirds the Heart of the Healer Alliance apprenticeships. In a related capacity, he served as the five-year volunteer chair of the foundation’s Education Committee, and remains an advisor to the organization. Jason has also conducted documentary filming in North Peru, and recently completed the first stage of graduate study (Masters) at the University of Chicago, where he wrote on Peruvian medicine and mathematics, and for which thesis he earned the University’s Raymond D. Fogelson Prize for ethnological and historical science. He is now working on his PhD at Cornell University.

2012 bonnie glass coffin_100Bonnie Glass-Coffin, Education and Cultural Advisor

Bonnie Glass-Coffin, PhD, is a visionary, teacher, author, and scholar. She has studied with Peruvian curanderos/curanderas in northern Peru since 1982 and she began apprenticing with don Oscar in 2005, experiencing the transformative power of these wisdom teachings and integrating these deeply into all aspects of her life and creative work. As a professor of Anthropology since 1993 at Utah State University (Logan, UT), she was awarded the CASE/Carnegie Professor of the Year Award for the State of Utah in 2004. Her first book, “The Gift of Life: Female Spirituality and Healing in Northern Peru” (1998: University of New Mexico Press) is the definitive work on women and shamanic healing on Peru’s north coast and continues to sell briskly, 14 years after its first publication. It is an engaging account that is semi-autobiographical and deeply transformational in nature. It is considered required reading for students of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. Other writing credits include The Chronicle of Higher Education, Anthropology of Consciousness, and Sacred Fire Magazine. She is currently co-authoring a book with don Oscar Miro-Quesada about his life and wisdom teachings. Recent speaking engagements have included interviews for the “Practical Shaman” and for the program “Self, Soul, and Consciousness” on VoiceAmerica Internet Radio. Bonnie is an endorsed teacher of the Heart of the Healer Foundation and teaches the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition to students both within and beyond the university. She can be reached at bglasscoffin@gmail.com


1211_MMcnett2Mike McNett MD, Healthcare Advisor

Physician with training/experience in pain management, addictions, publishing, clinical research, family practice, and emergency medicine. Spiritual pursuits include Zen Buddhism for over twenty years, mesa carrier for seven years, personal growth, holotrophic breathworks, and graduate study in transpersonal psychology. Interests include music appreciation/performance, skiing, home improvement, wine, rollerblading, and travel.


Our Staff

KimHughesKim Hughes, Operations Manager

Living in beautiful Black Mountain, 15 minutes from Asheville, North Carolina, is our part-time US Operations Manager. Kim brings both business and community building experience to the THOTH team. She is owner/manager of White Horse, a music/arts venue in Black Mountain, and has her own private practice in Spiritual & Personal Coaching. Kim is currently managing our staff, assisting with communications, extending the outreach of the organization, working alongside our program chairs and has experience in fundraising and acquiring financial assistance.

Joni_StoneJoni Stone, Technical Specialist

Currently living near the foothills of North Carolina, Joni is our part-time Website Content & E-Communcitions Coordinator and Database Manager. Joni brings extensive experience of Information Technology and Marketing, and throughout her career has worked with well known Fortune 500 corporations, medium to small businesses, as well as nonprofits such as The Art Institue of Chicago and the Iredell Museum in local Statesville, NC. She has over 15 years of techonology and marketing experience and can offer training and troubleshooting on a variety of programs. She is also researching new and more efficient software and technology for the future of THOTH.


tim_perryTim Perry, Accountant General

Tim is a resident of Black Mountain, NC with a BA from Monteat College. He has extensive experience working with non-profits, and is currently volunteering as Bookkeeper for the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Black Mountain, and also worked as their Office Administrator. He was previously employed as Secretary at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Swannanoa for approximately 7 years.