The NCSAAM Board of Directors serves as the governing body and establishes association policy for conducting the business and management functions of the Association. The Board of Directors consists of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Director oGovernment Affairs, and one representative from each of the five local chapters (Beach, Charlotte, Mountain, Triad, Triangle). The Board may also include two members-at-large. 


Linda Tolentino, L.Ac.

Linda Huang Tolentino has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2009 after spending 20 years in Corporate America in marketing in the finance industry and sales in the telecom industry.  

Her practice began in the suburbs of Boston after graduating with a Masters in Chinese and Japanese acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture.  She moved to NC in 2012 with her family when her husband was transferred.  

Linda specializes in gentle acupuncture for patients of all ages. Her focus is more on musculoskeletal conditions, emotional imbalances and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.  

Her practice is currently located in Cary.  Linda is a Diplomate of the NCCAOM. She also holds a MBA from Boston University.  

Linda also is a member of Women in Networking of Cary – serving a 6 month term as the membership coordinator in 2015.  

Linda lives in Holly Springs with her two sons, husband and French Bulldog, Izzy. 

Bonnie Cashwell, LAc.


nie Cashwell obtained her Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) from Southwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe, NM. She is nationally certified with the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) in the areas of: acupuncture, point location, Chinese herbology and biomedicine.

Prior to returning home to N.C. in 2013 she practiced acupuncture in Denver, CO where she was a member of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado. She was an assistant coordinator with Alter/Med Research Foundation interfacing allopathic medicine and research based complimentary medicines.

Bonnie has been a holistic practitioner since 1996 which has afforded her a deep understanding of the body and the healing process. While treating a wide range of health conditions her focus is on digestion, anxiety and the musculoskeletal system. She incorporates supplements, Chinese herbs, moxibustion, dietary education/coaching and life style changes. In addition to her MSOM, Bonnie holds a Bachelor of Science in Merchandising. 

Heather McIver, L.Ac.

 Heather McIver graduated from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, CO. She opened Stillpoint Acupuncture in 2001 and has been thrilled to see the popularity of Chinese Medicine grow since then. 

A major influence on her practice was her two-year course of study with Lonny Jarrett, author of Nourishing Destiny: The Inner Tradition of Chinese Medicine, and nationally recognized authority on integrating both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Five Element Acupuncture into a cohesive practice style. 

Heather has made two trips to Beijing, China where she learned from accomplished doctors of acupuncture. Heather’s true love is Chinese Herbal Medicine. She recently completed a two-year advanced Chinese Medicine course with Sharon Weizenbaum and she is currently studying the work of Dr. Feng Shi Lun and his experience with classical formulas. She also loves working with fertility, pregnancy and pediatric issues. Heather holds a BA in Religious Studies from Guilford College, and a Masters in Health Education from the University of NC at Greensboro in addition to her MSOM. 

Heather is the mother of two children and enjoys writing, reading and good food! 

David Peters, L.Ac.

David Peters is currently the co-founder of Long Life Wellness Center. He practices acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal medicine, lifestyle/nutritional counseling and teaches meditation, TaiJi and Qigong exercises. 

Long Life Wellness Center also offers Physical Therapy, Marriage and Family Counseling, Hypnotherapy, Life Coaching, Medical QiGong Therapy and a full Yoga program. 

David has been specializing in the field of fertility medicine since 2006. He assists couples with conception by coordinating and employing complementary therapies with reproductive endocrinologists. 

He is an active member of the Acupuncture community advocating for legislation in the Acupuncture field.

Dir. of Government Affairs
Chris Helmstetter, L.Ac.

Chris Helmstetter is nationally licensed and board certified in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. 

He maintains state licenses in both North Carolina and California and specializes in the treatment of pain and auto-immune conditions. 

Chris is a Council and Board member of the NCAAOM since 2005 and currently presides as Director of Government Affairs.


Membership Officer
Stefano Vitale, RRT, LAc, M.S., MA,DOM

Stefano is a NY, NC and NM Licensed Acupuncturist, a Registered Respiratory Therapist as well as a Certified Acupuncturist and Herbologist with the National Association for the Certification of Acupuncturists. He holds a Diploma in Acupuncture and Herbology, as well as the title, Doctor of Oriental Medicine from the state of New Mexico, which adds the specialty of Homeopathy. 

He received his western training at N.Y. University - Bellevue in Respiratory Therapy and graduated from Tri State College of Acupuncture with honors. Dr. Vitale has been practicing yoga, martial arts, and pranic healing techniques for over 25 years. Vitale is also an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church. 

Stefano works with a variety of patients finding great success in allergies, gynecology, gastrointestinal syndromes, thyroid, pain, emotional disorder, sport related issues, among other maladies. 

Charlotte Chapter Representative

John McGimsey, L.Ac. 

B.A. Psych., M.Ac. , M.A. studied meditation, hypnosis, deep muscle relaxation, Tai Qi and Qi Gong. In 1976, he studied leaderless group dynamics under Carl Rogers, "father" of Humanistic Psychology, was ordained as a Buddhist monk by Karmapa of Sikkim and studied poetry in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poets under Alan Ginsberg. He studied energy healing under Muktanada and Sufism under Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. In 1977, he worked in West Africa under traditional doctors in the jungle. In 1979, he studied Adlerian Psych. and Driekurs family counseling in Switzerland. In 1979, he began working for the Eight Northern Pueblo Council in NM as Director of Social Services including an acupuncture program for drug detox and was honored by the UN. In 1994, he completed an MA degree in Oriental Medicine at IICM-Santa Fe including herbology and became a Resident Doctor at the China-Japan Friendship Hosp. Acupuncture Dept. in Beijing for 2 years, a senior student and assistant to the Dept. Director, studied Qigong, Tai Qi, energy medicine and acupuncture amnesia under Masters in Beijing. In 1999, he studied Qigong for Lung Cancer and in 2000 studied Olympic sports medicine in Beijing. He served on the first National Qi Gong Committee for the NCCAOM. 

John has been in clinical practice since 1994, licensed as an L.Ac. in NC in 1998 and currently practices in Davidson, Charlotte, Morganton and Linville Falls.

Mountain Chapter Representative

Billy Roberts, LAc.
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After completing his BA in Literature from Davidson College in 1998, Mr. Roberts was drawn into the world of Acupuncture Medicine while traveling and studying in a remote area of western China.  He went on to guide mountaineering, whitewater and sea kayaking expeditions and work as a Wilderness EMT all over the world for the next 15 years before setting down family roots and an Acupuncture Clinic in Asheville, North Carolina in 2013. He completed his Training in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine – the first Nationally Accredited Acupuncture Graduate Program in North Carolina.  Mr. Roberts is dedicated to combining the timeless wisdom and techniques of Acupuncture Medicine with modern imaging and scientific knowledge to achieve the best results for his patients.

Mr. Roberts enjoys adventures in the southern mountains with his family.  He is an avid reader and will discuss David Mitchell books or Borges with anyone at anytime.  He enjoys travel and any opportunity to speak Spanish, Italian or Mandarin.  For over ten years, Mr. Roberts has studied Qi Gong, Tai Ji Quan and other Daoist Martial and Healing Arts.

Triad Chapter Representative
Amber Kent, L.Ac.
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Amber Kent has been working in private practice since 2005 along with practicing Oriental medicine and acupuncture since 2017. Amber became an integrative holistic practitioner due to her own previous health challenges with Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFIDS)/Mylagic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Raynaud's syndrome along with various other afflictions such as: heavy metal “mercury” toxicity, IBS, Leaky Gut Syndrome, ADD, hypothyroid, endometriosis, migraine headaches and Fibromyalgia. She also experienced upper respiratory issues such as: allergies, sinusitis, ear infections, flu, and pneumonia. Along with emotional imbalances of anxiety and depression from both physical and emotional trauma.

Overcoming and healing from her disease imbalances through holistic medicine inspired her journey to help others. She also has been able to offer effective support for her husband's Gulf War Syndrome and PTSD.

Amber graduated from a 4-year post graduate school, Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine. She earned a Master’s Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Amber participated in over 2,250 hours of didactic and clinical training in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, along with 1-year acupuncture clinical residency program.

Mrs. Kent served as an acupuncturist in a research study testing the effectiveness of acupuncture on DNA telomere length and overall aging.

Amber trains in the lineage of Cheng Man-ch’ing's Yang style of short form Taijiquan. This lineage dates all the way to the founder of Taijiquan, Chang San-Feng of the Wu Tang mountain school of north China. He was a Taoist monk and studied boxing at the Shaolin Temple and lived from 1279-1368 AD.

Mrs. Kent also graduated from Clayton College of Natural Health with a bachelors degree in holistic nutrition, masters degree in herbal medicine and a degree in Traditional Naturopathy medicine. She pursued a masters degree in holistic nutrition from Hawthorn University. She received her first undergraduate bachelors degree in Communications and English from University of Queens at Charlotte.

Amber is a member of the American Herbalist Guild and the Weston A. Price Foundation. She has also written for several holistic health magazines, The Natural Triad and The Art of Well- being. She has a wide range of interests from Taijijuan, to gardening, to following Jesus Christ in her spiritual journey.

 Triangle Chapter Representative
Karen Velasquez, L.Ac.
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Secretary (Vacant position)

Contact director@ncsaam.org

Executive Director
Denise Graham 

Denise Graham’s career spans 20+ years of experience in the field of government relations and association management. Her experience includes that of Executive Vice President to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC); political affairs coordinator and lobbyist for the Connecticut State Medical Society. She is also the founder and principle owner of DDG Associates, LLC.

Denise thrives on leading mission-centered organizations. 

   Beach Chapter Representative
 Contact director@ncsaam.org

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