Tuscany 2024 Participants

Helida Dodd is a Perfumer for lovers of beautiful fragrances who can’t tolerate traditional perfumes. Through her carefully curated ingredients, she shows you how luxury + nature mix perfectly in a bottle.

Helida is a speaker for organizations and groups and uses perfume as a sensorial component to teach critical thinking, create new habits, and form cohesive teams.

Jill Harris studied writing at Mount Holyoke College and the UMass Amherst MFA program.  She’s worked in PR, written a column for twenty-somethings when she was twenty-something, edited Hartford Hospital’s global resource manual on integrative medicine, and penned articles and short stories for a variety of publications.  The New York Times wrote a feature piece about her work helping women in the 90’s tell their stories, and she’s interviewed a cast of beautiful human beings, including Director Sidney Lumet, actor Alan Arkin, and Bernard Lafayette, Jr.  She just finished her first song, Firefly, which will be recorded this summer.

Helen Kweskin is a retired high school English teacher (a career I loved for 45 years), and am now focusing on my own writing.

Born in England and spent my early years in Colombia and Venezuela; education in Philadelphia and Washington DC, before moving to Connecticut.

Married to a retired attorney; we have two adult children and six grandchildren (three of whom are growing up in Geneva, Switzerland).

For the past 15 years I have been involved with educational missions in Rwanda, East Africa. 
Am a very active person, stymied this year by knee issues, but packing my hiking poles for the cobbled streets of Cortona.  Nothing will hold me back!

Rishma Walji trained as a Naturopathic Doctor and also has a PhD. I spent about 20 years in clinical practice working with hormones and fertility (none of which prepared me to raise my two teen daughters!). For the past few years, I’ve transitioned away from clinical practice and into looking at intentional decision making (which is the topic of the book I’m researching and writing). I spent a long time helping people make huge decisions in their life (related to family planning, IVF, etc) and I’m deeply curious about psychology and neuroscience. A lot of my work is related to self-awareness and emotion that often guides (or misleads) our life choices. I opened up vulnerably on a TEDx stage (thankfully, I survived!), and now I host a narrative style, personal growth podcast called XO Conversations.  Personally, I love to dance (mostly just around my kitchen), travel (always up for a trip) and have exciting adventures (love heights and cool experiences). Please feel free to reach out, I love connecting with people. 

Hi, I’m Angy, a model/Actress and Entrepreneur living in New York City. I’m originally from the Dominican Republic and raised in Houston Texas. My background is in Accounting and I love to travel, eat delicious food and read rapturous books.

Leah Campbell Badertscher, J.D., is an artist, writer, and life coach. She’s the founder of The Art School, creator of The Art School Podcast, has self-published a book of poetry, Wild Blue Yonder, and is currently working on her first novel. She lives on a farm in Michigan with her husband and three children.

Denise Soler Cox is an award-winning activist filmmaker, top podcaster, speaker and author. She has spoken on hundreds of stages and worked with major brands like Microsoft, Starbucks and L’Oreal to name a few. Denise’s work with Project Eñye has been featured on NBC Nightly News, Forbes.com, and CNN, among others. She is a distinguished member of the Stanford Latino Leaders Entrepreneur Program and was honored with the 2018 “Bridge Builder Award in Education” from the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Denise is currently producing her second feature-length documentary and writing a book on Belonging.

Christina Dexter is a freelance communicator who helps social advocacy groups talk about their priorities by telling the stories of the people they impact. She is most proud of her non-professional life, where she weaves fierce fictional and non-fictional tales and works to make writing accessible to voices that society says are small. She has worked with cooperatives of rural cocoa farmers in Ecuador and has lived in North India, working with groups of women and girls. In 2021, she became a certified instructor of the Gateless Writing Method and used the method as an empowerment tool during workshops with women and girls on her most recent trip to India. Christina is a South Dakota State University graduate and resides in a tiny house on her family’s farm near Kansas City, Missouri.

Dr. Sarah Johnson is a Public History Consultant who conducts historical research, writes, and lectures about 19th-21st century American history. Her knowledge of American material culture was honed through twenty years of teaching undergraduate and graduate design students to critically analyze objects in museum collections within broader frameworks of culture, communications, and technology so they could become more informed designers and makers of objects. She has extensive public history experience, working with museum collections, local historical societies, and on digital projects to make historical artifacts and images more accessible. She’s transitioning to writing full time!

Stephanie Foy: If our bodies are autobiographies, then so may we heal by the telling of our stories.  Writing has been my primary healer, and I’m only now understanding it is an imperative pull to purpose.  The other ways I have made sense of the world is through wilderness guiding, healing, and painting.  Once upon a time, I burned the candle at both ends.  dimensionsinhealing.org

I live in New Mexico, and Vermont feels like home.  Fresh from epic surrender, I’m in the goo of metamorphic reshaping.  It’s dark in here and I’m following the click of the keys to find my way to the gate.

Farrah Haidar: My siblings tell me I acted out commercials in the mirror when we were young. Today, that long-held passion has evolved into a penchant for telling great stories in many formats. As a creative, I am working on a memoir and run a podcast called Tales She Told Me. I also co-own Seven Sister Scones and Kitchen with my sister, an ecommerce brand and cafe.

My goal for my writing is to challenge the way people think about gender roles, life goals, and my Arab heritage. I write as a war survivor, a woman, and a Muslim, each identity takes a turn informing my work. I want people to walk away from my writing with questions that make them curious about the world around them and how they can defy it to find more joy and freedom.

I am passionate about community, good food, women’s issues and children. I’ve helped several non-profits expand programs and fundraising. My goal is simple – to leave the world a better place, and to use my voice and experience to help organizations tell compelling stories that inspire their audiences to act!

Gabriela Roesli: Yoga lover and teacher, BJJ girl, incessant seeker (not sure for what exactly, lol), dedicated meditator, avid clothes shopper, little wannabe writer, foodie with an especially soft spot for brunch, all-time Sex and the City fan, replenishes and recharges in solitude, looking to create more sparkle and magic in her life (hence the glitter eyeshadow), very much into British and French humour, language enthusiast, loves to sleep in and chill.