Meet the Board


Welcome to all current and future Benvenuto members!  I was born in Italy, but when I was just 9 months old my family moved to the United States and I remained there.  I graduated from Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts.  In 1962, I married and returned to Italy.  I have been a member of Benvenuto for 16 years and have enjoyed every one of them.  I am honored to be serving as president for my second time.  I look forward to a productive and fun year, enjoying our time together and fundraising for our charities.

I moved here 16 months ago from Louisiana.  I grew up in North Dakota and have been married to my husband for 16 years. We are used to being relocated for my husband’s career every 3-4 years, but this is the first time overseas. We have a 4-year old son and two dogs.  I have a bachelor and master degree in science and worked as a family nurse practitioner before relocating here.  My goal this year is to recruit new members and strengthen the organization by creating a network of talented, interesting women who enjoy friendship and having fun.  I am hopeful we can make everyone feel welcome whether they are in Milan for a short time or if this is their forever home.  “It’s the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey.”  Author unknown

I am from Cape Town, South Africa and have been in Milan for almost two years.  My husband works for an Italian bank which brought us to Milan.  I have previously spent two years living in London.  I have really enjoyed being a part of the Benvenuto Club.  It has helped me find friends to share the expat experience (and challenges!) with.  I’m looking forward to continuing as secretary of the club and working with the other board members.

Hello, I am happy to be a part of the board and to contribute to the great work that this dynamic team is doing. I am Russian. My family moved from Moscow to Milan almost five years ago. I studied chemical engineering and financial management, and then worked for many years in an international chemical group. Travel and interior design are my passions. I joined Benvenuto soon after we had moved to Italy and it helped me to meet new friends from all over the world and to discover this beautiful country.

I would like to extend my warmest greetings to all of you.  I am honored to take this position and will do to the best of my abilities, everything to promote this wonderful association that I had the privilege to join a year ago.  I could easily say that, after almost 40 years, Italy has become my home and I had the opportunity to witness the incredible evolution and growth its international community.  A lot has changed since I came to Milan during the late 70’s from Persia, after graduating in England at Goudhurst College, to study fine Arts at the Academy of Brera; Milan has become a multicultural city and a favorite professional and touristic destination by foreigners. After my master degree I started to work in the high-end jewellery market.  The experience gained directly on the field and in each segment of it, lead me to become a highly regarded contact in the market.  Always pursuing excellence and promoting Made in Italy, in 2001 I opened my own agency where I manage production for clients, conceive collections, plan marketing and communication strategies for the most exclusive brands, retailers, designers and manufacturers, offer a redesign service and tutor professionally young designers and entrepreneurs to affirmation.  I hope that my contribution to the club will bring more awareness of its activities and help the association become a reference point for the English speaking women of Milan.

I am fully Italian and I have been a member of Benvenuto since 2016. Initially, I joined the club because I thought it was an enjoyable way to practice my English, considering that I often travel to London where two of my “children” live.  I have to say that I have discovered a world of interesting and nice ladies who allow me to get in touch with different countries and cultures.  I have lived in Milan my entire life, I am married to Franco and we have three children together who make us very happy.  I graduated from Bocconi University and I have been working in the corporate finance business for approximately 25 years, enjoying a lot of this very demanding job.  Since I left my job I have been trying to dedicate my free time to the things I love: sports- I love skiing and playing tennis and I try to improve my poor golfing – art and volunteering activities (I am a volunteer with LILT and with Caritas).  I have accepted to be part of the Benvenuto board because I feel I have to give something back to this club which gives me so many opportunities to learn, have fun and make friends.  My duties within the board will be to manage the membership area.  It will be a great opportunity that will allow me to get to know the club and its members even better and I hope to give a constructive contribution to the board’s activities.

I was born in Merida, Venezuela 42 years ago.  I’m a Venezuelan lawyer and LL.M in Boston University 2001.  I lived in New Haven, Connecticut in 1991 and Boston, Massachusetts from 1998-2002.  After that I decided to come to Milano to marry a Milanese, Mr. Gianluca Fanti, 15 years ago.  I have worked in law firms and international companies in Italy and US.  I have been traveling around the world for business and pleasure, and I love meeting international people, especially from the US.  Since I had two girls I have been at home raising my family.  My friend, Deborah Edelman, introduced me to Benvenuto. Since then I have been organizing events for Benvenuto members.

I am Lola Vazquez the Special Activities Director for six months and from day one in Benvenuto.  Joined the club and the position at the same time, so not really knowing what I was getting into.  But here I am willing to stay in the same position for one more year.  It has been learning by doing and I am still discovering Milano anew every month.  I am Spanish, born in Africa, lived in different countries in Europe and China. Now in Milan since last September, we hope to stay for a while…

I am Australian and have been living in Milano on and off for 18 months. As editor, I hope I can continue the great work of Sule who produced the magazine along with her trusty co-workers for the last three years. When I arrived in Milano in January 2017 I was at a loss. I had left my children, my friends and my work, basically my life, to join my husband. I was so lucky to have found the Benvenuto Club. Since joining the club I have made many new friends and have become involved in many different activities such as mahjong, trekking and various social and cultural excursions. I have met many people who I would otherwise not have been exposed to. I found the magazine to be a great resource and I hope I can continue to make a difference to members and new arrivals to Milano.