Meet the Board

 

Sule Bolgi

Sule Bolgi

President

l’m a native of Turkey, married to a fine Milanese man, a mother of two with dual Turkish-ltalian citizenship.

Growing up in Germany and speaking foreign languages wired me for cross cultural awareness early on and my professional ambition allowed me to be part of a large variety of work environments, but the personal satisfaction of serving on several Benvenuto boards over the years, twice as newcomers director and for three wonderful years as the editor of the Benvenuto Magazine, could only be topped by accepting the final challenge of becoming the President of our distinguished Club.

Despite these Covid signed times, my terrific team and l are inviting you to be part of our endeavor to make your life in Milan joyful and memorable.

Together let’s make your time in Milan a journey of connecting to others, a journey of growth!

Alessandra Felicetta

Alessandra Felicetta

Vice President

I am  fully  Italian, and was born and raised in Milan. I am married to Gianni with two adult children, Alberto who is 50 and Emanuela who is 41.

I started studying and speaking French at 10, and English at 15, and 4 years later obtained the qualification of the English Chamber of Commerce, which enabled me to work first for an Italian Textile Co. as Executive Assistant and then … for more than 30 years at the Italian Office of Lions Clubs International, side by side to Loredana Mandelli, our NtN Chairperson.

In the meantime, I studied also German, but since then I have never used it. I forgot everything (that’s why I suppose it’s useless to mention it!)

When the above Italian Office closed, Loredana invited me to join the Benvenuto Club. My aim was to go on breathing the international atmosphere I had experienced, and before getting this goal, BCM gave me the extraordinary opportunity to meet wonderful ladies from all over the world and to make many dear friends.

In 2006, I was appointed Zone Assignment Manager when the Board decided to organize the distribution of the more than 400 members in various zones, and adopted the same zoning of the Municipality of Milan. Later I became the Coordinator of Zone 7 Buonarroti-S.Siro, and I still am.

Fiona Betournay

Fiona Betournay

Secretary

I am British and I have been in Milan for 25 years now. I have had a lot of great experiences in Italy and I am happy to share them with Benvenuto members.  Life is better with friends!

Sandra Arenz

Sandra Arenz

Treasurer

I am German and have been working on international projects since 2003.  I did my Executive MBA at ESCP Europe in Paris and I am a lawyer. Benvenuto is a great place to enjoy the international community and to make friends.
The best way to have a friend is to be one.

Siobhan O’Connor

Siobhan O’Connor

Membership Director

I am Irish and spent the first 21 years of life in Dublin.  My background is in teaching. I trained to be a Montessori teacher, hence Italy was always in the cards!  I am now an avid ceramicist. I have lived in Sydney and Adelaide in Australia; New York City and Connecticut in the US; and more recently in London.  My husband is Australian and we have 3 children together.  We both fell in love with Milan when we lived here for three years, 2011-14.  The Benvenuto Club was very important to me during this time and I never forgot the feelings of welcome and being included, and the friendships.  Now we are back to stay and I am honoured to serve on the board as Membership Director.  I hope to get to know you all at our wonderful events and at membership renewal time.

Alberta Dufour

Alberta Dufour

Special Activities Director

I am an Italian mother who came back to Italy 8 years ago from abroad. This may sound strange, but it was rather difficult for me to reintegrate myself back into an Italian city! Luckily for me I discovered the Benvenuto Club in Milan and since then my life has become so much easier and more enjoyable. Before that I lived in South Africa, Switzerland and England for a total of 25 years where I had my three children who became citizens of the world. Currently I work at the Benvenuto Club as a Special Activities Director. With this position I am trying to help arriving new expats to integrate themselves into life in Milan.

Adriana Tilve

Adriana Tilve

Newcomers Director

My name is Adriana. I am Argentinian, married to an Italian who sometimes looks more Argentinian than me, and we have two kids. I am a former international lawyer and current Image Consultant & Personal Shopper. I left Argentina in 2001 to get a Masters degree in Italy and since then have lived in Bologna, Milan, London and Istanbul. Back in Milan in 2014 I joined the Benvenuto in order to continue to be part of an international community. I’ve made lots of new friends thanks to the Club and would love to offer many “warm welcomes” to current and future new comers in search of new “international” friends!!

Heba Bayoumy

Heba Bayoumy

Benvenuto Editor

I am Egyptian and married with two kids, I moved to Milan in August 2017. I joined the Benvenuto one year ago, and have since had good opportunities to mingle with nice ladies from various backgrounds and nationalities. Being married to a diplomat allows me to interact with diverse cultures and acquire new languages throughout our life and career in addition to visiting many countries. My university degree is in English literature and civilization. I speak French and Italian (ongoing study!). I’m honored to be the Benvenuto Editor which will enrich my personal experience on many levels.

Silvia Cossa

Silvia Cossa

Community Services Director

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 3 children together who make us very happy. I graduated from the Bocconi University and I worked in the corporate finance business for approximately 25 years. 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).

Maureen Pardo Roques

Maureen Pardo Roques

Public Relations Events Director

I was born in Alexandria (Egypt), with an Italian father and a speedy French/Spanish Mom you all got to know at the Club.
Fluent in several languages, Citizen of the world, dynamic and with positive attitude I adore traveling, reading, talking and meeting new friends.
I love our Club, I love the Benvenuto, I love you Ladies!
I joined the Benvenuto Club more than 10 years ago in a very difficult period of my life. Meanwhile many of you became good friends to me , many of you almost know everything about my feelings, my passion for dogs, my ideas, all the pros and cons..
However there is a little thing that you might don’t know about me I must admit I am not technological at all! Maybe some of you realized it before!
It has been a serious problem for me joining Board meetings via Zoom during lockdown, believe me.
Teri, Sule and all Board friends have been very patient and comprehensive to me. What a shame of me, sorry ladies! I learnt and now I know how it works…better late than ever!
PR means events, social and cultural gatherings, entertainment, fashion show, talks and meetings and Fun! I have ideas and different plans for you, work in progress! I promise I’ll do my best to give you Fun. Hope we can make it successful this year.