Yazemeenah Rossi

Yazemeenah Rossi is a professional photographer, social entrepreneur, and pioneering age-defying international fashion model (one of the first ones to assume her white hair). She started her modeling career at age 30, normally the age of retirement for the industry, then became a model for The Ford Modeling Agency in New York City. She has appeared in hundreds of campaigns and magazines all over the world. She is also the founder of YAZEMEENAH, a social enterprise that produces her unique design of Yak or Cashmere shawls that are made by hand, from families in Kathmandu, Nepal. Part of the proceeds supports children at the Destitute and Orphans Children Safeguarding Foundation. At the age of 65 and with a combined 350,000 followers on social media (Instagram/Facebook), Rossi continues to promote her vision of health and natural beauty. Originally from Corsica, she now lives in Malibu, California. 

3 words to describe Nature?

 Primordial. Beauty. Powerful. 

3 things Nature taught you?

Freedom

Wisdom

Inner Power

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Water

Deserts

Skies

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Timeless, whole, Infinite

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

 Mesmerized, Green hypnotizes me

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Powerful, Ancient, connected to the Origins

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Part of the Universe, dissolving

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Alive, vibrant, warrior

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Wild, Free… The wind speaks to me secrets

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Desert by the Ocean :)

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Corsica, no running water, no electricity until I was 10 on the beach where I lived raised by my grandparents totally immersed in Nature. Washing our bodies and laundry at the river, collecting drinking water coming from a rock under the giant wild fig tree…Vision of my grandmother carrying our precious water in a clay pot on her head … running with my little legs on the desert beach without tourists at that time, all for me ... playing with crabs in the rocs; turtles, lizards, and snakes were my pets … Fishing, gardening, hunting with my grandfather, cooking with my grandmother, knitting by the fireplace with story telling…Nature provided everything we needed, it has been my best teacher… Nature is raw, beauty, and wisdom. It fed me and imprinted my soul for a lifetime, molded me into who I am today.

 


Michelle Welsch

Michelle Welsch has advised Fortune 500 brands, produced large-scale events, and has raised over $700,000USD for various social causes. Her experiences in government, private, academic, and public sectors have provided her unique insight to help businesses and entrepreneurs refine communications and strategy.

After founding Project Exponential, an invite-only dinner series, she helped bring solar to a monastery in Nepal. Her experiences teaching English to Buddhist monks led to the establishment of Khata: Life, a nonprofit encouraging education and leadership. Her attention is now focused on the Learning House, a community center she built from the ground up to foster creativity and learning.

Michelle earned her masters from Columbia University in New York City and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado. She considers Seth Godin one of her greatest teachers.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Wild. Inspiring. Free

3 things Nature taught you? 

To pause

To be grateful

To listen

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Wonderland Lake in Boulder, Colorado -- so many memories here.

Phewa Tal (Fewa Lake) in Pokhara, Nepal -- a place I visit to ground myself and find perspective.

Central Park in New York City -- the perfect spot to unwind and remember what is important in life.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

Insignificant, in awe, and thoughtful

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Curious and filled with wonder

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

Energized yet apprehensive

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Thankful and at peace

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

A bit of grumbling can be relaxing; louder booms unsettling!

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

Depends where I am, but howling wind tends to make me anxious.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Mountain-Forest combo

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Growing up in Colorado, nature was always important to me. We didn't have a lot of money, but my mom made sure we took advantage of our "backyard playground." From fishing to hiking, picnics in fields, or drives up into Estes Park, I was fortunate to learn early on that nature isn't something to fear but something to respect and embrace. I could spend hours in the grass watching clouds pass. No matter where I have lived --- New York City, Nepal --- nature has been my grounding point, the place I return when I need clarity or inspiration.