About Us

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Donna Vella

Wanderer – Adventurer – Clown – Yogi – Not Shy – A Little Crazy


Donna has been involved in health and wellness for more than 20 years. She is a speaker, coach and workshop facilitator who inspires personal growth at the intersection of positive psychology and nutrition, bringing clear practices and perspectives to community and business audiences alike. 


Donna earned certifications in Positive Psychology and Teaching for Transformation from the Wholebeing Institute.  She received her Holistic Health Coach Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  As a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) practitioner and Chair Yoga/Yoga Dance for Seniors and Special Populations Instructor, she is highly qualified to guide others toward happier, more fulfilled lives.


She is a recovering perfectionist and passionate about sharing new ways of becoming our authentic selves.  She is the founder of the Stamford, CT Positive Living Forum


Favorite Sayings


  • -“Nourish To Flourish”
  • -“Use It Or Loss It”
  • “Cultivate An Attitude of Gratitude – Your Happiness Depends On It”

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Mike Samsen

Wanderer – Adventurer – Brainiac – A Little Shy – A Lot Crazy


Mike spent 35 years working with Fortune 500 CEOs and CIOs to align corporate IT strategies with business strategies.  He frequently describes his career as corporate marriage counseling.  When not riding, he spends his active time climbing (mountains, ice, and rock) and scuba diving.  Mike’s favorite hiking and activity partners are his wife Donna, son Chris, and daughter Katie and their adventurous spouses.


Most notable adventures include a 22,000-mile solo roundtrip ride to Deadhorse, AK to raise funds for suicide awareness and prevention (Into The Light Ride) and a solo trip on the Trans America Trail (unpaved roads) across the country (Tattered State of Mind).


Mike’s indoor adventures include reading every manual he can get his hands on, meditation, yoga, weight training/cardio and any baking activity that involves his pet sourdough starter, Igor. 


Favorite Sayings


  • "You don't stop playing because you get old; you get old because you stop playing"
  • "More afraid of not living than of dying"
  • "Want to make God smile?  Tell him your plans"