Awakening the Creative Spirit Within – About Us


John and journal

Awakening the Creative Spirit Within


The Art of Seeing

The Understanding and Application of Seeing Through the Eyes of an Artist

in a splendid villa in Tuscany with

John Dispenza


June 2nd – June 9th, 2018


Overview /   Accommodations-Cost   /   Excursions   /   About Us   /   Getting There   /   Register



About Us

John Dispenza… trained as an Illustrator and painter at Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, JOHN_RESUME_New_2015New York, John has worked as an illustrator doing paintings for book covers, magazines, movie posters, packaging, pharmaceuticals and other venues for clients such as, Bantam Books, Harcourt Brace Publishers, RN Magazine, Prevention Magazine, Parke Davis Pharmaceuticals, Lederle Labs, Macy’s, Bloomingdales and many more. His work has been shown in The Society of Illustrators, in NYC, where he won the Warren Rodgers Award of Excellence, Communication Arts Annual, as well as showing his illustrations in the first annual RSVP show in Times Square, NYC. John was also awarded medals from the New Jersey Art Directors Club for excellence in illustration. He has had his paintings and drawings shown in galleries in NYC, New Jersey, Atlanta, GA and California where he was a part of creating the Society of Illustrators in San Diego. John has lectured and taught in art schools sharing the experience he’s gained in being a professional. Currently, John resides in Washington State where he has his studio, continuing his painting, illustration, design work and teaching.


Franco Marini and Kay Latchmansingh

about 1Franco Marini is a professor at the Daniels College of Business and works with the University of Denver on several educational experiential projects. Franco was born in Italy and still considers this splendid country his home. He is the owner and director of The NeuroTransolgy Institute, an organization committed to empowering individuals and organizations through exciting programs, activities and unique group challenges.   He also created and operates Global Journeys Inc., a travel-based company providing personal and professional growth through specialized travel offerings. One of Franco’s strongest attributes is his ability and knowledge of how to empower human development as it impacts the enhancement of individual strengths and results of an organization. One of his primary focal points is working with the attributes and contributions of individuals and empowering each participant to effectively break through bariers to achieve a level of being their very best. Franco is also a certified Yoga instructor in the Sampoorna tradition, a ceremonialist, a wellness coach, a massage therapist, a drum-maker, and a consultant. He will be leading some of the sessions on this retreat. As director and president of Peak Empowerment for the past fifteen years, Franco has a distinguished record of providing quality training to thousands of individuals. Some of the clients he has worked with include: Phillips Petroleum, McREL, BP, Kaiser Permanente,  Novartis, Intermountain Health, Colgate Palmolive, F.M.I., Daniels College of Business, the U.S. Air Force and Army, DeVry University, BNP Paribas, South Pole Expedition Team, Spectrum Health, Rocky Mountain Orthodontists, Castlewood Fire Department, Vital Yoga and others.

Kay LatchmanSingh is the main organizer and logistic expert of this retreat. Kay lived and worked in Florence and has wonderful memories of her experience there. She knows the area very well and has valuable connections throughout this region. Her background in international trade and finance and her attention to details will ensure that this will be a quality experience for all. She is in communication with everyone who is a part of this program and makes sure that all aspects of this endeavor are synchronized. Kay is also in charge of participant wellness and takes care of everyone from the time they register until they are back home. Kay is the co-owner and vice-president of Global Journeys. She provides a wealth of experience in travel and cultural connections. Kay was born and educated in British Guyana, moved to the U.S. and has traveled and worked with people in many European countries, Russia, Egypt, South Africa, British West Indies, and Central America. Her knowledge and connections with various cultures is a wonderful asset as she works with and teaches a variety of people. Her vision of providing service to those in need and doing so in a celebratory way certainly is the foundation of this retreat. She is a Yoga Shiromani (teacher of yoga) in the Sampoorna tradition, and is a student of Sanskrit. She will be leading some of the Yoga sessions on this retreat. Kay’s Hindu practice, knowledge of the Vedic Traditions, experience leading Kirtan, amazing ability to prepare Indian cuisine and Yoga knowledge will be invaluable assets on this retreat.

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