Director of Sports Club and Spa Bella Vita
Jennifer DiFrancesco
Jennifer brings more than twenty years of experience to the spa industry. Licensed in Massage Therapy, Esthetics, and a certified Pilates instructor, Jennifer has spent her career perfecting the art of spa at top resorts in California. Jennifer was a post graduate trainer for the International Dermal Institute and a spa trainer for Kerstin Florian Skin Care. In 2005, she became a member of ISPA's Education Committee and was a speaker on behalf of the organization in 2006, where she created presentations on spa management, resource partner relations and spa retail. Since then, Jennifer has worked as the Director of Spa Operations for The Well, at the Miramonte Resort. There she played an integral role in the opening of the spa and helped receive numerous awards such as "#1 Resort Spa in North America" by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine. Jennifer enjoys remaining active in promoting health and wellness in the desert community writing a regular health column for Desert Health newsletter.
Director of Tennis and Pickleball
Nigel O'Rourke
Nigel joined Toscana in 2014 from the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Prior to his tenure at The Olympic Club, he was Director of Tennis at the David Lloyd Clubs in London, England, Sugarbush in Vermont, and Wood Valley Racquet Club in Kansas. Born in London and raised in Toronto, Nigel attended Wichita State University on an athletic scholarship where he studied Business Management. Nigel played on the ATP Tour in the early 80s and was a member of the Canadian Davis Cup squad in ‘81-82. He also served on the USTA 10&U and Adult League Committees and was a member of the USTA NorCal Coaches Commission. Nigel has more than 30 years of experience in the tennis and leisure industry. He is certified by the USPTA and USPTR as an Elite Professional and is a USA High Performance Coach. Nigel still competes regularly, and has represented Canada at the World Team Championships. Away from the tennis court, Nigel is an avid sportsman and enjoys cycling, skiing, swimming, and fitness training.
Spa Supervisor
Susie Siebert
Susie is a Palm Desert native and a Licensed Massage Therapist with over 1000 hours. She studied massage at Mueller College of Holistic Studies and Desert Resort School of Somatherapy. She is certified in several massage techniques including Sports, Therapeutic, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Aromatherapy, Swedish, Prenatal, Bamboo, and Thai. Susie also performs all the body treatments that are offered at Spa Bella Vita. Susie worked for the JW Marriott for sixteen years and performed massages and body treatments, trained spa therapist, supervised the massage departments and managed the spa. She has assisted in opening several luxury spas across the United States. She enjoys spending her free time traveling with her husband Rudi, photography, golf, swimming, boating and enjoying the outdoors. She is looking forward to providing a wonderful massage experience to Toscana Members.
Spa Concierge
Bonnie Pollom
Prior to moving to Palm Desert Bonnie lived in Orchard Park, New York. While living in Orchard Park she worked as an Administrative Assistant in Player Personnel for the Buffalo Bills Football team. She is married to her husband Norm and has two sons. When not working, Bonnie enjoys reading, sports and traveling.
Spa Concierge / Mark-up Artist
Denise Jara
Denise was born and raised in Torrance California and has been in the Coachella Valley since 2004. In 2011 she attained a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Business Administration-Marketing from California State University of San Bernardino which assisted her in creating several marketing plans for small businesses and an e-commerce website. Aside from Toscana, Denise enjoys learning about the most current trends of the make-up industry for her profession, and anything that involves arts, creativity, music, and family.
Spa Concierge
Leticia Varela-Escamilla
Palm Springs has been Leticia’s home since September 7, 1963. Leticia loves the desert so much that once she met and married her husband at California State University, Northridge, she returned to the desert to reside. Now married for over 30 years Leticia has two daughters. Leticia’s hobbies include walking her dog and astrology.
Spa Concierge
Darlene Espinoza
Darlene was born and raised in the Coachella Valley and is from a family of six. Her future goal is to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. She has been at Toscana since 2011 and is eager to assist all Members and Guests during their visit to Spa Bella Vita.
Massage Therapist
Joann Cazares
Joann has been with Spa Bella Vita since opening day. She is an excellent therapist who is capable of adjusting her touch according to her clients needs, whether it is soothing and relaxing or firm and penetrating. Joann is certified in several modalities including Deep Tissue, Reflexology, Sports, and Thai just to name a few. Her goal is to make every client feel as if they are her only client and wants to make sure that every member leaves having an extraordinary experience. Joann looks forward to assisting Toscana Members on their path to wellness and ensuring that they live well.
Massage Therapist
Ron Dean
Ron has lived in the Coachella Valley for 30 years. He specializes in deep tissue and sports therapy massage. Ron received his certification as a massage therapist from Desert Resorts School of Somatherapy. He has accumulated 20 years of experience in massage therapy working at many of the local hotels, resort spas and country clubs.
Massage Therapist
Verdi Scott
Because of Verdi's love of playing sports growing up, massage was always a part of her life. She began her career in massage therapy 16 years ago here in the Coachella Valley. Before joining the Toscana team, Verdi worked for Big Horn Country Club as well as La Quinta Resort. Along with the joy of healthy living, Verdi brings with her a working knowledge of massage and a dedication to her field. She is looking forward to another exciting season at Spa Bella Vita.
Massage Therapist
Melody Bauer
Melody was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She most recently lived in Colorado, and now resides in the desert. Melody considers touch to be the most effective form of communication and revels in the connection that comes as a result of the healing power of touch from each session. In Melody’s spare time she loves keeping active with pursuits such as hiking, skiing and swimming.
Massage Therapist
Kim Ryan
Kim has lived in the desert for 20 years. For 14 years Kim has been performing massage. Kim has raised one son and now prides herself in being a new grandmother. Kim loves to spend time with her Norwich Terriers and rides motorcycles with her boyfriend in her spare time.
Massage Therapist / Esthetician
Kim Hetherington
Kim has resided 15 years in the Valley working as an Esthetician and Certified Massage Therapist. She was raised in Kansas City, MO and Studied Holistic Health, Bodywork and Skincare in Bogota, Colombia. She has many hobbies such as art, music, film, baking, cooking, crafting, enology & viticulture, reading, swimming, travel and volunteering.
Massage Therapist
Mirsada Tabakovic
Mirsada was born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mirsada has lived in the desert for 16 years and has been employed as a massage therapists for 10 years. With 700 hours in her profession she finds giving massage almost as relaxing as receiving massage. When Mirsada is not performing massage she is spending time with her 3 children and 4 grandchildren who she is very close to.
Massage Therapist
Martha Vejar
Martha is a therapist respected by athletes and personal trainers for her ability to help them attain maximum flexibility and performance. Martha specializes in Sports Massage. The California-certified massage therapist earned her Holistic Health Practitioner degree from Kaplan College in San Diego. Martha brings a wealth of experience and clinical training to each client’s physical challenges, patiently listening and working with them to overcome discomfort and find relief. In addition to Sports Massage, Martha also specializes in Swedish, Deep Tissue and Reflexology techniques. Martha, her husband, two teenage boys and dog Jack embrace the joys of desert living year-round.
Massage Therapist
Kay Rossow
Kay graduated from the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts in Santa Fe New Mexico in 2004 with a 1,000 hour Holistic Healing Certificate. She continues to learn better and varied ways to positively impact clients and believes in having many tools in the tool box to provide massages. During the summers Kay lives in Southwest Montana and provides massage at Ruby Springs Fly Fishing Lodge. Kay’s career has allowed her to travel and work the winter seasons in St. Thomas, Hawaii and Big Sky MT. This is kay’s second winter season here in the Palm Springs area.
Massage Therapist
Michele Langley
Michele's love for massage began over 10 years ago when she was an adult caregiver and learned the fabulous health benefits to be gained by massaging patient's feet and legs. It was results from that, which encouraged her to get professional training. Michele received her education from Inland Massage Institute in Spokane Washington. She is certified in several modalities including, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Reflexology, Prenatal, Thai, Hot Stone and also in various body scrubs and body wraps. Michele enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and adventure. She looks forward to meeting Toscana Members and sharing her passion for massage.
Massage Therapist
Kathleen Downing
Kathleen has been a massage therapist for over 23 years totaling more than 1000 hours of massage and practical classes. She is certified in several modalities including, Bamboo Fusion, Reflexology, Deep Tissue, Thai, Swedish, Sports, Accupressure and Aroma Therapy. Kathleen has lived in the Coachella Valley for 44 years and is a well respected member in her field. Of all her accomplishments she is most proud of her 3 children and 9 grandchildren.
Massage Therapist
Natalie Oakley
Natalie was born and raised in England and has been livng in the Desert for 18 years. She was a Montessori School Teacher in England and this was the stepping stone for how Natalie came to the desert. After a carreer as a teacher, while looking for a change of pace, Natalie went into Massage Therapy and this has been the best decision. This has been a 12 year carreer thus far. Natalie enjoys Hiking, Working out, and Swimming. She has two beautiful children that keep her very busy.
Massage Therapist
Stephanie Trejo
Stephanie has been a massage therapist for over 6 years. She has been in the desert for only as of recent as she moved in 2016 from Oceanside California. Stephanie has been a massage therapist for over 6yrs after graduating from Kaplan school of massage Therapy in 2009. She completed the Holistic Health Practitioner program which covered techniques including Swedish, deep tissue, sports, prenatal, trigger point & lymphatic drainage.
Felicia Cudiamat
Felicia was born and raised in Manila Philippines. She was a second year college student when she and her family moved to San Francisco in 1977. Felicia received her B.A. in Clothing and Textile from San Francisco State University. After getting facials for so many years, she decided to go back to school taking several advanced classes to obtain her license in esthetics. Felicia has 15 years of experience and loves educating others about skin care. She is proficient in Microdemabrasion, peels, and European facials. Felicia has worked for the La Quinta Resort Spa as their lead esthetician, including managing and training esthetician staff. In 2007 she moved back to San Francisco to be close to family and is now back in the desert and ready to bring her facial magic to Toscana Members.
Esthetician / Nail Technician
Ioana Varsille
Born in Romania,Ioana moved to Toronto Ontario,Canada with her family when she was a young girl. Always interested in the beauty industry, Ioana enrolled at George Brown College in Toronto, where she became certified in Esthetic's. She has worked for various spas and salons in Canada and the United States for the past 11 years. Ioana received her California Cosmetology license and in 2009 she moved to the Coachella Valley. She specializes in Shellac and natural nails. Ioana is looking forward to bringing her skills to Spa Bella Vita and meeting Toscana Members.
La Toya Tunnicliff
LaToya graduated from the Coachella Valley Beauty College with an emphases in Esthetic training. She moved back to the desert recently from Maui Hawaii. Aside from working in skincare LaToya has a love for gardening, hiking, and wakeboarding. Aside from these passions her favorite sport is Outrigger canoe racing. LaToya raced with the Hana Canoe Club for 4 years.
Esthetician / Nail Technician
Josie Navarette
Josie was born in Santa Ana Ca. where she graduated from High School in 1988 from Valley High School. She moved to Menifee Ca. with her family and attended Paul Mitchel Beauty School in Temecula Ca. From there Josie went to work in Temecula as an Esthetician and Nail Technician. Golden Door Spa was one of the top locations Josie was employed where she met many guests from across the world. Josie’s hobby is hiking with her husband during free time.
Nail Technician / Massage Therapist
Beatriz Mercado
Beatriz is the mother of two beautiful boys 22 and 9 years old. She have lived in the Desert for 28 years and is originally from Mexico. She has 23 years of cosmetology, massage therapy, and nail artist experience. Beatriz truly has a passion for what she does and is always very happy to deliver the very best. She is delighted to return to Toscana and deliver her passion, her heart and her soul to each and every Member.
Nail Technician
Sally Tantri
Sally was born in Bangkok Thailand and has been in the desert for 10 years. Sally has a passion for nail beauty and enjoys working to make people feel happy. A passion of Sally’s is stepping away in the winter for a little snowboarding. Sally is new to the spa in the 2016 season and her gift is to provide well- manicured nails to all Members.
Hair Stylist
Rachel Urias
As a lifelong resident of the Coachella Valley, Rachel has always been a driven individual. She studied beauty while in high school. Shortly after receiving her license in cosmetology, Rachel enrolled and completed her training in massage therapy. Rachel has since advanced in her career focusing on hair, studying advance coloring and cutting techniques. Rachel manages to balance a growing career as well as a growing family. She enjoys watching classic movies and listening to classic music. Rachel has always appreciated the beauty of art in all of its forms. Rachel is excited to be a part of the Spa Bella Vita team and to meet Toscana Members while giving them great hair styles.
Hair Stylist
James Kennedy
James has been serving the desert area for over 20 years as a stylist. He is passionate about helping his clients look their best. He specializes in color techniques and precision cuts. James is inspired by art and fashion. He has worked side by side with top designers such as Carolina Herrera and Oscar De La Renta throughout his career. Jennifer Di Francesco has been James client for 4 years.
Hair Stylist
Lily Pacheco
Lily specializes in Precision cutting and her artistic vision has impeccable attention to detail. She enjoys working with clients to arrive at a style to meet individualized needs. A master of her craft, Lily keeps up with the latest techniques and hair trends that appear on the fashion scene. She is constantly working on her own innovative techniques always pushing the boundaries of her hair styles.
Spa Butler
Alicia Sanroman
Alicia has resided in the Coachella Valley for the past 26 years. She has been married for 26 years and has three wonderful children. Alicia has been a Spa Butler at Toscana since 2009 and enjoys assisting Members and Guests during their visit to the Sports Club and Spa Bella Vita. When not working Alicia enjoys the outdoors including gardening and walking.
Spa Butler
Monica Camacho
Monica Camacho is focusing on school and is currently striving for a business administration degree with a concentration in accounting. She is attending school locally at CSUSB. As a Coachella Valley native she went to high school in 2013 and enrolled thereafter at CSUSB Palm Desert Campus. Monica was part of the First Freshman class at the Palm Desert campus. One of Monica’s favorite hobbies is hiking and being outdoors. Monica has visited the state of Oregon for two consecutive years and has hiked the tallest waterfall In Oregon; the Multnomah in the Colombia River Gorge.
Sports Club Concierge
Karen Rohrbaugh
Karen is originally from New Jersey but has resided in the desert for almost 13 years. She has been married for 26 years and has three children. Karen has been part of The Toscana Sports Club Team since the opening in 2008. Working at Toscana has given Karen the opportunity to work with incredible people and serve the greatest Members and guests of Toscana Country Club. Karen enjoys a healthy life style; exercise is an important part of her life. She looks forward to another spectacular season at Toscana Country Club and welcoming back our Members and guests.
Sports Club Concierge
Phil Williams
Originally from the North Shore area of Chicago, Phil moved to the Coachella Valley after retiring from a career in corporate field sales with a major international Plastics and Chemical company. He has been fortunate enough to have played on some of the finest tennis facilities in the United States. Phil has been with Toscana since the opening of the Sports Club in 2008 and looks forward to another great season serving Members and Guests at the Toscana Sports Club.
Sports Club Concierge
Cammie Link
Cammie was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. Her background encompasses 16 years in retail business, 13 of which were spent working for Nordstrom's as a manager in the women's designer wear department. It was there that she learned the importance of great customer service and the high standards associated with such a quality oriented business. In 1989, she moved with her husband to the Coachella Valley and the following year were blessed with the birth of their son. She loves living in the desert and enjoys giving back to the community. She volunteered for 18 years as a religious educator at St. Theresa Church Palm Springs. Cammie has been with Toscana since 2009.
Personal Trainer
Glenn Stark
Glenn is a resident of Harbor Springs Michigan. He spends half of his year there, where he is fully booked as a personal trainer. His off season in Michigan is Toscana’s busy season, so Glenn moves from snow to sun and offers 13 years of expertise in training to Toscana. Glenn is accredited in TRX, Stott Pilates (which he integrated into his trainings) and is NFPT certified in training. In Michigan Glenn writes regular fitness columns for the Harbor Light Newspaper’s section “Ask the Trainer” which is a popular piece with locals. Glenn has worked as a fitness director and has opened studios from conception to creation. On a personal note, Glenn is an avid cyclist and loves adventure sports such as snowboarding, kayaking and anything having to do with the great outdoors.
Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor
Wendy Drabble Cole
Wendy is originally from Calgary, Alberta Canada. She has been in the Coachella Valley for 3 years. Wendy’s schooling and certification is wide range and has allowed for many mentorships with the industries top leaders in fitness. When free time presents itself Wendy is still focused on studying movement and sport specific movements. In addition she is very fond of vegan cooking. She cannot wait to meet her Toscana fitness boot campers.
Personal Trainer
Nicholas Rupp
Nicholas is originally from Pennsylvania and moved to California when he was in the Navy. After residing in the Coachella Valley and holding many positions in sales, and fitness management, Nicholas took a turn and became fascinated with the human body and anatomy while he was in a pre-medical carreer path. Nicholas shifted over to more of the movement based studies and took many classes related to the fascia of the body (our connective tissue and its role in mobility.) The certifications continued to grow with study in fascial stretch therapy, TRX, RIP training, and Sports Medicine certifications. Nicholas is a NESTA certified personal trainer and in his spare time he still likes studying anatomy books.
Personal Trainer
Alex Carrera
Alex grew up in the Coachella Valley, and after working in fitness facilities decided in 2009 to study and certify to become a personal trainer. She holds certification with NASM and also posses the NASM corrective exercise certificate. Alex has been at the Palm Desert Orange Theory studio since opening. She has enjoyed incorporating her training background to accommodate towards motivating larger groups through high intensity interval exercise. Her next goal is to complete a certification as a woman’s weight loss specialist through NASM. Alex loves competing. In her spare time she signs up for 5K runs, tough mudders, Spartan races and body building competitions.
Personal Trainer
Melissa Glazier
Melissa moved to the desert in 2016 from Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada. Melissa is a certified AFAA trainer and has additional certifications in fitness instruction through Can Fit Pro. During her time in the desert she has been training at Orange Theory and loves the aspect of motivational fitness. Recently Melissa became a Lululemon ambassador where she has been acknowledged in the community for being a mentor and motivator to others. The foundation was set when Melissa owned her very own fitness consulting business in Canada. She has been extremely grateful to pursue this passion of residing in the Coachella Valley.
Pilates Instructor / Facial Stretch
Barbara Weintroub
Barbara Wintraub aside from being a fitness specialist is an “active aging expert.” She has a degree in kinesiology, a California teaching credential and is a certified medical exercise specialist. She is first tier certified as a Pilates Master teacher with a Pilates Method Alliance certification from 2002. Barbara is an Ironman Triathlete and has completed 60 marathons as well as some ultra-marathons and road races. She is a 5.0 Pickleball player and a medal winner in the Senior Pickleball games. She is one of the first 40 women worldwide to have run a marathon on all 7 continents.
Pilates Instructor
Nora Minasian
Nora attended BASI (Body Arts and Science International) Pilate’s school for her certification. Nora’s current aspiration is to continue learning and becoming educated on therapeutic aspects of Pilates such as Scoliosis, joint replacements and back pain. Her hobbies include hiking, cooking, writing and crocheting
Fitness Instructor
Yuki Kataoka
Yuki was born in Japan and raised in San Diego, California. After graduating from UCLA, Yuki has worked in Los Angeles, Japan and in the Coachella Valley in various endeavors. Fitness has always been a passion for Yuki and after an few years it has become her profession. She is a certified Personal Trainer and is CPR and AED certified by the American Heart Association. Her specialized group exercise certifications include Indoor Cycling, Body Combat and Body Pump. She is an accomplished runner and triathlete. Yuki lives in La Quinta with her husband, Todd and 2 children, Riki and Sara.
Fitness Instructor
Nacho Garcia
Nacho is a native of Palm Springs. He grew up playing school sports including wrestling, football, soccer, baseball and tennis. Early on, he found motivation to stay strong and healthy. Nacho was driven to create personal workouts that made a lasting change and continues to do so today. In 2005, Nacho was introduced to kettlebell training. He continues to train with kettlebells and loves how they challenge the body in so many ways. He is a big fan of this style of training because of the unparalleled benefits. Nacho looks forward to meeting many Toscana Members and introducing them to kettlebell training.
Fitness Instructor
Benz Martin
Benz has been teaching Zumba all over the Coachella Valley for more than 8 years. She was one of 25 Zumba instructors from Southern California who appeared on “The Biggest Loser” reality show. Her certifications are vast, from Zumba, Zumba toning, Zumba Gold, and Zumba One & Basic Two. Benz is a member of ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network), since 2007 which has enabled her to stay current in song choices, steps, and allows her to stay knowledgeable about everything Zumba. When spare time presents itself Benz enjoys traveling and cooking specialty Thai food.
Hatha Yoga / Stretch Instructor
Susan Alexander
Susan is a E- 500hrRYT Registered Yoga Alliance teacher who has been a dedicated yoga and mindfulness teacher for the last 15 years and a practitioner for over 30 years. Her strength as a teacher derives from a commitment to daily practice, focusing on building compassion and kind awareness in the body, mind and spirit and applying yoga as therapy for all conditions. Susan has always been involved in activity; most notably as a 2 year Member of Canada’s national Rowing team. Susan expanded her education by completing a Masters Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies in 2015 and is now a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with children and families in the Palm Springs School District.
Yoga / Fitness Instructor
Stephen Kaleda
Stephen has been in the desert since 2001. He was born and raised on Long Island in New York State. He has over 800 hours in teaching certifications; leads workshops in California and Florida, participates in yoga teacher trainings and is embarking on leading yoga retreats outside of the desert. Personal interests include; reading, biking, hiking, drawing, and travel.
Hiking Guide
Carol Menefee
With over 35 years of experience, Carol’s love of hiking began in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Lake Tahoe National Forest, Yosemite and the eastern side of the Sierras. After moving to the Palm Springs /Coachella Valley over 25 years ago, her love continued for the surrounding desert and mountains. From Mt. San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, Joshua Tree National Park, to the lows of Mecca’s Ladder Canyon, as well as the Salton Sea, Carol has become a self-taught geologist and continues to be fascinated by the valley’s geography. Among her mountaineering accomplishments, Carol has climbed Mt. Whitney at 14,484 ft. five times and has led numerous groups into the Grand Canyon. She looks forward to guiding Toscana Members on hikes that explore the local Indian tribe’s history and the beautiful flora and fauna our valley holds. Come out and see what there is to enjoy!
Saul Nunez
Saul is a native of Palm Desert for over 40 years, married for 24 years and has two children. Outdoor activity is an important part of Saul's life, where health and fitness blend well with the Desert lifestyle. Saul enjoys traveling, International films, anytime spent with family, and high energy sports, especially cycling. He has been an important component of a competitive cycling team for the last 5 years, but also enjoys long, endurance rides that span over 100+ miles on a daily ride. Saul was part of the group that launched the first Cycling Club at Toscana and is thrilled to be riding with Team Toscana again this season.