Born in Luino Italy, a small town on Como lake, Paola immigrated to Chicago at the age of 7 with her parents, two sisters and brother.
Placed in public school for the last 4 months of the schoolyear, she was held back because she didn’t know English. Later her mother went to work at the Catholic rectory to clean and sometimes help cook in exchange for the children’s tuitions.

NUNS have been known to come from heaven or hell… well in first grade God delivered a nun from heaven who tutored her in English. In second grade Mother Superior thought Paola was a bit slow and many times would lose her patience, but once she understood diagrams of a sentence she took off and became a straight A student in English. Mother Superior loved her as she exemplified Mother Superior’s success. It was apple pie at the convent on many Saturdays!

At age 17 – Paola worked for United Life Insurance company downtown Chicago. Because of her math aptitude, she was placed in the mortuary settlements department. A job well done and was recognized by her manager who encouraged her to do greater things.

AGE 19 – Worked for a prestigious recruiting agency in Chicago. Within 2 months she was the top producer and maintained that position for 2 years.

Age 21 – She went on to work for Zenith Life Insurance where she restructured and reduced production time and cost for the company, earning many bonus compensations. Within 8 months she was promoted to department supervisor as the youngest employee attaining that position in the company.

Paola married, had two children, and moved to Arizona. She then started a drapery company which evolved into a high-end design firm, providing flooring and complete interior design services to custom builders and their homeowners. It became the largest design firm in Scottsdale, employing 42 people.

The Builders Design Center on Hayden Road recruited her to do their marketing when she was 44. For almost 2 years the concept had been marketed by two top commercial firms in the state with no success. She was brought in at the beginning of January and given a deadline of 3 months to save the building from foreclosure. By March 28th she had succeeded to attract home interior product businesses resulting in 68% lease of the building, averting foreclosure. From there Paola went into commercial realty for a Phoenix firm and that is where her cookie journey began!

A Price Club call was the beginning of her new venture into the cookie business. But within a few months she lost the account as their merger with Costco required a high production facility, so they sourced a larger company to accommodate their volume purchase. Paola didn’t give up but continued for the next 12 years to upgrade her facility and equipment, yet attracting accounts such as Godiva, Barnes and Noble and other fine coffee and good groups. After Paola’s sixth and final operational move, she had positioned the company for high production. ‘La Dolce Vita’ now enjoyed “sweet success”, having acquired accounts such as Costco, Starbucks and other highly esteemed food supply chains.

These past learned skills in the creative, financial, sales, management, production, and leadership have provided Paola the opportunity and desire to be educated on what was required to succeed. She has learned to never give up and to conquer the challenges of life and business.

Paola’s life has had many amazing chapters, leading her to this epic challenge here with YOU. 

Maiden Name

Origin - ZEN

Zen is one of those names that appears again and again in Venetian history, as many politicians, admirals, even Doges etc came from that Familly, the modern Italian form of the name is Zeno, in Venetian dialect Zen

Like this guy :

Renier Zen the 45th Doge of Venice Li, reigning from January 1, 1253, until his death in 1268  (Wikipedia)