Fiona grew up in New York City with her four siblings and her world-traveling parents. Her father was a British Army officer who was part of the forces sent to liberate Italy, which is where he met and married her Italian mother. Fiona was inspired by her mother’s love of the classics, and the trips her parents took her on to archaeological sites in northern Italy. Fiona was particularly drawn to Roman, Etruscan, and Bronze Age archaeology, and received a degree in classical archaeology from Brown University.

Fiona Lally

Fiona Lally

While she was at Brown, Fiona took an American Material Culture class that visited old mill buildings in the Providence, Rhode Island area. She fell in love. “I knew that one day I would have a mill. So I said to Joe when we got married, ‘You will have a wonderful married life, but you’ll need to live in a mill.’” They found their mill in New Lebanon in 2001. After a period of traveling between New York City and New Lebanon, they moved themselves and their four children to the mill in 2006.

“I assumed that this was something we would do in retirement,” Fiona said. “But we found the place and bought it and then looked up and said, ‘Where are we?’ We had all these little children and had to have an actual real life here, and run modern businesses from these old buildings.” Fiona founded and runs Rasenna Consulting, a 25 year-old company that deals with risk management and travel insurance.

Fiona loves her active life in a small town. “To be able to get off a conference call and hop out and water the plants and wave hello to the neighbor who’s crossing the yard, and have children milling around making a scene—I have a life that’s much more fully integrated than it ever could have been before.”