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Who We Are | Meet The HOTS Team

Mission Statement

Heart Of The Storm is a teen sailing program committed to fostering positive, enduring, and real connections between people and communities.  HOTS achieves this objective by providing sail voyaging-based experiential learning opportunities both at sea and on shore that lead to embracing, acting upon, and coming together through, a mutually shared genuine caring for our teenagers.

Christina Montano (van Duijn) is a Healing Arts Therapist with a masters degree in Holistic Living.  She has 30 years experience in the field of therapeutic bodywork and healing, and a private practice in Blue Hill, Maine. She is the author of the children’s book; The Yellow Coat.  She is a life coach, soup maven, online influencer and a catalyst for positive birth experiences helping to empower women, men, and families during the birthing process. 

She developed an interest in natural approaches to health care in the 1980’s during her senior year at Southhampton College where she was inspired by her Sociology professor who was a forward thinker, a meditative soul, as well as an organic farmer.  Prior to that, she spent a semester sailing down the east coast into the Bahamas and to Haiti on the Appledore, a 65-foot schooner, with 15 other students, in the SEAmester program.

She later studied art and philosophy with Master Mike R. Skop who was a student of the sculptor Ivan Mestrovic.  She spent time in India working side by side with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. After that, she returned to the U.S., studied yoga, and various forms of bodywork, with many renowned teachers, and earned a teachers training certificate from the Sivananda Ashram Nassau, Bahamas.

Christina received her Masters in Holistic Living from Lesley College Cambridge, MA. She is a graduate of the Ohashi Institute, NYC and the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy. She is a licensed massage therapist in CT, ME and FL.

Nielsen J. van Duijn is a social entrepreneur. He is an artist, inventor, architect, green developer, builder, and a creative visionary. Nielsen holds a coaching certificate in Addiction Recovery and Psycho-Spiritual Integration. He invented the eMoniter, a home energy monitoring system, and is the co-founder of Power House Dynamics.  He created a green development of magnificent architectural designed homes on the coast of Maine.

Nielsen spent his school years traveling extensively through Europe, Ecuador, and the Caribbean Islands. He earned his living in the 1990’s with a design-build business in Westport CT. He later studied Architecture at Yale University. Nielsen is a completely self-made man. He has listened to his heart and allowed it to guide him to all the right places. Nielsen spends most of his waking hours meditating, creating, inventing, studying philosophy, working on various projects (including boats) and doing art work with his children.

Together Nielsen and Christina share their passion for sailing, Art, education, and travel. They have 4 children, a bunch of pets, and live in a house they renovated together. They spend their waking hours in a state of flow… creating new ideas, products and life styles. Heart of the Storm has been their passion for many years and with their combined talents and efforts they are seeing it come alive today.

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