Our Staff

These are the dedicated individuals who work together to make Xperitas programs possible.

Please visit our Careers and Internships page to learn about opportunities to join us.

Meet The Team
Amy Litman
Director of Advancement, Marketing & Communications



Amy comes to Xperitas with more than 14 years of experience in community and donor relations and a passion for making the world a better place. She is excited about working with under-resourced students and schools to ensure that Xperitas’ cultural and language immersion experiences are accessible to all.

Angela Shevchuk
Customer Experience & Systems Integration Manager



Degreed in International Communications and Human Resources, Angel has spent her life working for many large organizations within the Twin Cities in various customer-facing and software development roles. Her hobbies include working on classic cars, snowmobiling and many other outdoor activities. She is also active in many volunteer organizations in the community.

Ashley Utz
Customer Care Specialist



Ashley earned her Bachelors degree in Spanish and Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and studied abroad in Vallodolid, Spain. She has worked with the Spanish-speaking community for five years and is able to speak Spanish fluently. She has a passion for travel and giving back to the community. Through Rotary International she has been able to combine both passions, including a service trip to Guatemala in 2016. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys reading and spending time with her friends and family.

Brooke Marchewka
Associate Director, Community Partnership Programs



Brooke studied International Affairs at The George Washington University while working in the Office of Innovation at Peace Corps headquarters. From 2016 to 2018, she served in the Peace Corps as a Community Economic Development volunteer in Paraguay. In her small town, Brooke taught computers, professional development, and entrepreneurship to students of all ages. Among the many things she brought home from Paraguay were fluency in Spanish and a beloved street cat named Birdy.

Casey DW Jones
Marketing & Communications Manager



Casey graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in English Literature, and then began traveling and working in the tourism industry. He recently earned his Masters in Creative Writing from Hamline University. He writes short fiction in his spare time and also enjoys reading, pop culture, video games and exploring the world with his family.

Courtney Faragher
Accounting Manager



Courtney has a passion for international travel and learning about world cultures and is pleased to work for an organization that provides these opportunities for others. After spending time in France while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree, she understands the immeasurable value of being in the foreign country while learning the language.

Debby Bluem
Air Manager



Debby has worked in the travel industry for over 35 years. While growing up, her family hosted an exchange student from Israel and she has replicated this experience for her children by hosting a student from France. In her free time, Debby likes to travel and hike in the mountains.

Emilia Kaczynski
Community Partnership Program Manager



After graduating from the University of Chicago with degrees in Anthropology and French literature, Emilia moved to France and taught English for three years in Lyon and Saint Étienne. Emilia speaks French and Polish and is finally tackling Spanish! She enjoys reading, hiking and learning new languages.

Emma Rojas
Program Manager, Spanish



Emma was born in St. Paul and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Family Social Science and Spanish. She spent five years in Costa Rica teaching English and serving as an Admissions Counselor. Emma speaks Spanish fluently, loves taking pictures and enjoys road trips!

Jenny Behrens
Program Manager, Spanish



After graduating from the University of La Crosse Wisconsin with a degree in Spanish and Geography, Jenny spent one year volunteering in Ecuador. She spent eight years in Spain where she taught English and opened her own English Academy. Jenny speaks Spanish fluently and loves travelling, spending time with friends and being active.

Jenny Timm
Program Manager, Asia



Jenny graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Global Studies and can speak Mandarin Chinese, Chaozhou (a dialect of Chinese), Vietnamese and English. She is passionate about engaging people to learn world cultures and become global citizens. Jenny enjoys traveling, eating seafood and camping.

Leslie Gale
Executive Director



Leslie has 25+ years of experience in the global education space as a language teacher, curriculum designer and in K-12 school operations. She first experienced the life-changing impact of cultural exchange as a college student on a 10-week homestay program in Morelia, Mexico. Leslie sees Xperitas’ mission as an extension of her own passion for bridging the divisions between people through the development of cultural competency and understanding.

Katharina McCawley
Program Manager, German



Katharina is a German native, who moved to the United States full-time in 2016. She graduated from the University of Kassel, Germany with a degree in business economics and romance linguistics. Her professional background is primarily in the marketing space, particularly digital and destination marketing. Her language skills include German, English, Spanish and French. She has lived abroad in the United States, Spain and Mexico and loves to gain firsthand intercultural experiences in the world.

Susan Raynaud
Director of Programs



After a total of 22 years in France, Mexico and Spain, Susan returned to her native Midwest with her French husband and two trilingual children in 2012. She speaks French and Spanish fluently and understands firsthand the joys and challenges of linguistic and cultural immersion, as well as how enriching it is for children and adults to be multilingual and multicultural.

Virginie Donzo
Program Manager, French



A French teacher for 10 years, Virginie earned her Masters in English Literature. Fluent in both languages, she taught at universities in the U.S., France, Japan, and the U.K. She is happy to work for Xperitas, which will allow her to combine her passion for travel, the French language and education.