Meet the Au Pair International Family!

Our staff is dedicated to the needs of all participants in the au pair program, from the application process through the end of the term. We offer close, personal support to ensure that everyone involved has a rewarding and educational experience with Au Pair International. Our staff is family-orientated and we are focused on maintaining a comfortable and engaging environment for both au pairs and host families. Our staff is equipped to answer any questions you may have on the program, as many of them have either hosted an exchange participant, or been an exchange participant themselves. Below you have a chance to learn more about our team, and all the ways we can help you find the right fit for you or your family!

Placement Coordinator Team

As placement coordinators, we assist host families in providing information on our agency and the au pair program. We are happy to answer any questions regarding arrival times, available candidates, and the process to complete host family profiles. It is our goal to provide one on one customer service to help your family feel confident in our agency, program and au pairs.

Abbe Marin - Placement Coordinator

Working at Au Pair International has been such a great experience for me. As an Area Director in my local community and also a Placement Coordinator, it is so gratifying to work for a company that genuinely cares for each and every family and program participant.  One example why I love the au pair program is because it provides the security of childcare in your own home with the experience of getting to know other cultures. The program opens another avenue for parents to get the help they need while providing au pairs with the opportunity to travel without the large cost!

Some background about myself is, I believe it is incredibly important to help those in need whether it be through monetary donations or simply giving of my time. I have spent much of my time volunteering for several organizations including the MS Foundation, Red Cross, and many domestic violence shelters.

Life outside the office, I try and spend as much time with my children as possible. We enjoy jamming out to music in the car or at home, longboarding, attending sporting events, fishing and camping.  When I am not enjoying time with my children, then I am going to local concerts, playing softball or hanging out with close friends. I love to travel, talk about my travels, and hope to someday visit Jamaica, Australia, and several countries in Asia.

Jordan Valstad - Placement Coordinator

As a Placement Coordinator, I am dedicated to assisting current and prospective host families in finding the right au pair to welcome home.

Growing up, my grandparents opened their doors to numerous foreign exchange students and children in need through the foster program. Being raised in such a loving and diverse environment, I have come to value different cultures and understand that family extends beyond blood. This is one of many reasons I love working with Au Pair International. Together, we are a team who truly cares and understands the importance of a good placement.

My life goal is to travel as much as possible! Growing up with a mother in the airline industry, I was fortunate to visit many new and exciting places. These experiences have provided the inspiration to continue travelling in my adult life. Currently taking up space on my travel bucket list are Greenland, Spain and Australia!

In my spare time, you will often find me spending time with my 5-year-old son and my little sister. We love to watch funny tick-tock videos, participate in family game night, and cuddle with our two adorable puppies.

Regional Director Team

As your Regional Director, I oversee my region by hiring/training Area Directors, as well as working with Host Families and Au Pairs as they are matched throughout the area. I handle some regulatory requirements and am the best point of contact for Area Directors, host families, and au pairs. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Kristin Lublinsky - Eastern Regional Director/Regional Team Support

Connecticut Maine New Hampshire Pennsylvania Vermont
DC Maryland New Jersey Rhode Island Virginia
Delaware Massachusetts New York

I love working for Au Pair International because I love to meet girls from all different cultures and backgrounds. It is so awesome to be a part of their experience in this program! I find great joy in knowing that I have made a difference in someone else’s life, whether it’s great or small! I have hosted 2 Au pairs who we still keep in touch with. We loved each very different culture and what it bought into our lives and the lives of our children.

I truly enjoy working with our awesome team at Au Pair International! We care for each other which in turn helps us to support each and every family and au pair that we form a relationship with. I strive to provide the best customer service to our clients. It is a very unique experience to welcome a stranger into your home and have them integrate into a member of the family. It is gratifying to see the relationship that develops between a host family and their au pair.

In my personal time, I love keeping busy with my children who are very involved in sports and Boy Scouts. I enjoy giving back to my community through volunteer work especially with the PTA, Boy Scouts, and previously Girl Scouts. I love being outdoors-hiking, biking, and running. I also love to travel and do so any opportunity that I have.

Ilka Gunderson - Central Regional Director

Alabama Illinois Louisiana Missouri Tennessee
Arkansas Indiana Michigan North Carolina West Virginia
Florida  Iowa Minnesota Ohio Wisconsin
Georgia Kentucky Mississippi South Carolina

I am the Central Regional Director for Au Pair International and responsible for families and au pairs as soon as the matching process has been completed. I make sure you are in good hands with your area director and all your questions are being answered.

I have been working as a Regional Director for Au Pair International since June 2015, after having been an Area Director for 2.5 years. I love being part of this great company with its dedicated, competent staff. We are very family oriented which helps me juggle my family life next to my job. Having been an au pair myself, having hosted several au pairs, and having been an Area Director helps me tremendously to relate to some of the problems that can come up during a match. My previous experience gives me first- hand experience that I can use to help you and relate to some of the challenges that can come up during the program.

I was born and raised in Germany where I obtained a law degree which took me to a job in India working for the Indo German Chamber of Commerce. There I met my husband of 10 years who is an American citizen. Since then we spent some time living in the Middle East, before moving back to the United States in 2012. I have two beautiful children, my daughter who is 9 was diagnosed with autism at 2.5 years old and is basically non-verbal. This helps me particularly appreciate the patience and dedication of the au pairs we have had with our family. They have all been awesome with my daughter and my now 7-year-old son who grows up bilingual. I can say for certain that there is never a dull day in our life’s and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Larissa Sexton - Mountain Regional Director

Arizona Kansas Nevada Oklahoma Utah
Colorado Montana New Mexico South Dakota Wyoming
Idaho Nebraska North Dakota Texas  

I arrived in the United States in 2015 as an Au Pair, dreaming about the experience of living in a new country. As it turns out I had two amazing years in the program with a family that I love and remain in close contact with to this day. That’s the kind of experience that I hope to help create for our Au Pairs and host families as a Regional Director. I believe that my experience as an Au Pair helps me see things from a different perspective that provides positive insight for both the Au Pairs as well as the Host Families.

I was born and raised in Brazil and I am fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. I believe being exposed to different cultures is one of the most mind-opening experiences a person can go through. I have visited 10 different countries over the last 8 years, and I can’t wait to make the list longer.

When I am not working, I love spending time in the mountains, biking, hiking with my husband, and spending time with my dog and cat.

I have an AA degree in International Business and used to work with Import/Export in Brazil before traveling to the US for the Au Pair program.

Natasha Seth - Western Regional Director/Regional Team Lead

Alaska California Hawaii Oregon Washington

I love the au pair program because it helps au pairs experience a different country and culture, while also becoming an integral part of their host family's life. Not only do au pairs make a lifetime of memories, but host families and their children form an unwavering bond with them! Working with Au Pair International is such a rewarding experience! We have a wonderful team and we all really love what we do. Every day is a chance to make this program a great experience for all our host families and au pairs. I have had the privilege and pleasure of being a confidant and support to my host families, au pairs and area directors.

When I was 24, I got married to the love of my life and moved to the U.S. from India. Moving to a different country was a life-changing experience and it fueled my passion for traveling and experiencing different cultures and traditions from all over the world. Since then I have visited 35 out of the 50 states in the U.S., and my family and I take International trips every year. We have been lucky to visit and experience some of the most beautiful places in the world like Bali, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mauritius and many more. When I’m not working I love to read (a lot), dance, and spend time with my wonderful husband and our two beautiful children. We also have an amazing dog who keeps us on our toes!

I have a dual MBA in Human Resources and Marketing, and am incredibly passionate about education and volunteering. My husband and I share a desire for helping as many people as we can and we volunteer for a program called Minds Matter, which helps high-achieving, low-income kids get into college.

Au Pair Abroad

Amanda Carter - Outbound Program Director

As the Outbound Program Director, I look forward to sharing my passion for travel as well as helping young adults achieve their dream of visiting other countries and participating in a life-changing experience!

My passion for travel started years ago when I was fortunate to spend three separate college semesters abroad in Spain, Italy, and South Korea. Immediately after my graduation from college, I became TEFL certified and relocated to South Korea to teach English for a year. Before moving back to the United States in 2018, I backpacked Southeast Asia for 6 months with my husband. To date, I have visited 26 countries and I am looking forward to future travels.

Currently, I live in Colorado with my husband and our young son. Some of my favorite activities include riding my bike, playing volleyball and tennis, or just taking a walk through a park and having a picnic in the grass with my family.

I am so excited to be a part of the Au Pair International family, and help others embark on an experience of a lifetime! I would not be who I am without my own travel experiences and look forward to sharing my passion for global travel with others.

Files and Compliance

Michelle Jones - Director of Compliance

As the Director of Compliance, I am lucky enough to work with our partners, host families and au pairs to ensure that all participant data and documentation is complete and meets U.S. Department of State regulations. I also issue visa paperwork and process program extensions for those au pairs wishing to stay in the U.S. longer than one year. I have been a member of the Au Pair International team since March of 2013. It has been exciting to see this unique program grow with the teamwork of truly dedicated employees. Each match between a family and an au pair becomes its own story and invaluable cross-cultural experience for all involved.

Before working with API, my background included working in childcare enrichment programs, administrative assistance and data managment. I studied Secondary Education, English Literature and Religion in Denver, Colorado.

I am fortunate to have a family with my husband of over 20 years. We have two amazing children that keep us very busy. We enjoy watching our daughter compete in soccer, softball and basketball, and watching our son play basketball and excel in martial arts. I have been a parent volunteer at my kids' school and have been managing my daughter's soccer team for several years. When I'm not working or watching my children play sports, I enjoy watching movies or professional sports, reading, taking walks, cooking and being outdoors. Besides visiting many of the 50 United States, I have traveled to Germany, Canada and Mexico. I hope to visit as many states and countries as time allows.


Joey Phelps - Operations Coordinator

As the Operations Coordinator for Au Pair International, I enter new au pair candidates into our database so that they can start the process of being matched with one of our host families. I also process completed forms for both au pairs and host families, as well as other data entry.

Before working with the amazing team at Au Pair International, I spent years in advertising, a short time working for a friend running the front office at her dental practice, and then a lucky stay at home mom. Now that my children are all in school I am so happy to now work for Au Pair International. I truly feel lucky to become a member of this work family. The team of employees is amazing. Everyone cares for each other and the success of this program. On a daily basis, I am impressed as to what this program brings to so many young adult lives; as well as, families! The cultural experience is one I wish everyone could experience.

When I’m not working I am very busy with my family. I have been happily married for 20 years to my wonderful husband and we have three amazing kids; two daughters and a son. I enjoy anything related to the ocean, movies, visiting with friends and family, and celebrating the holidays. Between school, softball, golf, family, friends, and day-to-day operations, the Phelps love our relaxing family movie nights!

Marketing and Logistics

Paula Adams - Director of Marketing and Records/Data Protection Officer

I have been blessed to work at Au Pair International since 2008, holding numerous positions within the company to include Area Director, Regional Director and now Marketing Manager and DPO. With dual degrees in Marketing and Information Systems, I handle everything related to our database, website, social media and marketing efforts. I also work to train valued partners within our website and collaborate with a wonderful team of developers to continuously improve and streamline the application process for all participants. Thanks to my many roles and years of experience, I am well-versed in the au pair program and take great pleasure in ensuring our au pairs and host families have a great experience from start to finish!

When not tackling the latest marketing campaign or website development, I love to experience the great outdoors and enjoy hiking, horseback riding, camping and fishing. My husband of 19 years has been my biggest cheerleader since we met during undergrad. Together, we now have three beautiful girls who never cease to astound us with their altruistic spirits and unique personalities. They are truly our greatest accomplishments!

The Au Pair Program has been my passion for the past 13 years and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. My hope is to help as many people as possible discover this amazing cultural exchange opportunity!


Katrina VanderhulstExecutive Vice President

I started with Au Pair International in 2010 as an Area Director for the San Francisco area. From there, I moved to the position of International Coordinator, working with our overseas offices that recruit and screen our candidates for the au pair program. My responsibilities increased over the years to include travel scheduling, overseeing billing, managing our outbound program and so many more tasks! In 2016, I was promoted to Executive Vice President. As the VP, I have the fantastic opportunity to meet with our overseas’ offices, meet with American au pairs abroad, interact with both au pairs and host families before and after the program, and plan exciting state-side trips for all the visiting au pairs.

My interest in cultural exchange programs began when I was in high school. Back then, my family hosted and befriended several exchange students and it had a lasting impression on my life, becoming great friends to this day. Since I started with API, my family has hosted 4 au pairs (both successfully and unsuccessfully). Each experience has been a learning process and I love having the opportunity to expose my children to other cultures.

I’m married with 2 wonderful children, both with varying abilities who keep me busy and fulfilled. Any free time I have after managing kids, work and travel is spent watching my favorite teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors. My favorite part of my position with API is being able to pursue my love of travel. I have been fortunate enough to travel to 5 continents and look forward to visiting my 6th very soon!

For me, the best part about working for API is having the opportunity to meet and engage with our participants, allowing me to improve our program and the service we provide to au pairs and host families.

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