Michael VolpeManaging Director
Washington, D.C., USA
Michael has an extensive educational background in international business and political science, along with nearly 10 years of teaching experience at the university level in Thailand and the United States. He is a Fulbright-Hays Scholar with a PhD in International Public Policy from George Mason University. He is also a research consultant with the King Prajadhipok’s Institute, a Thai government research institute in Bangkok. Mike has conducted extensive research and published in the areas of civic engagement and education, Thai social movements, and international development. In addition to managing XploreAsia, Mike also facilitates all of the Thailand cultural talks, lecturing on Thai history, politics and culture, all topics he is very passionate about.
Panintorn Prakij (Paang)Placement Director
Hua Hin, Thailand
Paang has more than 10 years of industry experience in marketing and more than 4 years’ recruiting experience. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising from Thammasat University and her Master’s degree in Organizational Management from Trinity University in Washington, DC. When Paang was younger, she dreamed of being an interior designer because she loves art and drawing. Paang is no stranger to being selfless. She loves the company because it gives her the opportunity to help others to do good things for other people, from behind the scenes. She is grateful to have XploreAsia and we are more than grateful to have her.
Jonathan HarmanOperations Director
So far I’ve spent the past four years living, and working in Thailand. I couldn’t think of a better place to be than here. I began with teaching for a year and a half, before joining the XploreAsia family. Teaching, travelling, and living in Thailand has been a truly transformative adventure for me, and I’m honoured to be able to share that with everyone that joins us. I come from a small town in England, with experience in media production, business development, and management. The best part of working for XploreAsia is being able to have a genuine second family, a support network, and having some of the best experiences anyone could wish for. I love what I do, and since coming to Thailand I understood that if you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life!
Punarada Insawat (Lek)Admin Manager
Lek is a graduate of Phetchaburi Vocation College, Vocational Education Commission with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. In addition to having a degree in Accounting and being book smart, Lek is very funny and a joy to have in the office. Her favorite color is pink and she loves eating veggies. A fun fact about Lek is that enjoys Thai music and plays the ukulele. Lek’s perfect mix of interpersonal and professional skills has made her an invaluable asset to our team.
Megan BrownInternational Programs Manager
Megan loves to learn about different cultures and societies and studied International Development at university to head along a path towards working abroad. She has a passion for travel and has sought out different experiences working and studying in Africa, Asia, and South America. Megan first fell in love with Asia whilst on a study abroad program where she attended the National Economics University in Hanoi, Vietnam. In her free time she was able to explore Cambodia, Laos and Thailand and knew she wanted to head back to Asia to work one day. After graduating university Megan took a TEFL course and worked in language schools in the UK (her homeland) where she focused on program management. Following on from this Megan took the amazing opportunity to manage a volunteer program in Malawi for 2.5 years, finding placements for and supporting TESOL teachers from English speaking countries, working in Malawian public schools. In her free time she loves the beach and watersports, her favourite being diving. She’s in the right place with our offices being located just a few minutes walk from the coast!
Jaco KleinloogSenior TESOL Instructor
Hi my name is Jaco. I am from Cape Town South Africa. I came here for a one year sabbatical. Soon after I arrived I saw the importance of education and animal welfare. I joined XA when it was just founded and could live out my passion for education and mentoring both older and young learners. XA has allowed me to follow my other passion. Animal welfare. We have since opened a clinic and run a volunteer program, Rescue Paws. In short. Thailand has allowed me to follow my dreams and to be my intrinsic self. Happy Days
Kateumporn Chainapong (Kate)Senior Placement Supervisor
Kate completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business English at Rajamangala Institute of Technology and her Master’s degree in Hotel and Tourism Management at Stamford International University. As a child, Kate wanted to own many homes. She now works as Placement Customer Service Coordinator and we couldn’t be any happier.
Mananya Phucharoen (Ae)Placement Coordinator
Mananya (Ae) holds a B.A. in French from Prince of Songkhla University. Prior to joining XploreAsia, Mananya worked for a British International School in Phuket as well as several international hospitality organisations such as the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Her interpersonal skills and dedication makes her a perfect fit at XploreAsia.
Sabina QaderEducation Manager
From Melbourne, Australia, Sabina has a passion for education. With a Masters in Teaching and Bachelors’ degree in International Studies, Sabina has worked in the education space for seven years. Wanting to use her knowledge and skills to make a difference around the world, she completed her TESOL course with XploreAsia two years ago. After spending a year teaching in South Korea, she is excited to help others gain the life changing experiences she gained during her many travels abroad! On a personal note, she loves history, learning about other cultures and watching movies.
Keegan WatkinsMarketing Coordinator
Hey my name is Keegan and I'm from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I studied music at Rhodes University and was a music teacher for three years before heading over to Thailand to do my TESOL through XploreAsia. I've been in and around SEA for the past two and a half years teaching English in schools and language centres, with students from the age of two to about seventy. I really love travelling, meeting new people, and listening to The Strokes.
Jenny NguyenVietnam Program Coordinator
I live in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from The University of Social Sciences and Humanities. Being the first Vietnamese staff at XploreAsia is a very challenging but an extremely amazing experience. I love learning new languages and exploring the world. Since working at XploreAsia, I have learned 2 more languages - Thai, and Afrikaans – besides Vietnamese, English, French. It was such a great opportunity for me to take the XploreAsia TESOL course from Hua Hin, as I could understand more about myself and even go beyond my boundaries. P/s: Come to Vietnam and I will take you to many cool places!
Rebecca GrayPrograms Supervisor
Originally from Scotland, Becca had her first teaching experience at 17 after leaving high school. Travelling to Guyana in South America, Becca taught Maths, Science and English in a small Amerindian secondary school in the Amazon Rainforest for a year. She moved to Thailand in 2013 where she spent the first 2 years working with animal sanctuaries assisting with the rehabilitation rescued elephants. Passionate about volunteering and improving the lives of people in the local community, Becca gained her TESOL certificate with Xplore Asia and has since taught English to kindergarten and primary students in central Thailand before joining the Xplore Asia team as a programs coordinator. She is excited to be a part of the team!
Matt De WildeProgram Coordinator
Hi everyone, My name is Matt, and I am from the United States. I studied Political Science at American University in Washington, DC. After graduating, I worked as a paralegal for a year before realizing a career in the legal field was not for me. I then went to Vietnam where I was a participant on XploreAsia's first Vietnam TESOL. Following this, I was placed at a language center in Hanoi where I lived and taught for a year, loving every minute of it. After a year of teaching, I had the opportunity to join the XploreAsia team and I could not pass up the opportunity to help others have the same great experience I had!
Mariska Van Der LindeProgram Coordinator
Hi, my name is Mariska VD Linde (Call me Malika, my Thai Name). I am from Johannesburg, South Africa. So far, I’ve have spent the last two years working and living in Vietnam as a teacher, teaching kindergarten up to adults. Being part of the culture, living locally, learning the language and being involved in charities and volunteering has been the most amazing experience I have ever had. I am incredibly happy to call Vietnam my second home. I have joined XploreAsia as a program coordinator, as am really excited to share my experience and to make sure that you can gain the life-changing experience I had. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, hanging out with my friends, traveling and “karaoke”.
Lan AnhVietnam Program Coordinator
I was born and raised in Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam. I received my bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, and banking from Hanoi University. A short time after graduating I decided to move to the southern part of Vietnam. I quit my job in Hanoi and took a 40 day bicycle ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. It was an amazing experience in my life, during that time I found myself. When I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City I got a position as a tour guide for a travel company before joining XploreAsia. I love being a guide and teacher of Vietnamese culture and history, because it gives me the opportunity to introduce my beautiful country, the variety of Vietnamese cuisines, the long history and rich cultural traditions. I also love to interact with foreigners because I not only teach them, but I learn so much about the world from them. Knowing and understanding cultural differences has always attracted me and it is the reason I was drawn to XploreAsia.
Ian KreskyPlacement Coordinator
Ian was originally born in New Jersey. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a BA in Music Business. After a short visit to see his friends in Chiang Mai, Ian developed a love for Thailand, its people, and its culture. A few months later Ian made a gut decision to come back to Thailand where he taught high school students for several months in Phitsanulok before returning to Austin. Ian got the opportunity to join XploreAsia on the placements team, something he wasn’t about to pass up. Now he resides in Hua Hin and has never been happier. Ian has been a musician for his entire life and has played bass guitar for 12 years. He loves Thai food more than most things and is always trying to learn more about new regional dishes as well as the Thai language.
Cassidy HolmesPrograms Coordinator
Hi everyone! My name is Cassidy and I am from central Pennsylvania. I attended The Pennsylvania State University (We Are!) and after working for a year I decided to take some time off to teach English. I have taught English in both Thailand and Bali, Indonesia for the last 2 years. Now, I am working at XploreAsia as a marketing coordinator and am beyond excited to be a part of this unique program and to help promote the positive and transformative adventure XploreAsia offers.
My name is Par, I obtained a BA degree from Dhurakit Bundit University. My favorite sport is Taekwondo (I am a taekwondo back belt!). I have a lot of experience in customer service. I have also taught kindergarten locally. I am so happy that I work with XploreAsia!
My name is Rick (or if you can pronounce it, Ryosuke) and I’m from Greenwich, Connecticut in the United States. I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and lived in Tokyo, Japan before moving to the US at around the age of 7. I graduated from DePauw University in 2017, where I competed in collegiate baseball and studied Communications and Philosophy. Before joining the XploreAsia family, I taught K2 (Kindergarten) in rural Thailand near the Cambodian border. Outside the office, you can find me playing basketball with my Thai buddies or obsessing over anything relating to video & film production. I am very excited to be a part of the team and to start a new chapter in Thailand!
Naunchan Chairoop (P'Chan)Housekeeping
Chan is new to the staff here at XploreAsia. She was previously a maid in hotel services and that is why she is perfect for the job here. Chan is married and has two daughters. Her and her family are locals here and love eating prawn soup with coconut milk. A fun fact about Chan is her name means “moon on Monday”.
Arthit Sumnuckdee (Gibsy)Housekeeping
Gibsy is a local here in Hua Hin. She was previously a nail technician because she started off her career life making nail polish. She loves hand making bags, bracelets, and necklaces and eating every kind of noodle there is. Gibsy has been a maid here for almost 1 year and loves Xplore Asia because of the opportunity to practice English. When Gibsy isn’t hard at work, you can find her doing her friend’s nails for fun.
Phonpen Prakij (Mom)Special Member
My name is Phonpen. I am the Thai mom of everyone at XploreAsia. I enjoy cooking and feeding people. I am happy when I see people enjoy eating my food. I love to show you how to cook Thai food. I also love to hug XA members and participants. I let them know that they are always welcome and we are a big family here. Participants are far away from home and I want them to feel like home here.
Hi , I'm Pudding! I love jumping in the air. I love my brothers but only when they share food with me. I love to sleep up side down to show my belly.. My role is to greet people with love and cuddle with them to make sure they feel cozy.
Nom SodSpecial Member
I am Nom Sod. My name means fresh milk in Thai. I am the gate keeper of XploreAsia. Even though I nap a lot I always make sure to get up when people come in the office, and greet you with love. You can't help but pet me, and of course that makes my day. I am one of the longest serving members of the XploreAsia family. I have been with XA from the start and I love being here because I get to meet new, awesome people every month. Even though I live by the beach, I hate to be near water. I love all human food, but my favourite is mango!