Thomas Peden

Founder and Executive Director

His first taste of travel came through a trip to Venezuela during his sophomore year in college. Before graduating from Trinity International University, Thomas took a second trip abroad, this time backpacking through Europe, further fueling his love of travel. In the winter of 2002, he took a leap of faith and founded World Endeavors as a way for to kindle an excitement for meaningful travel in others. He enjoys seeing people travel abroad for the first time and hearing about their experiences. In his spare time, Thomas enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, woodworking, and learning flamenco.

Mallory Lauerhunt

Outreach Manager

Mallory was raised in Minnesota. When she was a child, her family took numerous trips around the country, which sparked her interest in travel. Mallory attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, where she graduated with a BA in International Affairs. During university, Mallory studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. She was able to explore the country and gained a greater interest in other countries and their cultures. She has also visited Ireland, England, and Thailand. Other than traveling, Mallory likes to camp, be outside, bike, check out local art and music, and spend time with family and friends.



Elaina Kropf

Program Advisor

Elaina’s love of travel began on a high school group trip to Northern France, which inspired her to study abroad in Cannes, France. After receiving her BA in International Relations and French at the College of St. Benedict, she returned to Cannes to continue her studies of the French language, and had an internship during the Cannes Film Festival. During her stints in France, she traveled extensively through Europe. This summer, Elaina had the opportunity to visit New Zealand, Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and China, meeting amazing friends along the way.  When she’s not wandering around the world, Elaina loves riding her bike, running around the lakes in Uptown of Minneapolis, and trying in vain to recreate the exquisite cuisine of Thailand.


Andy MacGregor

Participant Services Manager

Andy was born and raised in Portsmouth, in the United Kingdom, and went on to study International Business at Swansea University. It was during his study abroad year in Sweden that Andy fell in love with traveling. He has since been to forty countries across five continents. In 2011, he became qualified as an English language teacher and has taught in the Republic of Georgia, South Korea and Colombia. He is now experiencing life in Minnesota and successfully made it through his first winter! Aside from traveling, Andy enjoys reading, eating spicy food, watching soccer, and drinking good coffee.



Allison Huff

Participant Services Advisor

Allison was born and raised in Minnesota but was raised with the travel bug. Allison was fortunate enough to go on various family vacations growing up where she got exposure to other cultures and languages. After spending a wonderful study abroad experience in Valparaiso, Chile she knew it would not be her last trip. After graduating she roamed about for four years, exploring new states in the USA as well as living a few years in Spain. She has continued to make traveling a priority in her life even though she have moved back home but when she is enjoying her time in the great state of Minnesota she enjoys being outdoors, participating in triathlons, reading, and watching movies/TV shows in Spanish.

Sam Timmerman

Participant Services Advisor

Sam was born and raised in small town Minnesota, but that didn’t stop her from getting out to see the big world. In high school, she travelled to Costa Rica with her Spanish class and her wanderlust has not stopped since. She attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and studied Graphic Design. While there, she was able to study abroad in South America as well as take a couple trips backpacking Europe. Her latest adventure involved becoming certified to teach English which led her to move to Thailand and explore much of Southeast Asia. When Sam is not travelling she enjoys spending time with friends and family as well as meeting new people. She is passionate about art, design, and music – although she is not musically inclined. Sam is also a coffee fanatic and enjoys spending as much time as possible in coffee shops.




Mai Cha Vang

Accounting and Finance Coordinator

Mai Cha spent her childhood in a Hmong Refugee Camp in Thailand before immigrating to the US with her family when she was 8. She has always been fascinated by cultures and languages, and she studied Mandarin for two years in college. Eventually, she studied abroad in Korea to pursue Women’s Studies at Ehwa Woman’s University. While abroad, she learned to read and write in Korean and taught herself basic Japanese. Aside from languages, Mai Cha loves to learn and challenge herself. Her future goals include more volunteering and traveling abroad..



Join Our Team

Interested in joining our team? World Endeavors has several internship positions available year-round, and we occasionally have permanent staff positions available.

Please contact for more information about career and internship opportunities!