IENA is owned and operated by experience ex Summer Camp Directors and Hospitality professionals. We have been providing opportunities for people from around the world since 1995. Our vision is to be a mission driven, more affordable international staffing partner, offering high quality and professional service.
Every member of the IENA camp team has prior experience with camp and cultural exchange. Based out of our NJ office, the camp team is here to help both camp directors and exchange visitors throughout the J-1 Visa process.
Our Summer Work and Travel team is comprised of industry professionals who have over 60 years of combined experience in the Summer Work and Travel program and hospitality industry.
IENA began in 1995 and offers a more personal approach to Cultural Exchange Programs for the Summer Camp, Hospitality and Retail Industries.
Company owners are directly involved with the applicants and visit during the summer. In addition to providing International students the opportunity to work at thousands of hotel, restaurant and retail sites in culture rich tourist areas, to date, IENA has helped over 80,000 participants learn and share with American children at over 500 summer camps, across the USA. IENA is designated as a J-1 Visa sponsor by the US Department of State. This means we are not a third party agent. We are the responsible body for the program and our participants.
IENA’s owners all work as full time salaried employees. We take care of clients needs on a day to day basis and interact with our participants daily. We are driven by a passion for cultural exchange, summer camp and hospitality and are personally invested in the successes of each of our exchange visitors and employers.
We have over 50 years’ experience in camping and hospitality, and 35 years in International Programming and J-1 Visas. We know what Camp Directors are looking for and pride ourselves in finding the perfect match for each participant and camp. We are equally skilled and committed to our Work & Travel Programs and the Hospitality Industries we service. We apply the same skills and attention that are necessary to ensure that our participants are best matched with one of our high quality employers. The results are obvious when our participants and employers have had a positive and successful experience together.
“I think this program is an amazing opportunity for inner growth and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a life-changing experience.” IENA Participant
Our owners are hands on in the day to day running of the program and are always available to meet your needs and answer any questions.
We have carefully selected international partners from across the globe, providing us with a large, diverse applicant pool which in turn, enables us to provide you with high quality staff. In camp, this includes specialists, counselors and Support Staff; and in business, this includes International students with a range of studies in business, culinary arts and tourism. On average we reject 9 applications for every participant we accept onto the program. As ex camp directors and business executives, our motto is to only accept people onto the program that we would hire for our own camp or business.
Specifically for camp, IENA provide a rigorous pre-camp training in partnership with Expert Online Training, the front-runner in e-learning for youth leaders.
The syllabus for this internet classroom includes a variety of online video training modules, quizzes and handouts that teach new and experienced staff how to better lead, discipline and support the development of boys and girls at summer camp. The hosts of the videos include psychologists, physicians, attorneys and camp directors such as Dr. Chris Thurber, Scott Arizala, Steve Maguire and Gary Forster.
Videos will cover a variety of topics including Bully Prevention, Active Lifeguarding, Alcohol Policies, Safe Touch & Safe Talk, Behavior Management, etc.…
IENA will continue to go above and beyond when selecting staff and preparing them to have a positive impact at camps this summer.
Matt will be the first one to tell you that participating in a J-1 visa program with IENA is one of the best decisions you could ever make and will change your life forever. He’s right and he would know as Matt’s first trip to the US was a participant in the J-1 summer camp program in 1996. Matt loved everything about his experience and returned for many years to his “summer home” at Frost Valley YMCA. Matt has done it all at camp, from Counselor to Maintenance Director and Camp Director. He even had a year in Oklahoma teaching Environmental Education at YMCA Camp Classen!
Matt’s experience here in the US shaped his decision to leave his home in the UK, (where he had worked as an accountant and High School Teacher) and make a life here in the US. As a lifelong Manchester United season ticket holder, this was certainly a big decision!
Matt holds a BA (Hons) in Financial Management and Masters Degree in Education.
Matt’s professional experience in camp, education and the finance sector, along with his passion for the opportunities that the J-1 program offers to young people make him a great asset to our programs.
Matt works at IENA’s corporate office in New Jersey. A member of the Board of Directors at the Alliance for International Exchange, he lives nearby with his wife Paulann, their dog, Teddy and his twin girls, Molly and Lily. He loves soccer and boxing and the New York Giants!
Our resident Brewer! It’s hard to believe that Scott has been administering international J-1 visa programs since 1986 – That’s more than 30 years!
Scott has directed some of the biggest and most reputable cultural exchange programs in the country, and has a passion for cultural exchange . Scott is the designated Responsible Officer for all our J-1 programs.
Hailing from Minnesota originally, Scott now calls New York City his home where he lives with his wife, Lilik.
When he’s not brewing beer, Scott can be found sitting in a hut on an icy lake looking for Walleye!
Jeff is one of our camp lifers!
Before joining IENA, Jeff was a Founder and Director of the 3rd party J-1 Recruitment Company, 3 Adventures.
He has previously worked as Director of Camping Services with the Frost Valley YMCA where he had previously attended as a camper and then worked as a camp counselor. In addition, Jeff has worked with multiple YMCA’s in Director roles and served as Executive Director of the Kennett Area YMCA in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Jeff has always had a passion for international exchange, being an exchange visitor for a year in the UK working as a preschool teacher and volunteering for Global Camps Africa in South Africa.
With a passion for youth development, Jeff has interviewed, hired and trained thousands of camp staff over his career. He looks forward, everyday, to sending future camp staff on their journey into Camping.
Jeff lives with his wife, Kelly, two children, Mary and Miles in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. When he’s not focusing on cultural exchange programs, Jeff loves having the opportunity to travel, camping with friends and family, and is a complete Fanboy of anything related to Star Wars.
Ron’s claim to fame is that he once competed in a tough man competition.
He holds a BS in Business and an MBA in Human Resources.
Ron has extensive experience as an executive in the hospitality industry with an emphasis on CRM, multi-site operations, contract/vendor management, project management, team development/training and strategic business planning. In addition, he was previously an owner of the famed Cadillac Bar in New York City.
Ron had ten years’ experience in the cultural exchange industry, working as Chief Operating Officer before joining IENA.
Ron works with all our programs but runs our Work and Travel program, managing our clients and taking care of exchange visitors.
Ron resides in Massachusetts with his wife, Rachel and 2 children. Although he lives in the Boston area, he is still an avid New York Yankees fan.
Sue joined the IENA family long before she started working at our corporate office. In fact, Sue was one of our first clients and one of IENA’s biggest fans. Mention this to Sue and she will tell you that she believes hands down, that IENA is the best of the best and so much more. And she would know.
Prior to joining IENA, Sue completed a nearly 25-year career as a summer camp owner and director. She brings a unique experience of having operated day camps and resident camps in both the non-profit and for profit sectors. Basically, Sue has done it all.
Sue is known for delivering a high standard of excellence to everything she is involved with and for bringing out the best in others. You’d be hard pressed to mention Sue’s name and not hear a story about how she has helped someone with their career, found a fellow camp director that last minute staffing need or offered a solution to just about any situation you bring to her for advice. Simply stated, Sue is an expert on people and bringing people together. For these reasons and so many more, Sue was an obvious choice to join the team at IENA’s corporate office.
Sue grew up nearby in New Jersey and lives in her home town with her daughter Mollie.
Adam has been involved in camping for the past 8 years, from counselor to assistant director and into the international staffing world.
Adam, Graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BS in Outdoor Studies and Sports Science. Following his degree; he spent several years traveling and immersing himself in all types of adventure activities.
Adam is in a unique position as he has been privileged enough to see every aspect of the international staffing world. He was originally an applicant who came on a J1 program, then became an assistant director who interviewed and hired staff and has now come full circle as our placement coordinator. Assisting both applicants and camps to find the best match possible.
Adam likes to spend his down time planning for or going on adventures whether it be cross country skiing in northern Michigan, paddle boarding in California or skydiving in New Zealand, if it has some sort of adrenalin kick he will probably be there.
Originally from New Jersey, Sarah’s love of travel began at a young age. Throughout her studies, Sarah participated in exchange programs in New Zealand, Australia, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Greece, and England.
After graduating from the University of Delaware with a BA in History, Sarah lived in Ireland for three years. While living in Dublin, Sarah earned her MSc in Management from University College Dublin, Smurfit Graduate Business School.
Sarah is a lifelong Girl Scout, and worked as a Camp Counselor for five summers at Jockey Hollow Girl Scout Camp. Sarah lives in New Jersey with her husband, Michael, and their rescue dog, Bailey!
If you want insights as to where to go and what to see in the United States, ask Lois. She has lived or traveled in all 50 US States plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Getting to the rest of the US territories is high up on her priority list!
With over 30 years of experience in administering J-1 cultural exchange programs, she’s visited a lot of the rest of the world as well.
Lois is thrilled to bring her expertise in developing experiential learning to the IENA. family.
She has previously helped YMCA’s, conference centers, and both small and large businesses develop J-1 intern and training programs that benefit the professional growth of exchange visitors and their American hosts. In fact, in 1998, our CEO Matt Buczek was an Exchange Visitor on teh Trainee program through the YMCA, and Lois was his Responsible Officer!
With homes in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC, Lois says she lives on AMTRAK
Lyndon has been in the Summer Camp world since 2004, both on this side of the Atlantic and back in the UK helping recruit international staff for camps.
Lyndon was a J-1 exchange visitor, having completed 10 summers at camp, where he has chalked up a whole host of experience in various roles including Counselor, Lifeguard, Program Director and Assistant Director.
Away from camp, Lyndon loves music and he is also a season ticket holder at his beloved soccer team, Bolton Wanderers and takes any chance he gets to head back to his second home St Louis and watch the Cardinals.
Building community and having strong relationships are at the core of all that we do here at IENA. We love hearing from all members of the IENA family so we have created a space here for all members to share their personal experiences and stories with us. Thank you in advance for sharing your story.