Staff Spotlight: Jamie Preira

International Programs Manager


Jamie lives 20 miles west of Boulder in Jamestown, Colorado in a house in the woods that is surrounded by national forest. She loves hiking, adventuring, rivering (I promise it's a verb in Colorado) and generally exploring with her two dogs, Elvis and Winnie. Her favorite hobbies are scuba diving and photography and she absolutely loves traveling - especially if it includes visiting the ocean!

What is your favorite travel memory?

I have so many great travel memories, it's hard to choose! I'll stick with one of my most recent memories. A few months ago, I was taking some time off during a work trip to Galapagos and went scuba diving with a colleague. At one point during one of our final dives, there were several hammerheads swimming below us, a manta ray swimming past, and eventually, a turtle made an appearance. It was absolutely incredible!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I feel like I am constantly growing working with IOI. I have learned brand new skills I didn't know I had and I am constantly challenged by my new remote position - working from home is great, but it's definitely not easy! I am also becoming more confident in my Spanish speaking and I'm taking classes once a week!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

There's definitely not one I can choose from, but I can tell you that one of my favorite things is seeing alumni students and volunteers interacting with our social media posts reminiscing about their time with us. When they see familiar faces or new volunteers working in the same project they worked in, they leave the best comments!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

That's a really hard question!! I've participated in all of them and I honestly cannot choose just one. Both our program locations in Cuba and Galapagos are absolutely stunning and the projects are so much fun and they're so rewarding! I absolutely love turtles, so if I HAD to choose one project in the Galapagos, it would be the turtle nest monitoring.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I am especially proud of our team because we operate programs in two countries with 7 different projects and our team is spread out over 5 countries. It's not easy working with a remote team but we all work hard and efficiently and when we get together for program development, we have a blast! Our company is unique because of our locations and our mission; community growth and sustainable development come first and that is why I love working for IOI.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe a strong mission that all employees stand behind and believe in is extremely important in being a successful company. Without a positive and beneficial mission or employees' drive and belief in the mission, programs cannot develop and grow and there is no excitement for participants to join.