Peggy Parfenoff, President
Peggy has been leading WorldChicago since 2001, meeting emerging leaders – young and old – from all over the world and sharing our amazing city of Chicago with them. Citizen Diplomacy has become a way of life for our team, as we welcome over 800 international visitors to Chicago each year. Peggy is a board member for Global Ties U.S., the national network promoting Citizen Diplomacy nationwide. Before joining WorldChicago, Peggy worked at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs as Director of Development. While at the Department of Cultural Affairs, she earned her M.B.A. from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. International travel is her passion, meeting our visitors back home in their countries within Europe, Eurasia, South America, Russia, Cuba, and China!
Donna Sadlicki, Director of Operations & IT
Donna has been with WorldChicago since 1998. In addition to bookkeeping and technology Donna also coordinates the Community Connections and Open World Leadership programs. Before coming to WorldChicago, Donna was the Artistic Director of The Opera Factory in Chicago. Her passion for WorldChicago’s mission of citizen diplomacy has led her to travel extensively to international destinations such as Jordan, Israel, Georgia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Turkey to name a few. As a classically-trained singer she performed for the International Committee for Artists for Peace for honoree Carlos Santana. Donna majored in Music Performance at Eastern Illinois University.
Brian joined the WorldChicago in 2016 where he develops U.S. Department of State youth and professional exchange programming. In this role, Brian works closely with volunteers, hosts and students to ensure visitors experience the best of Chicago. Prior to joining the WorldChicago team, Brian taught English in Hokkaido, Japan, advised international students on the admission process at Brandeis University and most recently, interned for the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, one of WorldChicago’s flagship programs. In a volunteer role, Brian also served as the President of the New England JET Alumni Association (NEJETAA) where he oversaw the Boston Chapter of a 65,000 alumni network. Brian developed his passion for intercultural exchange while living in an international dorm while studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. He believes that public diplomacy is a powerful tool for fostering mutual understanding and cooperation across communities and cultures. He has a M.A. in Public Administration and M.A. in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey and a B.A. in English from Wheaton College (Massachusetts).
Zoey Wallace, Marketing & Development Manager
Zoey Wallace is the new Marketing and Development Manager at WorldChicago, responsible for community outreach, event marketing, and the cultivation of grant and corporate partnerships. She was a WorldChicago intern in 2012, and she’s thrilled to be promoting citizen diplomacy once again in this new role. Members can count on Zoey to stay in touch as we build sustainable financial support for our mission.
Zoey completed her M.A. in International Relations at the University of Chicago, and spent the last four years in strategic nonprofit development and member relations at the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Central Florida. She’s excited to be returning to the Windy City with her husband, their son, a high-strung dog, and a sassy cat. In her free time, Zoey likes to study Mandarin Chinese and bake chocolate desserts.
Lisa Ledvora, IVLP Program Coordinator
Lisa Ledvora has been the WorldChicago Program Coordinator since July 2017. She is responsible for proposing, organizing, and implementing U.S. Department of State public diplomacy programs in the Chicagoland area, including International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLPs). She facilitates professional meetings in Chicago for delegates through partnerships with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses. Lisa was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. She has a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology and International Relations, with a minor in Chinese from Lake Forest College. While in college, she interned at WorldChicago, completed a four-month language immersion program in Beijing, studied human rights and immigration issues along the U.S.-Mexico border, and independently researched the reciprocal relationship between U.S. immigration policy and the immigrant experience, with a focus on contemporary Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans in the Chicagoland area. Lisa speaks Spanish and is learning (Mandarin) Chinese. She enjoys traveling, planning trips, playing handball, coaching gymnastics, rock climbing, and skiing. Lisa is preparing to attend law school in order to advocate for immigrants and other underserved populations.
Eric Staab, Program Assistant
Eric began working as a Program Assistant with WorldChicago in August 2017. He is primarily working with the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Eric is originally from the Chicagoland area and is excited to share the city he loves with visitors from all over the world. He has a B.A. in Secondary Education-History/Social Sciences, with a minor in Italian Studies from Illinois State University. During college, he spent a semester studying abroad at Instituto Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence. He is currently completing his M.A. in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and is continuing to study Italian. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, going to concerts, and spending time with friends.