The Venture Expeditions Team


Paul Hurckman, Executive Director

Paul has spent time working in higher education, the church, and the non-profit sector. The common thread with each of these has been a passion for advocating on behalf of those affected by injustices happening in the world, as well as educating and mobilizing communities as to their responsibility and opportunity to change these situations. Paul holds a MA in Organizational Leadership from Bethel University. He is pursuing his PhD in International Relief and Development from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Together with his wife Candace, and their two children, Lola and Justus, they are committed as a family to engage in the story of justice and hope. Paul loves both camping in the wilderness and drinking coffee in the city.

Ryan Skoog, President and Co-Founder

Ryan, Venture's co-founder, oversees finances, development, staff, and board. Ryan earned his MBA from University of Saint Thomas's Schultz School of Entrepreneurship before founding two companies, Fly for Good and International Volunteer Card, which serve customers such as Harvard University, Invisible Children, and Youth With A Mission.  He has presented and shared at colleges and churches internationally and has visited many places Venture works (such as Tibet, Burma, Kenya, and Zimbabwe) to spread the tangible love of Jesus. Ryan enjoys anything outdoors that involves adrenaline, such as skydiving, snowboarding, surfing, kayaking, and mountain biking. Ryan and his wife, Rachel, have two ginger-headed kids, Colin and Sydney.

Aaron Smith, Administrative Director and Co-Founder

Aaron founded Venture Expeditions while still attending North Central University in 2002. After he graduated with a Journalism BA in 2004, he fostered Venture into a growing non-profit organization with a philosophy of Christian compassion at the center. He led several cross-country bicycle tours in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Aaron focuses on communications, design, campaign coordination, and future planning. He often commutes by bike to the Venture office and enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with family. Together with his wife, Krista, they parent two children, Alaithia and Jotham. Aaron and his family desire to relocate to Thailand in three to five years and work with refugees and hill-tribe cultures.

 Chantana Jariddeesom (Pae), Thailand Foundation Director

Pae is Thai Karen from Omkoi district. She grew up in church and studied in a school far from her village. She was born into a Christian family, but decided to follow Christ when she was 15. She felt like God had a plan for her life so she learned English to communicate with more people. She learned of Venture and Hosea Center from a friend that worked at the center. She believes that God wants her to share His love with the kids and people near the Hosea Center so she applied when there was an opening. She wants people to know that "God is great all the time!"

Jessica Abt, Tour Director

Jessica became hooked on outdoor and adventure education after riding her bicycle across the United States in 2008 on Venture Expedition’s Ride:Well tour. This tour also solidified Jess’ belief that God had called her to a life of teaching others about community, leadership, challenge, and fun in the great outdoors. Jess holds a Master's degree in Student Development and Outdoor Programs Administration, and has organized and led dozens of adventure trips for high school and college aged students. 



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