Nice to Meet You

Jay Elggren, Family Service Director

Jay has worked alongside Premium International Exchange for over 30 years, before starting Family Exchange in 2011. Growing up, his family hosted countless students for the spring and summer exchange program, along with several high school students. His love for the program is what prompted him to establish his own program, and to find a way to give Utah students the same opportunities hundreds of international students have had.  Jay currently works for FortuneFire, specializing in mentoring and training people on how to become investors. Along with doing his own real estate investing.


Paula Elggren, Operations/Placements Director

Paula was introduced to the exchange program when she met Jay. After they married, they have hosted numerous students in their home and she fell in love with the program. She helped to develop Family Exchange and has strived to make it a memorable experience for the teen volunteers, the host families, and the international students. She has worked in the mortgage industry for the past 13 years. Her attention to detail has helped many lenders and underwriters get the process done quickly and get borrowers into their homes faster. In addition to being the mom of her 8 beautiful children, Paula stays busy helping Jay with their real estate investment business.


Grandma Sharon Elggren, Foreign Partner Director

Sharon is the reason this whole program began. She worked as a volunteer for the 4-H Japanese exchange program 30+ years ago. When 4-H discontinued the exchange program in Utah, Sharon started her own organization and has brought hundreds of Japanese kids to Utah every year since. Sharon cultivates the relationship with the Japanese foreign partners to make sure that everything runs smoothly in Japan and America. She coordinates the high school exchange program during the year. Sharon also works part-time as a dental hygienist. Sharon remains an important part of the program today. Along with her 27 grandkids, all the teens and staff call her Grandma.