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US Servas Board of Directors

Richard Weaver



I was first introduced to Servas in the Spring of 1971. As a young activist, I resonated with Servas which was promoting its mission as building world peace one friendship at a time.

That resonated for me and still does.

I have been a Servas traveler and have hosted individuals, couples, and families from around the world. I have supported peace and justice organizations my whole adult life.

I am a retired college professor living in San Diego, CA. I travel as often as I can, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures.

Shyla Esko Bare


Vice Chair

I discovered Servas when living in Scotland. The ethos of peace through travel resonated in my heart.

Since joining in 2005, I’ve stayed with members in numerous countries, and hosted travelers from around the world. I love that Servas has shown me different cultures and customs. I’ve lived on four continents and was a member of Servas UK and Servas Australia before joining Servas US in 2013.

Since then, I’ve held various volunteer positions. I’m an International Travel Coach and author of a bestselling travel book. I have a BA from the University of Washington, and MBA from Edinburgh Napier University.

Joanne Ferguson




I was raised in the Nebraska Sandhills on a ranch that has been in family operation since 1909. Experiences living in Washington & London and spending 6 weeks hitchhiking from Switzerland to Morocco and places in between vastly broadened my horizons.

As a public librarian I served people from all walks of life. I learned about Servas from Dean Jacobs, a Nebraskan who did a program about his around the world trip. “Servas? What’s that?” I asked. My husband Rick and I joined in 2009 as hosts, then I as a traveler in 2013. And nothing has been the same!

Image: North Loup River, Brewster Nebraska

Leena Desai


I am originally from India and moved to US in 1970s. My family has lived in 15 states and have travelled extensively. I love hiking, gardening, cooking and most of all, I am a fearless traveler, love connecting with people and experiencing different cultures. The best part is meeting and sharing my world with others, locals, fellow travelers and just about anyone.

I want us to have a warm feeling in our heart and mind, feel positive about the world we live in and feel togetherness, peace and erase those boundaries between us. My goal is to expand and strengthen Servas for future generations.

Arnie Rowland


The desire to meet folks in other countries, learn about their cultures, families, careers and lives, and exchange friendship drove so many of us to join Servas, as I did in 1979. I have visited dozens of hosts, some becoming life-long friends; and I have hosted hundreds of travelers of all ages. I have learned so much about societies, cultures, and countries that just wasn’t in the guide books.

As a Host, I often learn new, or overlooked, things about my local area as seen from the eyes of our guests.

Servas is about learning, exploration, sharing, and exchange as a driving force for understanding others. For me, that reinforces the core value of Servas being a community building peace -one friendship at a time.

Bill Magargal


I grew up in the Philadelphia area with a Unitarian / Quaker background. After college I moved into Philidelphia and became active in community development with the West Mt. Airy Neighbors Association, and have continued my community involvement wherever I have lived.

My career began as a research engineer with a manufacturing company.  Early in my carreer I moved the company into using IT systems, and eventually became the corporate IT director. In 1992 I left the company and took a one-year, self-financed backpacking sabbatical through India, SE Asia, and Australia/NZ. I became a Servas traveler in India in 1994, host and Interviewer in 1995, and active member help volunteer in 2021.

Tys Sniffen


For me, making friends while traveling is the best part.  My lucky life has been full of friends and influences from other cultures, and I believe it's important to bring that to as many people as possible, especially Americans.

I've been a member of Servas and other hospitality organizations for a couple of decades, and I enjoy working with volunteer leaders to make things better, so I'm always willing to help out, so here I am.

My family lives off-the-grid in a unique forested area, so while we're not at the center of things, we are lucky to offer a special experience to those we host.

In addition, my business of travel backpacks and gear keeps me in the 'travel mindset' year-round, and I love to learn of new trends and experiences. 

Shelley Mitchell


I became interested in international exchanges when my son spent a year in Austria as an exchange student, eventually volunteering with AFS . Over the next 20 years I supported American students going abroad as well as hosting students and teachers from all over the world. I came to understand what a life-changing experience it can be to get to know someone from another culture on a deeper level. Servas seemed like a natural transition for me, and for many years, I served as the Office Administrator in the US Servas office.

I continue volunteering with AAUW, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). 

I have three grown sons, two grandchildren, a poodle and a cat.  In my spare time, I play golf and pickleball, participate in three book clubs and write fiction. 

Eileen (Lee) Rowley


Over the past 25 years, Servas has provided me with some of my most memorable experiences.  A few of the most significant relationships in my were made as a traveler and a host.  Servas provides the opportunity to hear other’s stories, and to share our story, thus promoting cultural understanding and peace.

By serving on the Servas board I hope to be a conduit to our members.  I bring decades of experience in conflict resolution and mediation; managing volunteers, and serving on the NYS Dispute Resolution Assn. for 6 years.  I enjoy empowering people and helping them to discover their full potential. 

Jo (Yosi) McIntire

ex officio

US Peace Secretary

Through University, I lived in Europe. My wife and I worked as subsistence farmers for 10 years in Italy, returning to the US in 1980. In Florida, I became a residential home builder interrupted by 10 years of volunteer human rights documentation work in Central America for Quaker organizations. More recently I was employed by the UNDP in Italy and The Philippines. Intermittently, I have worked as a building inspector for the local County Building Department here in St. Augustine, Florida. I have been a Servas interviewer, SE regional coordinator and now am very pleased to serve as the US SERVAS National Peace Secretary!

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