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US Servas Board of Directors

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. 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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Marguerite Hills

ex officio

Past Chair

For 25 years, Servas has enriched my family's life. We stayed with Servas hosts in Europe, Japan, and Australia. We all continue our cross-culture travel and hosting with Servas. I have been an interviewer, welcoming others to experience Servas: peace one conversation at a time. My career managing National Wildlife Refuges gave me the experience to build partnerships and reach out for support. As a Servas Board Member, I was committed to strengthening our organization, contributing my experience with building small "friends" non-profit organizations. It takes many committed volunteers to sustain a vibrant organization, and I hope each of YOU who cares about Servas finds a way to help us continue to flourish.

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