Office Staff

default
Heather N. Brown
Administrator

Heather Brown’s professional career has spanned over three decades, but her passion for travel and cross-cultural understanding began early having been raised by an immigrant grandmother as well as a mother who taught English as a Second Language to foreign adults for over 35 years. The multi-cultural gatherings of her mother’s students along with her grandmother’s own experiences helped form the basis of Heather’s world-view that the path to a peaceful and sustainable world is walked most effectively with an open mind. Her experience has been gained through the entertainment, tourism, hotel & resort, academic and non-profit industries while having worked for both the public and private sector as well as having traveled to over 40 countries. She has designed educational curriculums, formed non-profits, and served as a technical editor on several published works.

 

Heather Brown specializes in project management having experience in company formation, administration, management, mediation, PR, marketing, advertising, fund-raising and grant writing. She is bilingual in both English and Spanish utilizing this knowledge in community outreach programs addressing childhood nutrition, recycling and waste management. Heather has a degree in business and she is finishing her BA in Emergency & Disaster Management. Heather is looking forward to putting her skills to work expanding the reach of US Servas. 

 

 

Maria Tonn
Tawny Foskett
Administrative Assistant

Tawny returned to live and work on California’s north coast this past August of 2018, after spending the last 12 years back east in Montreal and New York City.  Tawny is currently completing an MFA in Film Production from Concordia University in Montreal.  She has also studied narrative directing in Melbourne, Australia, and in 2004 she graduated from Humboldt State University, with a BFA in Theatre Arts and Film.  Tawny has many experiences in coordination and administration, as well as in travel and the embrace of diversity.  She managed cinemas for two and a half years in New York, has administrated for professors, artists, at production companies and worked with various non-profits and boards from Shelburne Farms in Vermont, The Sundance Film Festival (including coordinating the World Dramatic film teams), to The Picture House in Westchester, NY.  For more on Tawny see www. TheAuteurTribe.com 

 

default
Dorine Leisz
Member Services Representative

Dorine moved to Eureka, California, to attend Humboldt State University, where she got a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. Her interest in diverse cultures started at a young age when much older siblings joined the Peace Corps, and she heard interesting stories about ways of life very different from her own. This, along with her family moving every few years to different parts of the country, gave Dorine a very broad worldview. Nowadays she travels whenever her schedule allows. In addition, Dorine has owned and managed several galleries and shops in historic “Old Town Eureka,” where she has made friends with customers from around the world. In her spare time Dorine manages a local community garden, weaves, and facilitates a global grief group that deals with the emotional toll climate change is having on individuals. She brings over two decades of Customer Service experience to US Servas and is still not sure what she wants be when she grows up.

Board of Directors 2018/19

dennis
Dennis Mogerman
Board Chair; Southern California Regional Coordinator; Complaints Resolution, Annual Conference, Investments and Youth Initiatives committees

I am a Servas host and interviewer in Los Angeles. I’ve been hosting since the 1986 and have been a traveler even before then. I am fascinated by other people and cultures. I love to see the differences and similarities and see how other people view the world and go about solving everyday issues. I enjoy the out-of-doors. I ski, scuba dive and hike. I have traveled independently through much of the world. I’ve probably spent the most time in India, Nepal and Thailand. I volunteer with Jewish Big Brothers. This organization matches fatherless boys with men who are role models. I also volunteer with a branch of the Sierra Club that takes inner city children on hikes in the mountains.

barbara
Barbara Pioli
Board Vice-Chair

Barbara has been a member of US Servas since 2002 as both a traveler and host, thoroughly enjoying meeting people and learning about cultures from all over the world. She is a first-generation Italian on her mother’s side (and working hard to be proficient in Italian). As a board member, Barbara brings expertise in nonprofit management to US Servas. She earned a Master’s in Arts Administration from the University of Utah. Currently, she has a consulting business with services that emphasize fundamental issues such as strategic and succession planning, executive searches, and board training and development. A significant amount of her time is currently devoted to developing a community-owned grocery store in Salt Lake City, Utah, that is dedicated to growing the local food economy based on sustainable practices. During her career, she has assisted to a wide range of nonprofit organizations, including: arts, education, environmental, health, history, humanities, and legal.

head shot of Steve
Steve Kanters
Board Treasurer; Chair, Finance committee; Member, Investments committee

Steve has served as Treasurer of US Servas since 2013. He has past board experience as the treasurer of a community mediation organization. He believes in the overall goal of Servas: Peace, one conversation at a time. Steve says, If I can contribute toward that goal, all the better! (and he’s pretty good with numbers too)

sharon
Sharon Victor
Governance and Nominating committees

Sharon has supported Servas principles since 1989 initially as a traveler and host, then more recently as an interviewer in the Seattle area. She is working toward developing more active Servas hosts and interviewers. Over time, Sharon has participated in political actions like WTO, protesting Desert Storm, managed a non-profit to help immigrants learn English, and is currently helping to develop local activities to raise awareness of the connection between lifestyle and our carbon footprint. These pursuits align well with the UN 17 Global Goals. After a business career in commercial insurance, Sharon is enjoying gardening, improving fitness, studying Spanish, ballroom dancing and working with the Board to secure the future of Servas.

Erlene
Earlene Cruz
US Servas Youth Representative to the United Nations

Earlene completed her her Master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Food Studies at the Gallatin school of New York University, where she is an Ignite fellow, as she works to bring Kitchen Connection to life. Kitchen Connection is an online foodie social network where chefs and lay food lovers can teach online and interactive cooking classes. The hosts of the classes (connections) can be paid, or choose to donate some or all of the funds from the class to the partner charity, Action Against Hunger and most recently, Whole Food’s Whole Planet Foundation. She is a James Beard Scholar Award Winner and has been nominated as one of the special envoys on youth under the UN Secretary General for her work with the Zero Hunger Sustainable Development Goals. Most recently, she was appointed as a Servas Youth Representative to the United Nations.

aaron
Aaron Fowles
Liaison to Servas Online website developers

Aaron Fowles is a Servas member, neighborhood association president, Green Party co-chair, father, husband, and elementary school teacher.  He applied to become a board member in order to do his part to spread the message of Servas, which he feels is urgently necessary in the world today.  When not engaged in professional or civic activities, Aaron enjoys running, reading, and playing chess.

radha
Radha Radhakrishna

Radha Radhakrishna resides in Darien, CT and has been a member of Servas since 1989. He is currently a Professor at Columbia University. Previously he worked in the financial services industry. He is the current Treasurer of Servas International, and a member of the Servas International Executive Committee (EXCO). Additionally, he represents Servas International at the United Nations in New York City.

richard
Paige LaCombe

Paige LaCombe lives in the Los Angeles area. She has traveled widely, lived in France as a student, and now hosts Servas members and interviews prospective members. As a teacher for over 22 years, she has dedicated herself to promoting social progress and providing quality public education for minority students in South Central Los Angeles. She helps lead the Communication Committee to strengthen membership by creating more effective means of communications. She is excited to serve as the US Servas Peace and Justice Secretary and represent US Servas locally and internationally.

chrisann
Chris-Ann Lauria
Communication committee

Chris-Ann has been a member of Servas since 2009. Initially she joined as a traveler and host and subsequently became an interviewer, co-chair of the Communications Committee, and most recently board chair. Her interest in international travel began in high school when her family hosted a foreign exchange student from Bogota, Colombia. To her parent’s dismay, her international travels started on her 18th birthday when she boarded a plane to Germany. Chris-Ann is a mother of adult twin boys. When they simultaneously left for college, she abruptly became an empty nester. An empathizing colleague suggested she join Servas. Within a month, Chris-Ann was a member and attending her first national conference. Chris-Ann finds immense value in the annual conferences and so far has been to seven. Chris-Ann attended UW-Madison and Marquette University, the latter where she received her master’s degree in nursing. She currently works as a nurse practitioner in St. Paul, MN. She is an advocate for quality healthcare for all. She served on medical mission trips to Haiti and helped establish the first free medical clinic in her community. In the fall of 2010, she had the opportunity to serve as a delegate to the UN DPI/NGO Global Health Conference in Melbourne, Australia. In her free time she enjoys hiking, biking, paddle boarding, and making organic kombucha. One of her goals as board chair is to encourage Servas members to rekindle the spirit of making human connections by becoming involved in the Making Connections project, an international initiative to develop and implement regional and international projects, programs, and activities, in which Servas members around the world can participate to show unity for a culture of peace.

 

National Secretary for Peace and Justice

headshot of David Schwartz
David Schwartz
Communication & 2019 Conference Committees

I feel that I am a citizen of the world. In my travels, I have always become better connected with humanity as a whole. It will be my goal as US Servas Secretary for Peace & Justice to promote cross-border and cross-cultural cooperation and appreciation. Professionally, I write books for children. My 50+ books have been translated into many languages including French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Most of my books are about science or mathematics, making these subjects enjoyavble to readers of all ages. I often give talks to children at schools. I have visited schools in almost every U. S. state and a dozen other countries. I have many interests, from folk dancing to cooking to nature study and outdoor activities such as hiking and bicycling. I believe that intolerance and hatred come from a lack of familiarity, and if everyone learned firsthand about the world’s peoples and cultures, as Servas promotes, world peace would be within reach.

Minutes of Board Meetings

2015-2016 Board Minutes

2016-2017 Board Minutes

2017-2018 Board Minutes