Board of Directors Executive Committee 2019 — 2020

Chris-Ann Lauria
Board Chair, Twin Cities Area Representative, 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.


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.

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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)

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David Schwartz
Executive Committee, Communication Committee & 2019 Conference co-Chair

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.

Board of Directors 2019 — 2020 (alphabetical, by last name)

Paige LaCombe
SI Peace Secretary

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 serves as the Servas International Peace Secretary.

Raleigh LaCombe
Raleigh LaCombe

Raleigh has been an active member of Servas for the last five years. From participating in an immersive SYLE (Servas Youth Language Experience) language experience in Hindi to now giving back by planning other SYLES, she has become an important member of Servas. She is a writer and a web developer, who has a strength in her vision for the Servas website. 
          Her three goals for Servas are:
          1. Improve the website to make the services we offer frictionless.
          2. Make the website compatible with mobile devices.
          3. Delegate to activate local communities.

Yi Wang
Yi Wang

After completing the Master’s degree in Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, I moved to Chicago and have been working as an architectural designer in Gensler. I’ve been always advocating for better living experience through problem solving in my design work. I am a Servas Traveler, and I treasure the value and goals of Servas which empower its community to expand the knowledge of the world and make connections globally. I have been a member of US Servas since 2010 as a traveler, I’m passionate in growing the organization to enable more people to celebrate the values that Servas embodies.

US Peace and Social Justice Secretary

Jo (Yosi) McIntire
US Peace and Social Justice Secretary

Jo McIntire (Yosi) has been a member of SERVAS since childhood. His parents were SERVAS hosts in Rome, Italy, where he grew up. For several years he has been a SERVAS interviewer and the Southeast Regional Coordinator.  He has traveled extensively around the world always in the quest to meet with peace activists and encourage peace activism.

Yosi’s background is to say the least — eclectic. He was brought up in Rome by parents victimized by the McCarthy Un-American Activities Committee hearings. In the 60’s he studied engineering in London. In the 70’s he and his wife became subsistence farmers in Central Italy. In the early 80’s he became a Building Contractor in St. Johns County, Florida. In that decade he and his wife served as volunteers in various Quaker-based Human Rights initiatives in Central America. In the 90s he was hired by the UN Development Program serving in Rome and Manila as a technical editor for developing world programs. In 2000, he returned to the US to work for St. Johns County, Florida, as a Building Inspector – assigned to a State funded safety-rehabilitation initiative for the poor.

Yosi is a member of several Peace/Environment organizations and has served as an officer with the Friendship Association (an NGO that has worked for 20 years establishing cultural and education bridges with the Cuba and the Cuban people) and with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in St. Augustine, FL.

His interest in peace and justice is broad and includes US foreign policy, labor issues, education, immigration, racism, environment, climate issues and community building. He believes true peace requires that people have civil liberties and civic rights. He believes local civic rights need to be associated with universal human rights. He believes that human rights cannot be achieved without global environmental and economic regulations.  He and his wife Soledad live most of the year in St. Augustine, FL. They travel a lot and spend several months every years in Rome, Italy.

Yosi hopes to broaden our network by reaching out to the SERVAS community nationally and internationally.  Yosi considers everyone in the SERVAS community to be, by definition, peace activists.


Andrea Veltman
Andrea Veltman
Board Designated Volunteer Coordinator

Within Servas US I am a member of the newly created Peace & Social Justice Committee. For ‘real’ work I own a small landscaping company, handling design, aesthetic pruning and fine gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the last 30 years I have worked and volunteered for various non-profit organizations focusing on environmental and social justice issues. My passion is protecting rainforests and oceans, which is connected to climate, indigenous rights, social justice and many other issues. I’m originally from Switzerland, where I obtained a business degree with focus on advertising. I am married to David Schwartz, who is on the Servas board of directors since July 2019.

Where in the World is our Board of Directors?

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US Servas Office Members

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Heather N. Brown

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 utilizes this knowledge in community outreach programs addressing childhood nutrition, recycling and waste management. Heather has a degree in business and she is finishing her BS in Environmental Science. Heather is looking forward to putting her skills to work expanding the reach of US Servas. 




Tawny Foskett
Tawny Foskett
Administrative Assistant

Tawny returned to live and work on California’s north coast in August 2018, after spending the previous 12 years back east in Montreal and New York City.  Tawny completed her MFA in Film Production from Concordia University in Montreal in August and taught film production courses Fall 2019 at Humboldt State University, where she also achieved her undergraduate degree from.  Tawny has lived and studied in many places including Los Angeles, New York,  Australia, Japan and Canada.  For more on Tawny’s filmmaking see www. 

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 including Shelburne Farms in Vermont, The Picture House in Pellham, NY and The Sundance Film Festival, where she worked in Artist Relations and coordinated with both domestic filmmakers and companies and the World Dramatic film teams.


Dorine Leisz
Dorine Leisz
Membership Services Lead

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.


David Simpson
Volunteer Coordinator and Outreach

David Simpson moved to the North Coast of California 3 years ago. Originally born in Portland, OR, felt drawn to northern Califonia. After relocating to Del Norte County, David started an internship with The Wild Rivers Community Foundation. This led to a full-time position with both Wild Rivers and Humboldt Area Foundation. In addition to doing the non-profit work that he loved, he met a wonderful person from Humboldt county. Deciding he had found not only the perfect place, but the perfect person to spend his life with, in September 2018 David married his partner in Maui. After settling in to Humboldt County, David fell in love with all of the outdoor activities the area has to offer. His new found love for local hiking trails and beaches keeps him pretty occupied in his free time. 


His passion is to help others in any way, shape or form that might take. He believes helping others and being kind to your neighbors is truly the key to happiness and peace. That’s why he felt that Servas was a great organization to get involved with. He looks forward to serving the Servas community and his home community as his network grows. 

Minutes of Board Meetings