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Co-Serve gala Aug. 20 in Lake Oswego

Organization to celebrate success in developing 'Servant Leaders'

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lynne McNamee, second from left, poses with some students who are studying to become world servant leaders at Co-Serve International. Standing in the middle is C0-Serve founder Bob Christianson.

Co-Serve International has a lot to celebrate, and it’s going to do it on Aug. 20 in Lake Oswego.

The gala will be held at Oswego Pointe’s clubhouse at 5033 Foothills Road at 5:30 p.m. The event will include food and videos of Co-Serve’s new leadership academy in Kiev, and an update of what Co-Serve has accomplished over the past year.

Lynne McNamee of Lake Oswego has played a key role in the success of Co-Serve and is excited about the celebration.

“The leaders we’re producing are going to be game-changers,” McNamee said. “Like any college student, our students are so enthusiastic about what is happening.”

A former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, McNamee discovered Co-Serve International after she retired and was immediately won over by the organization’s ambition and purpose of developing “servant leaders” — people with high intelligence and ability, who want to remain in their own respective countries and provide the leadership to help lift those nations to prosperity.

“We’re helping to make such a difference in the attitudes of workers in Afghanistan, the Ukraine, the Philippines, Kazakhstan and Thailand,” she said.

Gary Williams of Tigard has been a big source for McNamee’s energy. His Co-Serve title is “program champion.”

“There is 40 percent unemployment in Afghanistan,” Williams said. “People have diplomas for engineering, but there are no jobs. They say, ‘We play cards in the park all day.’”

But he added, “They say, ‘Our desire is to stay here and help our society.’”

Williams has been amazed by the dedication of Co-Serve students in Afghanistan. One time the Taliban set off an explosion that killed more than 60 people in Kabul. In spite of this, a family that had experienced having the windows of their home blown out by the bomb still made it to Williams’ class.

The teachers are keeping faith with their students.

“We keep going back,” said McNamee, who is a board director for Co-Serve. “Not just one or two times, but until we’ve made them independent.”

For more about Co-Serve International and its Aug. 20 event, go to its site on Facebook or on coserve.org.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..