A Second Generation Volunteer

10-Jan-2014 Categories: Volunteer Stories

Father and son both dedicated to IESC's mission

IESC Volunteer Albert E. Koehl

In 1964, my father Albert E. Koehl read a story by James Reston in the New York Times about a proposed new international volunteer organization for experienced business people. He doggedly tried to contact the planners and ultimately had lunch with Frank Pace where they discussed the organization.

Within a year, my father and mother Elaine went on their first overseas assignment with IESC working on tourism development in Greece. Several additional volunteer assignments followed with IESC and other organizations in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Their belief in the vision and mission of IESC and in international tourism development as a catalyst for peace left an indelible mark on me. Following 43 years of career in travel and tourism, I retired in March 2007 at age 66 and began my first assignment in the Republic of Georgia as a second generation IESC volunteer.

IESC Volunteer Dexter Koehl

My father passed away in 1970 and my mother in 2000.

After that followed my second assignment to Georgia, my third assignment to Haiti, an assignment to Lebanon and an assignment to the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka in 2013.

My IESC experience also generated a relationship with the UN World Tourism Organization and work in Madrid, Argentina, Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur. All of this happened because of a newspaper article my father read 50 years ago.

I know I also speak for my late parents when I say thank you IESC – we believe you have made this a better world.

- Dexter Koehl, IESC Volunteer Expert