William J. Simonitsch, President
K&L Gates LLP
200 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 3900
Miami, FL 33131-2399
Phone: (305) 539-3336
William Simonitsch is a partner with K&L Gates LLP's Miami office. He represents businesses and their principals in commercial and insolvency-related disputes. He regularly litigates in federal and state court on a wide-array of matters, and has extensive experience representing secured and unsecured creditors in bankruptcy, state court liquidation, and commercial foreclosure actions. Among other things, Mr. Simonitsch has brought and defended actions regarding broken contracts, fraud, deceptive and unfair trade practices, commercial leases, wage and hour violations, accountant liability, and judgment collections. He has also litigated construction lien foreclosures, construction defect and delay claims, and retainage issues for general contractors, subcontractors, and materialmen. In bankruptcy court, Mr. Simonitsch regularly represents banks, private equity investors, asset-based lenders, and other creditors in proceedings under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, including stay relief motions, use of cash collateral, asset sales, preference claims, and fraudulent transfer actions. He also gives strategic advice to companies that conduct business with financially distressed entities and is a frequent speaker on bankruptcy related issues. Mr. Simonitsch is admitted to the United States District Courts and Bankruptcy Courts for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He currently serves as the chair of the firm's Asian American Attorney Affinity Group. Mr. Simonitsch received his J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law, his M.A. and B.A. from Florida State University.
George C. Chen, President-Elect
Bryan Cave LLP
Two North Central Avenue, Suite 2200
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: (602) 364-7367
George Chen is a Partner at Bryan Cave LLP. He is the leader of the intellectual property practice in the Phoenix office, is a co-chair of the firm-wide Lawyers of Color Affinity Group, and is the chair of the Recruiting Committee for the Phoenix office. He assists long-term clients with development, protection, enforcement, defense, licensing, and commercialization of intellectual property and other business assets. His practice includes litigation, licensing, counseling, and prosecution of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, Internet, cybersquatting, and other intellectual property matters. Mr. Chen is recognized by Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers of America® for excellence in intellectual property law, and he was honored as a "Best Under 40" by NAPABA and a "Top Pro Bono Attorney" by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education. He is also a co-inventor of 4 US patents.
Mr. Chen has served as the Southwest Regional Governor for NAPABA, the President of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association, and a member of the Arizona Governor's Asian-American Advisory Council and the Mentoring Committee for the State Bar of Arizona. He also serves as a mentor for the American Bar Association's Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, the Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law's Minority Writing Program.
Alexander M. Lee, VP Finance & Development
Law Offices Of Alexander M. Lee
354 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 201
Caldwell, NJ 07006
Phone: (973) 364-1688
Jin Y. Hwang, VP Programs & Operations
Assistant General Counsel, Verizon
Basking Ridge, NJ
Phone: (908) 559-7473
Jin Y. Hwang is Assistant General Counsel with Verizon Enterprise Solutions (VES), a business unit of Verizon Communications, Inc., a Fortune 15 company. In this capacity, Ms. Hwang negotiates and drafts agreements with the top largest corporate customers in various industry verticals for their domestic and global high-technology needs and provides day-to-day guidance to her sales, finance, and marketing clients. Prior to VES, Ms. Hwang was in-house counsel with Verizon Wireless in a variety of roles including handling and supervising litigation, bankruptcy, joint marketing with other business units, and market integrations. Before that, Ms. Hwang was in-house with France Télécom's North American legal department in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Hwang graduated from American University's Washington College of Law, where she was Articles Editor of the Administrative Law Review, which is published quarterly in conjunction with the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice and has the highest circulation rate of any student-edited journal. Ms. Hwang earned her bachelor degree with double majors in Psychology and French Studies with honors from the University of Pennsylvania.
Cyndie M. Chang, VP Communications
Duane Morris LLP
865 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 3100
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 689-7400
Cyndie M. Chang is a partner and commercial litigator at Duane Morris handling matters involving complex business disputes, trademarks, trade secrets, insurance coverage, unfair competition, and real estate. She also handles insurance claims involving large, multi-million dollar environmental, asbestos and toxic tort matters. Cyndie has obtained favorable results for many kinds of businesses at trial and arbitration.
Prior to serving as NAPABA's Secretary, she was the Regional Governor of the California-Central District/Los Angeles Region. Cyndie is also the President-Elect of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association ("SCCLA") and will be installed as President in April 2013. SCCLA is one of the oldest and largest minority bar associations in the country. Cyndie has been named as NAPABA's "Best Lawyers under 40" and also a "Rising Star" by Los Angeles Magazine's Super Lawyers publication for several years. Cyndie also participated in the American Bar Association-Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section ("ABA-TIPS") 2010 Leadership Academy and has been appointed as the Vice-Chair of the ABA-TIPS Business Litigation Committee and a member of the Standing Committee on Diversity in the Profession. Her other leadership positions include serving on the board of the Asian Pacific Community Fund ("APCF"), which supports Asian Pacific Islander communities in need and generates funding for 29 affiliate agencies in Southern California, and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles. In addition, she is her firm's office Pro Bono Coordinator. She is also a Fellow to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Cyndie graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
Brad Yamauchi, VP Membership
Minami Tamaki LLP
360 Post Street, 8th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 788-0449
Brad Yamauchi, in practice for over 36 years and a Partner with Minami Tamaki since 1993, represents plaintiffs in individual and class action employment discrimination, wage and hour and consumer and financial fraud cases. His dedication to civil rights and Asian-American issues is inspired by the courage and sacrifice of his father who served with thousands of Japanese American soldiers during World War II and the imprisonment of his father and mother's families in relocation camps.
He is AV rated and a "Superlawyer" since 2004. From 1996-2005, he was on the Board of the National Employment Lawyers Association comprised of over 2,500 plaintiff attorneys nationwide. From 2002-2005 he was Board President of www.workplacefairness.org, a resource on employment rights. From 2003-2008, he was on the Board of the California Employment Lawyers Association. From 2008-2011 he served on the Board of the Labor and Employment Law Committee of the Bar Association of San Francisco. For NAPABA, from 2007 to 2011 he was a Co-Chair of the Labor and Employment Committee and from 2011-2012 he was a Co-Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Committee. Mr. Yamauchi currently serves on the Judicial Nominee Evaluation Commission of the California Bar Association to evaluate judicial nominations by the Governor and serves as a Vice-President on the Board of the Japanese Community and Cultural Center of Northern California.
Tacie H. Yoon, Secretary
Crowell & Moring LLP
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 624-2557
Tacie H. Yoon is at attorney at Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington, D.C., where she practices in the Insurance/Reinsurance and Bankruptcy groups. Tacie represents insurance carriers in complex coverage disputes, including those arising from underlying claims involving exposure to asbestos, environmental liability under CERCLA or similar state statutes, and negligent hiring/sexual molestation by educational administrators. Tacie also represents insurers in bankruptcy cases in which the debtor faces significant liability due to asbestos and/or environmental contamination. In addition, Tacie works with teams of lawyers from the firm’s Insurance group, Torts group, Bankruptcy group, and Corporate group to perform due diligence and counsel clients who are considering purchasing or investing in companies that face exposure to asbestos liability, or that have emerged from an asbestos bankruptcy, regarding the risks and benefits of such proposed transactions. Before joining Crowell & Moring, Tacie practiced for many years as a litigator, primarily representing franchisors in litigation arising from their franchise relationships.
Prior to serving as NAPABA Secretary, Tacie served as co-chair of the Host Committee for the 2012 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C. She is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington D.C. Area (APABA-DC), and is currently co-chair of APABA-DC’s Nominations Committee. In 2011, Tacie also served as an appointed member of the D.C. Bar’s Nominations Committee.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tacie received her BA from Yale University and her JD from Boston College Law School.
Pankit J. Doshi, Treasurer
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Four Embarcadero Center, 17th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 774-3293
Pankit J. Doshi is a Senior Associate at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, whose practice focuses on employment litigation on behalf of management and preventive counseling. Mr. Doshi has represented employers in both state and federal cases involving wrongful termination, wage and hour, sexual harassment, discrimination, trade secret misappropriation, statutory leave claims, retaliation and breach of contract. Mr. Doshi has also represented employers in significant class action and representative action litigations, including misclassification, overtime, minimum wage, meal and rest break and orientation-based claims. Mr. Doshi has also represented employers at administrative hearings and during investigations by various state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the California Department of Industrial Relations - Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Mr. Doshi regularly provides advice and counseling to employers of all sizes, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, and has spoken on a number of panels and published articles related to employment law issues across the country.
Mr. Doshi has served as NAPABA’s Regional Governor for the Central District of California-Los Angeles region, as well as Co-Chair of NAPABA’s Litigation Committee and Investment Committee. Mr. Doshi was also selected to participate in the American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section ("TIPS") 2012 Leadership Academy, selected with a group of approximately 20 lawyers across the country identified as emerging bar leaders. Mr. Doshi was also appointed by the State Bar of California Board of Governors to serve a three-year term on the State Bar of California Council on Access and Fairness. Mr. Doshi is currently Vice Chair of the ABA TIPS Employment Law and Litigation General Committee and Business Litigation General Committee. Mr. Doshi is a Past President and on the current Advisory Board of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the North American South Asian Bar Association, as a Board of Governor on the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County and on the Executive Advisory Council of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. He has also been previously appointed to the Diversity in the Profession Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Los Angeles Lawyer Editorial Board of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Mr. Doshi received his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where he served as a Senior Editor on the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and on the Scott Moot Court Honors Board.
Wendy C. Shiba, Immediate Past-President
Retired EVP, GC & Secretary,
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (818) 257-1260
Wendy Shiba is a recently retired corporate attorney and business executive whose career of more than 30 years included private practice, teaching, government service and serving as an executive officer of three NYSE-listed companies. Her corporate positions have included Executive VP, General Counsel and Secretary of KB Home in Los Angeles, CA; Senior VP, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of PolyOne Corporation in Cleveland, OH; and VP Secretary and Assistant General Counsel of Bowater Incorporated in Greenville, SC. Earlier, she was Corporate Chair of the City of Philadelphia Law Department; a tenured Associate Professor of Law at Temple University School of Law; in private practice with O'Melveny & Myers; and law clerk to Justice Stanley Mosk on the Supreme Court of California.
Ms. Shiba is President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Japanese American National Museum, and has held board and leadership positions with numerous professional and non-profit organizations, including the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley (since renamed APABA-PA) (past President). She received NAPABA's 2009 Trailblazer Award and the YWCA's 2007 Woman of Achievement Award, and was a member of the 2010 Japanese American Leadership Delegation to Japan and the 2007 inaugural class of the DirectWomen Board Institute. Ms. Shiba has been a frequent keynote speaker and panelist on topics including corporate governance, securities law, women's leadership and diversity in the legal profession.
Ms. Shiba earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and her J.D. from Temple University School of Law, where she graduated first in her class and was Articles Editor of the Law Review and a member of the Moot Court Board.