2014 BAFT West Coast Global Trade Finance Workshop
July 24-25, 2014
City National Bank
555 South Flower St.
Los Angeles, CA

Michael Baker
Professor, UCLA
Law Office Michael Baker

Mr. Michael Baker is an attorney who has been practicing international trade law for the past 37 years. Mr. Baker’s practice is concentrated in international trade, customs, and corporate law. He has set up international businesses and maquiladoras in China, Japan, Mexico, and Latin America. He acts as general counsel for 4 companies in the Los Angeles area. Mr. Baker has had an FMC freight forwarders license and a Customhouse Brokers license. He is also a consultant for the California CITD (Center for International Trade Development). Mr. Baker has been at UCLA for the 23 years, and has also taught at CETYS University in Mexico and the University of Phoenix.

Hector Baltazar
Vice President
J.P. Morgan

Mr. Hector Baltazar is a Vice President in Global Trade Product Management for J.P. Morgan Treasury Services Global Trade and Loan Products.   Mr. Baltazar has more than 15 years of trade and supply chain experience and has held various positions in the areas of Global Trade Operations, Trade Finance Systems Design, Project Management and Program Implementation.  Mr. Baltazar is also involved in various trade associations including BAFT and FCIB and participates in the industry-wide promotion of the supply chain electronic settlements continuum.

Ahmed Baraka
Vice President, Trade Transaction Control Manager
J.P. Morgan Treasury Services

Mr. Ahmed Baraka is a Vice President with JPMorgan and serves as a Transaction Control Manager for Global Trade Operations. He has 28 years of banking experience with a vast knowledge of Trade Finance, OFAC, AML, and Anti-Boycott regulations. He has worked for two major U.S. banks, and three International overseas banks. In his current role, Mr. Baraka is responsible for managing trade risk, trade regulatory compliance and sanctions screening for Trade Operations. He has also conducted several Trade product related training programs for bankers in the Middle East and North Africa. He was twice presented with the highest Global recognition award by JPMorgan Chase for his exceptional contribution to the success of the firm.

Steven J. Bash
SVP & Head, International Banking & trade Finance
City National Bank

Mr. Steven Bash is senior vice president and manager of City National Bank’s International Banking & Trade Finance department. He oversees the bank’s trade finance, trade services, structured trade finance, risk mitigation and distribution, global correspondent banking, and trade advisory services. Before joining City National, Mr. Bash managed Wells Fargo Bank’s Global Financial Institutions and Overseas Client Management Group in San Francisco. From 1995 through 2005, he was a managing director at Wachovia Bank, where he held a variety of leadership roles in its global financial institutions, global government banking, and trade finance units. Mr. Bash is a past president of the Bankers Association of Finance and Trade (BAFT).

Maile Choy
Capital Markets Counsel
Wells Fargo

Ms. Maile Choy has practiced in various areas of banking law and regulation, from derivatives to commercial lending, and has more recently moved into trade finance law.  She is part of the International group within Wells Fargo’s law department, and is a lead attorney supporting the International Trade Services business as well as the Global Financial Institutions group and Global Banking.

Prior to Wells Fargo, Ms. Choy was a corporate and lending attorney for E-Loan and practiced at the law firms of Morrison & Foerster LLP and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy.  She is a graduate of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and New York University School of Law.

Stacey Facter
Senior Vice President, Trade Products

Ms. Stacey Facter is a Senior Vice President, Trade Products where she has oversight of all trade-related advocacy, education and product-related initiatives for the association and its membership. Ms. Facter will participate in BAFT trade committees and regional councils to advance the trade finance agenda of member institutions, including working toward standardizing trade definitions, documentation and regulations for industry adoption and consistent use. Ms. Facter has more than 25 years of experience in international banking, including over 20 years with JP Morgan Chase, covering emerging markets, international trade finance, cash and risk management, and securities collateral management.

Daniel L. Gardner
Trade Facilitators, Inc.

Mr. Daniel L. Gardner is founder and president of Trade Facilitators, Inc., a Los Angeles based supply chain consulting and training firm. Prior to founding TFI, Mr. Gardner spent 23 years in the Third Party Logistics business where he held senior management positions with entities that include Exel Global Logistics and DHL Global Forwarding.

He also spent six years as an adjunct faculty member of both The University of Miami and Florida International University Graduate Business Schools where he taught Global Logistics & Supply Chain Management. As an author and journalist, Mr. Gardner’s work has appeared in The Journal of Commerce, APICS Magazine, CSCMP Global Perspectives and Inbound Logistics magazine. His first book, Supply Chain Vector: Methods for Linking the Execution of Global Business Models with Financial Performance was selected by Inbound Logistics Magazine in 2008 as part of its “Must Read List” for supply chain professionals.

Normand Girard, CDCS
Chair, BAFT Southeast Region Letter of Credit Committee
Director, Trade Finance Operations
BMO Financial Group

Mr. Normand Girard is Director, Trade Finance Operations for BMO Financial Group. He is responsible for the Bank’s processing of all trade finance products in Canada and the United States.

Mr. Girard has over twenty-four years of experience in Trade Finance Operations at BMO Financial Group. During his career with the Bank, he has covered every role in Import, Export, Standby Letters of Credit and Collections as well as integral operations leadership roles throughout the evolution of BMO’s trade finance business.

Mr. Girard is a Certified Documentary Credit Specialist and Chair of the BAFT Southeast Letter of Credit Committee. He is also an Associate of the Institute of Canadian Bankers.

Yasmin Kermalli
Assistant Vice President
Global Trade operations – Export and Import Letters of Credit
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Ms. Yasmin Kermalli is Assistant Vice President in the Commercial Letters of Credit department at Bank of America in Los Angeles. Yasmin joined Bank of America twenty seven years ago, and has been in Trade Finance for twenty two years.   She started as an assistant in Trade Sales and is currently Service Center Coordinator in Global Trade Operations for both import and export LC sections. Prior to joining Bank of America, Yasmin was with The HSBC Group as Office Manager in their merchant banking arm in Dubai.

Polina Kropacheva
Sanctions Compliance Officer
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Ms. Polina Kropacheva is a Sanctions Compliance Officer in the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and had been with OFAC for over four years.  As part of her work at OFAC, Ms. Kropacheva advises financial institutions on issues related to OFAC compliance, and conducts a wide variety of investigations into violations of economic and trade sanctions programs that involve complex commercial trade and banking transactions.

Donald Kurtz
Vice President
International Trade Services and Sales
City National Bank

Mr. Don Kurtz is the International Banking Department’s vice president with over 35 years international banking experience, including 20 years with City National Bank (CNB). As part of the Trade Sales & Advisory Group, he is responsible for the development and direct sales of trade products and services to new and existing client relationships by supporting and coordinating the international business development activities of CNB Southern California line units. Prior to joining CNB, he held a variety of management roles for foreign and domestic banks, including Mitsubishi Bank, Westpac Banking Corporation, and Bangkok Bank and Continental Illinois Bank. He is a past Chairman of the BAFT Southwest Region L/C Committee.

Andrew Lueder
Capital Markets Counsel
Wells Fargo

Mr. Andrew Lueder is a senior counsel with Wells Fargo Bank, San Francisco, where he is a member of the International Division of Wells Fargo Bank’s Law Department. Mr. Lueder specializes in drafting and negotiating trade finance-related contractual documentation used by Wells Fargo Bank’s domestic and international branches.  Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he was in-house counsel specializing in trade finance with Standard Chartered Bank. 

Agnes Martinez
Chair, SWR L/C Committee
Vice President – Operations Manager
Global Trade Services – Los Angeles
J.P. Morgan

Ms. Agnes Martinez is a Vice President and Operations Manager for Global Trade West Coast Division at J.P.Morgan responsible for managing day to day activities associated with Global Trade particularly Letters of Credit. Prior to joining J.P.Morgan about fifteen years ago, Ms. Martinez worked at HSBC as supervisor in the letter of credit department. She is the Chair person for BAFT South West Region Letter of Credit committee which she Co-Chaired for two years.

Ms. Navarro-Twiggs manages a team responsible for BSA related issues including Suspicious Activity Reporting, due diligence on Foreign and Domestic correspondent banking, providing review and approval of client relationships or transactions that pose an increased risk and researching and resolving Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) related issues. Sandra has 26 years of experience in the banking industry and earned her Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (CAMS) certification in 2008..

Neil Ralph
Vice President, Lending & Trade Services – International Trade Services
Comerica Bank

Mr. Neil Ralph is presently Vice President, Lending and Trade Services, International Trade Services at Comerica Bank. He is the past Chair of the IFSA South West Regional Committee (2002-2005) and has been a member of the BAFT Commercial Letters of Credit National Committee from 2000 to present. Mr. Ralph has over 26 years’ experience in International Trade with several banking institutions.

Cameron Roberts
Roberts & Kehagiaras LLP

Mr. Cameron W. Roberts has more than twenty-three years of experience in trade and transportation. Mr. Roberts, a former international trade executive, is a licensed customs broker with more than fifteen years of litigation experience representing customs brokers, non-vessel operating common carriers, indirect air carrier and motor carriers. Mr. Roberts founded the predecessor law office to R&K in 2006. He has represented marine insurance companies and transportation companies in all types of cargo claims, including those under the Carmack Amendment, Carriage of Goods by Sea Act and the Montreal Convention. Mr. Roberts advises companies on entity creation, licensing and best practices in trade and transportation. He has testified as an expert in actions concerning customs brokerage, maritime, air, and surface transportation, and importing/export custom and practice.

Francisco Rodriguez, CDCS
Client Services Consultant
Wells Fargo Bank

Mr. Francisco Rodriguez has over thirty years of experience working in Global Trade Operations of several major banks. His interaction with custom brokers, document preparation services, freight forwarders, among others has enabled him to help the banks customers in the import and export trading areas.

Mr. Rodriguez is a current certified documentary credit specialist sanctioned by BAFT. He received his global Logistics Specialist’s certification from California State University –Long Beach. An active member of the South Western Regional LC Committee, he is now serving as its Secretary.

Hermann Schutterle
Vice President, Sr. Operations Manager
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mr. Hermann Schutterle is a Vice President and a Senior Operations Manager and Consultant for Global Trade Operations at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BAML)Trade Operations unit in Los Angeles. He has approximately 35 years of experience in International banking and Trade Finance. Prior to joining BAML, Mr. Schutterle has been in various international banking positions with Commerzbank for over twenty years. There he spent a large part of his professional career in trade services operations, correspondent banking, international project financing. Mr. Schutterle is currently an active member of BAFT National Standby Letter of Credit Committee

Carolina S. Sityar
Vice President, El Monte Trade Customer Connection Manager
Wells Fargo U.S. Trade Services

Ms. Carolina Sityar is presently vice president and manager for U.S. Trade Services and Trade Customer Connection at Wells Fargo Bank in El Monte, CA.  She has extensive banking experience in International Trade Services with Wells Fargo and predecessor institutions.  Ms. Sityar celebrates her 25th year with Wells Fargo Bank this year.   She is currently the Vice Chair for BAFT South West Regional Committee.  

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