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  • David Abshier
  • Managing Director
  • Berkeley Research Group
  • Mr. David Abshier has over 25 years of banking and executive management experience in a variety of functions, including: management and regulatory consulting/advisory, expert testimony, chief credit officer, risk assessment manager, corporate compliance manager, senior federal bank examiner, financial and credit analyst, and branch operations officer. He provides consulting and advisory services to financial institutions throughout the United States and overseas, including services related to strategic planning, financial analysis, organizational assessments, director and management reviews, credit risk management, commercial and residential mortgage loan underwriting and securitization, loan servicing, litigation support, corporate governance, enterprise-wide risk management, Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering, consumer compliance laws and protections, general bank practices, enforcement actions, and regulatory issues.
  • Michael Baker
  • Professor
  • University of California
  • Mr. Michael Baker has practiced international trade law for the past 42 years. He teaches classes at UCLA (for the past 29 years) such as ‘International Business Law’; ‘Advanced Import techniques’; ‘Export documentation Banking and Transportation’; ‘Global Currency Management.’ He has had an FMC freight forwarders license and a Customhouse Brokers license. Michael’s practice is concentrated in international trade, customs, and corporate law. He has set up international businesses in China, Japan, Mexico, and Latin America. He acts as general counsel for 4 companies in the Los Angeles area. He, of course, has been your JUDGE for the past 5 years.
  • Steve Bash
  • Senior Vice President and Manager
  • Department of 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, supply chain programs, international credit and portfolio management, risk mitigation, global correspondent banking, and trade advisory services. Throughout his career, he has held a variety of leadership roles with other global financial institutions, including a posting as Managing Director, Hong Kong Branch for CoreStates Bank from 1989-1992. He currently serves as an appointee to the U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Finance Advisory Council (TFCA.), a nonpartisan group of 20 private sector individuals, working on recommendations to increase access to export financing for U.S. small and medium size companies. Mr. Bash is a past president of the Bankers Association of Finance and Trade (BAFT).
  • David W. Clements
  • President
  • Quality Letters of Credit, Inc.
  • Mr. David Clements is a product of the Massachusetts Public School system. He graduated with a Business Degree and minored in Economics from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in 1981. He spent 12 years in Logistics both domestically and internationally before opening Quality Letters of Credit, Inc.
  • Vanessa Derenoncourt
  • Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
  • US Department of Treasury
  • Ms. Vanessa Derenoncourt is a member of the Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation team at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In her capacity as a Sanctions Compliance Officer, she advises on a variety of matters relating to both domestic and foreign financial institution compliance with U.S. economic sanctions programs. As part of OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation team, she routinely provides guidance to small, medium, and large financial institutions and international companies regarding in-process transactions, OFAC sanctions programs, and conducts investigations of financial institutions that appear to have violated U.S. sanctions regulations. Prior to joining OFAC, Ms. Derenoncourt was a Team Lead with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)’s Regulatory Support Section. She served as the Subject Matter Expert for inquiries related to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), assisted law enforcement with complex financial investigations, and spearheaded compliance projects related to BSA report submission.
  • Stacey A. Facter
  • SVP, Trade Products
  • BAFT
  • Ms. Stacey Facter, has spent the last four years as Senior Vice President responsible for Trade Products at BAFT (“Bankers Association for Finance and Trade”), an affiliate of the American Bankers Association. She has oversight of all trade-related advocacy, education and product-related initiatives for the association and its membership. She participates in BAFT trade committees, product and regional councils as well as many other industry initiatives 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 twenty-five years of experience in international banking, including over twenty years with JP Morgan Chase Bank in sales, product, secondary market distribution and risk management covering emerging markets, international trade finance, cash and securities collateral management.
  • Normand Girard, CDCS
  • Director, Global Trade Operations
  • BMO Financial Group
  • Mr. Normand Girard is Director, Global Trade Operations for BMO Financial Group. He is responsible for the Bank’s processing of all trade finance products in Canada and the United States with process oversight in Europe and Asia. Mr. Girard has over 27 years of experience in Global Trade 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. He is a Certified Documentary Credit Specialist and Chair of the BAFT National Letter of Credit Committee.
  • David J. Habib
  • International Trade Attorney
  • Law Office of David J. Habib
  • Mr. David Habib is an attorney with more than 30 years’ experience in international business. Following law school, he lived and worked abroad as in-house counsel for Saudi Arabia’s national oil company – ARAMCO. He was then recruited as Managing Director of an international trading and project management company doing business in the Middle East, Africa, China, and Mexico. Mr. Habib has prepared hundreds of procurement and development contracts involving billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. goods and services, has negotiated and monitored execution of over 100 foreign bank Letters of Credit, and has structured the financing of millions of dollars’ worth of exports using U.S. and foreign banks. He has been appointed by successive U.S. Secretaries of Commerce as a Member of the District Export Council of Southern California. From his office in Westlake Village, California, he represents U.S. and foreign clients in connection with a wide range of commercial and international trade related matters, in complex litigation in state and federal courts, and in commercial mediations and arbitrations.
  • Yasmin Kermalli, CDCS
  • Assistant Vice President and Service Center Coordinator
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Ms. Yasmin Kermalli is Assistant Vice President and Service Center Coordinator in Global Trade Operations, Commercial Letters of Credit department at Bank of America in Los Angeles. She joined Bank of America thirty years ago, and has been in Trade Finance over twenty five years. Prior to joining Bank of America, Ms. Kermalli was with The HSBC Group as Office Manager in their Merchant Banking arm in Dubai, UAE. Ms. Kermalli is currently Vice Chair for West Coast BAFT Regional Letter of Credit Committee.
  • Doug Krause
  • Chief Risk Officer and General Counsel
  • East West Bank
  • Mr. Doug Krause is Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer and General Counsel of East West Bank – one of the largest independent commercial bank based in California and the financial bridge between the United States and Greater China. He joined East West in 1996 and oversees risk management, corporate governance, legal, AML /OFAC compliance and corporate compliance. Mr. Krause received his B.A. from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and his juris doctor from Columbia Law School in New York.
  • Donald Kurtz
  • Vice President
  • City National Bank
  • Mr. Donald Kurtz is vice president in City National Bank’s International Banking Department with 30 plus years international banking experience, including 20 years with City National Bank. 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. Prior to joining City National, he held a variety of management roles on both marketing and operations sides for foreign and domestic banks. In these capacities, he has been responsible for new business development, and accountable for maintaining internal controls and compliance risk, while assuring that the Bank customer service standards are maintained.
  • Agnes Martinez
  • Vice President, Department Manager
  • City National Bank
  • Ms. Agnes Martinez is Vice President and Department Manager for International Trade Services at City National Bank, responsible for managing day-to-day activities associated with Trade Finance. Agnes worked at J. P. Morgan managing their Global Trade West Coast Division prior to joining City National Bank. Ms. Martinez also worked at HSBC as supervisor in their letter of credit department. She is the past Chairperson for BAFT South West Regional Letter of Credit committee that she chaired for four years, and is currently Vice Chair for BAFT National Commercial Committee.
  • Barbara Mendelson, Esq.
  • Partner
  • Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Ms. Barbara Mendelson is a partner at Morrison & Foerster. She advises foreign and U.S. banks in complex regulatory matters, including under the Bank Holding Company Act, the International Banking Act and the Dodd-Frank Act and other key federal and state banking and related laws and regulations. Along with her colleagues in the firm's investigations practice, Ms. Mendelson represents financial institutions and other companies in enforcement actions, including those arising under the Bank Secrecy Act and U.S. economic sanctions laws and regulations. Ms. Mendelson recently was the winner of the “Best in Financial Regulation” award at the Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Americas Women in Business Law Awards.
  • Noor Menai
  • President and CEO
  • CTBC Bank USA
  • Mr. Noor Menai is President & CEO of CTBC Bank Corp. USA (formerly Chinatrust Bank), where he oversees its North American operations including the bank’s Commercial and Industrial and Commercial Real Estate lending groups as well as 12 branches in California, New Jersey and New York. He also oversees North American operations for the parent bank, CTBC Bank. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and North America Regional Head of CTBC where he has had responsibility for US and Canada Corporate and Commercial Real Estate, Trade, Cash, F/X, Asset Based Lending, Syndications and Participations & Advisory, business lines and trade finance for the China/North America Trade Corridor. He joined CTCB in January 2011 as the Head of Governance and Retail Banking for the US, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Walter J. Mix III
  • Managing Director and Financial Services Practice Group Leader
  • Berkeley Research Group LLC
  • Mr. Walter J. Mix III is a Managing Director and heads the Financial Services practice at Berkeley Research Group. He is a former commissioner of the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and also previously served as a banking executive at Union Bank of California. He advises domestic and international bank clients on corporate governance, risk management, strategic planning, and financial advisory assignments. He has significant experience in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, enterprise risk management, regulatory compliance, and capital planning. He joined BRG from LECG, LLC and before that The Secura Group; serving as managing director in both firms. He serves as chairman of the International Bankers Association of California.
  • Mina Rizkalla CAMS, CFE
  • First Vice President & BSA Officer
  • CTCB Bank USA
  • Mr. Mina S. Rizkalla is the First Vice President and BSA Officer for CTBC Bank Corp. (USA). He is responsible for managing the Bank’s compliance program as it relates to all aspects of the Bank Secrecy Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control. He has worked in the banking industry for over 25 years with mid-sized banks with assets over 30 billion, specializing in areas of Risk and Fraud Management with substantial experience in Fraud Prevention, the Bank Secrecy Act, OFAC, Risk Based Auditing, and Bank Operations. Mr. Rizkalla is a proven leader in the field of merger and acquisitions, especially as it relates to the Bank Secrecy Act, Office of Foreign Assets Control, and Fraud Prevention system build-outs.
  • Cameron Roberts
  • Partner
  • Roberts & Kehagiaras, LLP
  • Mr. Cameron Roberts is a partner at Roberts & Kehagiaras LLP in Long Beach, California. His practice areas include customs, export compliance, domestic and international transportation law, trade and insurance issues. Mr. Roberts is a member of the numerous trade and legal associations. He is the President of the Foreign Trade Association, and serves on the Board of the Harbor Transportation Club. Mr. Roberts is an adjunct professor at California State University Long Beach. He is a frequent presenter and author on topics related to his practice areas. He is licensed customs broker and a former transportation executive, with more than twenty-five years of experience in international trade. He earned his B.A. degree in political science and international relations from California State University, Long Beach, and his J.D. degree, cum laude, from the Seattle University School of Law.
  • Francisco Rodriguez, CDCS
  • Officer and Client Services Consultant
  • Wells Fargo Bank NA
  • Mr. Francisco Rodriguez has over thirty-five 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, export trading areas, as well as Standby L/C’s 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. He is the current Chair of BAFT West Coast Regional L/C Committee.
  • Carolina S. Sityar
  • Vice President, US Trade Services
  • Wells Fargo Bank NA
  • 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.
  • Nikolas Takacs
  • Senior Counsel
  • Wells Fargo
  • Mr. Nikolas “Nik” Takacs is senior counsel in the San Francisco office of Wells Fargo’s Legal Department, supporting Wells Fargo’s International Trade Services line of business. In that role, he counsels sales, product, operations, and risk teams on all aspects of Wells Fargo’s trade finance and trade processing products. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Mr. Takacs was an associate in the international practice group of a large law firm in St. Louis.
  • Chuck Taylor
  • Senior Vice President, BSA and OFAC Officer
  • City National Bank
  • Mr. Chuck Taylor is a Senior Vice President and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Officer for City National Bank (CNB). He has oversight responsibility for all aspects of the BSA function including maintenance of the Bank’s BSA program, BSA Risk Assessment, AML Monitoring, Currency and Suspicious Activity Reporting, Customer Identification Program, Sanctions filtering and BSA Training.He completed his Juris Doctorate in 2001, received certification as an Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) in 2003 with the inaugural class and became a Certified BSA Officer in 2007. In 2010 he completed the Masters level Bank Management & Finance program through Pacific Coast Banking School.
  • Bryan Wampler
  • Case Manager, Special Activities
  • FDIC - Division of Risk Management Supervision
  • Mr. Bryan Wampler serves as a Case Manager, Special Activities in the FDIC’s San Francisco Regional Office. He joined the FDIC in 2007, serving as an Examiner in the Boston North Field Office from 2007 until 2015, when he accepted the Case Manager, Special Activities position he currently holds. As a Special Activities Case Manager, Mr. Wampler reviews and processes problem BSA/AML Reports of Examination including the preparation of formal and informal BSA/AML corrective actions. During his career, he has served as Acting Case Manager in the Boston Area Office and Acting Case Manager, Special Activities in the New York Regional Office. Mr. Wampler is a BSA/AML Subject Matter Expert, Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and Certified Fraud Examiner. He is a 2007 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and Economics.