Speaker Bios

Timothy J. Abeska, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP:  Tim Abeska is a partner in the Litigation Department in the South Bend, Indiana office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He is admitted to practice in both Indiana and Michigan. Tim concentrates his practice in commercial and construction litigation, including business torts, lender liability defense, and bankruptcy litigation. He has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of commercial litigation (2005-2014) and construction litigation (2012-2014). Tim is a vice chairperson of the Barnes & Thornburg’s Construction Law Practice Group. Tim arbitrates commercial and construction disputes under appointment by the AAA.

Tim is a 1982 graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School. He earned a B.A. in 1979 from the University of Michigan at Dearborn with a double major in political science and history.
* * * * *

John W. Barron, Deputy Dir. and General Counsel, Ohio Casino Control Commission:  John W. Barron is the Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel for the Ohio Casino Control Commission. The Ohio Casino Control Commission is charged with ensuring the integrity of gaming at Ohio’s four casinos.  Prior to working for the Commission, John served as the Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Senate, where he provided legal advice on all matters, including legislative, ethics, and employment issues. While there, he assisted in drafting Ohio’s Casino Control Law and was one of the first employees in the newly created Commission.

He has also served as the Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Department of Development and the Lieutenant Governor, the Deputy Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Governor, and as an Assistant Attorney General at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. While at the AG’s Office, John was selected as the Simon Karas Fellow, working with the State Solicitor on major appellate issues.

John is a graduate of the Ohio State University and the Ohio State University College of Law.  Prior to his legal career, he served in the U.S. Air Force, completing S.E.R.E. Survival School, Freefall Parachute School, and the Soaring/Glider Program. He is an adjunct professor at Capital University Law School and a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law.

* * * * *

June Casalmir, Counsel for Consumer & Marketing Practices, Sprint Nextel:  June Casalmir is Counsel for Consumer & Marketing Practices at Sprint Nextel, where she advises on a wide variety of marketing, advertising, and consumer-related issues. In her role,
June supports the company’s marketing and PR efforts relating to mobile broadband, push-to-talk, and other national campaigns as well as the company’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series title sponsorship. June also works closely with teams deploying mobile and direct marketing, web
2.0, and integrated media tactics.

Prior to joining Nextel in 2004, June was an antitrust & consumer protection associate with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP and Powell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy, LLP. She began her legal career as an enforcement attorney in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition. June received her J.D. from the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis and her undergraduate degree from Duke University.

* * * * *

Subodh Chandra, Managing Partner, The Chandra Law Firm LLC:   Subodh has served as a large-firm litigator, federal prosecutor, and law director of the City of Cleveland. His private-practice focus is in civil rights (including employment discrimination, First Amendment, section 1983 litigation, and voting rights) and white-collar-criminal defense, as well as general business litigation. He is a graduate of the Yale Law School and Stanford University, where he graduated with honors and distinction.

* * * * *

Christine Chen, Exec. Dir., APIAVote:  Christine Chen, the founding executive director from 2006-2008 has returned to APIAVote in January 2011 to serve as its current Executive Director. During her previous tenure she had strengthened and expanded APIAVote's partners in various states. She also served as the national coordinator of the APIAVote Presidential Town Hall.

Profiled by Newsweek magazine in 2001 as one of 15 women who will shape America’s new century, Chen served from 2001 to 2005 as national executive director of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), one of the leading APIA civil rights organizations in the country. Leading an organization with more than 80 chapters and affiliates across the nation, she worked with OCA’s national board, executive council,
chapter representatives, members and funders while managing a staff of 13.

Chen’s accomplishments at OCA included: increasing funding levels by 35 percent; expanding the national office by creating a West Coast branch office in Los Angeles; and managing the development and transition of national office staff from five people to 13. Her dedication to empowering the next generation of leaders is demonstrated through her leadership in launching innovative student development and outreach programs such as
APIAU: Leadership 101, which trained more than 3,500 students. By expanding the scholarship and internship programs, thousands of student leaders were provided opportunities to expand their career and educational goals.

Chen is well-known by activists across the county. Her track record in building coalitions and working at the grassroots and national levels established her as one of the strongest voices in the APIA community. She has more than a decade of experience in organizing and advocating on issues such as immigration, hate crimes, affirmative action, census, racial profiling, voting rights, election reform, and various derogatory and racist media incidents. Her role as a trusted coalition builder has her effectively building relationships with key Congressional offices including the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, federal agencies, and the administration.

Currently Chen is also serving as President of Strategic Alliances USA, a consulting firm specializing in coalition building, institutional development, and partnerships among the corporate sector, government agencies, and the nonprofit and public sector. Throughout the years with Chen's multitasking abilities, Chen also was a member of the executive committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. She also served on numerous boards such as the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Demos Board of Trustees, Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL), Youth Vote, Gates Millennium Scholarship Advisory Council, advisory board for the Progressive Majority Racial Justice Campaign, and the Board of Advisors for the Midwest Asian American Students Union, East Coast Asian American Students Union, and the Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association. In 2003, she was a founding member of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund.

Chen currently serves on the Kennedy Center Community Advisory Board, Center for Asian American Media, OCA Northern Virginia Chapter, and the advisory boards for the Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association (APAMSA), and CAPAL.

* * * * *

Theodore K. Cheng, Partner, Fox Horan & Camerini LLP
:  Theo Cheng is a partner practicing in general commercial litigation, intellectual property, and alternative dispute resolution. With over 16 years of experience handling a broad array of business disputes in federal and state courts, he counsels high net-worth individuals and small to middle-market business entities in industries  as  varied  as  high-tech,  telecommunications, entertainment,  consumer  products,  food  and hospitality, retail, and financial services. In 2007, he was named one of the Best Lawyers Under 40 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

In addition to achieving favorable outcomes through motion practice and trials in both federal and state courts, he has successfully resolved numerous matters through facilitated negotiations, mediations, and arbitrations, including commercial and business disputes, breach of contract and negligence actions, trade secret  theft,  employment  discrimination  claims,  wage-and-hour  disputes,  and  intellectual  property infringement. Mr. Cheng is a federal courts mediator, a small claims court arbitrator, and a panelist with Resolute Systems, LLC through which he provides private mediation, arbitration, and ADR consulting services. Mr. Cheng also received a 2013 American Arbitration Association A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Fellowship.

Mr. Cheng received his A.B. cum laude in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the Moot Court Board. He was a marketing consultant in the brokerage operations of a major insurance company and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and  the  Honorable  Ronald  L.  Buckwalter  of  the  U.S.  District  Court  for  the  Eastern  District  of Pennsylvania. Mr. Cheng is a member of several bar associations, for which he serves on various litigation, intellectual property, and ADR committees, including the New York City Bar Association’s Task Force on ADR in New York City Courts.

* * * * *

Deborah Coleman, Coleman Law, LLC:  Deborah Coleman helps parties in conflict resolve their complex business disputes through mediation or arbitration. She also provides professional ethics counsel and representation to lawyers.

Deborah arbitrates large and small disputes, including international cases. She is often selected as sole arbitrator or panel chair. She manages preliminary proceedings and hearings proactively to achieve efficiency and fairness. Deborah offers arbitration services as a member of the Large Complex Case, Technology and Commercial Panels of the American Arbitration Association, as a member of the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, and privately. She is a member of the College of Commercial Arbitrators.

Deborah has conducted mediations independently and as a neutral for the AAA, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the Business Litigation Panel of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. She is certified as a mediator by the International Mediation Institute.

Before establishing her own firm, Deborah was a lawyer with the Cleveland office of Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP. She handled complex commercial litigation with a focus on competition issues, and intellectual property and technology disputes. She also provided antitrust counsel. Deborah was the first woman admitted to partnership at Hahn Loeser, and served as its Ethics Partner.

Deborah is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard University.

* * * * *

Minerva B. Elizaga, Senior Attorney Services Counsel, Supreme Court of Ohio
:  Minerva B. Elizaga is Senior Attorney Services Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio and Secretary to the Board of the Unauthorized Practice of Law. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Environmental Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and her law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

* * * * *

Rudy Figueroa, VP of Admin., HR, and Legal Departments, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Mitsui Rail Capital, LLC:  Rudy Figueroa is the Vice President of Administration, Human Resources and Legal Departments, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Mitsui Rail Capital, LLC, a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., a Global Fortune 150 company with operations throughout the world. Mr. Figueroa oversees the legal affairs of Mitsui’s freight rail operations in North America and freight rail related projects world-wide. His legal responsibilities include counseling and oversight of all aspects of the company’s business operations in North America and internationally, management of all transactional matters including mergers and acquisitions, financial arrangements and operating leases, risk management including procurement and claims management, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, intellectual property & technology agreements, and litigation management. Mr. Figueroa also manages the administrative affairs and human resources of the company, including information technology, business process reengineering, audits (IT, SOX/JSOX, financial, etc.) personnel training, compliance training, policy development and more.

* * * * *

Melinda Haggerty, Dir. of Children's Initiatives, Office of the Ohio Attorney General:  Melinda Haggerty is the Director of Children’s Initiatives for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. Melinda gets her passion for children honestly. As a former foster child, Melinda has a first-hand understanding of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems that helps inform her child advocacy role at the Attorney General’s Office. Though Melinda previously clerked at a Columbus law firm representing various county government agencies, it was her devotion to
children’s issues that led her back into public service.

In her role at the Attorney General’s Office, Melinda spends a great deal of time on child welfare, juvenile justice, and human trafficking issues. Melinda facilitates the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission and coordinates the office’s human trafficking response. Melinda trains professionals and the public across the state on human trafficking issues, focusing on state laws around human trafficking. Recently, Melinda published an extensive article on human trafficking in the Ohio Lawyer Magazine to inform Ohio attorneys about recent changes to the laws impacting human trafficking.

Melinda also spends significant time developing child welfare policy. Melinda chairs the Attorney General’s Foster Care Advisory Group, a diverse group of those impacted by foster care in Ohio. Melinda’s foster care efforts have resulted in foster care legislation that is currently pending in the Ohio General Assembly, as well as the distribution of 3 million dollars to support programs that benefit foster children here in Ohio. In 2012, Melinda was awarded the 2012 Ohio Adoption Planning Group’s “Adoption Advocate of the Year” for her policy efforts to secure permanency for foster children.

In addition, Melinda co-chairs the Juvenile Justice subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Taskforce on Criminal Justice and Mental Illness. In this role, Melinda focuses on ensuring that children with mental health and trauma issues receive appropriate services and are kept out of the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, and that those children who are not properly diverted from the justice systems receive appropriate mental health treatment while in the system to ensure that they safely and successfully reintegrate into the community.

Melinda received her bachelor’s degree in English from the Ohio State University in 2007 and went on to earn her law degree from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2010.  Melinda is an Ohio native and she and her husband Derek currently call Columbus, Ohio home.

* * * * *

Donna Hogan, Vice President of Finance, Horseshoe Casino:  Donna Hogan currently holds the position of Vice President of Finance for the Horseshoe Casino. She relocated to the Cleveland area from New Jersey in September, 2013 with her transfer from Caesars Atlantic City. In her most recent role as Operations Controller, she was responsible for the management and operation of the Casino Cashiering, Casino Accounting, Countroom, Non-Gaming Records and Compliance departments. 

With more than 27 years of accounting and gaming industry experience, Donna previously served as an accounting instructor at her alma mater Rutgers University and held leadership and management positions at Tropicana Casino & Resort and Caesars Atlantic City. In addition, Donna worked as a Certified Public Accountant for more than 10 years.  Donna graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree from Rutgers University where she was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Connecticut.  She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and New Jersey Society of CPA’s. A community advocate, Donna served as the Chairperson of the United Way Campaign at Caesars Atlantic City, was on the Board of Directors of the ARC of Atlantic County and currently serves as a member of the Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City HERO program. 

* * * * *

Renee Jones, President & CEO, Renee Jones Empowerment Center:  Renee Jones is the President & CEO and founder of the Renee Jones Empowerment Center a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that fosters opportunities for the disadvantaged. The Center’s mission is to empower these individuals to advocate for themselves and to improve their quality of life through personal, social, and professional development. The Center has operated in Cleveland’s Ward 17 in the West 65th Street area since 2002 and provides evening & Weekend Programs and outreach programs and services in the greater Cleveland area. Ms Jones is passionate about helping people restore their lives and tackling issues that plague and destroy communities by creating programs specifically designed to address the issues. Ms. Jones is also The Director of Human Resources at the Great Lakes Science Center Cleveland, Ohio; she is responsible for managing the human resource functions including staffing, employee relations, compensation and employee benefit administration.

Ms. Jones worked with the College of Health Science And Human Service-The University of Toledo as a Data Collector for the city of Cleveland on The Understanding And Mapping Sex Trafficking In Ohio Study under the direction of Celia Williamson, Ph.D., Professor.

* * * * *

Michael J. Jordan, Jordan Resolutions, LLC
: Michael Jordan, Esq., provides arbitration and mediation services in health care and complex commercial matters. He has been named to Best Lawyers in America in several categories, including health care, arbitration and mediation. Michael has been designated an Ohio Super Lawyer in the field of alternative dispute resolution and the American Arbitration Association awarded Michael the Rosewood Gavel for outstanding service.

Michael is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude) and of the George Washington University National Law Center, where he was a member of the Law Review. Mr. Jordan can be reached at mj@jordanresolutions.com.

* * * * *

Christine Li, Assistant General Counsel, Investment Practice Group, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company:  Christine Li is Assistant General Counsel for the Investments Practice Group at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. She is a capital markets attorney providing legal support to Nationwide’s Office of Investments on a wide variety of matters. Her primary areas of practice include structured finance, private placements, private equity and hedge fund investments, debt financing, as well as insurance investment regulation and compliance. She manages the Summer Law Clerk and Fellowship Programs, serves on the legal department’s Diversity & Inclusion Council and is the chair of the Diversity Scholarship Committee.

Prior to her tenure at Nationwide, Christine was an associate at Porter Wright Morris and Arthur LLP, where she practiced in the areas of general corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, securities and corporate governance. Christine is an active member and former officer and
director of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance with honors from the Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

* * * * *

Christy A. Prince, Senior Associate, Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter, LPA
:  Christy A. Prince is a senior associate with Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter, LPA specializing in gaming law, liquor law, restructuring, and insolvency litigation. She has served as the Editor in Chief of Ohiogaminglaw.com since 2008, and her articles have been published in the ABA GP Solo magazine, Columbus Lawyers Quarterly, and other publications. Christy graduated summa cum laude from the University of Toledo College of Law. She lived abroad in Costa Rica during high school and participated in study abroad programs to China, Korea, Japan, Spain, and Great Britain during college.

Christy serves the community as a member of the Advisory Board of The Salvation Army of Central Ohio and as co-chair of the IWIRC Central Ohio Network. Christy is a Columbus enthusiast and certified tourism ambassador for Central Ohio who also enjoys international travel, painting, and spending time with her husband and two small children.

* * * * *

Tina Robinson, Regional Compliance Officer, Horseshoe Cleveland and ThistleDown Racino:  Tina Robinson is the Regional Compliance Officer for Horseshoe Cleveland and ThistleDown Racino. She relocated to Cleveland Ohio in January 2013. Prior to this position Tina held the title of Manager Electronic Gaming Regulatory Affairs with Caesars in Las Vegas, Nevada.

With more than sixteen years of experience at various casino properties holding Manager Positions, Tina has a broad knowledge and experience in all aspects of the Audit and Compliance. Tina was responsible for obtaining requisite regulatory approvals for gaming and technology she proactively worked on regulations, minimum internal control standards, and rules in varied jurisdictions to assist with speed to market for desired technologies.  Tina exemplifies dedication, perseverance and follows through.  In the Casino world, strict adherence to regulations and the ability to navigate those regulations is crucial to success.

* * * * *

Anna Marin Russell, Fin. & Tax Investigation Counsel, Ohio Casino Control Commission:  Anna Marin Russell is the Financial and Tax Investigation Counsel for the Ohio Casino Control Commission. In this position, she wears two hats; one as part of the Legal Division and the other with Licensing and Investigations.

Prior to working at the Commission, Anna Marin worked for the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr, LLP, where she conducted conflicts analysis on all incoming business of the firm in conformity with the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Anna Marin is a graduate of the College of Wooster where she played soccer all four years serving as the team’s captain her junior and senior years. She subsequently obtained her law degree from Ohio Northern University College of Law serving on the school’s Moot Court Executive Board as the Administrative Justice her third year.

Prior to her legal career, Anna Marin volunteered for the non-profit organization Hands On Atlanta as a tutor for elementary school children and also served as a coach for a local high school girls’ varsity soccer team in Atlanta, Georgia.

* * * * *

Wendy Shiba, Former Executive VP, General Counsel and Secretary, KB Home and PolyOne Corp., Immediate Past President of NAPABA:  Wendy Shiba is a retired corporate attorney whose career of more than 30 years included private practice, teaching, government service, and serving as an executive officer of three NYSE-listed companies (Executive VP, General Counsel and Secretary of KB Home; Senior VP, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of PolyOne Corporation; and VP, Secretary and Assistant General Counsel of Bowater Incorporated). 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.

Wendy is Immediate Past President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Japanese American National Museum. She has held board and leadership positions with numerous professional and non-profit organizations, including the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley (past President). She received the American Bar Association’s 2014 Spirit of Excellence Award, NAPABA’s 2009 Trailblazer Award, and the YWCA’s 2007 Woman of Achievement Award; was a member of the 2010 Japanese American Leadership Delegation to Japan and the 2007 inaugural class of the DirectWomen Board Institute; and has been recognized as one of the
2010 Most Powerful and Influential Women in California. She has been a frequent keynote speaker and panelist on topics including corporate governance, women’s leadership, and diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Wendy earned her B.S. 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.

Wendy resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Lawrence Pittman, but is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio. While serving as Chief Legal Officer of PolyOne Corporation, she was active in the greater Cleveland community. She served on the boards of United Way of Greater Cleveland, Youth Challenge, and In Counsel with Women, chaired the Law Division for the United Way campaign, and served on the Diversity Action Committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. She was a member of the Asian American Bar Association of Ohio and values her friendships with its members.

* * * * *

Michelle Siba, Assistant General Counsel, Ohio Casino Control Commission:  Michelle Siba is the Assistant General Counsel for the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Michelle is a graduate of the Ohio State University and the Capital University Law School. Capital, Michelle was honored for her pro bono service as a student. Prior to graduation, Michelle served as a legal intern at the Ohio Senate and as a law clerk for the Franklin County Public Defender.

Michelle is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio and often serves as a judge for local middle school and high school mock trial and moot court competitions. She is also an ambassador for Columbus Young Professionals.

* * * * *

Michelle Skipper, VP of Charlotte regional office, American Arbitration Association
:  Michelle is the Vice President of the Charlotte regional office for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the world’s largest not-for-profit provider of ADR services established in 1927.  At the AAA, Michelle is responsible for overseeing the case management of large, complex commercial arbitrations in NC, SC, TN, KY, IN, OH and WV.  She also identifies and recruits arbitrators and mediators to join the AAA roster of neutrals, and provides training to both clients and attorneys on the appropriate and effective use of dispute resolution processes.  In addition, Michelle leads ADR healthcare initiatives for AAA.

A frequent speaker on ADR topics at legal and industry conferences and law schools, Michelle received her B.A. in Finance from the University of Texas in San Antonio, TX.  She earned her MBA from the McColl School of Business at Queens University in Charlotte, NC.   She is a member of the North Carolina State Bar ADR Section.  Prior to joining the AAA, Michelle worked in the healthcare industry for 20 years where she held numerous administrative positions for health systems and private physician group practices.  She can be reached at skipperm@adr.org .

* * * * *

Jason Veloso, Senior Attorney, Cliffs Natural Resources:  Jason Veloso is a Senior Attorney at Cliffs Natural Resources, an international mining and natural resources company based in Cleveland, Ohio. An S&P and Fortune 500 company, Cliffs is a major global iron ore producer and a significant producer of high and low-volatile metallurgical coal. At Cliffs, Jason supports the company’s United States-based iron ore and coal operations on a wide variety of matters including supplier and customer contract negotiations, mineral lease and other land transactions, litigation, energy, joint venture and partnership issues, regulatory matters, public and government affairs, legislation, and risk management.

 Jason received his A.B. cum laude from Duke University and his J.D. from the Duke University School of Law. Prior to joining Cliffs, Jason practiced in the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and the Cleveland office of Hahn, Loeser & Parks, focusing on business and securities litigation. 

* * * * *

Lisa Wong, President, OCA Cleveland:  Lisa Wong is a native Clevelander. She is the newly elected president of the OCA Cleveland Chapter, an Asian American Advocacy organization and the Co-Founder, Co-Chair of the Cleveland Asian Festival. She is a member of the Asiatown Task Force Planning committee and has over 20 years of community service and non-profit programming experience. Lisa is a marketing graduate of Cleveland State University and specializes in event management.  Lisa has worked for the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, the Cleveland Department of Public Health, The Plain Dealer, and recently join the Minority Business Assistance Center at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland as a Business Advisor.

Lisa Wong is a graduate of the grassroots program Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland, and the FBI Citizen’s Academy, and is also a certified Election Day Official. She serves on multiple boards including Cleveland Asian Festival, MotivAsians, and Worldwide Intercultural Network (WIN-NEO). She is a host, producer, and writer for OCA Image TV Ohio. Lisa has been a dedicated member of the Cleveland chapter of OCA for over 20 Years, serving as Newsletter Editor, V.P. of Public Relations, and V.P. of Membership. For her many contributions to the Asian community, Lisa was honored with the 2012 Ohio Asian Leaders Award.

* * * * *

Margaret Wong, Margaret W. Wong & Associates Co., L.P.A:  In more than 35 years of practice, Margaret Wong has built Margaret W. Wong & Associates Co., L.P.A. into a firm nationally and internationally renowned for its knowledge in immigration and nationality law. She is the current co-chair of the Immigration Law Committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and chair of the Cleveland Bar Association’s Immigration Law Section.

Margaret Wong is a civic leader who educates and inspires others. While she was serving as the first Asian-American president of the Cleveland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, the Cleveland chapter won the coveted Chapter Activity Award. The Ohio Supreme Court appointed her a charter member of the Continuing Legal Education Commission for attorneys, where she is currently serving as a member of its Racial Task Force. She has presented numerous seminars on immigration and naturalization law for bar associations and the public.  Committed to giving something back to the community and to mentoring young professionals, Ms. Wong has volunteered her time and expertise on boards of numerous organizations.
* * * * *

Michael Yap, Chief Legal Officer, International Investments Business, Prudential Financial
:   Michael Yap is the Chief Legal Officer of Prudential’s International Investments business. In this role, he manages the legal support for Prudential’s mutual fund and investment management operations in Asia, Latin America and Europe. This business offers investment products and services to retail and institutional clients and manages and administers $46 billion in assets. Mr. Yap was previously a Vice President and Corporate Counsel in Prudential’s global real estate investment manager, Prudential Real Estate Investors, one of the largest in the industry with $44 billion under management. He served as counsel to the unit's global offices, strategic joint ventures, new initiatives and securities trading team.

He serves on Prudential’s Anti Corruption Advisory Committee, which provides guidance on enterprise-wide activities. He is also a member of the Diversity Steering Committee and a former Chair of the Diversity Council, each of which develop diversity and inclusion initiatives for Prudential’s law and compliance division.

He is a board member of the New Jersey Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and a Co-Chair of the International Law Committee. He is a member of the Advisory Council and a former board member of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. He received leadership awards from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey and the Rutgers Law School Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.

* * * * *

Robert Yap, Chief Legal Officer of Total Call International, Inc., (“TCI”) and Locus Telecommunications, Inc
.:  Robert Yap is the Chief Legal Officer of Total Call International, Inc., (“TCI”) and Locus Telecommunications, Inc., (“Locus”) both of which are subsidiaries of the KDDI Group, a Japanese global telecommunications company with over $35 billion in annual revenue. TCI and Locus are providers of mobile phone, prepaid calling card, and wholesale international telecommunication services. Prior to joining TCI in 2007, Mr. Yap was in private practice as a transactional attorney at McDermott, Will & Emery (2000 to 2002) and as a business litigation attorney at Artiano & Guzman (2002 to 2007).

Currently, Mr. Yap also serves as a board member of the Asian Pacific Community Fund ("APCF"), a non-profit that has raised more than $4,000,000 for distribution to non-profits that serve Asian Pacific American communities in Los Angeles; and as a board member of Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (“CAUSE”), a non-profit dedicated to politically empowering the Asian Pacific American community.

Mr. Yap received his B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University and his J.D., with honors, from George Washington University School of Law.