Gary Zhao | Candidate for Treasurer

 Gary Zhao

 Candidate for Treasurer

  Endorse Candidate






Candidate Statement

I am very excited to announce my candidacy for Treasurer of NAPABA. I stand by NAPABA’s mission of fostering professional development, advocacy and community involvement and will work hard to support its Strategic Plan so as to best serve its members.

If elected, as your Treasurer, I will have the privilege of managing the organization’s finances and continue to strengthen NAPABA’s fiscal position. I will continue the great work of my predecessor Eugene Kim by ensuring accurate and sound financial oversight and reporting; oversee the monthly receipt and disbursement of funds; develop a feasible budget to maintain the services NAPABA provides, improve its programs by using NAPABA’s resources efficiently and effectively; and examine non-traditional revenue sources and sponsorship and partnership opportunities to help NAPABA achieve a balanced budget.

Serving for the past two years as an At-Large Board member since 2016, I have gained insights into NAPABA’s programming and financial affairs and as a former affiliate President and former co-chair of NAPABA’s litigation committee. I have served on NAPABA’s Programs Task Force for the past two years examining feasibility of various existing and potential NAPABA programs and their impact on NAPABA’s finances. I am currently working with the Programs Task Force to revamp the community service project held in conjunction with the annual convention by exploring ways to partner with interested social services organizations so the community service project can be improved while cutting significant costs for NAPABA. If elected, I will work with the VP of Programs and Operations to explore more ideas like this to help NAPABA avoid using its precious financial resources to provide services and achieve its goals.

I currently co-chair NAPABA’s steering committee of the Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy. This leadership training program allows NAPABA to partner with several established national diverse bar organizations to provide leadership training with minimal financial impact on NAPABA. The number of first time NAPABA attendees increased by over 60% from 2017 to 2018. I worked with the steering committee to develop programs specifically geared for alumni and also explored non-traditional sponsors for CBLA.

I also co-chaired SmithAmundsen’s firm-wide Diversity Committee from 2013 to 2015. In this position I led the firm’s diversity initiatives, oversaw the use of firm-wide diversity budget. All of the above experiences will help me accomplish my duties as your Treasurer.

Leaders and members I have worked with know that I work cooperatively with diverse stakeholders to find creative solutions that work. I have energy and passion to bring to the Treasurer position so that NAPABA will stay a financially strong, unified, and cohesive organization.

Candidate Bio

Gary represents clients in high-stake and complex business litigation matters nationwide. A partner in SmithAmundsen LLC’s commercial litigation group, Gary has secured victories through both trial and arbitration for his client in cases involving breach of contract, intellectual property, false advertising, unfair competition, business fraud and other disputes. He has been atlarge member of the board of governors of NAPABA since 2016. He currently co-chairs NAPABA’s steering committee of the Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy, a substantive program resulting from a collaboration of the six sponsoring bar associations and lays the foundation for further collaborative efforts to foster diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. From 2011 to 2016, Gary served as the co-chair of NAPABA national litigation committee, an active committee with over 200 members. Gary was recognized by NAPABA as one of Best Lawyers Under 40 in 2015. He is a past President of the Chinese American Bar Association, a NAPABA affiliate, and is a recipient of the Presidential Leadership Award from the organization. Gary is the current President-elect of AABA Chicago and received its Member of the Year Award in 2010. Gary also proudly serves on the honorary board of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA). He was recognized as one of 40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch by Chicago Daily Law Bulletin in 2011. In 2018, Gary received Chicago Bar Association’s Vanguard Award, which honors lawyers that have made the law and the legal professional more accessible to and reflective of the community we serve. Gary is also fully engaged in his law firm’s diversity activities. He co-chaired SmithAmundsen’s firm-wide Diversity Committee from 2013 to 2015. In this position he led the firm’s diversity initiatives, oversee the use of firm diversity budget and ensure that all members of the firm feel appreciated for their unique perspectives and backgrounds.


NAPABA Affiliate Endorsements

Affiliate Name 
Asian American Bar Association of Chicago 
Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago 
Missouri Asian American Bar Association 
Charlotte Asian Pacific American Bar Association (CAPABA) 
South Asian Bar Association of Chicago 
Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area 
Korean American Association of Chicago 
Asian American Bar Association of Houston 
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania 
Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA Chicago) 
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) 
Korean American Bar Association of San Diego 
Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association  
Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego 
Philippine American Bar Association 
Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association 
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Virginia 
National Filipino American Lawyers Association 
Asian American Bar Association of New York 

Individual Endorsements

Name Company*
Rachel Kao  Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago 
Courtney Fong CompTIA 
Radhika Lohia  Litchfield Cavo
George Wu  McAndrews Held & Malloy 
Jean Liu  Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP 
Sharon Hwang  McAndrews Held & Malloy 
Sanat Ranganathan  Northern Illinois University 
Shaun Zhang  Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP 
Samantha Woo  Jones Day 
Lisa Dickinson  Dickinson Law Firm PLLC 
Elaine C. Sit  Law Office of Elaine C. Sit 
Sid Shenoy  Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP 
Sun Choi  DC Metro Law, LLC 
Linda Wong  ProFile Discovery 
Phong Nguyen  Baker & Hostetler LLP 
Yan Zong  The Evans International Law Firms, LLC 
Zhaoying Du Motorola Mobility 
Peter Kim  Litchfield Cavo LLP 
Ari Ghosal  Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP 
Jack Chen   
Jack Chan  Law Office of Jack Chan LLC 
Alexander Lee  Law Offices of Alexander M. Lee 
Peter Huh  Licthcfield Cavo LLP 
Alen Hsu  Blank Rome LLP 
David Hsu  Givens and Johnston PLLC 
Sandy Chiu  Greenberg Traurig, P.A. 
Debbie Lowe  Law Offices of Deborah J. Lowe 
Susan Kang  Susan Kang, P.A. 
Deborah Yue  Law Office of Deborah Yue 
Charles Jung  Nassiri & Jung LLP 
Marvin Dang  Law Off. of Marvin S.C. Dang, LLLC 
Ireneo A. Reus III  The Reus Law Firm 
Kim Nguyen Gray   
Alice Sum  Fowler White Burnett P.A. 
Kristin Haugen  KC Haugen Law, LLC 
Andy Wang  Wang Kobayashi Austin, LLC 
Vincent Gonzales  Southern California Gas Company 
Inchan Hwang  Stinson Leonard Street LLP 
Shayne Burnham   
Shannon Shin  Dentons US LLP 
Christine Pompa  Kraft Heinz Company 
Daniel Hu   
Samuel Kim  Nixon Peabody LLP 
Linda Lei  Getech Law LLC 
Anna Sanyal  Public Utilities Commission of Ohio 
Sonni Williams  City of Lockport 

 *All work or organizational affiliations disclosed are for identification and disclosures purposes only, and do not constitute endorsements by those institutions. 


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