|Gary Zhao | Candidate for Treasurer|
Candidate for Treasurer
I am very excited to announce my candidacy for re-election as NAPABA’s Treasurer. I am incredibly passionate about NAPABA’s mission of fostering professional development, advocacy, and community involvement and will work hard to support this mission to best serve our members.
I have had the privilege of serving this past year as NAPABA’s Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee. I manage the organization’s day-to-day finances and regularly report our financial health to the Board of Governors. This past bar year, we reduced our expenses and increased our revenue, resulting in a significant surplus for our organization. As Treasurer, I worked hard to ensure our financial resources and assets are managed in accordance with NAPABA’s financial objectives and Board approved policy. I actively monitor our expenditures to ensure compliance with our balanced budget. If re-elected, I will continue to support NAPABA’s balanced budget resolution so our organization can remain fiscally sound going forward. I am also committed to the development of a long term strategic plan that implements strong internal controls and prudent financial management policies.
Prior to my term as Treasurer, I served as an At-Large Board member from 2016 to 2018. During my two-year term, I proudly served on NAPABA’s Programs Task Force examining feasibility of various existing and potential NAPABA programs and their impact on NAPABA’s finances.
Since I came on the Board in 2016, I have co-chaired NAPABA’s steering committee of the Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy (CBLA). This leadership training program allows NAPABA to partner with several established national diverse bar organizations like the HNBA, NBA, NNABA, and the ABA to provide excellent leadership training with minimal financial impact on NAPABA.
Both internal and external leaders and members with whom I have close working relationships can attest to my collaborative work ethic with diverse stakeholders to find creative solutions to issues that arise. The Treasurer position has allowed me to gain valuable insights into NAPABA’s finances and all aspects of its operations. With this experience and understanding that I have cultivated, I would be grateful to earn the opportunity to continue to serve this great organization and its members as NAPABA’s Treasurer.
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 clients in cases involving breach of contract, intellectual property, false advertising, unfair competition, business fraud and other disputes. Gary is also fully engaged in his law firm’s diversity activities.
Gary currently serves as NAPABA’s Treasurer and a member of NAPABA’s Executive Committee. Gary served as an At-large member of the Board of Governors of NAPABA from 2016 to 2018. 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. Gary is the current President 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 it serves.
NAPABA Affiliate Endorsements
*All work or organizational affiliations disclosed are for identification and disclosures purposes only, and do not constitute endorsements by those institutions.