Click here for a list of the 2017 Board of Governors
Chris Albright, Governor
Managing Director, Axcela Corporation
Chris Albright and his partners founded Axcela in 2008. The company has become the preeminent provider of corporate English services to businesses in the technology and software consulting industries, as well as other industries where clear and concise communication in English by Vietnamese employees is essential to creation of value. Axcela’s clients are some of the most highly regarded corporations in Vietnam.
In addition to being Managing Director at Axcela, Chris serves on the team that manages Loyola University Chicago’s activities in Vietnam. Chris role is Coordinator for Loyola’s Vietnam Study Abroad program, in which 20 or 25 undergraduates from various U.S. universities spend a semester in Vietnam, studying the culture, history, literature, and language of Vietnam.
Prior to founding Axcela, Chris was a Director at Navigos Group, the holding company for VietnamWorks, where he ran the training services business unit for 3 years. Prior to that, he was Corporate New Business Manager for Apollo English Language School, for the whole of Vietnam for 2 ½ years.
Before moving to Vietnam, Chris spent his career in the banking and finance industry. After graduating from the Wharton School with an MBA in Finance, Chris worked at First Interstate Bancorp in Los Angeles, a company that in the early 1980’s was a pioneer in the financial derivatives market, along with J.P. Morgan, First Boston, Goldman Sachs, and the British Firm, Kleinwort Bensen. The derivatives team at First Interest was hired by Kleinwort Benson, where the team became a very important presence in the establishment of early derivatives trading. Chris’s firm, Kleinwort Bensen was a founding member of the International Swap Dealers Association (ISDA), founded in 1985.
Michèle Auerbach, Governor
Country Manager, 7-Eleven, Inc.
Michèle is the 7-Eleven Country Manager in Viet Nam, working with the local Master Franchisee to set up the infrastructure for a successful new market entry. The first store opening is planned for 2017 in Ho Chi Minh City. Prior to becoming the Country Manager in Viet Nam, Michèle worked with the 7‑Eleven’s International Team on Franchising and Real Estate infrastructure development. In 2011, Michèle relocated to Ho Chi Minh City to be the General Director for Penflex Viet Nam Co., Ltd. Penflex focused on a continuous process of improving manufacturing processes and was dedicated to providing unparalleled value by offering high quality flexible metal hose and braid products. During this time, she served as Vice Chair on the Manufacturing Committee for AmCham.
Michele has extensive international and U.S. domestic retail experience with Costco Wholesale, Target Corporation and 7‑Eleven, Inc. She holds an Executive MBA from the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and a BA from Scripps College.
Walter Blocker, Governor
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vietnam Trade Alliance
Walter Blocker is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vietnam Trade Alliance, with offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Can Tho, Da Nang, and Hanoi Vietnam. He is a native of Kentucky and has been a resident of Vietnam since 1995. The firm provides nationwide FMCG and Material distribution from 6 hubs and cross docking in 45 provinces. The Vietnam Trade Alliance offers nationwide, 24 hour direct distribution, and cash collections with real time reporting using its own proprietary Alli management software.
Walter served three terms as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, served on the board of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Vietnam, YPO Southeast Asia, and is past Chairman of the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers.
Walter is first and foremost an entrepreneur. Over the past 20 years, he founded several business units encompassing industrial scale milk, juice, and tea production, nationwide warehousing and distribution, brand management, and general asset management. The group serves as the exclusive supply chain provider for numerous multinational consumer product companies in the beer/beverage, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and industrial chemical space. His firm was twice recognized by the Vietnamese Government for being one of the top 10 foreign enterprises in both Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai and is one of the nation’s largest private American investors.
Fred Burke, Governor
Managing Partner, Baker & McKenzie
Fred has been active in AmCham in Vietnam since it was first established in 1994. He served as a member of the Board of Governors from 1995 – 2003 and was Chairman in 1997. After a hiatus of four years, he was re-elected to the Board in December 2007.
He has been a leader of the Legal Committee since 2004, as Chairman and then Board Liaison, focusing on articulating the American business community’s issues to the Vietnamese and United States governments in the contexts of the World Trade Organization negotiations, the Vietnam Business Forum, and more recently in the implementation of Vietnam’s WTO commitments. He has helped to write many of the Chamber’s position papers, was one of the Chamber’s leaders in supporting the conclusion of the landmark 2001 Bilateral Trade Agreement, and he has represented the Chamber in numerous governmental and private sector briefings and seminars.
Before coming to Vietnam in 1991, he served as the Secretary and Member of the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, China.
Fred is Managing Partner of Baker & Mckenzie Vietnam, with Practice Areas: Mergers and Acquisitions, Project Finance, Foreign Investment & Securities, Financial Services, Real Estate, Construction/Projects, Taxation, International Trade & WTO, International Employment, Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer and Dispute Resolution. Baker & McKenzie’s international ties are complemented by strong roots in Vietnam, and helps bridge cultural and linguistic gaps which can stand in the way of success in international business.
L. Mason Cobb, Governor
Chairman, Victoria Healthcare International Clinic
After 11 years in Viet Nam, I may be beginning to understand how things work here. I am proud of the 2 private healthcare clinics that we have started from scratch. Starting Victoria Healthcare with our own resources meant a sober reading of the market and country risk in VN, as well as accurately reading the cultural adjustments needed while not sacrificing quality. Our wisest observation (among many that were not so wise) was that the Vietnamese had the sophistication and means to support a high standard of healthcare and that expatriates could receive high quality care in country without an expensive flight overseas for relatively minor problems.
Advocacy for both high standards of healthcare and small foreign or jointly-owned businesses have become serious interests for me. As the recession downsizes many larger businesses, and makes the decisions of small businesses more acute, it is important for AmCham to hear these voices and feedback the best dialog and advice possible. I also believe that strong alliances with our own country and with our Consulate and the government of Viet Nam are critical to succeeding in the coming hard times.
In what seems like another life, I was Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, then successfully headed 2 rapid growth private practices, and was Chief of Surgery at a major children’s hospital before coming to Viet Nam. Geographically, I hail from MI, and continue to observe healthcare and best-practices all over the USA, literally from AK to ME. The experience of managing practices and institutional divisions with both a strong ethic and business sense, as well as integrating with the larger community, was a great education for what we must do in Viet Nam.
Kurt Droeshout, Governor
General Director and CEO, Procter & Gamble Vietnam
Kurt leads P&G operations in Vietnam since August 2016. P&G was one of the first American companies to invest in Vietnam after the normalization of the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the United States in 1995. Over the past 20 years, Vietnam has become one of the fastest growing markets for P&G globally, and P&G Vietnam is among the country’s top “fast moving consumer goods” (FMCG) employers. P&G Vietnam operates two large-scale manufacturing facilities in Binh Duong province, in addition to a general office in Ho Chi Minh City, and employs over 700 employees.
Kurt has been with P&G for almost 30 years (of which 24 years in international roles). Over the past 15 years, Kurt has operated in senior management positions in different regions, including marketing, sales and country management roles in Europe, China, India, Middle East and Africa. Before becoming General Manager of P&G Vietnam, Kurt was the General Director of P&G Developing Markets Europe and India, Middle East and Africa regions. In the past, Kurt has served on the UAE Dubai Chapter of the American Chamber.
Mark Gillin, Governor
Founder, Chairman and Managing Director
AIM – American Indochina Management
Mark Gillin has been identifying, developing and investing in business opportunities in Indochina since 1993. He is a founder, Chairman, and Managing Director of America Indochina Management Ltd. (AIM) a diversified Holding Company with operations throughout Vietnam and Cambodia. Since its founding in 1996, AIM has established market leadership in a variety of product categories covering a diverse range of industries including Construction Materials, Specialty Furniture, Consumer Products and Industrial Consumables.
He is also a founder and Chairman of AIM Capital Management Ltd, an investment management company that provides expansion capital and strategic and operational support to small and medium sized companies throughout Indochina. AIM Capital Management has invested in Healthcare, Media, Technology, Furniture, Hospitality, and Consumer Products.
Mark has successfully managed businesses in a number of different markets at various stages of development (Japan, Hong Kong, Guam, Vietnam, Cambodia). Prior to coming to Vietnam in 1993, he spent five years with Getz Bros., the oldest and largest US non-commodities trading company, where he worked closely on marketing and distribution issues with leading MNCs including Nestlé, Mobile Chemical, Kimberly-Clark, Abbott Labs, Colgate-Palmolive, Heineken and others.
He has served as non-executive board member of Navigos, AA Corporation, Japan Vietnam Medical Corporation and Indochina Assets Limited. During his previous six years service as a member of Board of Governors, 2010-2015, he was Chairman in 2013 and Vice Chairman in 2012 and 2014.
Bradley Lalonde, Governor
Founder, Managing Partner, and CEO, Vietnam Partners LLC
Vietnam Partners LLC is a U.S. investment and trade advisory business with offices in New York, Hanoi and HCM City. Brad has been Managing Partner of Vietnam Partners since inception in 2003, and also CEO and Chief Investment Officer of BVIM (BIDV Vietnam Partners Investment Management) from 2006-2011. Vietnam Partners through its various investment vehicles has invested over $200 million in 30 companies over the last 15 years. Brad currently is a member of the board of directors of BVIM, and is actively involved with US-Vietnam trade, investment and financing.
A strong advocate of free trade, Brad represents companies that are expanding trade and investment links with the U.S., and he plans to focus considerable attention to participating in the various forums and initiatives to continue to improve the trade and investment environment in Vietnam.
Prior to founding Vietnam Partners LLC, Brad completed a career in investment and commercial banking, including serving as CCO (Country Corporate Officer) and Senior Credit Officer for Citibank in Tunisia (1989-1994) and Vietnam (1994-1999). Before that, Brad served as an executive marketing and credit officer in Liberia, Bahrain, Turkey and New York City.
Brad was a founding member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi, Vietnam (1994), and was its Chairman during the negotiation of the Bilateral Trade Agreement with the United States. He testified before the U.S. Congress advocating full and free trade with Vietnam.
Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan (A.B. Political Science) and Columbia University School of International Affairs (Master in Development Economics).
Kevin Moore, Governor
Managing Director, Vietnam Waste Solutions
Kevin has been the Managing Director for Vietnam Waste Solutions (VWS) since 2006. Prior to that he worked as a private consultant for Veolia Environmental Services in Hong Kong for 6 years. Waste Management Inc., in California was his employer for the previous 12 years.
VWS is a subsidiary of California Waste Solutions, a private firm with recycling operations in Oakland and San Jose, California. His position requires direct interaction with HCMC leaders and Departments as well as Vietnam Ministries. VWS represents the first privatization of a public service enterprise and one of the larger environmental services investments in Vietnam, valued at over $150 million and based on a 50-year contract with the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. VWS is expanding services with a new project in Long An province that moves beyond landfill to re-cycling, recovery, and transformation, developing “waste to energy” and “waste to feedstock” solutions.
Kevin has worked in the waste management and environmental industry for 28 years. Raised in Northern New Jersey, he is a graduate of Rutgers University.
Jonathan Moreno, Governor
General Director, Medovations Vietnam
Jonathan is the General Director of Medovations Vietnam, a member of the Diversatek group of medical technology companies. Medovations opened its Vietnam manufacturing operation in Binh Duong, December 2010, representing the “third wave” of US high technology investment in Vietnam, and continues to expand.
In 2012, Jonathan helped form AmCham’s first Manufacturing Committee and has served since in a leadership capacity. The committee was established to increase value for AmCham’s manufacturing sector members, including the supporting supply chain, by providing networking opportunities and collaborative solutions which cannot be achieved as effectively by individual member companies. The committee continues growing with more than 40 AmCham manufacturing leaders participating in its monthly meetings. Key initiatives include advocacy related to trade facilitation and the annual “Supplier’s Day.”
Jonathan has served on the AMCHAM HCMC Board of Governors since 2013 and is currently the AMCHAM representative on the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) Management Board. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of South Carolina and a MBA from the University of Hawaii.
John Nguyen, Governor
Chief Strategy Officer, DiCentral Vietnam
John Nguyen is the founder, board director and chief strategy officer of DiCentral Corporation, a 16-year old Houston-based supply-chain solutions and services company. He is responsible for the company’s business strategy and corporate development. Prior to founding DiCentral, John Nguyen worked as an equity research analyst covering wireless telecom at Lazard, an investment bank in New York City. With over 27 years of industry and business experience, he has held technical and marketing positions at AT&T, Siemens, Alcatel and Nortel Networks. He co-founded and managed four technology start-ups: InTouch PCS, Paragon Solutions, Neopoint and OpenWorld Communications. He successfully raised over $17 million in combined seed funding for these ventures.
John earned an M.S. in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a B.S. from Aurora University in Chicago. He is an avid golf enthusiast, and, weather allowing, spends his weekends honing his swing on the fairways.
Gina Proctor, Governor
Director of Finance/Controller, Intel Products Vietnam
Director of Finance for Intel’s manufacturing operations in Vietnam, the company’s newest and largest assembly and test manufacturing facility. Responsible for financial support including Corporate Finance and Accounting, Global Tax and Trade, as well as Operations Finance. Leads team of ~30 direct and matrixed professionals across Operations Finance, Accounting, Tax, Trade, Treasury, and Risk Management. This role requires extensive interactions with Senior Vietnamese Government officials and other external parties. Focused on keeping Intel legal and compliant, growing our business, accelerating our operational effectiveness and developing our regional capabilities and leadership pipeline.
Previously, Gina was Internal Audit Senior Manager and then Director of Investigations and Internal Audit for Intel, where she led a globally dispersed organization of 24 audit professionals that oversaw the performance of internal audits and financial reviews across the company’s global operations. Over the past 18 years at Intel, Gina has had multiple different roles encompassing a spectrum of areas such as Internal Audit, Finance, Risk Management and Investigations. Her experience at four different Intel sites has developed an understanding of Intel’s geographical differences/challenges
John Rockhold, Governor
Executive Director, ABBO Investment Consultancy & Engineering
John Rockhold is Executive Director at ABBO Investment Consultancy & Engineering, which is handling an investment profile of over $250 million in Vietnam. He chairs the Power and Energy Working Group in the Vietnam Business Forum (Ministry of Planning and Investment, IFC, World Bank and 17 International Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations).
In 2000, he founded Pacific Rim Investment and Management Inc. (PRIM) out of Los Angeles to work with private international companies on Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in and around HCM City and in the Mekong Delta. He has worked with over 50 such investors from USA, Europe, and Asia from investment applications to operations of their industries. In 2011, PRIM joined a Vietnamese, ABBO, to work on FDIs in the areas of shipping, animal feed, fertilizers, resorts, food industries and renewable energy investments. In 2012, he started investments in Wind and Solar power projects as part of Vietnam renewable energy policy.
In 1995, he was Managing Director in establishing Vietnam’s first 100% foreign-invested Environmental Consulting firm, which worked with a number of Utilities/ SOEs in the design, construction and operation of social infrastructure throughout Vietnam. Prior projects include working on strategic corporate and social infrastructure development programs around the world at one of the top 10 Consulting Planning and Engineering firms, 1986-1992 and Project Director for the return of Vietnamese refugees and establishing vocational training centers to integrate them back into society, 1992-1995.
Keith Schulz, Governor
General Director, Vilube Corporation
Keith Schulz is the General Director of Vilube Corporation, a subsidiary the Motul Group. The company manufactures, markets, and distributes automotive lubricants from its plant in Nha Be for the Vietnamese market and Motul’s markets across Asia. In the past year, Keith launched a new division to produce and sell a range of lubricants for use in metal-working and general industrial equipment under the MotulTech brand.
Previously, Keith served as Senior Portfolio Director for Navis Capital Partners, a buy-out fund focused on SE Asia with $5 billion under management.
Keith led operations as Managing Director at investee-company RPS Technologies, a manufacturer of precision automotive components. Keith’s initiatives opened up the Chinese and EU markets for RPS sales. Earlier, Keith worked for DaimlerChrysler in Detroit and Singapore in several functions. While a procurement manager responsible for SE Asia, Keith developed parts suppliers across across the region in preparation of AFTA initiatives. This included several serving operations at Mercedes-Benz Vietnam.
Keith’s first professional experience in Vietnam was as director of the HCM City office of VATICO, Inc., one of the first US companies to return to Vietnam after 1975. The consulting firm advised clients, including Chrysler, Amway and Hughes Electronics, on on trade and investment issues, pre- and post-normalization.
Uday Sinha, Governor
CEO, Suntory Pepsico Vietnam Beverage
Appointed CEO of Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage (SPVB) in October 2015. Uday has over 21 years of experience in MNCs, extensive cross culture and multiple country exposure. Having run business with full P&L responsibility in Indian and International markets, he understand the needs of MNCs operating in different countries. SPVB is one of the top employers of choice in Vietnam, with annual revenue of over $650 million, and a vision to reach US$ 1 billion by 2018.
Prior to joining SPVB, he served as Managing Director of Pepsi Lipton JV, based in Dubai for 5 years where he was instrumental in developing the strategy which saw Lipton Ice Tea launched in critical Markets: GCC, India, Jordan, Egypt and Nigeria. Under his leadership, the company built a capable, young and passionate team spread across 25+ countries, which drove strong volume growth and established the Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Tea Category as a big play in PepsiCo’s Beverage portfolio.
Brian Smith, Governor
General Director, Metkraft Vietnam
Brian Smith has over 30 years of management, marketing, trade, investment, operations, and manufacturing experience. His international career began in 1994 with the California World Trade Commission in international trade with Europe and Asia; focused on building exports of USA made products.
Brian currently manages Metkraft Ltd. which produces precision wear components in Vietnam for the past twenty years and exports them to many countries throughout the world. Metkraft Ltd. is one division of the Fisher Barton Group, based in Waukesha, WI specializing in metallurgical engineering.
Over the past nine years, Brian has successfully transformed Metkraft’s production facility into a world-class commercial company with ambitious growth plans in Asia.
Jocelyn Tran, Governor
Regional Senior Director of Southeast Asia, Wal-Mart Global Sourcing
Jocelyn Tran joined Walmart Global Sourcing in March, 2013 as the Hub Leader and Senior Director for Walmart Global Sourcing operations in Vietnam and Cambodia. In this role she holds responsibility for sourcing products from ethical and responsible suppliers for Walmart US and international retail markets.
Prior to Walmart, Jocelyn was Associate Vice President for Mast Industries, a wholly-owned subsidiary of L.Brands, whose retailer brands include Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Henri Bendel. Her 17 year career with the company included roles responsible for apparel sourcing and production from Mexico, Central America and Vietnam. Her responsibilities also included opening the Mast office in Vietnam in 2002 and by 2012 she had built up substantial business opportunities for the company.
Since 2002, Jocelyn has actively participated in the American Chamber of Commerce and in 2003 was invited to join the Board in recognition of her leadership in AmCham’s efforts to develop a favorable VN-US Agreement on Trade in Textiles and Apparel. As Chair of AmCham Apparel and Textile Committee, she helped forge a coalition of AmCham and other Asian associations with similar interests (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam) to advocate for greater investment in the textile and garment industry in Vietnam.
Sesto Vecchi, Governor
Managing Partner, Russin & Vecchi
Sesto has been a member of the Board of Governors since 2001, and served as Vice Chair in 2003. He manages the Vietnam practice group of the law firm of Russin & Vecchi. The firm is active in the practice of law in developing countries.
Sesto has lived and practiced law in Vietnam for over 25 years. He began coming to Vietnam in 1965 as a US Navy Lieutenant on special assignment. Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1966, he returned to Vietnam and opened Russin & Vecchi’s office. He practiced law in Vietnam until 1974. During that time he was twice President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.
In early 1993 he reopened the firm’s Vietnam offices and has lived continuously in Vietnam since that time. He graduated with a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and received his law degree from Temple Law School. He is a member of the bars of New York and Washington, DC.
Click here for a list of the 2017 Board of Governors
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Posted: Dec 14, 2016