2010 Board of Governors – Biographic Information

Click here for a list of 2010 Board of Governors.

Jocelyn Tran, Chair 2010
MAST Industries (Far East) Limited

Jocelyn TranJocelyn arrived in Vietnam in 2002 as the Country Manager for MAST Industries, where she is responsible for the operation and administration of US$ 300 million/year of apparel products export to the U.S. from more then 40 factories. MAST is a wholly owned subsidiary of Limited Brands and is one of the world’s largest contract manufacturers, importers, and distributors of apparel for men, women, and children. MAST delivers over 200 million garments a year to Limited Brands retail and catalog divisions, and to other leading fashion brands.

Jocelyn has been active in AmCham since she arrived in Vietnam, and was invited to join the Board in 2003 in recognition of her leadership of AmCham’s efforts to develop a favorable VN-US Agreement on Trade in Textiles and Apparel. She helped forge a coalition of AmCham and other associations with similar interests (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam) and played an important role in supporting the successful negotiations and then helping the Vietnamese government develop a quota allocation system in 2004-2006. Quotas were eliminated when Vietnam became a WTO member in January 2007, and Jocelyn led efforts to help the Vietnamese government establish an “export monitoring system” to prevent dumping and illegal transshipments. With growing unauthorized work stoppages in 2007 and 2008, she initiated close AmCham cooperation with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry to help implement the Prime Minister’s Action Plan to establish harmonious labor relations and a stable investment environment, including a Revised Labour Code.

Chris Twomey, Vice Chair 2010
ACE Insurance

Christopher Twomey, ACE Insurance VietnamChristopher Twomey was appointed CEO & General Director of ACE Insurance Company, Ltd. in Vietnam in February, 2007. In this role, Mr. Twomey opened-up ACE Insurance’s Non-Life insurance activities in Vietnam and now oversees the operations and business development of ACE Non-Life’s key business lines in Vietnam, namely, Property & Casualty, Accident & Health and Travel insurance. He is also responsible for the management of regulatory relationships, strategic partnerships and other affinity business relationships within Vietnam.

Mr. Twomey has been working with ACE Insurance since 1990 and living in Asia since 2003. Over that time he has been responsible for various product lines and portfolios in Philadelphia, PA (USA), Hong Kong and Singapore. He was previously ACE’s Regional Underwriting Manager for SME and concurrently ACE’s Regional Worker’s Compensation Manager and Casualty Cluster Manager for North Asia.

Mr. Twomey participated in the Vietnam Prime Minister’s Advisory Council (PMAC) Conference in November, 2006 just prior to his appointment in Vietnam, and since arriving to HCMC in early 2007 has been very active with AmCham HCMC including sitting on the Board of Governors in 2008 as he completed the remaining two-year term of a departing governor.

Mr. Twomey is originally from West Hartford, Connecticut and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Certificate of Soviet Studies from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH (USA). He lives in Ho Chi Minh City with his wife Valerie and two young children.

Walter Blocker, Governor
Car Rental Services Joint Stock Company

Walter Blocker, CEO Car Rental Services JS CoWalter Blocker is Chief Executive Officer of Car Rental Services Joint Stock Company. He is a native of Kentucky and has been a resident of Vietnam since 1995.

Mr. Blocker is first and foremost an entrepreneur. During the 1990’s and throughout this decade in Vietnam, he founded several business units encompassing large scale liquid food manufacturing, logistics services, brand management, power generation, and industrial development.

From 1999-2010, he built the GANNON Group of Companies, from a small Resident Representative Office into one of the largest private American investors in Vietnam, with over 800 employees. The GANNON Group was a pioneer in distribution, manufacturing, and marketing of a wide range of consumer products and services, in partnership with Nestlé, Pepsi, Budweiser, L’Oréal, F&N, and more than 30 other multinationals.

Mr. Blocker has played an active role in the successful economic and social development of Vietnam, by participating on multiple levels in both the private and government sector. He is a regular speaker as a Vietnam trade and investment expert in national, regional, and international circles.

Mr. Blocker served three terms as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, is a Founding Board Member of the United Way Worldwide’s Vietnam Chapter, Chairman of the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers, a Board Member of ORBIS International, and a Board of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) Vietnam Chapter. He is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia (Bachelor of Arts, English Literature). Mr. Blocker is married to Doan Phuong Ly, a native of Hanoi.

Landis Hicks, Treasurer 2010
PAE – Pacific Architects & Engineers

Landis Hicks is Chief Representative in Vietnam, and Executive Vice President of Pacific Architects and Engineers Incorporated, Los Angeles. PAE provides design, construction management and facilities management services at locations throughout the Asia Pacific region. Landis was a founding member of AmCham HCMC. He is currently Chairman of the Asia Pacific Council of Chambers of Commerce and has participated in the annual Washington Doorknock for several years. He lived in Vietnam during the period 1967-1975 and was a member of the American Chamber of Commerce at that time. From 2001 to 2003, Landis served as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and a member of the Board of Governors from 1990-2003. He is Vice President of the Singapore National Employers’ Federation and a member of the Singapore National Wages Council, and was appointed a member of the First Council of the Singapore Business Federation. He is a graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt University and attended Lamar School of Law, Emory University. Landis is married to Nhung Hicks.

Chad Ovel, Secretary 2010
AA Corporation

Chad OvelChad Ovel is the Chief Executive Officer of AA Corporation, a Vietnamese-owned company with 2,000 employees, which has been the domestic market leader for interior furnishings and construction since 1993.

Chad has been a resident of Vietnam since 1996. During 1996, Chad worked for San Diego-based venture capital fund Pacifica Vietnam. From 1997-2000, he served as the Development Director of World Wide Fund for Nature Indochina. From 2000-2006, Chad worked at ScanCom Vietnam where he served as the Managing Director of 6,000 employees. At ScanCom, Chad led the aggressive and innovative growth of the company to a turnover of US$ 150mil, making it the largest furniture exporter in Vietnam in 2006.

Chad is highly committed to environmental and social responsibility. Over the past ten years he has been a very active promoter of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), leading a “green revolution” in the garden furniture industry. Additionally, he has served on the Advisory Board of Social Accountability International (SA8000) in Vietnam. Chad has most recently founded an advisory company, Indochina Carbon, focusing on mitigating climate change in the region.

Aside from his passion for furniture, Chad is also an ambitious high-altitude mountaineer. He recently reached the summit of Broad Peak, 8,050m (Pakistan) and Ama Dablam, 6,830m (Nepal). Chad holds a BA from Carleton College and an MBA from University of Chicago.

Lee Baker, Governor
Leggett & Platt Global Services

Lee Baker, Candidate for the Board of GovernorsLee is senior consultant for Legget and Platt Global Services. Leggett & Platt is a Fortune 500 Company, made up of over 250 branches in 35 countries Lee’s business experience in Vietnam has been in its “lifestyle” sector, where she has successfully established, and at times managed, a sourcing and consulting/advisory company (Indochina Sources), a boutique furniture factory (Temple Design), three restaurants in (Temple Club and qing in Ho Chi MInh City, and qing in Hong Kong), an event planning company (RSVP) and a wellness and fitness venture (NTFQ2). Lee is on the Advisory Boards of the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, Nutrifort and the prior Saigon Town & Country Club, and has been a regular lecturer on the academic, business and legal circuits in and regarding Vietnam. She has also been active in corporate governance initiatives the International School of Ho Chi Minh City, which her children attend.

A lawyer by profession, her prior legal positions are extensive and include managing lawyer for Coudert Brothers’ Vietnam practice, resident legal advisor for the US-Vietnam Trade Council and consultant for the USAID-funded STAR legal reform initiative. Before coming to Vietnam, Lee worked in Hong Kong office of Jones Day, and as in-house counsel for the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. And before coming to Asia in 1990, Lee was with the Washington DC office of McGuire Woods, following a federal judicial clerkship. Lee graduated from from Washington & Lee University School of Law, and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.

Lee served on AmCham’s Ho Chi Minh City Board of Governors from 1996 to 2004, and was Chairman from 1998 to1999, when the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement was signed. She has played an active advisory role to AmCham as a former Chair for five years, and was re-elected to the Board in December 2008.

Lee has lived permanently in Vietnam since 1995. She is married to Chip Baker, and they have two sons, Ford and Grey.

Fred Burke, Governor
Baker & McKenzie

Fred has been active in AmCham in Vietnam since it was first established. He served as a member of the Board of Governors from 1995 – 2003 and was Chairman in 1997. After a hiatus of five years, he was re-elected to the Board in December 2007.

He has served as Chairman of the Legal Committee since 2004, 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, he 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
Victoria Healthcare International Clinic

Mason Cobb, Candidate for the Board of GovernorsAfter 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.

Mark Gillin, Governor
America Indochina Management (AIM)

Mark Gillin, CEO, America Indochina ManagementMark Gillin is a founder, Chairman, and Managing Director of America Indochina Management Ltd. (AIM). Prior to AIM, he has been identifying and developing business opportunities in Indochina. Established in 1994, AIM has emerged as one of the leading sales and distribution companies in Indochina. Mark spearheaded several of the company’s key strategic initiatives including launching a building materials business; diversifying into industrial consumables in 1998, reducing the company’s exposure to and thus overcoming the Asian Crisis of 1997.

The company entered the hotel supply business in Siem Reap, Cambodia in 1998, now one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations. AIM’s merger with Protech in 2005 has enabled the company’s building products business to achieve successive years of growth in excess of 100%.

Mark has successfully managed businesses in a number of different markets (Japan, Hong Kong, Guam, Vietnam, Cambodia), at various stages of development. Prior to coming to Vietnam in 1993, Mark spent five years with Getz Bros. & Co. Inc., the oldest and largest US non-commodities trading company, where he worked closely on marketing and distribution related issues with leading multinationals including Nestlé, Mobile Chemical, Kimberly Clark, Abbott Labs, Colgate Palmolive, Heineken and others.

Mark Gillin graduated with honors from Duke University with a BA in Policy Studies.

Renée Howard, Governor
adidas Group Sourcing

Rick Howarth, Governor
Intel Products Vietnam Ltd

Rick Howarth, General Manager, Intel Products VN Rick Howarth is the General Manager of Intel Products Vietnam and is responsible for all aspects of the startup and ramp of Intel’s $ 1B state-of-the art assembly and test facility located in HCMC. The new HCMC factory will produce the latest technology microprocessors and chipsets for Intel’s global supply chain and when full the site will employ 4000 employees. Rick and his family have lived in Vietnam for the past 3.5 years.

Prior to coming to Vietnam, Rick was responsible for the chipset operations in Shanghai China where he resided from January 2004 to June 2006. The Shanghai factory was responsible for introducing all new chipsets for Intel’s mobile market segment. Prior to moving to Asia, from 2001-2004, Rick was the co-General Manager for Systems Manufacturing Technology Development. In this role he was responsible for motherboard technology development as well as operational management of Intel’s internal motherboard and systems manufacturing. From 1997-2001, Rick was the Systems manufacturing plant manager responsible for all high volume manufacturing activities for desktop computers, servers and network switches, routers and hubs. Prior to joining Intel he worked for Texas Instruments. Rick has more than 28 years of experience in the high tech industry.

Rick served on the board of directors for Washington State MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) for three years and holds three US patents.

Rick received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho in 1980 as well as his master’s degree in Material Science in 1982.

Brett Krause, Governor
Citi Vietnam

Brett Krause, Candidate for the Board of GovernorsBrett Krause was appointed Citi Country Officer of Citi Vietnam in July 2008. Prior to coming to Vietnam, Brett spent six and a half years in Shanghai where he was the Head of Citibank China’s Global Transaction Service division. In that role, Brett was responsible for covering multinational companies in China as well as sales, account management, product management, and client delivery for the Trade & Treasury Solutions and Securities & Fund Services businesses. Since first joining Citi in 1993, Brett has held various positions in Citi’s Merchant Banking and Corporate Banking businesses in France, Taiwan, Japan and China.

Over the past decade, Brett has been an active Amcham member and held committee positions in the American Chambers of Commerce in Taiwan, Japan and China, and is eager to contribute to the growth and expansion of the Amcham in Vietnam. Brett has also been actively involved in the issue of climate change, serving as a strategic advisor for the Joint U.S.-China Cooperation on Clean Energy, a non-profit organization supported by private industry as well as both the Chinese and U.S. governments to promote and expedite the adoption of clean energy technology and policies in the P.R.C.

Originally from the state of Iowa, USA, Brett holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MBA degree from Columbia Business School.

Binh Nguyen, Governor

Binh is a 29-year veteran with FedEx, the last eleven as Senior Manager, Indochina & Myanmar, and Chief Representative for Vietnam. He established FedEx operations in Vietnam in 1994 through a business alliance with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Post and Telecommunications, which are under Vietnam Post and Telecommunication. The company has representation in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Haiphong, Danang and other large provincial cities across Vietnam. Binh helped arrange for the first air carrier collaboration between FedEx, VASCO, and Corporate Air to begin direct service five times a week between FedEx’s Asia-Pacific hub in Subic Bay, the Philippines and HCM City in 2001. Binh has held various management positions with FedEx in customer service, marketing, airport and ground operations.

Binh has been an active AmCham member since 1994. He was elected to the Board of Governors in 2000 and was elected Chairman of the Board of Governors in 2004. He is a former manager at the Defense Attache’s Office (DAO) at the US Embassy in the former Saigon 1972-1975, and attended colleges in Virginia and Texas. He is past chairman of the Aviation Committee of the Amarillo TX Chamber of Commerce.

Jeff Puchalski, Governor
ForeGolf Asia

PGA of America member Jeff Puchalski is CEO of FOREGolf Asia, a management and consulting firm specializing in matters key to the successful development and operation of a golf facility. He spent more than a dozen years directing the award-winning Dalat Palace and Ocean Dunes golf clubs, and stood at the nexus of a dozen more development projects during his 13 years in Asia,

Jeff has served on the AmCham Board of Governors since 2002, and was Chairman of AmCham in 2005, a year that saw the U.S. and Vietnam celebrate their 10th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Jeff has been a key organizer for many major AmCham events throughout his tenure, including Governors Balls, July 4th Family Picnics, and the Dalat Winter Weekend. Jeff is active in the Tourism Committee, where he serves as the liaison for the Board of Governors. With more than 25 years of experience, Jeff has knowledge of the travel and hospitality industry that is extensive and diverse.

Marc Townsend, Governor
CB Richard Ellis Vietnam

Marc TownsendMarc Townsend is a Managing Director of CB Richard Ellis (Vietnam) Co., Ltd. He is responsible for servicing the property requirements of multi-national corporations in Vietnam and the implementation of property management systems into new and existing developments, including presentations to new clients. Over the past 15 years in Asia , Mr. Townsend has been responsible for the sales and marketing, investment consulting to some major properties in and around Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
After graduating in 1980 Mr. Townsend spent 8 years in the Royal Marines. In 1988 he moved to Hong Kong and worked at Vigers (HK) Limited for 8 years specializing in Investment sales. He then moved to Richard Ellis where he opened their office in Manila in 1995. Mr. Townsend moved to Rockwell Land Corporation in 1997 as Vice President for Sales and Marketing. He was then appointed as General Manager for South East Asian in Regus in 1999 and based in Singapore for 4 years covering Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. Mr. Townsend opened CB Richard Ellis (Vietnam) Co., Ltd., in January 2003.

Sesto Vecchi, Governor
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 21 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. Sesto teaches several courses to members of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association. He is married to Camille Vecchi, and they have two daughters.

Click here for a list of 2010 Board of Governors.

Click here to see the 2009 Board of Governors.

Note: The below Governors resigned from the Board of Governors during 2010.

Renée Howard adidas Sourcing Ltd VietnamAug