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Mark Brici, ICCE, VP
International Banking Officer
FirstMerit Bank, N.A.

mark briciMark Brici is the international banking officer for FirstMerit Bank's Illinois and Wisconsin markets. Mark joined FirstMerit Bank in 2010, bringing with him banking, sales and account management experience to successfully help clients facilitate their international trade business and find more efficient solutions to their needs.  

His vast international experience includes over 10 years in banking as well as overseas assignments with the US Peace Corps and US Embassy abroad. He has a BS in Public Affairs from Indiana University and earned his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.  He also holds the International Certified Credit Executive designation with FCIB. 



Joe Batie, Senior Vice President
Caine & Webber

joe batieWith 27 years of ARM experience, most of which has been on the executive level, Joe is very familiar with the executive management requirements of a successful enterprise, which includes strategic planning, business process design, reengineering and automation, performance management, accounts receivable outsourcing, talent assessment, sales team development and more.

As Caine & Weiner's senior vice president Joe oversees the sales, operations and client service departments.

Prior to Joe's appointment to his present position, he was with two leading ARM enterprises as CEO and director of operations, commercial services, respectively.



Lee Fahrenz, Senior Agent
Euler Hermes North America Ins. Co. (part of Allianz Insurance Group)

lee fahrenzLee Fahrenz has over 27 years of sales and management experience in insurance, banking and finance, his last nine years at Euler Hermes, North America's largest and oldest provider of trade credit solutions.

He is a frequent speaker and presenter for several groups including the Fox Valley Chapter of the Illinois CPA Society, National Association of Credit Managers/International Credit Professionals, REBEX Conference (Risk & Employee Benefits Exposition), Valley Industrial Association and numerous other financial institutions and insurance brokerage firms in the Chicago area.

Lee enjoys membership in the following professional associations: the American Management Association, Turnaround Management Association, National Association of Credit Managers (NACM-Midwest) and Association of Steel Distributors (ASD) in addition to holding a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota.



Steven Gan, CCE, President
Stellar Risk Management Services, Inc.

steven ganSteven Gan was the founder and president of Advance & Associates Co., Ltd. from 1992 to 2004 in Tokyo, the first company to create and implement the "before" and "after" sales total credit risk management product line system in Japan.

In 2006, Steven established Stellar Risk Management Services, Inc., a credit risk management consultancy, to support businesses to increase cash flow, expand sales safely and minimize the risk of selling on credit. Through numerous articles, presentations, television appearances and publications including the book, The Blue Eyed Debt Collector, His Struggle (Japanese only), Steven greatly deepened the awareness and understanding of the importance of sound credit risk management throughout Japan.

Through his Stellar Journal he shares ideas and informs professionals at all levels in the areas of credit, collections, accounting, finance and sales on a wide array of credit risk management topics and issues.

Steven is a native of Chicago with a BS from the University of Illinois in Electrical Engineering and a Masters of International Management from the Thunderbird Garvin Graduate School. He is also a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Credit Executive and a Licensed Insurance Provider. In addition Steven is the only American to have passed the Japanese Insurance Licensing Exam.


Stuart McInnis, Director
Credit Services True Value Company

Stuart started his career with True Value Company 20 years ago as one of several domestic regional credit services managers. Currently the director of credit services, he is responsible for both domestic and international credit functions supporting four domestic regional offices as well as the international credit office in the Chicago Retail Support Center, which works with the retailers to address their operational and financial challenges, and assists in maximizing growth opportunities.

Now completing his 34th year in the wholesale hardware industry serving independent retailer hardware store owners, Stu previously worked for The Emery-Waterhouse Company in Portland, Maine after a short stint in the banking industry.

Originally from Maine, Stu is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a BS in Business Administration and currently holds the ICCE designation through FCIB.


Gayle Roenbaugh, CTP, ICCE
Vice President
HSBC Bank Trade & Receivables Finance Group

Gayle is vice president of HSBC Bank’s Trade & Receivables Finance Group.  Gayle joined HSBC in May 2007 and is responsible for marketing and management of the bank’s Export Credit Agency financing and Delegated Authority Lending Program with the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. for the United States for North America.

Gayle has more than 20 years experience in a variety of trade services roles including sales, product management and operations and holds Certified Treasury Professional and International Certified Credit Executive designations.  

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, Gayle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish, French and Business, is a Certified Treasury Professional, a Certified International Credit Professional and a licensed Customs Broker.

As a member of Finance and Credit for International Business (FCIB), The Organization for Women in International Trade (OWIT) and the Association of Financial Professionals (AFP), Gayle has conducted numerous trade services seminars for organizations such as the Wisconsin Credit Association and the National Association of Credit Managers Midwest. She has been an Instructor for the State of Illinois’ Certificate of International Business and serves as co-vice chair of the BAFT-IFSA Structured Trade Finance Committee. 




Mike Trelevean, Partner
ICBA USA/International Risk Consultants, Inc.

Mike Treleaven, a partner at International Risk Consultants (IRC), has nearly 10 years of experience brokering trade credit and political risk insurance (TCI/PRI).  He supports business development and client management throughout nine states in the Midwest region.   IRC is the largest specialty brokerage in the United States and has subsidiaries in Brazil, China, Hong Kong and a JV in India.  IRC is a member of ICBA which is the largest association of credit insurance brokerages around the world, servicing clients in over 50 countries. Mike has a BA in Communications and a minor is East Asian Studies from John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH.   



Aysegul BudakAysegul Budak
Credit Manager
Osterman and Company Inc.

Aysegul Budak is Credit Manager at Osterman and Company Inc., an international distributor of engineering and commodity-grade thermoplastics. In addition to a domestic credit portfolio, she manages international letter of credit transactions and supports Osterman's international credit portfolio. Prior to Osterman, Aysegul worked in banking -- in Turkey for Halk Bank A. S. and in the U.S. for National City Bank (now known as PNC Bank). At both banks, she was responsible for international trade and commercial credits. She is a Certified International Trade Specialist, as well as an International Credit Professional (CICP). Aysegul earned her M.B.A. degree from Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, and a Bachelor of Economics from Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey with a major in labor economy and industrial relations. She is presently completing a second master's degree in labor economy and industrial relations with a focus on organizational behavior, particularly multicultural organizations and the effects of cultural diversity.


Carolyn SpackmanCarolyne Spackman
Vice President/Economist
Country Risk, AIG

Carolyne Spackman is Vice President/Chief Economist, Country Risk, in AIG's Trade & Political Risk Specialty Lines, where she is responsible for monitoring and advising on global economic and political conditions and country risk analysis across both emerging and developed market countries. From May 2009-May 2011, she was an economist at AIG Global Economics responsible for macroeconomic forecasting and scenario modeling as well as country risk analysis of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and traveled nationwide to present AIG's macroeconomic outlook. Prior to joining AIG, she worked on the Global Financial Stability Report team at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). From 1999 to 2004, Carolyne was a Product Manager for HSBC Asset Management. Carolyne has two MA degrees from American University, in economics and in international economic policy. She also studied with NYU at the United Nations in Geneva and at Renming University Law School in Beijing with Indiana University after earning her BA from the University of Chicago. She earned a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation in 2004.



Brown RobertRobert Brown
Greenebaum Doll & McDonald LLC

Robert Brown is a member of the corporate and transactional practice group of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP. He has worked closely with international companies as an investment banker and attorney, serving both in-house and as an outside advisor. Previous experience includes assignments in London, New York City, Tokyo, San Francisco and San Diego. Robert is admitted as an attorney in several states as well as being a qualified solicitor in England, Wales and Hong Kong. From 1991-1993 he was admitted as a foreign lawyer in Japan. He teaches law and economics at the law schools of the University of San Francisco and University of California Berkeley, as well as business and economic courses at the school of business at Bellarmine University.

While a member of the various bar associations where he is admitted to practice, he has served as chairman and on the boards of many, including those overseas. In addition, he currently serves on several educational boards and on the U.S. Department of Commerce District Export Council, as a National Steering Committee member and as chairman of both the U.S. Department of Commerce District Export Council for Kentucky and the World Trade Center Kentucky. He is also a much-sought-after speaker and presenter.

Honors and awards include being selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2013, in the fields of antitrust, corporate, international trade and finance law, and as one of 128 Louisville Connectors for the city who chosen for their distinctive style of trusted leadership and ability to get things done.

Recent published works include: Going Global: A Guide to Building an International Business, Thomson West, 2006-2013, Doing Business in Vietnam, Thomson Reuters/West, 2012 and  Doing Business in South Korea, Thomson Reuters/West, 2012.

Robert received his PhD in Japanese privatization from Cambridge University in 1997, a PhD in Indonesian legal reform from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2004 and his advanced accounting degree from Bellarmine University, also in 2004.


Michael QuinnMichael Quinn
Managing Director
JPMorgan Chase

Michael Quinn, a managing director at JPMorgan Chase, is responsible for product management of the Traditional Trade products in the global trade business. In this capacity, he ensures that customers' needs are being met by the trade capabilities and products offered while also managing the overall profitability of the Traditional Trade business.

With over 30 years experience in banking and specializing in trade finance, he has a diverse background in global business having managed operations, sales and technology in addition to his product management experience. Previous to his ten years with JPMorgan, he was with Citigroup.

Mike is involved in numerous industry-wide initiatives and associations including his current role as chair of the Banking Committee for the U.S Council on International Business representing the U.S. at the ICC Banking Commission. On behalf of the Commission, he also co-chairs the BPO Education Group. In addition, he serves on the USCIB Executive Committee, is a director at BAFT-IFSA and was past director and chair of the International Financial Services Association. Mike has authored several articles in various trade and supply chain publications and is a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago.



Yuki FujiyamaYuki J. Fujiyama
Trade Finance Specialist
Office of Financial Services Industries
International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Yuki Fujiyama serves as the U.S. Commerce Department's trade finance specialist. In this capacity, he works with commercial financial institutions where he helps to increase access to working capital, trade credits and financing for U.S. exporters, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and their foreign buyers. In addition, Yuki serves as a member of the Commerce Department liaison team to the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) and analyzes annually over 100 Ex-Im Bank financing proposals that support approximately $41 billion in U.S. export sales in markets or terms deemed too risky for commercial lenders to consider.  

Mr. Fujiyama is the author of the Commerce Department's Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters—a concise and easy-to-understand guide designed to help U.S. exporters, especially SMEs, quickly learn how to get paid from export sales. As one of the most successful and popular export assistance resources published by the Commerce Department, the Trade Finance Guide has been widely distributed as a self-learning tool to exporters, as a counseling tool to financial institution professionals, and as an educational tool for college professors teaching international business. The Spanish language version was published in May 2013.

Mr. Fujiyama is a recipient of the Commerce Department's individual Silver Medal Award for Personal and Professional Excellence (November 2009) and is a 2012 graduate of the Executive Leadership Development Program, a highly competitive 18-month training platform designed to develop high potential employees for leadership positions in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

From 1993 to 1999, Mr. Fujiyama served as a legislative assistant to California U.S. Congressman George E. Brown, Jr.  Among his accomplishments on Capitol Hill, he was instrumental in drafting the original version of H.R.1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, a bill to restore the consumer's right to choose to join and continue their access to credit unions, which was signed into law as P.L.105-219 on August 7, 1998. Both Rep. Brown and Yuki received a presidential signing pen used to enact H.R. 1151 from President Bill Clinton. His assignments on Capitol Hill included foreign affairs, international trade, banking and financial institutions, consumer finance, small business, and tax issues; and U.S.-Japan cooperation in science, space and technology under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Science of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mr. Fujiyama holds a BBA from Loyola Marymount University and an MBA from California State University. In addition, Mr. Fujiyama holds the designation of International Certified Credit Executive from FCIB.





Gregory J. Bernardi, President, London Forfaiting Americas Inc.

Gregory Bernardi, President of London Forfaiting Americas Inc. (wholly owned by London Forfaiting Company Ltd. and a member of the FIMBank Group) has specialized in Trade Finance since 1990. In addition to Forfaiting, Greg is well versed in International Factoring, EXIMBank Finance, Back to Back L/C facilities and Structured Trade Finance. His primary responsibility is overseeing London Forfaiting Americas North American origination and distribution efforts. Greg has had the pleasure of marketing trade finance services to importers and exporters in the Americas for the past twenty-one years.

Greg is a past three term president and current secretary of the Association of Trade and Forfaiting in the Americas (ATFA). He is certified by the FCIB as an International Credit Professional.

Greg holds a M.B.A. from Saint John’s University, New York.


Lowell A. Citron, Chair, Lending and Finance Practice

It’s no surprise that clients and colleagues are always asking to work with Lowell Citron on complex financing deals and workouts: His pragmatic approach to getting deals done, coupled with his extensive finance and economics backgrounds, gives him a keen understanding of issues important to business people. Lowell’s acumen for finding creative solutions to complex issues often bridges the gap to successful transactions for a wide range of commercial clients, including hedge and private equity funds, large operating companies, REITs, major investment banks, money center financial institutions and commercial finance companies.

Lowell’s work typically involves him in the structuring and closing of cash flow transactions, acquisition financing, asset-based financing transactions, Term B loans, leveraged loans, bankruptcy puts, recapitalization, mezzanine loans and convertible debt financing. He also advises clients on real estate finance transactions, mortgage warehousing transactions, bank workout transactions, debtor-in-possession financings, trade finance transactions, factoring arrangements and mortgage repurchase transactions.

He also uses his strong people and teaching skills as co-chair of the New York office's summer program, and his strong interest in charitable causes as an active member of the Pro Bono Committee.

Patricia D. Donnelly, ICCE, Director of Credit and Risk Management, Osterman & Company, Inc.

Pat Donnelly is currently Director of Credit and Risk Management for Osterman & Company, an international distributor of engineering and commodity-grade thermoplastics.

Prior to Osterman, Pat was the Chief Financial Officer for Healthtrax Inc. Healthtrax is a medical fitness organization offering wellness programs at facilities located throughout the Northeast.

Much of Pat's professional career was in the banking industry as a Commercial Relationship Manager handling private and public middle market clients at large regional banking institutions including Citizens Bank/Royal Bank of Scotland and Fleet Bank/Bank of America.

Pat earned a Finance Degree from Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT., and is a member of NCCA, NACM and FCIB. She is active in her church community and is a Host Family for A Better Chance organization which promotes education and diversity. Pat, along with her husband and two sons resides in Glastonbury, Connecticut.


Adrian Katz, CEO, Finacity Corporation

For the past 12 years Adrian Katz has been the Chief Executive Officer at Finacity Corporation, a company focused on enhancing liquidity for trade receivables, with approximately $62 billion of funding facilitated by his company in the past 12 months. He has been involved in the asset-backed finance industry for 28 years, working in both the investment banking and specialty financing industry. As an investment banker, Mr. Katz was a Managing Director at Smith Barney responsible for all issuance of new asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities. Prior to Smith Barney, Mr. Katz worked for Prudential Securities where he was a Managing Director and Co-Head of the Mortgage and Asset Capital Division. Mr. Katz was also the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Vice Chairman of AutoBond Acceptance Corporation. Mr. Katz graduated from Princeton University with a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science.

2013chicago rt banner

Meridian Banquet & Conference Center



Session 1

2013 Global Economic Hotspots and Best Practice Solutions to Mitigating Risks

Learn which solutions are yielding the best results in dealing with conditions and solving problems across different regions and diverse economic conditions. Join us as a speaker from HSBC discusses vital economic news and summarizes the global economic conditions expected in 2013, after which an expert panel consisting of freight forwarders, credit insurance companies and bankers will provide solutions in mitigating risks based on their experience.

Chris Slusher, Managing Director/Head of Derivatives, The Private Bank and Trust Company

Moderator: Mark Brici, ICCE, Vice President International Banking Officer, FirstMerit Bank

Paul White, Credit Manager, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.

Jackie Zars, Credit Manager, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.

Peter Hunter, Deputy Credit Officer, American International Group, Inc. (AIG)



Session 2

Bank Payment Obligation (BPO)

With the ICC rules set to come out in mid-April, join panelists from BMO, HSBC and BP as they explain what BPO is, why you should care about it and the utility of this new payment tool that incorporates the speed and freedom of open account settlement while providing the security offered by letters of credit. Examine the experienced perspectives of financial institutions and a large multi-national corporation as they dissect applications and uses of BPO.

Moderator: Gayle Roenbaugh, CCE, ICCE, VP, Regional Trade Manager, HSBC

James Wills, Business Manager, Standards - Banking Initiatives, SWIFT Pan Americas

Michael McDonough, SVP and Head of Product-Global Trade and Receivable Finance-North America, HSBC

Murray McGuire, Director Product Management, International Banking Group, BMO Capital Markets

David Vermylen, Global Credit Manager, Petrochemicals, BP Chemicals Ltd.



NACM and FCIB Lunch

Session 3

Current Global Financial and Economic Conditions Affecting Supplier Risk Management

Your suppliers' credit conditions can impact your company and your customers. Join our distinguished panel as they discuss the current financial and economic conditions that can directly affect you and your suppliers as well as exploring the current methods and best practices to mitigate modern risks both before and after the bankruptcy of your customer.

Leonel Torrejon, ICCE, Credit & Collections Manager, American Hotel Register Company

Deborah Thorne, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP


Session 4

From Credit Manager to Credit Executive

In today’s global economy, credit risk managers must become a source of value added assets to the company. In this session learn effective strategies to:

  • Maximize business opportunities through understanding the international cultural idiosyncrasies that enable credit managers to communicate more effectively with professionals (both credit and non-credit) overseas
  • Learn how to effectively communicate your knowledge of changes to international credit management and how it will help increase revenue opportunities to the CFO and sales
  • Overcome communication barriers and enlist others to partner with you in protecting assets, and promoting revenue and sales
  • Effectively communicate the “value added” by international credit professionals as a results of the changes in global economic market in the past 4–5 years

Leonel Torrejon, ICCE, Credit & Collections Manager, American Hotel Register Company

Larry O'Brien, CCE, ICCE Senior Director of Corporate Credit, Potash Corporation

Larry Durrant, CCE, ICCE, Credit Manager, UPM-Kymmene, Inc.

Edwin Bell, PhD, CBA, ICCE, Senior Manager, National Credit, W.W. Grainger, Inc.







Charles Blank, Senior Manager & Northeast IFRS Leader, Grant Thornton LLP

Charles Blank advises clients and others within Grant Thornton on the implementation and application of International Financial Reporting Standards.

He has implemented International Financial Reporting Standards at various organizations including a global automobile manufacturer and more recently at a US subsidiary of foreign consumer electronics company. He assists clients in assessing compliance of current accounting policies with IFRS, developing globally aligned policies and implementation procedures, identifying changes to disclosures, and coordinating with the Information Technology function.

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Charles was a Director in the Accounting and Financial Consulting Practice at Huron Consulting Group. Previously, he was an Audit Manager in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice with Deloitte & Touche LLP serving public and private companies. Charles has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Northwestern University.

Matthew HigginsDr. Matthew Higgins, Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Dr. Matthew Higgins is an economist and Vice President in the Emerging Markets and International Affairs Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Matthew's research has focused on global capital flows, exchange rate policy, foreign exchange reserve management, and global commodity markets. Prior to his latest stint at the New York Fed, Matthew was Senior International Economist for Merrill Lynch. Prior to that, he worked as an economist in the Research Group at the New York Fed, where he led coverage of the Japanese economy. Matthew received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1994, and a B.A. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1983.

Filomena Q. Moura, Sr. Revenue Analyst (Exports- Credit & Collections), Unilever

Filomena Moura, CICP, completed her MBA degree in 2004. She has been with Unilever since 1998, having gotten her start in finance. From 2000-2002, Filomena began work within the export industry, primarily working on general accounting, reporting, A/R and Credit & Collections.Within 6 months in the department, she collected $6 million of past due international accounts dating back 5 years. Since 2004, Filomena has been heavily involved with Credit & Collections. In January 2007, she took on the entire International Portfolio for HPC, which included Foods International Customers from an earlier transition. She has managed a monthly domestic portfolio of $25MM as well as $8mm monthly International Portfolio for Europe, Asia and Middle East.

Harry L. Palumbo, North American President – Political Risk, CHARTIS Insurance

Harry L. Palumbo joined AIG/CHARTIS in July 2001. He is currently North American President – Political Risk, CHARTIS Insurance. He is responsible for Underwriting and Client Marketing for North America. Formerly he was with Bank of America for 8 years in London and New York as Managing Director and Head of Structured Trade Finance for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Previously he worked with Bank of New York and Chase Manhattan Bank in various International Corporate Finance positions in New York and London.

Mr. Palumbo has over 25 years experience in emerging market political risk insurance and corporate finance encompassing origination, structuring, syndication and risk mitigation of structured and project financings.

He is a graduate from Rutgers University receiving his BA. He also received his MBA in Finance from Rutgers University.