May 5, 2019

Dear NAB Colleagues,

It was a great honor to be elected chair of the North America Branch at the first Board of Directors meeting after last week’s AGM. I very much look forward to meeting as many of you as possible and to working with the following excellent team of officers over the coming year.

Trey Bergman (Houston), Vice Chair / Programs

Frank Emmert (Indianapolis), Vice Chair / Membership

Sandra Jeskie (Phila. & San Diego), Vice Chair / Communications

Jim Reiman (Chicago), Vice Chair / Training

Orlando Cabrera (Mexico City), Secretary

Peter Rosen (Los Angeles), Treasurer

There is an invitation extended at the end of this short report, but I would first like to offer a few explanatory notes.

I ran on a platform comprising the following five substantive strategic imperatives:

  1. Institutionalize any existing NAB programs and develop a sustainable array of new programs of significant value to arbitration practitioners, to insure the continuity and relevance of Branch offerings.
  2. Engage members broadly and actively in NAB programs and governance.
  3. Raise the visibility and enhance the brand value of CIArb and NAB in our territory.
  4. Cultivate and expand inclusiveness in all activities of NAB, including on the Board.
  5. Cultivate and engage future practice leaders, beginning early in their careers.

That platform was born of my own “two track” experience with CIArb. The credential and the network that ongoing Fellowship provides have been invaluable in my career, and I have attended and benefited greatly from a variety of CIArb programs in London, Hong Kong, and elsewhere overseas. On the other hand, during most of my many years as a Fellow I have had little or no engagement with Branch or Chapter activity in my home region.

My core goal as chair is to refocus Branch leadership on our members and to provide better tools for Chapters to enhance networking, professional development, and business development opportunities in and from their locales.

We have made a strong start on strategic imperative #4 (above). Five of the six new Board members elected last week are women, and the sixth is an out LGBT man. Our prior 21-person Board had one and zero of those demographics, respectively. Among my priorities are to bring the Board naturally to gender parity and to build a leadership feeder system that encourages participation from vibrant communities within our profession that have never been present on the Board.

As a step forward on all five strategic imperatives, the Board will be standing up the following committees, to be comprised of Branch members and chaired by officers of the Board:

Program Committee – chaired by the Vice Chair for Programs; tasked with developing, evaluating, and managing Branch programs, as well developing and periodically revising program strategy designed to increase the value of Chartered Institute and NAB membership; will establish sub-committees for individual programs and projects.

Membership Committee – chaired by the Vice Chair for Membership; tasked with expanding member benefits, establishing and supporting student membership groups at law schools, working with Chapter chairs to grow Chapter membership and create networking and program opportunities within and among Chapters, and managing outreach in under-represented communities.

Training Committee – chaired by the Vice Chair for Training; tasked with organizing associate, member, and fellowship training/qualification programs, developing bespoke adaptations of our training programs for presentation in law firms and corporate legal departments, and developing bespoke adaptations of our training programs for use in particular industry sectors.

Communications Committee – chaired by the Vice Chair for Communications; tasked with developing and managing a comprehensive communications strategy for NAB, establishing and managing a more vibrant and useful digital presence, developing thought leadership initiatives, and evaluating incoming sponsorship requests and collaboration opportunities.

Budget & Finance Committee – chaired by the Treasurer; tasked with developing and managing a rolling three-year budget in support of NAB’s strategic plan, assisting the Treasurer in regularizing and managing the financial affairs of the Branch, and considering additional sources of funding and expense offset.Each committee will have an interesting, initial expeditionary project to pursue while it considers strategy and develops its portfolio of priorities, for example the cross-cultural capacity sharing project (for Programs) and the student membership groups (for Membership).

If you are interested in serving on a committee, please send an email to and type the committee name on the subject line. A list will be automatically generated internally, so there is no need to actually write email text. If you would like to provide an alternate committee choice or other note in text, of course feel free to do so.

Please do not be inhibited by geographic location or stage of career. The greater the diversity of participation, the better; and we encourage early-career member involvement.

Thank you for your attention and for being part of the Chartered Institute community. I very much look forward to working with you over the coming year.

Best regards,
Amb. (r.) David Huebner, C.Arb