Hon. Barbara Pivnicka

Hon. Barbara Pivnicka

President and CEO,
San Francisco Global Trade Council



William G. Nelle, Jr., First Bank



Martha Boersch
Jones Day


Mark Chandler
San Francisco Mayor's Office of International Trade and Commerce


Piotr Moncarz
Exponent, Inc.


Vadim L. Morgunov


George Orbelian
Principal, Orbelian Properties


Russ Yarrow, General Manager

California Corporate Affairs, Chevron


Stephan Crawford
US Department of Commerce


Donald T. Gray


Bruce Janigian
Law Offices of Bruce Janigian


Jerry Levine
President, Mentor International


Louise McCabe
Nixon Peabody, LLP


Skip Rhodes
President, Skip Rhodes & Associates


Stacy Rue
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company


Susanne T. Stirling
Vice President, International Affairs




William G. Nelle, Jr. is Senior Vice President and Manager of the San Francisco Commercial and Private Banking Unit of First Bank. He is responsible for developing and managing the Bank’s corporate relationships in the Bay Area. Joining First Bank in 2000, Mr. Nelle formed the Unit from the acquisitions of four smaller San Francisco based banks. His career in Commercial, International and Investment Banking extends over 30 years, primarily in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Frankfurt, Germany.





Martha Boersch is a corporate criminal defense attorney at the law firm Jones Day. She represents individuals and companies in criminal and civil enforcement matters involving fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, money laundering, RICO, the Alien Tort Statute, and antitrust. She served for 12 years as Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of California. Ms. Boersch gained experience in international and security issues while serving as Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force, specializing in Russian and transnational organized crime. In both 2005 and 2006, she was selected one of California’s “Top 75 Women Litigators.” She currently serves as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.





Mark Chandler is Director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Commerce. He has been with the Mayor’s Office since 1987. Mr. Chandler is responsible for the international business programs of the City of San Francisco, including Sister City ties, trade and investment projects, import and export promotion and international business attraction. He was instrumental in the founding of the San Francisco-Ho Chi Minh Sister City program, one of the first US-Vietnam relationship, and has coordinated over 30 overseas missions. Prior to that, he was employed at US Sprint Telecommunications. Mr. Chandler holds an MBA in International Marketing from U.C. Berkeley, a BA from U.C. Davis in Economics and studied at the Tokyo Academy of Japanese.





Dr. Piotr Moncarz is Corporate Vice President of Exponent, Inc. Exponent, formerly Failure Associates, is a major engineering and scientific consulting firm. His particular specialty is in the energy sector, including power plant development, and system operations risk management in the oil and gas industry. He leads Exponent’s Energy Initiative Program concentrating on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), oil, natural gas, and renewable resources. Dr. Moncarz has conducted energy policy studies on gas for Central Asian Republics and Bangladesh. With a background in civil engineering, he has dealt with various structural problems, including earthquake engineering and seismic assessments, investigations of offshore platform capsizings, and bridge collapses. Dr. Moncarz is a Certified Project Manager and a Consulting Professor in the Engineering Department of Stanford University. He is also Chairman of the US-Polish Trade Council.





Mr. Morgunov holds a Master’s Degree in technical science from the Moscow Higher Technical School and a Master’s Degree in computer science from the  Government University of Information Technologies in Moscow, Russia.

He has served as Chief Information Officer for the Moscow Production and Trading Association, and as Scientific Director for the Moscow Government Center of Informatics. Mr. Morgunov was Vice President of Business Development for Vostokinvestbank in Moscow, and President of Scannar AG  in Tallin, Estonia.

Since 1994, he has been involved as Managing Director or Partner in a wide variety of US-based technical and emerging growth enterprises, including MZ Pacific, Inc., Prototype, Inc., RSJ International, Inc., FX International, Inc. and Zprix, LLC.





George Orbelian is a Principal in Orbelian Properties, a San Francisco-based firm with a commercial and multi-family real estate portfolio. He is co-founder of Ojingo Labs, LLC, a web 2.0 technology company headquartered in Silicon Valley. A surfer for over 35 years, Mr. Orbelian has authored the standard reference of surfboard design, “Essential Surfing,” and is currently at work on a book about the legendary surfboard designer, Dick Brewer. Passionate about the ocean and the environment, he was appointed to the San Francisco Mayor's Ocean Beach Task Force, and serves as a member of the Board of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association. A fluent Russian speaker, Mr. Orbelian assisted in the translation from Russian of Nicolai Levashov's "The Final Appeal To Mankind." He holds a BA in Art from San Francisco State University.





Barbara Pivnicka is President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Global Trade Council. Ms. Pivnicka served as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Tier Technologies, (TIER: Nasdaq), overseeing international corporate communications and global branding. Prior to joining Tier, Ms. Pivnicka was Director of Marketing for Deloitte and Touche, responsible for the marketing, business development and corporate communications programs for the Western Region. She served on the Management Committee as well as the Partner’s Council.

Ms. Pivnicka serves as Honorary Consul of the Slovak Republic, and was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the San Francisco Consular Corps. She holds a BA with Honors in English and Art History from the University of San Francisco, and was chosen as a Scholar in the prestigious Honors Humanities Program. She holds Certification from the National Investor Relations Institute.

She has served as Lecturer at the University of San Francisco’s Graduate School of Business and at Golden Gate University. She was a speaker at the Prague Society for International Cooperation’s Global Symposium, held in the Prague Senate. Her remarks, which concerned the importance and viability of distance learning for global corporations, will be published this year.

She is the recipient of several prestigious awards and certificates, including the “Bronze Eagle,” awarded for implementing the first fully interactive teleconference staged by private industry, and a Certificate of Honor from Leadership San Francisco. In 1997, she was named San Francisco’s “Volunteer of the Year” by the Bay Area Management Center. Ms. Pivnicka is a Governor of the Commonwealth Club and has been a member of its Executive Committee. She serves on the Executive Advisory Board of University of San Francisco’s Center for the Pacific Rim. A graduate of Leadership San Francisco, she served on the Advisory Council of the Commission on the Status of Women and as a Director of Girl Scouts, Northern California Chapter.





Russell Yarrow is General Manager for California Corporate Affairs at Chevron Corporation. He is responsible for external relations with a variety of stakeholders in Chevron’s home state. Prior to joining Chevron in 2004, Mr. Yarrow was Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Relations at Visa International for five years. Prior to that, Mr. Yarrow managed the Corporate Practice in Ketchum’s San Francisco office. He began his corporate public relations career at Bank of America. Mr. Yarrow is an award-winning former journalist who worked in a variety of editorial positions at several San Francisco Bay Area newspapers between 1976 and 1988. He majored in journalism at San Diego State University and is a fellow of the San Francisco Academy, a senior-level public relations seminar. He has been a guest lecturer at a variety of professional functions and has served in senior positions at several nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area.





Stephan Crawford is Director of the US Commercial Service in San Francisco. Before this posting, he served in a variety of U. S. government positions, including an assignment to the State Department as the Economic and Political Officer at the US Consulate in Dusseldorf, Germany, and to US Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown’s staff in California. Mr. Crawford holds a BA in History and Philosophy from the University of Southern California and a Masters in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts.





Donald T. Gray was an attorney for over 32 years with the law firm of Lillick & Charles, which merged with Nixon Peabody LLP. He served as Managing Partner for Lillick & Charles for a number of years. As a senior business partner, he worked on over 125 domestic and international financings, mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances, as well as corporate governance and management counseling, and intricate forensic remedial work for money center banks. Mr. Gray has also been extensively involved in federal regulatory rulemaking and compliance and federal legislative affairs matters. He has contributed significant pro bono efforts to American Indian affairs, including testifying as a trust remedial expert before US congressional committees. He has provided extensive business and legal advice to not-for-profit entities. Mr. Gray is also a recognized legal expert in offshore logistics and energy financing and operations.





Bruce J. Janigian, A.B., J.D., LL.M., has 30 years of experience advising government and business leaders on their global interests. As well as guiding and negotiating international business relationships, he is called upon as an expert in international trade and investment, employment issues and government and public policy matters. A former Fulbright professor of law, he served as Judge Advocate for the US Navy in Europe and as Attorney Adviser to the US Agency for International Development globally. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, a consultant for the International Labor Organization and Vice President of the Salzburg Seminar, an organization that brings together Nobel Prize winners, Supreme Court Justices and top business executives on issues of global concern. Today, Mr. Janigian leads the United States representation in the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, serves in the Public International Law and Policy Group, and is Vice President of the American University of Armenia, a US accredited university affiliated with the University of California.





Jerry Levine is President and CEO of Mentor International, consultants for the development of international business opportunities for governments and companies. He has performed export development, investment promotion and feasibility projects for the governments of Switzerland, Italy, the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, Barbados, Chile, Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the US, as well as many international cities, states and regions.

He conducted the global feasibility study for the State of California's first five foreign offices and performed on-site performance evaluations. This year he was commissioned to analyze the activities of other states and countries, and to recommend future directions for California.


The State International Development Organizations (SIDO) has admitted San Francisco as its first city member. Mr. Levine was a delegate to the SIDO annual conference and prepared relevant summaries for San Francisco and California.

He researched "Going Global" for the 18-state Western Governors' Association, and guided the implementation of the Governors' recommendations as their Counselor for International Projects. He facilitated the Northeastern Trade Summit at Harvard, sponsored by the Council of State Governments and wrote the five-year economic development plan for the New Mexico Economic Development Department. He performed the only comprehensive investigation of US State trade & investment offices, published as American States in Europe.


Mr. Levine is Chairman Emeritus of the National Export Council’s Steering Committee. As Chair Emeritus of the California Council for International Trade, he also serves on the California Chamber Council for International Trade. He has been Vice Dean and Secretary Treasurer of the San Francisco Consular Corps, and serves as Honorary Consul for Barbados. He is a director of the Bay Area World Trade Center.


He has chaired the National DEC Consortium for Exports and Jobs and served on the US Department of Commerce Foreign Commercial Service Selection Board, on Commercial Service Assessments, and as advisor to the Council of State Governments/Western Legislative Conference.


Mr. Levine has assisted high tech firms such as Intel, Motorola, IBM, ITT, Dupont, Nippon Electric, Fujitsu, Kyocera, Siemens, and Italtel in their international export, licensing, joint venture and plant location projects.

Mr. Levine is a graduate of the University of Chicago and of MIT.





Louise McCabe is a Partner at the law firm of Nixon Peabody LLP, whose practice areas include: insurance coverage litigation, professional malpractice, international arbitrations, and commercial litigation, such as business disputes, involving among others, joint ventures, commercial leasing and property tax. Ms. McCabe is also experienced in cases involving publication rights disputes, environmental coverage, and products liability. She serves on the firm’s pension and benefits committee. Formerly a tax manager at the Big 8 accounting firm Touche Ross, Ms. McCabe is a member of the American Bar Association Section on Taxation. Ms. McCabe also has an MBA from Santa Clara University.




Skip Rhodes is President of Skip Rhodes & Associates, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in strategic corporate and non-profit philanthropic organizational and community activities. A Chevron executive for 46 years, he was Manager of Corporate Community Involvement for almost 20 years, responsible for the company’s charitable contributions and community programs worldwide. Formerly Mayor of Piedmont, CA and city councilmember, Mr. Rhodes is a past President and current member of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Club of California, and a current Board member of the World Affairs Council of Northern California, the Yosemite Fund, and the Oakland Zoo Foundation. He has also served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foundations in Washington, DC.





Stacy Rue is Director, Government and Business Relations at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Sunnyvale, California.





Susanne Thorsen Stirling has headed the California Chamber’s International Trade Department since 1982. The CalChamber supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.

The department sponsors and participates in trade, investment and other international events. It also assists members with general export and import activities, maintains www.calchamber.com/international and provides international trade publications.

Before joining the CalChamber, Stirling held positions in public affairs and public relations for Burmeister & Wain A/S, an international shipbuilding company based in Copenhagen.


Stirling studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California.



Recent News