NAW Billion Dollar Company Chief Legal Officer Roundtable
Matthew GeekieSr. Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel, Graybar Electric Co
David KluesnerRegional Government Relations Manager, International Paper
David Kluesner is the Senior Regional Government Relations Manager for International Paper, with responsibilities for related activities in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania and for xpedx.
Prior to joining International Paper, David served for more than 4 years as an advisor to Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson for environmental and agricultural policy. David was also the Governor's Liaison to the Wisconsin State Assembly and his representative on the Council of Great Lakes Governors Executive Committee. He has received gubernatorial appointments to several boards, including the Great Lakes Commission, the Wisconsin Radioactive Waste Review Board and the Kickapoo Reserve Management Board.
David worked for more than 3 years as a policy analyst for the Republican Assembly Caucus staff prior to his service in the Governor's office. In that capacity, he helped develop legislative initiatives in the education and environmental policy areas.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. David is also a veteran of the United States Army. David and his wife Elizabeth have a daughter, Katherine, and son, Teddy.
Ricardo J. NunezSenior Vice President, General Counsel & Corp Secretary, HD Supply, Inc
Ricardo Nuñez is senior vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary for HD Supplysm. Ricardo joined the company as vice president of Legal Operations in 2005. He handles all legal affairs for the company and has developed significant expertise in the areas of compliance, complex commercial and supply chain transactions, international operations and real estate/land use law. Ricardo has responsibilities for the business operations of Asset Protection and Corporate Security, Real Estate, and Environmental Health and Safety. In addition, he manages the Board of Directors and Sub - Committee meetings. He has also led numerous lobbying efforts for the company that have yielded significant results.
Previously, Ricardo held leadership positions of increasing responsibility at General Electric (GE) Energy, which included lead legal counsel responsible for global manufacturing and sourcing, global compliance, and sales of products and services. Prior to GE Energy, Ricardo served as counsel at Esso Inter-America Inc, the Latin American affiliate of Exxon Corporation, responsible for downstream operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. He also spent four years at Steel, Hector & Davis, a leading Florida law firm, where he practiced real estate/land use law.
Ricardo received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of Business in 1986 and his juris doctorate from Columbia Law School in 1989. He serves on The Westminster Schools board where is he Chairman of the Audit Committee. In addition, he serves on the board of Junior Achievement of Georgia, and on the Board of Advisors of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Ricardo previously served on the Board of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where he was vice-chair of its Economic Development Committee. Ricardo has been active in various civic and charitable organizations including the Latin American Association, and National Society of Hispanic MBAs.
HD Supply (www.hdsupply.com) is a leading wholesale distribution company, providing a broad range of products and services to professional customers in the infrastructure & energy, maintenance, repair & improvement and specialty construction markets. With a diverse portfolio of market-leading businesses, HD Supply is one of the largest diversified wholesale distributors in North America, with nearly 900 locations.
John B. PinneyAttorney, Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP
John is the senior trial lawyer in the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Client Services Department and chairs the International Practice Group, focusing on international dispute resolution. He has served as lead trial lawyer in numerous complex commercial, international, banking, securities, products liability, insurance and trust litigation cases, including class actions. John has practiced in state and federal courts and before arbitration tribunals in approximately 35 states and foreign countries. In the past fifteen years, John has represented clients in a wide variety of business disputes, including successful representations in an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration against a large Korean company, a federal court litigation against a Canadian government-owned corporation, an arbitration in Hong Kong that was settled through mediation coordinated through the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, a securities arbitration customer claim resulting in a multimillion dollar settlement, the defense of a federal court consumer class action, the successful prosecution of a contract claim against an Italian manufacturer, and a case where a large sum of stolen funds was recovered by coordinating court actions in Turkey, Cyprus, Portugal and the Cape Verde Islands. He is also experienced in obtaining evidence abroad under Letters Rogatory and The Hague Evidence Convention as well as obtaining evidence in the U.S. for use in foreign proceedings. John has additionally had extensive experience involving both the enforcement of and defense against enforcement of foreign country judgments in U.S. courts and the enforcement of U.S. judgments abroad.
John is a frequent speaker on enforcement of foreign judgments and on international commercial arbitration. He has presented at International litigation and arbitration programs given by the Center for International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria (2001, 2004, 2008 and 2010); the Cincinnati Bar Association in Cincinnati (2004); the American Arbitration Association in Cincinnati (2004); Hamilton Law Association at Niagara on the Lake, Ontario (2005); American Bar Association in Chicago (2005); Program on Foreign Investments in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2005) and Latin American Congress on International Business and Arbitration in Mar del Plata, Argentina (2005); Union Internationale des Avocats in Seville, Spain (2009) and Istanbul (2010).
Throughout his career, John has been active with the American, Federal, Ohio State and Cincinnati Bar Associations. He currently chairs an American Bar Association subcommittee on International Arbitration and regularly attends and speaks at bar association conferences. In 2004, he served as CLE chair for civil programming at the Federal Bar Association Annual Convention.
John also frequently represents clients on appeals in state and federal courts and is a Life Member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference. He recently completed two terms as chair of the Rules Advisory Committee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Prior to joining Graydon Head, John served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Philip Pratt, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Based on the grading and comments of his peers, John was named one of “Ohio’s Super Lawyers” from 2004-2011, and one of The Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation, international arbitration and mediation from 2006-2011. He is recognized with an AV Rating, the highest rating given to lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell.
Winthrop Reed, IIIMember, Lewis Rice & Fingersh, L.C.
Winthrop B. (“Win”) Reed, III is a Member in the litigation department of Lewis, Rice & Fingersh, L.C. Reed spends considerable time representing and advising Graybar Electric Company, Inc., and other manufacturers and distributors on a variety of legal matters including up stream and down stream distribution agreements, pricing, antitrust issues and other state and federal issues relating to competition.
Reed also provides a significant amount of pro bono legal work to the Saint Louis Zoo and to Coat-A-Kid, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides coats, hats and mittens to the underprivileged in the St. Louis area. Reed is very active within the St. Louis community, sitting on the Boards for Junior Achievement of Mississippi Valley, Inc., HavenHouse St. Louis, the Dean’s Council for Saint Louis University’s Law School, and the Saint Louis Zoo. Reed was recently appointed as a Commissioner for the Zoological Subdistrict of the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District Comprising the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County after serving as President of the Saint Louis Zoo Friends Association. Reed also serves in an advisory group for the Opera Theater St. Louis.
As a respected attorney in the Firm, Reed serves not only on the Management Committee, but is also a long-time member of the Firm’s Recruiting Committee and the Firm’s Marketing Committee.
Reed is a member of the Missouri and Illinois Bars, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Lawyers Association of St. Louis, the American Bar Association, and the National Association for College and University Attorneys. Reed also served as an Infantry officer in the Illinois Army National Guard and Reserves for eight years.
Earlier this year, Reed was named an “Up and Coming” attorney in St. Louis by MO Lawyers Weekly, was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2010 and was selected as part of the St. Louis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” Class of 2005.
Jade WestSenior Vice President-Government Relations, NAW
Jade West is Senior Vice President-Government Relations for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. She also serves as Executive Director of the Wholesaler-Distributor Political Action Committee. Jade is the senior lobbyist for NAW, advocating the interests of the wholesale distribution industry in Washington both on Capitol Hill and with executive branch departments and agencies. In addition, she is Executive Secretariat for the 1,000-member Tax Relief Coalition, the Coalition for Affordable American Energy, and the LIFO Coalition. Jade is a Steering Committee member of the Alliance for Tax Fairness and Growth, and she is on the Management Committee of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which leads the opposition to organized labor’s effort to remove secret ballot elections from union certification elections and force employers into binding “interest arbitration” in negotiating contracts.
Jade is also a Director of the Business Industry Political Action Committee and a Founder and Director of the trade association Get Out the Vote Best Practices Group, both working to maximize the turnout of pro-business voters in federal elections.
Before joining NAW in 2002, Jade was a senior aide on Capitol Hill for more than 20 years. She served first as Executive Director of the U.S. Senate Steering Committee, directing the activities of a small staff that provided legislative and policy assistance to approximately 25 senators and their staffs.
She was then named Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, the fourth ranking Republican Leadership position in the Senate. In that capacity, she served as an adviser to the Republican Leadership on legislative and technical procedural matters and managed a staff of 20, including 10 policy experts who provided policy analysis, research papers and talking points, and detailed legislative summaries to Republican senators and their staffs.
Richard WilliamsPartner, Holland & Knight LLP
Richard T. "Dick" Williams is a partner in the General Commercial Litigation Practice Group in the Los Angeles Office of Holland & Knight, and a member of the firm's Antitrust, Class Action and Product Liability Teams. In several dozen federal and state trials, both jury and non-jury and in arbitrations, both domestic and international, Mr. Williams has represented foreign governments and a wide variety of domestic and international corporations.
Mr. Williams led a team of Holland & Knight lawyers that obtained the 15th largest jury verdict in the United States in 2002, as well as the 32nd largest jury verdict in 2001 (rankings according to the National Law Journal). Mr. Williams and his team represented a Japanese real estate developer suing top tier Japanese and Korean construction companies for breach of contract and negligence in their work on a 240-unit, 12-story luxury condominium hotel and resort in Guam that partially collapsed, owing to defects, following a large earthquake in 1993. After an eight-month trial in a courtroom specially built by the parties to handle this matter, the largest trial in Guam's history, the jury unanimously awarded our clients compensatory damages of $73.4 million and, following a separate trial, punitive damages of an additional $73.4 million.
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