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2018 NAPABA Election and the APABA-DC Board’s Endorsements

Dear APABA-DC Members,

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (“NAPABA”) will be conducting elections for national officers.  Because APABA-DC is an affiliate of NAPABA, all dues paying members of APABA-DC who have registered with NAPABA prior to July 1, 2018 using our affiliate code have the right to vote in the upcoming election.

NAPABA has a contested election this year for Treasurer, Vice President for Communications, and Vice President for Membership.  The board of APABA-DC is pleased to endorse the following persons:

Bruce Ishimaru for Vice-President of Finance & Development

Annette Kwok for Treasurer
Avanti Bakane for Vice President for Communications
Barbara Lum for Vice President for Membership

For Vice-President of Finance & Development, the APABA-DC Board endorses Bruce Ishimatsu.  Mr. Ishimatsu has served as President of the Japanese American Bar Association of Los Angeles and the Asian Pacific Bar of California. His past leadership positions for NAPABA include: Chair of the Partners Committee (2006-2012), board member of the NAPABA Law Foundation, Chair of the 2008 Diversity Symposium, and Co-Chair of the 2010 Convention Host Committee. Currently, he is Co-Chair of NAPABA’s Awards Committee and a member of the Entertainment Committee and Solo/Small Firm Committee.

For Treasurer, the APABA-DC board endorses Annette Kwok.  Ms. Kwok is a member of Venable LLP’s Patent Prosecution and Counseling Group, where she counsels domestic and international clients on a variety of patent procurement and enforcement issues, as well as intellectual property strategy and licensing matters.  Prior to law school, Ms. Kwok was a synthetic organic chemist in the neurosciences group of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute.  Ms. Kwok served as Treasurer of APABA-DC (2010-2012), President of APABA-DC (2013-2014), and Southeast Regional Governor of NAPABA (2015-2017).  She also has been serving a three-year term on the Board of Governors of the D.C. Bar.  During the past two years on the D.C. Bar’s Board, she served on the Budget Committee and the Finance Committee.

For Vice President for Communications, the APABA-DC board endorses Avanti Bakane.  Ms. Bakane is a partner in the Chicago office of Gordon, Rees, Scully, Mansukhani, LLP, where she is a member of the Commercial Litigation and Consumer Protection Litigation practice groups.  She represents publicly traded and smaller companies alike in areas such as complex class action, antitrust, and other commercial litigation with a focus in consumer class action defense.  Ms. Bakane served as NAPABA’s Central Regional Governor for the past two years, served as the board liaison to the Entertainment Law and Regional Conference committees, and served on various task forces to implement policies that promote fairness, transparency, and robust inquiry with respect to the At Large Board Member selection process.  Ms. Bakane also was an active member and leader of her local affiliate chapter of APABA.

For Vice President for Membership, the APABA-DC board endorses Barbara Lum.  Ms. Lum is a partner in the Litigation and Energy Practice Groups at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan, & Aronoff LLP, based in Cleveland, Ohio, where she has defended clients in product liability and mass tort litigation, putative class actions, personal injury cases, and long-term care and nursing home litigation.  Ms. Lum represented the NAPABA Central Region as Alternate Regional Governor (2014-2016), was selected for an At Large Board Member position on the Board of Governors (2016-2018), and was appointed as a chair of the NAPABA Young Lawyer Network (2015-2018).  She currently sits on the Board’s Membership Taskforce, Wellness & Self-Care Taskforce, and Programming Taskforce.  Ms. Lum has also been an active member and leader of her affiliate chapter for the past 10 years.

Further information regarding all NAPABA candidates and the election may be found at

APABA-DC thanks all of the candidates for contested positions for participating in our evaluation process, as well as for their service to the APA legal community.


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