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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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Joseph Yao

The President's Message

Dear ACC Houston Chapter Members & Supporting Colleagues,

Wow, what a last couple of years for our World and for our Chapter!

Starting with a tumultuous and daunting year of 2020 when our then President Chantel Jordan and our Board so skillfully navigated through 2020 to provide our membership innovative programming and connection.  Then in a critical return-to-normalcy year of 2021, our Immediate Past President Nicole Moss led our Board and Chapter back to a healthy 2021 schedule of CLE and socials that transitioned to in-person events.  All of which was recognized by ACC Global when they honored our Chapter with the Gold Chapter of Distinction!

I am humbled by the honor of being your current President and I am excited to welcome our elected Officers and Board Members, both new and returning members.

Please join me in welcoming President Elect: Melanie Koltermann; Secretary: Jennifer Fung; Treasurer: Dionne Hamilton; Immediate Past President: Nicole Moss and our Board of Directors: Kim Pilcher, Christallyn Williams, Emily Shields, Brian Kentshire, David Comeaux, Ivett Hughes, Keith Head, Lauren Haller, Marc Krasney, Mitch Blakely, Phillina Lai, Raj Duvvuri, Gabriella Aliberti, Tracey Rice, Chantel Jordan, and last and most importantly our heartbeat and Chapter Administrator, Elena Baer.  Also, I want to give a special THANK YOU to my mentor and friend, Dean Fisher, for his straightforward advice and insights.  

I also want to recognize our valued Sponsors and partners, because our achievements over the years would not have been possible without their continued sponsorships and collaborations.

In 2023, I propose that our Chapter return to “FUNdamentals”: 

  • Encourage our membership become more involved with ACC both on the Chapter and Global levels;
  • Help our members to grow professionally via all of the great educational, networking opportunities and resources to be offered throughout the year; and
  • Continue to provide members with solutions and opportunities through ACC resources that will help them pursue satisfaction and advancement in their chosen industry as well as in their community.

If you have ideas, suggestions, comments, improvements, or critiques, please directly contact me, any of our leadership team, or Elena and let us know your thoughts.  If you want to help, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, any of our Practice Group/Committee Chairs or Elena and let us know you want to get more involved.

I’m looking forward to a fantastic 2023, and I am grateful for your partnership and dedication to our chapter to make it all possible.

So let’s have some serious FUN this year!

Respectfully Yours,

Joseph Yao
President, ACC Houston Chapter


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