Honorary Board

Ms. Judith W. Munson, JD

Ms. Munson serves as the Executive Director of the International Collaborative for Public Health Emergency Preparedness, an initiative linking public health and law practitioners, academicians and students in Illinois with their counterparts in the Czech Republic. She teaches “Public Health Emergency Law: Domestic and International” at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and at Masaryk University Faculty of Law in Brno, the Czech Republic. She also lectures remotely via Global Campus technology at the University of Iowa.

After concluding a three-year appointment as Senior Consultant to the CDC’s Public Health Law Program, Ms. Munson has concentrated on public health law in the international arena. In addition to her teaching duties at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, she also lectures on public health legal issues at VSE (Economics University) and the Czech Bar Association (in Prague). She is a frequent presenter on international public health law topics to domestic law school classes and school of public health audiences. Read More…

Mr. Patrick E. Rea

Patrick E. Rea has a long and distinguished career of professional achievements and dedicated public service. He was appointed Regional Administrator for SBA’s Midwest Region by President George W. Bush in November 2003 and held that position through January 2009. He had responsibility for the states of Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. As Regional Administrator, Rea was the principal representative of Administrator Hector Barreto in the Midwest and provided interface with regional, state and local elected and appointed officials, trade organizations and small business communities across the region. Read More…

Mr. Thomas C. Homburger

Thomas Homburger concentrates his practice in the area of real estate financing, development and investment, and he is particularly noted for his experience in sale/leaseback transactions and the use of advanced financing techniques. Mr. Homburger served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at The John Marshall Law School, where he taught a course in advanced real estate transactions. He currently is a member of the Board of Advisors of the school’s Real Estate Institute. Read More…

Ms. Peggy Fiedler Parfenoff

Peggy Fiedler Parfenoff joined the International Visitors Center of Chicago(IVCC) as Executive Director in November, 2001. Prior to the IVCC, Peggy worked briefly in marketing at a local publishing company. Her non-profit experience stems from her six years at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, where Peggy was the Director of Development. She managed all the fundraising activities for the Chicago Sister Cities International Program as well as the many arts and cultural programs affiliated with the Department. Before her position with the Department of Cultural Affairs, Peggy also worked as a newspaper reporter and at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC.

While working at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Peggy earned her MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where she specialized in Public/Non-Profit Management and Marketing. Her international exposure started with a year spent studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, followed by many journeys throughout Europe, Russia and China. A native of Iowa, Peggy lives in Chicago with her husband and son. Read More…

Mr. Lester Munson

Lester specializes in investigative and legal affairs reporting — unions; strikes; lockouts; antitrust litigation (free agency); ownership; crimes; economic and business issues; social issues; and, medical disputes. Now at ESPN.com, recent assignments include congressional hearings on BCS (Bowl Championship Series), Michael Vick’s bankruptcy court appearances, and legal troubles facing Plaxico Burress.

Lester also serves as the on-site legal analyst for ESPN TV and ESPN radio. He is also a regular guest and commentator on WTTW. Channel 11, Chicago PBS affiliate. Lester is a Columnist, Crain’s Chicago Business; frequent commentator on WBEZ, Chicago NPR affiliate, Sporting News Radio Network, WSCR, Chicago Sports Radio, and, other radio and television stations nationwide. Read More…

Una Pipic

AmSECC Founding Member & Former Vice-President

Una is from Zagreb, Croatia but has been living in the United States since 2001. She is also the Director of Venture Development and a business advisor at the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC).At the CEC, Una oversees the Entrepreneur in Residence program that partners seasoned entrepreneurs with exciting nascent technologies to create new, high-impact companies in Illinois. As a business advisor, Una also works with high-growth entrepreneurial ventures on financial models, investment presentations, strategic decisions and financing strategies to achieve targeted business results.

Una travels to Croatia regularly and has maintained strong business relationships both in Zagreb and Istria. Una and her husband are also the founders of Fino Products, a company that imports and distributes high quality extra virgin olive oils from Istria. Una graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international communications from the American University of Paris, France. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business with a concentration in entrepreneurship and finance. She is an active member of the International Visitors Center of Chicago and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Una and her husband live in Chicago.

Aida Zubovic

AmSECC Founding Member

Aida Zubovic, originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been living in the United States for almost nine years. Prior to moving to the United States, Aida lived in Germany for seven years, where she decided to pursue her degree in foreign languages. Aida has since then earned a B.A. in German and Spanish, with an emphasis in secondary education and an M.A. in Germanic studies. Aida, a passionate educator, teaches part-time at a Community College and full-time at a high school.

Anyone who has crossed the globe the visit or live in a foreign country has without a doubt had some amount of culture shock and difficulty coming closer to his goal. It is both difficult and exhilarating to find oneself changing and succeeding in such a new environment. Through the contrasts and differences Aida observed and felt in her environmental switch, she has become very conscious of and interested in communication and language and hopes that with these experiences, she will be able to contribute to AmSecc’s vision of connecting businesses in the United States and Southeast Europe in order to encourage projects, foreign direct investment (FDI) and export-import relationships.

Emir Zubovic

AmSECC Founding Member & Former Treasurer

Emir Zubovic, originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been living in the United States since 1997. Currently, Emir is managing principal of Zubovic CPA Tax Service, Ltd and brings over 10 years of experience in tax, business and individual planning, finance, and estate planning to his clients. In addition to his accreditation as a Certified Public Accountant (obtained through Northern Illinois University program), he holds two Bachelors degrees, in Accounting from Rockford College and in Finance from University of Zagreb.

Among his many professional affiliations, he maintains memberships in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society. With his experience and business relationships, Emir hopes to facilitate and promote business relationships in US and Southeast Europe.

Mr. Thomas Vega-Byrnes

Thomas Vega-Byrnes is a Chicago-based attorney with broad country and industry sector experience in international transactions. He provides assistance to a wide range of clients throughout the United States and abroad, including Fortune 500 companies, major commercial and financial institutions, governments and governmental entities, as well as small and midsize companies.

Mr. Vega-Byrnes has represented project finance lenders, sponsors, equipment suppliers and contractors, advising on and negotiating project and financing agreements for electric power plants, chemical plants and airports, and advising, negotiating and settling disputes arising out of such projects. He has advised on traditional limited or non-recourse lending as well as structured financing of such projects. In addition to project finance, Mr. Vega-Byrnes advises commercial lenders on international secured lending, and represents clients in international mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures. He also assists multinationals with planning and documenting the corporate law aspects of international reorganizations and restructurings for tax planning purposes. Read More…

Mr. David Pistrui, Ph.D.

David Pistrui, Ph.D., serves as the Managing Director of Acumen Dynamics, LLC, a strategybased education, training, and research firm that focuses on practical knowledge and skills that help organizations align vision and strategy with execution and performance. Working as an independent scholar, thought leader and advisor to corporations, family foundations, academic institutions, government agencies and global think tanks Dr. Pistrui’s activities include strategy development, business succession, assessment modeling, technology transfer, executive education and social science research. This includes programs and activities in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Read More…

Mr. John Rogers

International businessman, attorney, strategist and lecturer John Rogers has spent the past 20 years commuting between his Chicago home base and Asia. As president of the Midwest US-China Association (MWCA), he leads a coalition of 12 states with the mission of attracting Chinese investment to this vibrant US region in various manufacturing, agricultural, and educational ventures.

A founder of TANA (Transforming Asia – North America), Rogers focuses outreach activities to assist companies in cross-border M&A and strategic alliances. These two positions have enabled him to meet and interact with an extensive network in the Chinese business, government and educational communities. Learning their ways, preferences and attitudes toward the future first-hand and in person, Rogers is able to bring business presentations to life. Read More…

Boki Glamochak

AmSECC Founding Member & Former Vice-President

Originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but has been living in the United States since 1995. He is principal owner of a Chicago based graphic design firm. At the design firm, he oversees the project development and client account management. The design firm services a variety of small to medium sized business with their advertising and marketing needs. He travels to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia regularly and has maintained strong business relationships with Banja Luka and Belgrade. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He is an active member of the Serbian Diaspora.

Mr. Michael A. Moses

Michael A. Moses is is a founding members of Siegel Moses & Schoenstadt, PC which concentrates its practice in most legal aspects of the alcoholic beverage industry. The firm’s clients hall from all three “tiers” of the federal and state-mandated alcoholic beverage industry. Within the supplier tier their clients include foreign and domestic distilleries wineries and breweries, as well as U.S. importers. On the wholesale level, they represent both local and national distributors of spirits, wine, and beers. At the retail level, their clients include regional, national, and international hotel and restaurant chains. Included with their principal areas of concentration are federal and state litigation (at the trial and appellate level), administrative proceedings, regulatory matters with various federal and state agencies, commercial agreements amongst members of the industry, licensing, as well as advertising and marketing guidance. Read More…

Patrick Anderson

Mr. Anderson founded Anderson Economic Group in 1996, and serves as a Principal and Chief Executive Officer in the company. Mr. Anderson is a recognized authority on business valuation and commercial damages, and has provided expert testimony and consulting advice to organizations such as General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Honda, Kmart, SBC and Labatt USA; the states of North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin; the International Mass Retailers Association, American Automobile Association, Michigan Manufacturers Association, the University of Michigan; and the franchisees of Anheuser-Busch, Molson, Coors, Miller, Harley-Davidson, Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki, and Avis products. Read more…

Matija Biljeskovic

Matija, originally from Prizren, has also lived in Split and Podgorica before moving to the United States. He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Northern Illinois University. While working for Rapid Air, a stamping equipment manufacturer, he decided to expand his knowledge in the field and began pursuing a M.S. degree in electrical engineering with the concentration in power electronics. He completed his studies and earned his M.S. degree while working as a systems engineer on the Boeing 787 program at Hamilton Sundstrand.

After spending six months in Vienna and Belgrade, Matija got together with his friends and founded BalkanViator – a website serving as a search engine database for bus departure times covering Southeast Europe. He currently works for Northrop Grumman. As one of AmSECC’s website administrators, he maintains and regularly updates AmSECC’s website. With his education and work experience, he hopes to contribute toward AmSECC’s mission.

Dimitar Tchalakov

Dimitar Tchalakov has more than fifteen years experience in the Information Technology arena and especially in the area of software development and outsourcing. During this period he held positions as software developer, team leader, architect, consultant and entrepreneur working in Europe and North America interacting with teams from many different countries on different continents. His background helps him to establish many multicultural relations and see the value and innovations available from different parts of the world.

During his work assignments he was involved in building generic frameworks that were used in the area of Telecommunications and also developing and architecting products in many other areas. For the last few years he is helping IT companies from Eastern Europe in their efforts of establishing partnership relations with companies from US and other places and providing software consulting services. Dimitar is born in Bulgaria and has a master degree in Computer Engineering from “Technical University” of Sofia, Bulgaria. As of AmSECC’s website administrators, he also maintains and regularly updates AmSECC’s website.