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Masuda Funai 2019 Leadership Changes


Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd.’s Board of Directors elected a new President, George Kobayashi, effective January 1, 2019. George succeeds Thomas McMenamin who was elected Vice Chairman. George will serve on the firm’s Management Committee and has also been named Managing Director – Business Development. The Board also announced the re-election of Dayne Kono as Chairman, and the promotion of Monika Oyama to Principal.  Monika has also been appointed as Vice Chair of the Commercial, Competition and Trade practice group.

For almost 20 years, George Kobayashi has served as general counsel to Japanese companies entering the U.S. market. Fluent in English and Japanese, George worked in Japan and understands the Japanese business mindset and how commercial decisions are made and executed. George counsels clients on M&A, intellectual property, complex licensing and commercial transactions. He is Regional Vice-Chair of the U.S.-Japan Council Midwest Region. George has been named a Leading Lawyer consecutively for 5 years.

Dayne Kono is a trusted advisor who consistently navigates clients’ business plans through the complexities of cross-border investments. Dayne is often asked to meet with top executives to discuss strategic, sensitive and high-risk issues. With his broad, practical experience and network, which includes 10 years as President and Managing Director of Masuda Funai, he is appreciated for his clear communication, personal commitment and acute focus on each client’s specific needs. Dayne is on the Board of Directors for the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago (JCCC).

Thomas McMenamin represents a diverse, international clientele from Japan, Europe, Korea and the U.S. engaged in cross-border acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, restructurings and complex financings. Clients and colleagues alike rely on Tom’s vision, creativity and ability to integrate new ideas into existing business models. Tom serves as Officer of the Midwest US-Japan Association and is on the Board of Trustees for Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. He has been named a Leading Lawyer consecutively for 5 years.

Monika Oyama’s practice involves cross-border M&A, corporate and finance, intellectual property, complex licensing and commercial transactions. Fluent in both English and Japanese, Monika is an essential team player who is valued for helping Japanese companies as they enter, grow and succeed in the U.S. market. She is a member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Chicago Mita-kai (Keio University Alumni Network), American Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association.

“We would like to congratulate Monika on her elevation in the Firm”, according to George Kobayashi, President of Masuda Funai. "Her legal expertise, experience and dedication has earned her this promotion and we look forward to her continued success and the added value she will contribute to our clients."