September 2018 Chairman’s Message

Dear Fellow ABGR Members,

Welcome back from summer / Eid holidays!

Despite economic headwinds and restrictive policies on expatriate residency visas we continue to grow, having over recent months welcomed Worley Parsons, KBR, Al Tamimi & Co., SMSA Express Transport, Frontier Emergency Services Consulting Group and Arabian Auto Agency as new corporate members.  We are also delighted to welcome back our Board alumni Mace Crowe (with BAH) and Ed Munter (General Manager of the new Diplomatic Quarter Marriott Hotel).

Since my last report, we have hosted the following events.

September 9, Board Meeting.  At our first meeting of the new season we welcomed to our Board of Directors Paul LoNigro of JASARA Program Management Company, who has agreed to serve as Program Chair; ten new individual members working for our Corporate Member BAH; and two individual members working for Public Investment Fund Entities, Jay Rosen of the Red Sea Development Co. and James Weir, General Counsel of PIF/King Abdullah Financial District.

September 10, Dinner Social.  With outstanding support from Arizona Golf Resort management and staff our Luau Dinner was a great success, by popular acclaim of 110 members and guests.

August 7, Civil Nuclear Delegation.  We hosted a roundtable with a 6-member delegation of congressional and Department of Energy staff and professionals, on Saudi civil nuclear plans; thanks as always to our friends at the Embassy (Scott Hutchins and Nadine) for arranging.

July 26, Infrastructure Committee. The Infrastructure Committee, led by AbdulRahman Al-Ghabban, Fouad Khoury and John Rinard, met at the Parsons Office; please contact these officers if interested in participating in future events.

Please look out for further news on the following upcoming events.

  • September 19, General Membership Meeting. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl S. Risch will discuss issues impacting the U.S. citizen community, to including the Saudi visa regime and labor policies for expatriates, and emergency preparedness issues.
  • Meet your Embassy Series. We are working with our friends at the Embassy to organize roundtable discussions with leaders of the various sections of the Embassy.
  • Social Program. Stand by for evening social events, on the model of recent successful dinners hosted by the Arizona, Wadi Qurtuba, California, Al-Nakhla, Al-Jawhara Village and Isbhilia Compounds.

Our Defense/Security (Kevin Darnell, Chair), Infrastructure (AbdulRahman Al-Ghabban, Fouad Khoury and John Rinard, Co-Chairs), Finance (Alan Lowe and John Sfakianakis, Co-Chairs), and Lawyers Committees (Chris Johnson and Stephen Bodley, Co-Chairs) are all planning their new seasons; please consider joining one or more of these groups, which depend so critically on membership leadership participation for their success.

We always welcome nominations or expressions of interest to join our board, which meets monthly to plan activities to better serve our members. Our latest addition is Todd Elledge, California Compound Manager, who has agreed to organize and lead a new committee on hospitality and entertainment; please approach him directly with your ideas and interest in participating.

Thank you for your continued support for our program, which, like all membership organizations, depends on its members’ involvement and enthusiasm.


Christopher H. Johnson

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About the Author

Chris Johnson

Active in the Kingdom since 1978, Chris Johnson is the founding partner of Johnson & Pump/Al-Sharif Law Office, based in Riyadh. +966-11-462-5925