Until his retirement, Charles I. Underhill was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, North America’s oldest private network of self-regulatory organizations, whose mission is to be a leader in advancing marketplace trust.
Prior to assuming that position in October 2005, Mr. Underhill served as Senior Vice President of the Dispute Resolution Division of the Council. In that capacity, he oversaw a staff of 70, an annual budget in excess of 10 million dollars, an annual caseload of more than 32,000 individual disputes and a customer base that included both the Better Business Bureau system and many of the world's largest auto manufacturers. He simultaneously served as Chief Operating Officer for BBBOnLine, Inc, the Better Business Bureau system's global Internet subsidiary.
Before joining the staff of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June, 1995, Mr. Underhill served as President of the Better Business Bureau, Inc., which was based in Buffalo, New York, and served both the eight-county area of Western New York and the 5-county Capital District (Albany, Troy and Schenectady). At that time, he also served as President of the BBB Foundation of Western New York, Inc., an organization that administered Community Dispute Resolution Centers within New York's Eighth Judicial District. The Foundation's Dispute Settlement Center provided consumer and juvenile dispute settlement programs in Western New York, administered the BBB AUTO LINE program in the Buffalo and Albany area and provided mediation and conflict resolution training programs in the United States and portions of Canada.
Mr. Underhill began his career with the Better Business Bureau in 1969. He assumed the position of President of the Buffalo organization in 1977 and remained in that role until joining the Council of Better Business Bureaus staff in 1995. Underhill received his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York, Empire State College, in 1980.
Mr. Underhill has consulted, spoken and written extensively on the subject of consumer dispute resolution in the online, cross-border environment. These include presentations for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in Washington, the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation at The Hague, the European Commission in Brussels, the government of El Salvador, the Global Business Dialogue on e-Commerce (GBDe), and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. In 1998, he served as a dispute resolution consultant to the BBBOnLine Privacy program, overseeing the advisory committee that developed BBBOnLine's Privacy Dispute Resolution process. During 2001, Mr. Underhill made presentations on behalf of the U.S. Department of State at U.S. embassies in Paris and Rome. In December, he served as a consultant to the Italian Chambers of Commerce, presenting at a two-day conference in Rome. In 2005, at the invitation of the President of El Salvador, he made a presentation at that country’s Second National Forum for Consumer Protection, and in December 2008, he served as a consultant to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Working Group 2 on Establishing a Secure and Safe E-Commerce Marketplace. Mr. Underhill led a BBB collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to promote consumer best practices in India and North America.