The Year that Was and the 2021 Outlook
Dear EB-5 Stakeholders,
IIUSA ends 2020 just like the rest of the world, with exhaustion and hope. The year was tense, intense, and thanks to our leadership’s and professional staff’s indefatigability, ultimately rewarding.
Despite the COVID pressures we all felt and the Zoom-fatigue we all endured, the association made powerful strides.
- We rebranded to assure everyone knows we are dynamic and forward-looking.
- We launched a new website that is easier to navigate and reflects our accessibility.
- We tired of the Administration’s opacity and filed four federal lawsuits to shed light on long-awaited Freedom of Information Act requests.
- We flexed to accommodate our inability to be together in person and provided virtual meetings, panels, and speakers at home and around the world. Our virtual offerings attracted more than 1,200 participants from over 20 countries, more registrants than we’ve had in over two years, and proved to be profitable for the association and the events’ sponsors.
- We reached outside the EB-5 family to remind or educate others about EB-5’s economic impact and IIUSA was rewarded with 44 mayors across 19 states and hundreds of “non-traditional” organizations signing on to our letter to Congress calling for a long-term reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
- We negotiated in good faith and established goodwill with U.S. Senators Grassley and Leahy to create a long-term reauthorization bill with new, strengthened, commercially operable integrity measures. It was a step industry and Congress knows to be essential before any other program reforms or expansions.
These accomplishments, reached during what we pray is an anomalous year, speak volumes of those who helped achieve them. IIUSA’s professional staff, its officers: Bob Kraft, Bill Gresser, and Steve Strnisha, its Board of Directors, its Leadership Circle, and its members-at-large have reason to be proud and for all of them and more, I have reason to be thankful.
As we look at a new Congress and a new Administration, we know the New Year will be full of new challenges, for which we are more than prepared to overcome.
- Although the Regional Center Program did not secure a long-term reauthorization, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 does extend the Program through June 30, 2021. In the interim, we must, and we will assure that all Members of Congress know the value of our integrity agreement with Senators Grassley and Leahy and the incalculable value to our economy of a long-term reauthorization.
- We will leverage our time and relationships to continue educating policymakers about the impact of lifting per-country-caps and the last Congress’s (failed) bill’s unintended consequences.
- We will continue to expand our family by reaching back out to those who supported us in 2020 and reaching further to find other like-minded organizations.
As they say, “never a dull moment!”
Finally, before I reiterate my gratitude, I hope we all can take a moment to remember our friend and consummate EB-5 advocate, Bob Honts. Sadly, as 2020 came to a close, the year was made even more bitter at the passing of IIUSA’s dedicated parliamentarian and Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus. Bob’s presence will be missed by his Texas family as well as his EB-5 family.
2021 is only a few days away. I hope you use them well to reflect on IIUSA’s accomplishments as well as your own during a year like no other. I am grateful for the opportunity to be IIUSA’s Executive Director and I am looking forward to a very productive and happy New Year!
Non-Members: Join IIUSA to Help Ensure EB-5’s Future
IIUSA is only as strong as the members it represents. While we are proud of the support we receive from hundreds of organizations around the world, we know there are many more organizations out there who have not yet made the commitment.
If you are an industry stakeholder, you need to support your trade representative. Not only for the valuable business development opportunities and resources you receive but because IIUSA is your advocate. Together we can achieve a lasting and bright future for our industry. However, without your support and industry unity, we most certainly will fail.
To discuss membership in greater detail please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 795-9667.