Last week, IIUSA served as course adviser and moderator to the Council for Development Finance Agencies’ (CDFA) successful two-day, 10 hour ‘Intro to EB-5 Finance WebCourse” on September 18-19. Over 90 webinar attendees participated in this interactive webinar, most of which were local economic development professionals from around the country. The WebCourse is part of the IIUSA/CDFA strategic partnership and included over a dozen speakers from IIUSA leadership and membership at large.
On day one, speakers examined the basic statutes and regulations governing the EB-5 program, such as its origins and history, EB-5 immigration laws, relevant securities law and finding EB-5 investors. Among the many distinguished speakers were IIUSA Vice President and Head of the Global Immigration Practice at Baker Donelson, Robert C. Divine, and IIUSA President Emeritus and Of Counsel for Miller Mayer LLP, Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, who combined to lead a thought-provoking discussion on the EB-5 basics. Next, Mariza E. McKee, Attorney at Kutak Rock LLP, Mike Xenick, President of Invest American Capital Advisors and Michael Homeier, Founding Shareholder at Homeier & Law PC, presented on US securities law and their application in the EB-5 Program. In the last panel of the day, Gabriel Hidalgo, Managing Director of Civitas Capital Group, and Kristen Laughlin, Chief Marketing Officer for Cleveland International Fund, teamed up to present on issues pertaining to marketing to EB-5 investors overseas.
Day two focused more on the practical application of the EB-5 program for the purposes of economic development. This included panels on working with Regional Centers, EB-5 as a component of the capital stack, case studies, and EB-5 trends and developments. CMB Regional Centers Senior Vice President, Kraig Schwigen, and Peter Englander of Portland Development Commission provided their perspectives on the ways public and private entities can effectively partner with EB-5 Regional Centers. In the next panel, Bill Gresser, President of EB-5 New York State Regional Center (and IIUSA Director), and Steve Strnisha, CEO of Cleveland International Fund, led insightful dialogues on EB-5 as a component of the capital stack. After a short break, attendees returned to hear from IIUSA and Whatcom Opportunities Regional Center President, K. David Andersson, and CanAm Enterprises CEO (and IIUSA Director), Tom Rosenfeld, as they reviewed lessons from case studies both successful and unsuccessful. Rounding out the day, Daniel Lundy, Associate Attorney at Klasko, Rulon, Stock & Seltzer LLP, and IIUSA Executive Director, Peter D. Joseph, looked into EB-5 trends including adjudication, legislative reform, administrative/regulatory reform, Regional Center proliferation, what to expect in the near and long term future for the EB-5 Regional Center industry, and more.
It was a distinct pleasure for IIUSA to work with our strategic partner, CDFA, and so many IIUSA members on this successful WebCourse. We are already looking forward to next year!