by Aaron Grau, Executive Director, IIUSA
One reason associations exist is to leverage its members’ buying power or political capital. Improving or strengthening a profession’s or an industry’s ability to serve their markets is a direct result of coming together on the same platform and speaking with one voice to underscore unanimity and the message’s importance.
There are risks, however, in relying solely on strategies that leverage an association’s voice, namely the appearance of self-serving. For example, if the International Association of Vampires (IAV) spoke clearly and unequivocally that garlic should no longer be sold in grocery stores, their message -although unified- may find significant criticism, not the least of which would be from the International Association of Garlic Growers (IAGG).
Sometimes a unified voice must be substantiated by authorities outside an association to claim validity, demonstrate truly comprehensive benefits, and dispel mercenary or self-regarding motives.
IIUSA’s drive to reform and reauthorize the EB-5 Regional Center Program is easily the association’s top priority. Other than its demand for additional EB-5 visas, there is little else that speaks as loudly or clearly to the association’s mission and vision. In years past, differences of opinion among EB-5 Regional Centers confused the association’s call for reauthorization; confused and frustrated policy makers and ultimately frustrated IIUSA’s goal. Today, that confusion is largely eliminated. IIUSA members and non-members are finally collectively leveraging their political capital toward a common end. The industry’s bifurcated history (or histrionics), however, still colors policy makers’ memory and perceptions, so it is no longer enough to demonstrate unity. Now we also need validity.
Even before the global pandemic and its economic impact, IIUSA sought inroads with “outside” organizations to more emphatically illustrate EB-5 investments’ economic impact. For example, IIUSA has a good working relationship with the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. During our 2019 Seattle gathering, IIUSA welcomed its first honorary economic development organization (EDO) members. The message was clear. EB-5 investments are an economic driver. EDOs that recognize that or EDOs that want to know more: Welcome. Let’s work together…
Take a Deeper Dive with Us During the Virtual EB-5 Industry Forum – Which Starts Today!
The Virtual IIUSA EB-5 Industry Forum is the industry’s premier educational, advocacy, and business development programming of the fall! The five-day webinar event will provide listeners with leading educational and business development content all through an easy to navigate virtual platform.