For 12 years the IIUSA EB-5 Advocacy Conference has been the one and only EB-5 industry conference focused on championing the virtues and achievements of the Program to Capitol Hill.

In 2018, IIUSA was proud to launch the Industry Achievement Banquet to highlight program contributions and member success across the country.

Economic Advancement Awards
Schedule & Recap

2019 Awards for Economic Advancement

Last year, IIUSA was thrilled to recognize industry leaders at the Inaugural EB-5 Industry Achievement Banquet and we are excited to announce that nominations for this year’s Awards for Economic Advancement are now being accepted!

View all the winners for the 2019 Awards for Economic Advancement

U.S. Champion

Regional Centers rely on many partners and service providers to achieve success. This award recognizes a domestic service provider which is a catalytic collaborator within the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The nominee does not have to be IIUSA member.


International Champion

Foreign partners are critical to EB-5 industry success. This award recognizes a foreign migration agency, overseas representative, or other international partner who is working in their country as an ambassador and champion for the EB-5 program. The nominee must be an IIUSA member.


Emerging Champion

Newcomers to the EB-5 industry help assure new ideas, fresh perspectives and ultimately drive the industry forward. This award recognizes an EB-5 industry newcomer (within the past three years) whose innovation and passion are representative of where the EB-5 industry is heading. The nominee must be an IIUSA member.


Vivian Zhu
Vivian ZhuWolfsdorf Rosenthal


The EB-5 industry is constantly changing. This award recognizes a member business that’s driving a new trend in EB-5 industry, forging unique partnerships, creating innovative project ideas, and is setting new trends within the industry. The nominee must be an IIUSA member.


Economic Impact

The EB-5 program facilitates economic development. This award recognizes the regional center who has had an exceptional impact on all aspects of economic growth, including impacts in infrastructure, technology, talent, capital, or sustainability. This awardee is working to solve regional challenges through dynamic projects and solutions. Urban and rural centers can have significant impact on their respective regions, and, therefore impact should be considered based on the impacts realized on the regions served. IIUSA will select one winner, one urban honorable mention, and one rural honorable mention. The nominee must be an IIUSA member.


Regional Center of the Year

Regional Centers are the cornerstone of the EB-5 Industry. This award recognizes a member Regional Center who has demonstrated excellence as it relates to the core values of IIUSA: collaboration, ethics, and strategic thinking. This Regional Center has served as a leader and example for all Regional Centers throughout the past year. IIUSA will select one winner, one urban honorable mention, one rural honorable mention. The nominee must be an IIUSA member.


Lifetime Achievement

There are many who are dedicated to the EB-5 Industry. Annually, IIUSA will accept nominations and consider recognizing an individual with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Nominees should be true champions of EB-5 who have dedicated many years of service to the positive advancement of IIUSA and the industry. Nominations accepted annually; however, not necessarily awarded annually. The nominee must be an IIUSA member.


Patrick Hogan
Patrick HoganCMB Regional Centers
View all the winners for the 2019 Awards for Economic Advancement

2019 EB-5 Industry Achievement Banquet

May 5, 2019 | Washington, DC 

Set Sail for EB-5 Industry Success

IUSA was excited to host our guests for this year’s event on a private cruise on the Potomac River. See the city like you never have before as the cruise takes many of the sites of our nation’s capital!

The banquet recognized our members who have made the most substantial contributions to the association by creating a strong and vibrant membership and who have had success in the industry by promoting local economic development across the country.

Boarding at: 580 Water St SW, Washington, DC 20024

Conference Schedule

Download Conference Schedule

IIUSA Committee Meetings (Invite-Only)

  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Public Policy Committee, Editorial Committee, Investor Markets Committee;
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm: Best Practices Committee, Member Relations Committee

EB-5 Industry Achievement Banquet (Boat Cruise)

  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm: Shuttle Buses Depart for the Boat Cruise Banquet
  • 6:00pm – 7:00pm: Pre-Banquet Cocktail Reception & Guest Arrival
  • 7:00pm – 10:00pm: IIUSA EB-5 Industry Achievement Banquet Ceremony
  • 10:00pm – 11:00pm: Shuttle Buses Depart for Park Hyatt (Conference Hotel)

  • 8:00am – 5:30pm: Registration & Exhibits
  • 8:30am – 10:00am: IIUSA 14th Annual Membership Meeting
  • 10:15am – 10:45am: Keynote Address (Speaker: General David Petraeus)
  • 11:00am – 11:30am: Networking Break
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm: Advocacy Panel: How to Conduct a Hill Meeting and IIUSA Policy Positions
    • Panelists:
      • Bill Gresser (Moderator), IIUSA Vice President; EB-5 New York State Regional Center;
      • George McElwee, IIUSA Lobbyist; Commonwealth Strategies; 
      • Joe McCarthy, IIUSA Board of Director; American Dream Fund;
      • Keith Pemrick, IIUSA Lobbyist; Commonwealth Strategies; 
  • 1:15pm – 2:30pm: Keynote Panel: EB-5 Visa Capacity Update: What is Retrogression? Does it Mean the Market is Dead?
    • Speaker: Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division at U.S. Department of State;
    • Panelists:
      • Robert Divine (Moderator), IIUSA Vice President Emeritus; Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC;
      • Robert Kraft, IIUSA President; FirstPathway Partners;
      • Leon Rodriguez, Seyfarth Shaw LLP;
      • Cletus Weber, IIUSA Board of Director; Peng & Weber PLLC
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm: Breakout Sessions:
    • HNWI: How to Target Them Where They Work and Live and Transferring Their Funds
      • Panelists:
        • Irina Rostova (Moderator), Chair of IIUSA Investor Markets Committee; Rostova Westerman Law Group; 
        • Keumhee Hong, Club Emigration (South Korea);
        • Janak Mehta, FRR Shares & Securites Ltd. (India);
        • Darrell Sanders, American Life Inc.;
        • Kripa Upadhahy, Orbit Law, PLLC
    • USCIS Policy Trends: Redemption Agreements, Indebtedness and More – What They Mean for Your Business and Your Investors
      • Panelists:
        • Kristal Ozmun (Moderator), Miller Mayer LLP;
        • Rana Jazayerli, Klingner Jazayerli LLP;
        • Parisa Karaahmet, Fragomen Worldwide;
        • Ira Kurzban, Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt PA
  • 3:30pm – 4:00pm: Networking Break
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm: Breakout Sessions:
    • EB-5 Securities Laws and Enforcement: Analyzing the Trends
      • Panelists:
        • Rikard Lundberg (Moderator), Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP;
        • Ronnie Fieldstone, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP;
        • Doug Hauer, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky Popeo, PC;
        • Clem Turner, Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
    • Creative Thinking and Data Analysis: How Can EB-5 Benefit Your Community’s Local Economic Development Initiatives?
      • Panelists:
        • Jeff Carr (Moderator), EPR Economics;
        • Rush Deacon, Pine State Regional Center;
        • Noreen Hogan, CMB Regional Centers;
        • Gonzalo Lopez-Jordan, American Regional Center Group LLC;
        • Steve Strnisha, IIUSA Secretary Treasurer; Cleveland International Fund

  • 7:00am – 8:00am: Networking Breakfast
  • 7:00am – 12:30pm: Registration & Exhibits
  • 8:00am – 9:00am: Breakout Sessions:
    • Redeployment: How to Inform Your Current Investors and How to Structure Future Deals
      • Panelists:
        • Ozzie Torres (Moderator), Torres Law, PA;
        • Bob Cornish, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP;
        • Tom Rosenfeld, IIUSA Board of Director Emeritus; CanAm Enterprises;
        • Brad Stedem, CapUnited
    • Investor Relations: Fiduciary Duties Post-Securities Closing, Record Keeping, Monitoring and Investor Communications
      • Panelist:
        • Jill Jones (Moderator), NES Financial;
        • Dan Healy, IIUSA Board of Director; Civitas Capital Group;
        • Michael Homeier, Law Office of Michael G. Homeier PC;
        • Alexei Kondenkov, Axos Bank;
        • Kurt Reuss, EB5 Deals
  • 9:00am – 10:00am: Breakout Sessions:
    • Compliance Reviews and Site Visits: What We Know and How to Be Prepared
      • Panelists:
        • Christian Triantaphyllis (Moderator), Jackson Walker LLP; 
        • David Andersson, IIUSA President Emeritus; WORC Regional Centers;
        • Jennifer Hermanski, Greenburg Traurig Law; 
        • Al Rattan, IIUSA Board of Director; Continental Regional Center LLC
    • How to Stay Competitive in the Global Migration By Investment Market
      • Panelists:
        • Eren Cicekdagi (Moderator), IIUSA Board of Director; Golden Gate Global;
        • Pat Hogan, IIUSA Board of Director; CMB Regional Centers;
        • Mona Shah, Mona Shah & Associates;
        • Rohit Turkhud, Fakhoury Law Group, PC
  • 10:00am – 10:30am: Networking Break
  • 10:30am – 11:30am: Breakout Sessions:
    • Economic Development Finance: Empirical Knowledge for How to Use EB-5, NMTC and Other Funding Sources
      • Panelists:
        • Mary King (Moderator), Chair of IIUSA Best Practices Committee; New York City Regional Center;
        • Justin Blackhall, American Lending Center;
        • Phillip Mendiola-Long, American Northern Marianas Regional Center;
        • Toby Rittner, Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA);
        • Abteen Vaziri, IIUSA Board of Director; Brevet Capital Management
    • RFEs, NOITs, and Regional Center Terminations: Trends and How to Respond
      • Panelists:
        • Michele Franchett (Moderator), Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP;
        • Robin Gray, Law Office of Robin J. Gray;
        • Aaron Goforth, Baker Tilly; 
        • Marisa Marconi, Pinnacle Plan Writing LLC;
        • Michael Kester, Impact DataSource LLC
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm: Breakout Sessions:
    • Opportunity Zones and EB-5: Working Together to Create Local Economic Advancement
      • Panelists:
        • Kyle Walker (Moderator), IIUSA Board of Director; Green Card Fund; 
        • Allison Berman, Greystone;
        • Tim Fisher, Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA);
        • Oleg Karaman, Customers Bank;
        • Scot O’Brien, Akerman LLP
    • How to Market to and Find Investors Already in the U.S.: E-2 and EB-5 and Other Visa Backlog Solutions
      • Panelists:
        • Jinhee Wilde (Moderator), WA Law Group, LLC;
        • Ed Beshara, Beshara Global Migration Law;
        • Jessica A. DeNisi, Klasko Immigration Law Partners;
        • Phuong Le, David Hirson & Partners


2019 EB-5 Advocacy Conference & Industry Achievements Ceremony

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