The 7th Annual EB-5 Industry Forum

October 23 – 25, 2017
Miami, Florida

The EB-5 Industry Forum was the year’s premier EB-5 conference focusing on education and  business development on a global scale. We welcomed more than 300 EB-5 industry stakeholders in Miami, Florida from October 23-25 at this pivotal moment for the EB-5 industry.

This year’s EB-5 Industry Forum was held at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami. The resort is located on a tropical island oasis just minutes from downtown Miami and 20 minutes from Miami International Airport.

Guest of Honor Speakers





Robert L. Johnson

Robert L. Johnson

Founder and Chairman

The RLJ Companies

Manuel A. Mencia

Manuel A. Mencia

Senior Vice President

Enterprise Florida, Inc., Division of International Trade & Business Development

Charles Oppenheim

Charles Oppenheim

Chief, Visa Controls Office

U.S. Department of State (DOS)

Tomás Regalado

Tomás Regalado


City of Miami

Francis X. Suarez

Francis X. Suarez


District 4, City of Miami

Conference Schedule

The conference theme this year – Global Connections. Local Results. – speaks to how our inherently global industry is intrinsically linked to local development and improving American communities.

As you will find in the schedule below, we have incorporated the theme in all of our conference programming. Blue is representative of programming that highlights the global nature of the EB-5 Program. Red represents programming that shows its positive effects for communities throughout the country.

You can download a copy of the conference schedule here.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – IIUSA Committee Meetings: Public Relations, Editorial, Membership, and Best Practices

11:00 AM – 12:00 AM  IIUSA Committee Meetings: Investor Market, Banking, Compliance, and Public Policy

12:30 PM – 01:00 PM – Welcome Lunch: “Year in Review”


  • Robert Kraft, President, IIUSA; Chairman, FirstPathway Partners
  • Peter Joseph, Executive Director, IIUSA 

01:00 PM – 01:50 PM – Breakout Sessions

EB-5 Marketing: What You Need to Know to Find Investors from…


  • Irina Rostova*, Chair, IIUSA Investor Markets Committee; Partner, Rostova Westerman Law Group
  • Min Chan, Partner, Chan Law Firm LLC
  • Julian Montero, Partner, Arnstein & Lehr, LLP
  • Janak Mehta, Director, FRR Shares & Securities Ltd.
  • Reza Rahbaran, Principal, Rahbaran & Associates, PLLC

EB-5 Marketing: Optimizing Project Structure to Find Investors from…


  • Kyle Walker*, Director, IIUSA; Managing Partner, Green Card Fund
  • Angelique Brunner, Director, IIUSA; President, EB5 Capital
  • Michael Fitzpatrick, Vice Chair, Baker Tilly Capital, LLC
  • Julia Park, Managing Partner, Advantage America EB-5 Group
  • John Shen, CEO, American Lending Center

01:50PM – 02:40 PM – Breakout Sessions

EB-5 in China: Latest Issues with Source of Funds & Capital Controls


  • Edward Beshara*, Managing Partner, Beshara P.A.
  • David Appel, Senior Partner, Marcum LLP
  • Ginny Fang, Director, IIUSA; CEO, Golden Gate Global
  • Charley Huang, Director, PKF Consulting Inc.
  • Jinhee Wilde, Principal and Managing Partner, Wilde & Associates, LLC

EB-5 in China: What’s Selling & Why


  • Kelvin Ma*, Partner, Demei Law Firm
  • Gary Dong, CEO, Wonderful International Economy and Culture Exchange Ltd.
  • Hongling Lin, President, Yingke Kaihong Investment Consulting Co. Ltd.
  • Howard Wu, CEO, Shanghai Can-Achieve Exit-Entry Services Co., Ltd
  • Joe Xu, President, Dacheng Immigration Consultant Co

02:40 PM – 03:10 PM – Break & Networking

03:10 PM – 04:00 PM  Breakout Sessions 

RFE Trends: What is USCIS Focused on in EB-5 Investor & Project Adjudications


  • Robert Divine*, Chair of Global Immigration Practices, Baker Donelson Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
  • Scott Barnhart, President, Barnhart Economic Services
  • Michele Franchett, Partner, SGG Immigration LLP
  • Dan Lundy. Partner, Klasko Immigration LLP

EB-5 Project Due Diligence: A Growing List of Material Considerations Any Reasonable Investor Would Want to Know


  • Rana Jazayerli*, Partner, Phillips Lytle LLP
  • Laura Austin, Consulting Manager, BDO USA
  • Rupy Cheema, Partner, EB5 Diligence
  • Michael Kester, Economist, Impact DataSource, LLC
  • Russell Scarcella, Director, Exiger

04:00 PM – 04:50 PM – Breakout Sessions

Regional Center Best Practices: What are Industry Standards for Key EB-5 Issues & Why?


  • Mary King*, Chair, IIUSA Best Practices Committee; COO, New York City Regional Center, LLC
  • Peyman Attari, President, AISA
  • Peter Calabrese, Head of U.S. Sales, CanAm Enterprise, LLC
  • Christian Triantaphyllis, Attorney, Foster LLP
  • Kyler James, Chief Economist, CMB Regional Centers
  • Richard Kristof, CEO, Investors Services Company of America

From Jail Time to SEC Actions, Mandamus to Civil Proceedings (and everything in between): EB-5’s Growing Footprint in the U.S. Court System


  • Robert Whyte*, Managing Partner, Whyte & Co
  • Michael Goldberg, Co-Chair, Fraud & Recovery Practice Group, Akerman LLP
  • Michael Homeier, Founding Shareholder, Homeier Law PC
  • Ira Kurzban, Partner, Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzel & Pratt, P.A
  • Scot O’Brien, Partner, Akerman LLP

05:00 PM – 07:00 PM  Welcome Reception – Exhibit Hall & Ballroom Terrace

* = Panel moderator
Blue = Global connections focus
Red = Local results focus

07:00 AM – 09:00 AM – Leadership Breakfast (Invite Only)

08:00 AM – 09:00 AM – Breakfast Served at Ballroom Patio & Exhibit Hall

09:00 AM – 09:30 AM – Guest of Honor: Speech from Mayor Regalado: “EB-5: Economic Development Tool of the 21st Century”


  • Tomás Regalado, Mayor of the City of Miami

09:30 AM – 10:20 AM – EB-5 in Miami: Case Study in Public Private Partnership (P3)


  • Mikki Canton*, Managing Director, City of Miami EB-5 Regional
  • Manuel A. Mencia, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Florida, Inc
  • Francis Suarez, Commissioner, District 4, City of Miami

10:20 AM – 11:10 AM – How EB-5 Fits into the Political & Policy Puzzle of the 115th Congress


  • Adam Greene*, Director, IIUSA; President, Live in America Financial Services LLC
  • Hunter Bates, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Bill Gresser, Vice President, IIUSA; President, EB-5 New York State, LLC
  • George Foresman, Chairman, NYSA Capital
  • Tom Loeffler, Senior Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Leon Rodriguez, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

11:10 AM – 12:00 PM – Speak Now or Forever Hold Your PeaceEnsuring Your Voice is Heard Loud & Clear by Congress


  • Peter Joseph*, Executive Director, IIUSA
  • John Ashbrook, Founding Partner, Cavalry, LLC
  • Robert Kraft, President, IIUSA; Chairman, FirstPathway Partners
  • Hans Rickhoff, Senior Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

12:00 PM – 01:30 PM – Lunch Served at Ballroom Patio

01:30 PM – 02:00 PM – Pay Attention! IIUSA Has Got Your Back…Let Us Tell You How


  • Peter Joseph, Executive Director, IIUSA
  • Mariza McKee, Co-Chair, IIUSA Compliance Committee; Partner, Kutak Rock LLP
  • Warren Oakes, Chair, IIUSA Public Relations Committee; Paralegal, David Hirson & Partners, LLP

02:00 PM – 02:50 PM – Guest of Honor: A Conversation with Robert Johnson on “A Career of Global Connections & Local Results”


  • Peter Joseph*, Executive Director, IIUSA
  • Robert Johnson, Founder and Chairman, The RLJ Companies

02:50 PM – 03:20 PM – Break & Networking

03:20 PM – 04:10 PM – EB-5 Compliance: Are You Ready for Project Site Visit, Regional Center Audits & Investor Interviews?


  • Carolyn Lee*, Partner, Miller Mayer, LLP
  • David Andersson, President, WORC Regional Centers
  • Richard Booth, EB-5 Compliance Officer & Vice President, Signature Bank
  • Pat Hogan, Director, IIUSA; CEO, CMB Regional Centers
  • Parisa Karaahmet, Partner, Fragomen Global

04:10 PM – 05:00 PM – Prepared for the Long Haul: Understanding the Visa Backlog Today & Planning Ahead


  • Bernie Wolfsdorf*, Partner, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP
  • Lee Li, Policy Analyst, IIUSA
  • Charles Oppenheim, Chief, Visa Controls Office, U.S. Department of State

05:00 PM – 05:30 PM – Award Ceremony


  • Robert Kraft, President, IIUSA; Chairman, FirstPathway Partners
  • Peter Joseph, Executive Director, IIUSA

05:30 PM – 07:00 PM – Evening Reception – Oceanfront Lawn

* = Panel moderator
Blue = Global connections focus
Red = Local results focus

07:00 AM – 08:00 AM – Breakfast Served at Ballroom Patio & Exhibit Hall

07:00 AM – 08:00 AM – Global Partners Breakfast (Invite Only)

08:00 AM – 08:50 AM – Sustainment of Investment: Investor Risks & Potential Market-Based Solutions to the Capital Redeployment Conundrum


  • Ozzie Torres*, President, Torres Law, PA
  • Allison Berman, General Counsel, Greystone EB-5 Holdings
  • Ronald Fieldstone, Partner, Arnstein & Lehr, LLP
  • Joe McCarthy, Principal, American Dream Fund
  • Brad Stedem, Managing Director, CapUnited
  • Reid Thomas, Executive Vice President, NES Financial

08:50 AM – 09:40 AM – Regional Center Trends in 2017: Terminations More Popular Than Approvals (and everything else you need to know)


  • Lincoln Stone*, Managing Partner, SGG Immigration LLP
  • Joseph Barnett, Associate, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP
  • Kristal Ozmun, Partner, Miller Mayer, LLP
  • Cletus Weber, Director, IIUSA; Partner, Peng & Weber, PLLC

09:40 AM – 10:00 AM – Break and Networking

10:00 AM – 10:50 AM – EB-5 in China: New Opportunities & Unprecedented Challenges (and vice versa)


  • Elizabeth Peng*, Partner, Peng & Weber, PLLC
  • Jimmy Chen, Chairman, Guangdong Exit Entry Association
  • Steve Strnisha, Secretary-Treasurer, IIUSA; CEO, Cleveland International Fund
  • Rachel Zou, President, Guangzhou Lianhong Overseas Consultants Limited

10:50 AM – 11:40 AM – Future of EB-5: Where will the Industry be in 2020 & Beyond?


  • Peter Joseph*, Executive Director IIUSA
  • Rafael Anchia, Managing Director, IIUSA; CEO, Civitas Capital Group
  • Robert Kraft, President, IIUSA; Chairman, FirstPathway Partners
  • Dave Souders, Director, IIUSA; Broker, Todd & Associates, Inc.
  • Nima Korpivaara, Partner, David Hirson & Partners, LLP

11:40 AM – 12:00 PM – Closing Remarks

12:00 PM – 02:00 PM – IIUSA Board Meeting/Lunch (Invite Only)

* = Panel moderator
Blue = Global connections focus
Red = Local results focus

Photo Gallery

We invite you to explore our EB-5 Industry Forum photo gallery.



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IIUSA members benefit from access to state-of-the-art tools, networking opportunities, educational events, and insights into the latest trends in the EB-5 industry. For over a decade, IIUSA has served as the unifying voice of the EB-5 Regional Center Industry, representing and connecting thousands of diverse stakeholders who contribute billions of dollars of economic development and job growth in the United States through EB-5 investment. Interested in learning more about the many benefits of IIUSA membership?

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