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Robert Divine

EB-5 Basics
Wednesday May 23 12:30 - 1:15 PM

Understanding EB-5 Immigration Laws
Wednesday May 23 1:15 - 2:00 PM

Shareholder
Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C.

Mr. Divine has extensive experience serving clients throughout the world in the arrangement of all types of business-based temporary and permanent immigration status, including specialty occupations (H-1B, TN, E-3), individual and blanket international transferee programs (L-1), traders and investors (E-1/E-2, EB-5), medical workers, religious workers, labor certification, national interest waivers and extraordinary ability aliens.

Mr. Divine is active in the Firm's Government Enforcement and Investigations team and has represented and assisted employers and other parties in some of the largest immigration enforcement investigations and prosecutions as well as private RICO actions. He provides strategic advice and training for employers in their immigration compliance efforts. Mr. Divine also has litigated significant business matters, including contract, commercial, product liability, antitrust, ERISA benefits and business torts (including RICO, misrepresentation, Consumer Protection Act).

By presidential appointment, Mr. Divine served in Washington, D.C., from July 2004 until November 2006 as Chief Counsel of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the world's largest immigration services agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. From July 2005 until July 2006, he served as Acting Director and then Acting Deputy Director of USCIS, spearheading the USCIS Transformation Program, testifying in Congress about the E-Verify system, enhancing operational security, and increasing transparency of rules and procedures. In early 2004 he served as an expert retained to assist the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in its congressionally mandated study on the expedited removal process. He has testified as an expert on immigration law for courts in the United States and abroad.

Mr. Divine represents many business developers in creating, managing and using "Regional Centers" that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment in the developers' projects. He is the elected Vice President of the national industry association of "EB-5" Regional Centers, Association to Invest in USA (IIUSA). He represents developers similarly using other parties' Regional Centers. He coordinates this work with attorneys supporting securities law compliance in offerings to investors, with economists identifying "targeted employment areas" and projecting indirect job creation, with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings, and with attorneys obtaining U.S. Government (OFAC) licenses to serve investors from restricted countries. He also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Since 1994, Mr. Divine has authored Immigration Practice (Juris Publishing, 15th ed.), a well-regarded 1,800 page practical treatise on all aspects of U.S. immigration law, which is republished each year to incorporate the constant changes in the field.
Mr. Divine is a frequent speaker on U.S. and international immigration rules, policies and procedures, and regularly appears before employers, investors, individuals, policy makers, other immigration lawyers and foreign governments. Click here for a transcript of Mr. Divine's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 7, 2011 regarding the job-creating effects of the EB-5 immigrant investor program and the importance of renewing the regional center authorizing legislation. He also authors numerous alerts on immigration-related topics, which can be found on the Firm's Immigration website.


Adam Green

Working with Regional Centers
Thursday May 24 12:15 - 2:00 PM

President
Live in America Financial Services LLC

Mr. Greene is the Managing Director of LCP’s EB-5 Group. Prior to LCP, Mr. Greene established the hospitality financing program at Textron Financial in 2005. Under this program, Textron Financial provided over $250 million in senior debt for hospitality development projects in the US, Canada and Mexico in chain scales ranging from economy to luxury. Before Textron Financial, Mr. Greene focused on project financing for infrastructure, sports and petrochemical projects for six years with JP Morgan Chase in New York and London, and for WestLB in New York. He completed advisory and banking assignments worth over $3 billion, including construction loans for AT&T Park, the American Airlines Center, and Wembley Stadium. Mr. Greene was Chief Financial Officer for a hedge fund investment manager, and started his career as an auditor for Arthur Andersen. Mr. Greene has a BA from Cornell University and an MBA from New York University.


William Gresser

Working with Regional Centers
Thursday May 24 12:15 - 2:00 PM

President
EB-5 New York State Regional Center

Mr. Gresser has been the President of EB-5 New York State, LLC since it was founded in 2007. Since that time he has managed the company as it successfully completed several EB-5 projects. Mr. Gresser's background includes being an attorney for over 20 years and a successful business man. Mr. Gresser obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University, a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Georgetown University School of Business Administration.


Michael G Homeier Esq.

Understanding EB-5 Securities Laws
Wednesday May 23 2:15 - 3:30 PM

Founding Shareholder
The Law Office Of Micheal G. Homeier, PC

Michael Homeier practices in the area of general business, securities, corporate, transactional, and business financing law (including EB-5, Investment Crowdfunding, and Blockchain Coin/Token Offerings). With over 30 years' experience in the corporate and business transactional fields, both as in-house corporate counsel and with private law firms, Michael brings a deep level of legal knowledge and expertise to the ICO, Crowdfunding, and EB-5 industries. Michael represents a number of ICO issuers, Crowdfunding platforms and portals, and regional centers in the EB-5 Program, and assists all of them with the structuring of their projects as well as the negotiation and drafting of business and securities documents relevant to successfully conducting Coin/Token, Crowdfunding and EB-5 offering projects, including private placement memoranda (PPMs), investor procurement agreements, limited liability agreements, loan agreements, subscription agreements, investor questionnaires, regional center contracts, plus transactional and corporate documents. In addition to numerous engagements as a university law professor, Michael also actively participates in public speaking engagements, both in Blockchain Token, Crowdfunding, and EB-5; business financing; and business law arenas, and as an inspirational speaker to teenaged and young adult cancer survivors (as one himself) on finding post-treatment life success. Michael earned his J.D. from the University of Southern California, and his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, IIUSA (the EB-5 industry trade organization), the Securities Roundtable, the United States Naval Institute, and the Screen Actors Guild.


Mark Katzoff

EB-5 as a Component of the Capital Stack
Thursday May 24 2:15 - 4:00 PM

Senior Counsel
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Mark Katzoff is a senior counsel with over 30 years of legal experience in Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Boston office. His practice focuses on general business and capital markets, representing both venture capital funds and emerging companies in structuring private equity investments. He has a particular emphasis working with companies seeking to raise funds from investors looking to participate in the EB-5 program and the regional centers that sponsor the issuers. Mr. Katzoff also advises registered broker-dealers and investment advisers with regulatory compliance matters and previously served for a number of years as a registered securities principal for a broker-dealer firm. His practice in general corporate and contractual matters includes mergers and acquisitions, equity compensation matters, and preparation of joint venture and licensing agreements. Mr. Katzoff holds a B.A, from Columbia College and graduated magna cum laude from Boston College Law School.


Carolyn S. Lee

EB-5 Basics
Wednesday May 23 12:30 - 1:15 PM

Understanding EB-5 Immigration Laws
Wednesday May 23 1:15 - 2:00 PM

Partner
Miller Mayer, LLP

Carolyn S. Lee is a Partner in Miller Mayer’s Immigration practice group.

Ms. Lee is the Managing Partner of Miller Mayer’s EB-5 Immigration Group. Her practice focuses on EB-5 regional centers, developers, funds, and investors. Ms. Lee has been practicing immigration law at Miller Mayer since 2002. Prior to joining Miller Mayer, Ms. Lee practiced corporate law in New York City.

Ms. Lee is currently the Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) EB-5 Committee, and has previously served as Vice-Chair, Co-Chair and Chair. She also serves on the Public Policy Committee of Invest In the USA (IIUSA), the leading EB-5 trade association. Ms. Lee has been actively advising the industry on current EB-5 legislation, identifying priorities and drafting comments to legislative proposals. She is a long-time advocate for long-term reauthorization and workable reform of the EB-5 regional center program. Ms. Lee is a prominent national and international speaker on EB-5 matters and is considered a preeminent authority on EB-5 law.

Ms. Lee is the author of leading EB-5 publications, including EB-5 Investment “At Risk” and Sustaining Investment (ilw.com, June 2017), Material Change: Managing the Inevitable During EB-5 Visa Retrogression (PLI, December 2014), State Designations of EB-5 Targeted Employment Areas (IIUSA, March 2014), Effect of Material Change Doctrine in EB-5 Deference Policy (AILA 2012), “Material Change” in EB-5 Petitions: A Need to Return to the Drawing Board (AILA 2010), and The Meaning of “At Risk” in EB-5 Investment (AILA 2009). She is also a co-author of EB-5 publications, including Relevance of U.S. Securities Laws to Immigrant Investors, EB-5 Regional Centers and Their Advisors (2009) and the comprehensive EB-5 update article for the AILA annual conference handbook. She frequently authors EB-5 articles published by IIUSA, AILA, and Bender’s Immigration Bulletin.
Ms. Lee is listed in the International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers and in The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Immigration Law. She is also a recipient of AILA’s Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award and Presidential Commendation, as well as the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award (2016).

Ms. Lee is a member of the New York State bar. She received her J.D. from Cornell Law School where she served as Chancellor of the Moot Court Board, and her B.A cum laude from Williams College. She has been a visiting scholar at Exeter College, Oxford University and is also a graduate of Stuyvesant High School (New York).


Cayla Matsumoto

Welcome & Overview
Wednesday May 23 12:00 - 12:30 PM

Manager, Research & Technical Assistance
Council of Development Finance Agencies

Cayla Matsumoto is currently a Manager of Research & Technical Assistance at the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) where she oversees the organization's work in food finance, resiliency, brownfields water & energy.
Formerly the Director of Programming, she oversaw the CDFA Training Institute, workshops, seminars, BNY Mellon webcast series and all state roundtables. Mrs. Matsumoto also managed the Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program working with participants to guide them in completing their DFCP certification.

Mrs. Matsumoto previously served as a state programs manager, administering the state-specific programming for the southern states in the CDFA network. This included all annual conferences, networking events and webinars. She was instrumental in building new state networks and expanding the Southern region’s reach to include six states.

Her experience prior to CDFA included work as the assistant director of development at After-School All-Stars Ohio, a state-wide after-school programming non-profit where she worked as a grant writer, managed donations, and facilitated relationships with donors. She also served in Ukraine with the U.S. Peace Corps as an educator where she concentrated on leadership and citizenship skills with kids grades 5-10.

Mrs. Matsumoto earned her bachelors from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies where she studied the intersection of political science, anthropology, art history and international studies.


Mariza McKee

Understanding EB-5 Securities Laws
Wednesday May 23 2:15 - 3:30 PM

Partner
Kutak Rock LLP

Mariza McKee is a trusted counselor to regional centers, new commercial enterprises, job creating entities, and other stakeholders that raise and deploy EB-5 capital. A securities and transactional partner in Kutak Rock LLP’s Chicago office, Ms. McKee leads the firm’s national EB-5 finance practice – an interdisciplinary team of securities, tax, corporate, debt, and real estate lawyers. She also represents clients in a variety of other securities, commercial, and merger and acquisition matters. Ms. McKee approaches EB-5 transactions from a risk manager’s vantage point and constructs legal strategy to help clients achieve business objectives while navigating securities laws and evolving EB-5 Program requirements. A frequent speaker and writer on EB-5 and securities law considerations, Ms. McKee is an active member of the EB-5 community dedicated to elevating EB-5 industry practices and standards.


Manuel Ortiz

Working with Regional Centers
Thursday May 24 12:15 - 2:00 PM

Vice President, Emerging Markets
Civitas Capital

Manuel is responsible for developing and managing relationships with investors and partners in more than 30 countries. Mr. Ortiz also oversees the EB-5 Capital division investor relations team. Mr. Ortiz has been with Civitas since January 2013.

Mr. Ortiz received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, Red McCombs School of Business, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business.


Kostas Poulakidas

Working with Regional Centers
Thursday May 24 12:15 - 2:00 PM

EB-5 as a Component of the Capital Stack
Thursday May 24 2:15 - 4:00 PM

Partner
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

KOSTAS A. POULAKIDAS is a partner and Co-Chair of the firm's Public Finance and Economic Development practice group. He focuses on project finance, public-private partnerships, and economic development, providing strategic advice to government entities, real estate development firms, commercial banks, manufacturers and companies. Kostas has served as bond counsel, bank counsel, developer’s counsel and/or underwriter's counsel in a variety of bond and project financings, including general obligation bonds, economic development revenue bonds, building corporation lease rental bonds and tax anticipation borrowings. Kostas also negotiates and provides strategic advice on using state and local incentives as part of a project financing stricture. In addition, he provides advice and speaks frequently on matters related to economic development incentives and strategies, tax increment financing (TIF), private-public partnerships (P3s), EB5 financing and project financing.

Kostas has advised both Democratic and Republican elected officials, having served under four Indiana governors and three Indiana attorneys general, as Special Assistant to the Governor, Executive Director of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, as a Deputy Attorney General and as Deputy Commissioner for the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, where he oversaw Indiana’s statewide transition to a market-value-based property tax system, advised executive and legislative officials on legislation, developed the initiative for an integrated statewide property tax system and spoke on a range of property tax and economic development issues.

Prior to joining Taft, Kostas was a member of his previous firm’s executive committee and chair of the firm’s Public Finance, Municipal and Economic Development practice group. He served as a federal law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence S. Margolis on the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C.


Darrell Sanders

Finding Investors
Wednesday May 23 3:45 - 5:00 PM

Asset Management
American Life, Inc.

Darrell Sanders is a Managing Director of American Life, Inc., the longest-established EB-5 program in the United States, where he oversees investment by foreign nationals into its EB-5 programs.    He has over 20 years of experience in investment-based US immigration and commercial real estate.   Darrell has been affiliated with American Life since its inception in 1996 and works globally promoting their programs and the EB-5 industry.  Prior to joining American Life, Mr. Sanders was the Founder and President of Pacific Rim Acquisitions, Inc. a U.S. based consulting firm which assisted foreign investors who were acquiring businesses and real estate in the United States.


Kraig Schwigen

Finding Investors
Wednesday May 23 3:45 - 5:00 PM

President
CMB Regional Centers

Kraig A. Schwigen is the President of CMB Regional Centers (CMB). CMB operates 16 regional centers throughout the United States under the EB-5 Investor Visa Program. CMB’s original designation as a regional center took place in 1997 and since that time CMB has raised approximately $2.8 billion in EB-5 capital within 66 partnerships. These 66 partnerships consist of over 5,200 EB-5 investors from 91 countries. To date, CMB clients have seen over 4,200 I-526 approvals, nearly 1,000 I-829 approvals, repayment of $501 million by CMB borrowers and a return of capital to limited partners in 11 CMB EB-5 partnerships. CMB is amongst a very few within the EB-5 industry to accomplish permanent green cards and a return of capital to its clients.


Stephen Strnisha

Welcome & Overview
Wednesday May 23 12:00 - 12:30 PM

Revisiting Day 1
Thursday May 24 12:00 - 12:15 PM

Case Studies: When Things Go Right...and When They Go Wrong
Thursday May 24 4:00 - 5:00 PM

Chief Executive Officer
Cleveland International Fund

As CEO since March, 2012, Mr. Strnisha has been responsible for formulating and executing the Cleveland International Fund’s (CiF) strategic vision of maximizing the EB-5 opportunity for major development projects in Ohio's major metropolitan areas  and beyond. So far this has included raising $225 million from overseas investors for among others the Flats East Bank (Phases 1 and 2), the University Hospital System expansion, Uptown in University Circle, the new Westin Hotel adjacent to the Cleveland Convention Center, and the expansion of the Crocker Park development in connection with construction of a new corporate headquarters for American Greetings Headquarters.  CiF’s footprint currently includes the metropolitan areas of Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Columbus, and Cincinnati.  CiF can also assist with EB-5 financings in   Kentucky, Western Pennsylvania, and Tennessee,. Mr. Strnisha is a former senior bond analyst with Moody’s Investor Service, investment banker specializing in structured finance, and Director of Finance and Mayor’s Chief Development Officer for the City of Cleveland. In that position he played a major role in developing and implementing the financing of several high profile projects including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena. Following his public sector service he served as Cleveland Tomorrow’s Deputy Director and Chief Development & Finance Officer of its successor, the Greater Cleveland Partnership. Between 2005 and 2012 Mr. Strnisha provided financial consulting services to developers and companies seeking both public and private sources of capital for major real estate projects. Among others his clients included Developers Diversified Realty, American Greetings Corporation, AmTrust Financial Services, and the developers of the Flats East Bank as they secured $275 million in public and private sources for the initial phase of their mixed-use waterfront project in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Strnisha provided these services first as President of Strnisha Development Advisors (“SDA”) and then as a Director of SDA’s successor, Project Management Consultants.  Serving as a consultant to CiF since 2009, Mr. Strnisha joined the company in 2012, becoming CEO and a principal owner. During his tenure with CiF he has implemented new corporate governance and accountability measures and involved the company in industry efforts to promote “Best Practices” for EB-5 practitioners. He has also served for the past two years on the Governing Board of Invest in the USA, ("IIUSA"), the trade association of the EB-5 industry, as its Secretary Treasurer. Mr. Strnisha received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree from Syracuse University.


Daniel Wycklendt

EB-5 as a Component of the Capital Stack
Thursday May 24 2:15 - 4:00 PM

Executive Vice President
FirstPathway Partners

Daniel J. Wycklendt is the Executive Vice President of FirstPathway Partners and the Executive Director of FirstPathway Community Development. Dan oversees strategic financial planning, capital structuring, and corporate vision. He has managed the funding of numerous multi-million dollar EB-5 and New Market Tax Credit Program projects.

Dan is an expert in his field, travels globally, and has built crucial relationships between governments and private industries. Recently, Dan was recognized as one of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s "40 Under 40."

Prior to joining FirstPathway Partners, Dan actively served for 6 years in the United States Marine Corps.



CDFA National Sponsors

  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Frost Brown Todd, LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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