About the Authors
The EB-5 Definitive Guide is a labor of love that was born when several industry experts got together and determined that there needed to be a better way for entrepreneurs looking to start EB-5 regional centers to get critical information in one place and in a cost-effective manner. Raising capital via the EB-5 program can be an effective form of financing, but it is not for everyone. The authors of this guide have brought together in one place a business person's guide to successfully raising capital using the EB-5 program.
Philip Cohen, founder and President of Strategic Element, has a history of developing businesses, business concepts and products, dating back to 1993. With a career that encompasses manufacturing, new technology developments and start-ups, Phil has experience in business development with a focus on transforming ideas into viable business models. Strategic Element develops business plans for EB-5 regional centers and direct investments and also offers early-stage consulting services, helping companies to assess and evaluate EB-5 as a fundraising strategy. The Strategic Element team has been a part of many regional center EB-5 applications and direct EB-5 applications which have successfully raised hundreds of millions of dollars.
Daniel B. Lundy
Daniel B. Lundy is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the New York County Lawyers Association. He is a member of the New York County Lawyers Association's Committee on the Federal Courts and Immigration Law Committee. He was the Co-Chair of Subcommittee on Immigration Report Recommendations of the Committee on the Federal Courts for 2009-2010 and Co-Author of the Committee on the Federal Courts' "Report on the New York State Bar Association Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Report: The Continuing Surge in Immigration Appeals in the Second Circuit: the Past, the Present and the Future," January 27, 2010.
H. Ronald Klasko
H. Ronald Klasko (Ron) is recognized by businesses, universities, hospitals, scholars, investors and other lawyers as one of the country's leading immigration lawyers. A founding member of Klasko, Rulon, Stock & Seltzer, LLP and its Managing Partner, he has practiced immigration law exclusively over three decades.
Under his leadership, the firm was chosen with five other firms by Chambers Global in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 as the top U.S. business, hospital and university immigration law firm. Ron, himself, was named as the world's most respected corporate immigration lawyer (The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers 2007 and 2008) and one of the country's top immigration lawyers by clients and other immigration lawyers who said he is "revered for coming up with unique arguments that can save a client" (Chambers Global).
A former National President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Ron served as General Counsel of that organization for three Presidents and has been a member of its Board of Governors since 1980. He has served as National Chair of AILA's U.S. Department of Labor Liaison Committee and Business Immigration Committee, and he served as National Chair of that organization's INS General Counsel Liaison Committee, Department of Labor Liaison Committee, and the National Task Forces on Labor Certifications, H-1 visas, L-1 visas and Employer Sanctions. He presently serves as Chair of the EB-5 Committee.
At the request of members of Congress and their staffs, Ron has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary and the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. He has been invited to lecture and provide training to staff members and lawyers of the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of State, INS General Counsel Management Conference, Immigration Judges Association and U.S. Department of Justice. In addition, he has been an Adjunct Professor of Immigration Law at Villanova University Law School and is a frequent lecturer on immigration law subjects.
A member of the prestigious Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, Ron is the co-author of the two volume Employers' Immigration Compliance Guide (Matthew Bender 1985).
For the last 18 years, Ron has been included in the highly regarded Best Lawyers in America (Woodward and White). He is one of only three practicing attorneys ever honored with the AILA Founders Award for his contributions to immigration jurisprudence.
Ronald R. Fieldstone
Ronald R. Fieldstone serves as corporate/securities counsel for multifaceted industries involving real estate funds, often specializing on EB-5 regional center immigrant visa investor offerings. He has been involved in over 60 projects throughout the United States and actively lectures and publishes in the EB-5 corporate/securities fields.
Mr. Fieldstone's corporate/securities work includes the preparation of private placement memorandums and related documents. He has published numerous articles and has been a lecturer in the fields of real estate, corporate, tax law and franchise law for the past 37 years. Mr. Fieldstone received his B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from the Wharton School and J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School as part of a combined program.
Mr. Fieldstone's most recent speaking engagements include: 2nd Annual IIUSA EB-5 Investment & Economic Development Forum, Laguna Beach (April 2012), The 2012 EB-5 Investment Summit – Dealmakers Conference, New York (April 2012) The 2nd Annual National EB-5 Finance & Investment Forum, Miami (March 2012); The Invest in America 2012 Summit & Exhibition, Shanghai, China (February 2012); and various organizations on EB-5 Securities/Corporate matters, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando (2011). He recently authored "Prospects for Development of EB-5 Regional Centre to Sponsor Foreign Investment in the US Immigration Program," Financier Worldwide Magazine (December 2011), "EB-5 Program and Real Estate Opportunities," Marcus & Millichamp (December 2011) and "Securities Law Issues, Including Broker-Dealer/Finder Fees," The Association to Invest in the USA (IIUSA), (September 2011).
Mr. Fieldstone also has an extensive entrepreneurial background. He is a principal of a multi-state lithotripsy company and a Miami-based medical diagnostic company. Mr. Fieldstone was formerly a principal of a large Blockbuster Video franchise. He was also a principal of Barnie's Coffee and Tea, Inc., the owner of the Barnie's operating system.
Mr. Fieldstone has extensive real estate holdings in the state of Florida and serves as a managing partner of Landmark Residential, which has served as the sponsor and manager of approximately 20,000 multi-family units in the states of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina.
After attaining a B.A. from SUNY at Buffalo and an M.A. from San Francisco State University, Joe began his 12 year career with INS/USCIS as a District Adjudications Officer in 1998, in San Jose, CA, and continued in a variety of adjudications positions within USCIS ranging from Immigration Adjudications Analyst and Adjudications Officer through to Supervisory Adjudications Officer and Community Liaison Officer and Trainer. Joe eventually moved on to HQ as a Subject Matter Expert in EB-5, where he was the sole EB-5 Regional Center application Adjudicator and Trainer as well as the organizer of several key initiatives including the development and delivery of the original Regional Center Adjudications training program and materials.
Joe is a frequent author of scholarly articles in Immigration Daily and is responsible for creating and disseminating the first "How to Apply for a Regional Center" instructions while at USCIS-HQ. He has had a first-hand role in growing the EB-5 Regional Center Program into a thriving growth industry. Joe currently works as an independent consultant and trainer to immigration practitioners in the private sector and remains a strong advocate for better adjudications.
Michael Gibson is the Managing Director of USAdvisors and is a Registered Investment Advisor (CRD # 157403). His previous work experience was with Citicorp where he worked in the Capital Markets and Investment Banking divisions as a broker-dealer, securities, foreign exchange, derivatives, money market, credit & debt analyst and portfolio risk manager. His duties involved overseeing Citi's financial operations, structuring financial instruments and hedging bank and client risk and investments in emerging markets in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. In 2007 he established USAdvisors.org as an organization to assist foreign nationals with their EB-5 investment decisions, has completed the Series 7 and 65 exams, is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and holds a degree in Economics from Virginia Tech.
Alan Diner is a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP, where he specializes in immigration law, representing a wide variety of clients across all business sectors for both inbound and outbound U.S. and Canadian matters. He has also practiced and holds an LL.M. in antitrust and international commercial law. Alan previously held positions in the provincial and federal governments, including establishing Ontario's Provincial Nominee Program as its founding Manager. Alan also coordinated and negotiated immigration agreements on behalf of Ontario, and chaired the Federal-Provincial/Territorial Economic Working Group for provincial immigration program heads.
Alan is licensed to practice law in the U.S. and Canada, and is a frequent speaker on both sides of the border. He also writes for various legal journals and publications. Alan is active in volunteer work, having served on and headed several boards, and represents clients in pro bono cases. Prior to his admission to the New York and Ontario bars, Alan clerked at Canada's Federal Court of Appeal.
Darren Scarfo has been a member of the Strategic Element Team since 2011. Darren graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Science (Honors) Degree, and also graduated from the Humber Business School Post Graduate Global Business Management Program.
In his time at Strategic Element Darren has participated in the development of over 30 regional center projects and considerably more ‘direct’ EB-5 projects. Darren is known for being an authority on EB-5 program details, with an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the EB-5 program.
Darren was promoted to Operations Manager in 2012 and is also one of the lead authors of The EB-5 Definitive Guide.