EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 Awards Edition" Volume 8 Issue 1 - Page 69

WINNERS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY TOP ECONOMISTS KIM ATTEBERRY ECONOMISTS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE K imberly Atteberry is the president of Vermilion Consulting LLC. Vermilion helps varied organizations leverage the benefits of the Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5). Vermilion Consulting provides expert advice on project feasibility, EB-5 compliant business plans, job creation analyses, and targeted employment area analyses. Prior to Vermilion, Atteberry was the Chief Economist of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In 2000 and 2002, she taught Economics and Marketing at the United States Air Force Academy as one of a select group of civilian instructors. WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? interesting task was to train and advise EB-5 adjudicators on economic impact studies, business plan review, and unemployment analysis. Once I left government employment, it made sense to incorporate EB-5 work into my overall consulting practice. WHAT NEW TYPES OF PROJECTS AND TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? The EB-5 industry has seen slower activity than normal this past year, partially due to the pandemic, but also due to overall uncertainty. Recently, we have seen a significant uptick in activity and increased optimism. For the first time in a number of years, we are seeing clients interested in starting or expanding regional centers. In general, project activity remains constrained to commercial real estate. In 2009, I was hired by USCIS as the Agency’s first economist. After a short time there, I was asked to launch and lead a new division within USCIS focused on economic & statistical analysis. While my duties ranged from procurement oversight to regulatory analysis to special projects for leadership, my most SCOTT BARNHART S cott W. Barnhart is president of Barnhart Economic Services LLC, a consulting firm specializing in EB-5 and non-EB-5 economic job creation studies, business plans, TEA designations and legal consulting services. Barnhart is co-owner of Florida First Regional Center and New York City EB-5 Regional Center. He is also an Associate Professor of finance and the Program Director of the Certified Financial Planner program at Florida Atlantic University in Florida. The firm has analyzed a wide variety of projects, from destination resort hotels to large strategic infrastructure projects, with capital expenditures of more than $20 billion with associated gross revenues of $14 billion and job creation estimates of over 450,000 jobs. WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? Complete chance! I am a professor at Florida Atlantic University and in 2007, one of my students was the son of a close childhood friend who invited me to a neighborhood party he was having. At the party, I met a South African gentleman who was looking for ECONOMISTS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE an economist to do some “work.” I learned that he wanted to hire me to conduct and EB-5 economic impact study of his project. I reached out to Alan Hodges who was the Director of Economic Impact Analysis at the University of Florida and we have been conducting economic impact analyses for regional center projects and clients ever since! WHAT NEW TYPES OF PROJECTS AND TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? Starting this past fall, we have seen a resurgence of new project work from our legacy clients with new projects adjusting to the new TEA rules and the higher $900,000 investment amounts. TEA locations are now very difficult to find and relatively rare with the new definition that one can only include “directly adjacent” census tracts I would say we can only certify about 1 in 7-10 locations on average as a TEA. The new projects we are working on now are condominiums and hotels. EB5INVESTORS.COM 69