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Posted: June 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Sarasota Immigration Attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins

Sarasota, FL – Local immigration attorney, Victoria Jaensch Karins, was recently accepted into the Leadership Manatee Class of 2012/2013. According to the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, “the Leadership Manatee program, begun in 1982, is designed to expose current and future leaders to all aspects of Manatee County. It is Manatee County’s premier leadership training program and has more than 850 graduates.”

Ms. Karins has been practicing immigration law for 17 years. She works at the Jaensch Immigration Law Firm in Sarasota. Her clients range from families seeking resolution to immigration issues to employers seeking to hire someone from overseas.

“I love my work because I get to add to the richness and diversity of the area,” Ms. Karins says. “I’m very honored to be a member of the next leadership class,” she continues. “I’m really looking forward to meeting my fellow class members, learning about what they do, and learning about how we can work together to improve the community.”

Jaensch Immigration Law Firm is located at 2198 Main St, Sarasota, FL 34237.  It is the largest immigration law firm on Florida’s Gulf Coast.  It can be reached via telephone at (941) 366-9841.  For more information on the firm and on immigration issues visit:

More Deferred Action Announcement Q&A

Posted: June 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

There are thousands of people who will benefit from the new Deferred Action policy. Until the regulations and rules regarding the program are released in 60 days or so, we urge you to use this time to collect documents that will help prepare your case.

DO NOT apply without getting your criminal history (including juvenile delinquency adjudications) reviewed FIRST.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will conduct background checks, collect information from local law enforcement, and examine your criminal history, including arrest records and criminal warrants.  You risk having DHS and/or ICE detain and deport you, if you apply for deferred action without having your criminal history reviewed.

We do not know what kind of criminal history could bar you from the deferred action program announced by Obama last week. We know that convictions for a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors are bars to the program. Moreover, a person who immigration authorities consider a “public safety threat” or a “national security threat” will be barred.

What is a “significant misdemeanor”?

This is an unclear phrase. According to recent documents released by the government, it appears it will include offenses such as driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance (e.g. marijuana), obstruction of justice, assault and theft. Many of these crimes can subject you to mandatory detention. Do not assume that your misdemeanor conviction is not a serious misdemeanor.

What could count as a “public safety threat”?

We do not know. It could be that officials will look behind dismissed charges or juvenile delinquency adjudications to determine whether a person presents a public safety threat.  Juvenile delinquency adjudications any connections with gang activity or any action where the police stopped you and asked questions about gangs or gang membership any arrest or dismissed charge.

What could count as a “national security threat”?

We do not know. DHS broadly characterizes “participation in activities that threaten the United States” as a national security threat. This means it will not be limited to criminal convictions.

What should I do?

1. Get a copy of your record from whatever court your case was heard, including all juvenile delinquency adjudications. Try to get copies of police reports, a criminal history background check, or your “rap sheet.” Many states already have systems for you to collect your criminal history.  In many cases, you can find it on your local county website or state government websites. Make sure you get them from all states where you believe you may have been arrested or convicted.

2. Meet with a nonprofit organization, an immigration attorney or advocate experienced in deportation defense or the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Make sure they review all your arrest information and criminal conviction documents. Do NOT consult “Notarios” if you have a criminal history.

For more information check out:

Immigration News: Supreme Court Limits Arizona’s Overreach on Immigration

Posted: June 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Leaves Door Open to Future Challenges to Racial Profiling Provision

June 25, 2012

Washington D.C. – In a blow to the state anti-immigration movement, the Supreme Court ruled today that the authority to enforce immigration laws rests squarely with the federal government, limiting the role that states may play in crafting state-level answers to immigration enforcement. By a 5-3 margin, the Court struck down three of the four provisions of SB 1070 that were challenged by the Obama administration as pre-empted under federal law. While the Court agreed that Arizona’s attempt to limit immigration by creating new laws and new penalties to punish undocumented immigrants was pre-empted, it found that a provision requiring local police to investigate the legal status of suspected undocumented immigrants was not pre-empted on its face. The court read this provision very narrowly, however, leaving open the door to future lawsuits based on racial profiling and other legal violations.

“Today’s decision makes clear that the federal government—and only the federal government—has the power and authority to set the nation’s immigration policies,” said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council. “Despite its strongly worded rejection of Arizona’s effort to set its own immigration policies, the Court adopted a wait-and-see approach to the controversial racial profiling section of the law. There is already ample evidence of discrimination and abuse in Arizona, and many communities in the state will bear the brunt of the Court’s unwillingness to face that reality. It’s time for Congress to heed the dire warnings contained in this opinion and recommit to fixing our broken immigration system.”

For additional information see:

For Immigrant Athletes in Sarasota

Posted: June 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Athlete & Artist Visas | Tags: | No Comments »

Sports Immigration SNAFU

The story of Luke Rodgers, ex-Red Bull soccer star, provides a cautionary tale for immigrant athletes in Sarasota.

Luke Rodgers in Red Bulls Uniform

Luke Rodgers is a brilliant soccer (ehem, football) player and a prolific goal-scorer.  In January 2011 he signed with the New York Red Bulls for an MLS debut season.  He was able to secure a P-1 Athlete Visa beforehand after a lengthy process.  The visa allowed him to play in the United States for a year.

Despite being out for two months due to plantar fasciitis (strange how European soccer players tend to get injured right after they arrive in America).  He still scored 9 goals in 23 games.

Unfortunately, Mr. Rodgers’ P-1 visa was not renewed and on March 30, 2012 the Red Bulls had to terminate their contract with him.  He is now playing for a club in Norway.

But the Red Bulls continued to pursue Mr. Rodgers and, according to the New York Post, he has an appointment coming up with the US Consulate in Norway concerning his appeal of the P-1 visa denial.

The reason that Mr. Rodgers is having trouble with his P-1 Athlete Visa is because he has several arrests on his record from England.  The supporters may appreciate his fiery, feisty style of play but the USCIS does not.  Any previous arrests are seen as criminal inadmissibilities and hurt the applicant’s case.

It is important for immigrant athletes in the Sarasota area who are thinking of applying for or renewing a P-1 visa to be aware of the types of issues they may face.  If you find yourself in a situation similar to Mr. Rodgers’ you might think about contacting a Sarasota immigration attorney.

New Deferred Action Policy Q & A

Posted: June 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

This Q&A Comes from the USCIS Website:

What documentation will be sufficient to demonstrate that an individual came to the United States before the age of 16?

Documentation sufficient for an individual to demonstrate that he or she came to the United States before the age of 16 includes, but is not limited to: financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, and military records.

What documentation will be sufficient to demonstrate that an individual has resided in the United States for a least five years preceding June 15, 2012?

Documentation sufficient for an individual to demonstrate that he or she has resided in the United States for at five years immediately preceding June 15, 2012 includes, but is not limited to: financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, and military records.

What documentation will be sufficient to demonstrate that an individual was physically present in the United States as of June 15, 2012?

Documentation sufficient for an individual to demonstrate that he or she was physically present on June 15, 2012, the date the memorandum was issued, includes, but is not limited to: financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, and military records.

What documentation will be sufficient to demonstrate that an individual is currently in school, has graduated from high school, or has obtained a general education development certificate (GED)?

Documentation sufficient for an individual to demonstrate that he or she is currently in school, has graduated from high school, or has obtained a GED certificate includes, but is not limited to: diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, and school transcripts.

What documentation will be sufficient to demonstrate that an individual is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States?

Documentation sufficient for an individual to demonstrate that he or she is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States includes, but is not limited to: report of separation forms, military personnel records, and military health records.

Are individuals with a conviction for a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanors eligible for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under this new process?

No. Individuals who have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or three or more other misdemeanor offenses not occurring on the same date and not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct are not eligible to be considered for deferred action under the new process.

What offenses qualify as a felony?

A felony is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

What offenses qualify as a “significant misdemeanor”?

A significant misdemeanor is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by no more than one year of imprisonment or even no imprisonment that involves: violence, threats, or assault, including domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary, larceny, or fraud; driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; obstruction of justice or bribery; unlawful flight from arrest, prosecution, or the scene of an accident; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or unlawful possession of drugs.

How many non-significant misdemeanors constitute “multiple misdemeanors” making an individual ineligible for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under this new process?

An individual who is not convicted of a significant misdemeanor but is convicted of three or more other misdemeanors not occurring on the same day and not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct is not eligible to be considered for deferred action under this new process.

What qualifies as a national security or public safety threat?

If the background check or other information uncovered during the review of an individual’s request for deferred action indicates that the individual’s presence in the United States threatens public safety or national security, he or she will be ineligible for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Indicia that an individual poses such a threat include, but are not limited to, gang membership, participation in criminal activities, or participation in activities that threaten the United States.

Will dependents and other immediate relatives of individuals who receive deferred action pursuant to this process also be eligible to receive deferred action?

No. The new process is available only to those who satisfy the eligibility criteria. As a result, the immediate relatives, including dependents, of individuals who receive deferred action pursuant to this process are not eligible to apply for deferred action as part of this process unless they independently satisfy the eligibility criteria.

If I receive deferred action through this process, will I be able to travel outside the United States?

USCIS is exploring this issue and will resolve it in the coming weeks as part of its implementation plan.

Will there be any exceptions to the requirement that an individual must have resided in the United States for a least five years preceding June 15, 2012?

An individual must demonstrate that he or she has resided in the United States for a least five years preceding June 15, 2012. Brief and innocent absences undertaken for humanitarian purposes will not violate this requirement.

For more information check out:

Sarasota Immigration Attorneys Welcome Deferred Action Announcement

Posted: June 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments »


Sarasota, FL – On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that younger immigrants may be eligible for “Deferred Action” and work authorization.  The policy will grant qualified immigrants the opportunity to live free from fear of deportation and allow them to work legally. This exciting new development brings hope to immigrants and their families.

Not long after the announcement the attorneys at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm started getting calls from individuals interested in knowing their options. Attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins responded quickly. Together with the other attorneys she developed an intake sheet which interested persons can fill out to see if the new policy applies to their case.

“We are ready to offer qualified legal advice to any who seek it in the wake of the new policy,” says Ms. Karins.  “Unfortunately there are some people who pose as legal advisers but who are not qualified and who deliberately misinform people.” Ms. Karins wants to make sure that interested persons are aware first and foremost that the Administration is not yet accepting applications for deferred action unless the applicant is in deportation proceedings at this time.  There should be further instructions and an opening for applications after 60 days.

In regards to those who may intentionally misinform potential applicants, they are called “Notarios.” In theUnited States, notarios have no legal background and cannot act as a qualified attorney. For example, as mentioned above, individuals thinking of applying for deferred action should not do so unless they are in deportation proceedings. However, some notarios will claim that they can submit an application, for a fee. An immigrant’s case can be delayed by notarios acting in bad faith, resulting in penalties and even deportation.

“Be careful! Do not endanger your chance to qualify for this action,” said Ms. Karins. “Make sure to contact a genuine immigration lawyer who can help ensure your application has the best chance of being filed properly,” she continued.

For more information, contact Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, (941) 366-9841, or visit their blog,

Deferred Action for Student Immigrants (DREAMers)

Posted: June 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

DHS to Offer Deferred Action to Eligible DREAMers

Cite as “AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12061560 (posted Jun. 15, 2012)”

DHS will formally announce this morning that it will offer deferred action to DREAMers. Preliminary information indicates that eligible applicants must:

  • Be 15-30 years old, and have entered before age 16
  • Have been present in the U.S. for 5 years as of June 15, 2012
  • Have maintained continuous residence
  • Have not been convicted of one serious crime or multiple minor crimes
  • Be currently enrolled in high school, graduated or have a GED, or have enlisted in the military.

The deferred action offer will be available to those in proceedings, as well as to those who apply affirmatively.

The White House is expected to make a formal announcement this afternoon at 1:15pm ET. AILA will provide further details today.

For more information check out:

Chinese and Looking to Invest? These Sarasota Professionals Can Help

Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

A growing number of Chinese are investing in or looking for ways to qualify for visas and move to the United States.  China’s large and growing middle class is well aware of America’s relative openness to foreign people and foreign investment.

78% of EB-5 Applicants are Chinese.

Here are some statistics from USA Today:

In the year ended Sept. 30, Chinese applicants accounted for 78% of the 3,805 EB-5 applications in the U.S., up from 35% four years before, according to government data. In that program, foreign investors can get permanent resident status, or “green cards,” in exchange for investing $500,000 or $1 million, depending on the part of the country, in ventures that create or sustain at least 10 jobs within two years of the immigrant investor’s admission to the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident.

Jaensch Immigration Law Firm has witnessed first hand this increase in the number of Chinese citizens visiting the Sarasota-Bradenton area.  We welcome this trend at a time when the US economy is struggling and as a sign of Chinese people taking on a larger role in the world.  We are ready to help more Chinese nationals find a proper strategy to qualify for a visa.  We also recognize the difficulties presented Chinese nationals when attempting to do so, especially the language barrier.  It can be hard to find people who speak both English and Mandarin, much less Cantonese.

Which is why we went looking for them!

One is Robert Yan, Vice President, Global Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch here in Sarasota.  He is a portfolio manager and speaks Mandarin.  He can be reached at his direct phone number: 941-364-5630 or his email:

Another is Anthony Homer.  Anthony is an accomplished commercial real estate broker who works for Ian Black Real Estate.  He grew up in Hong Kong and Taiwan and speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin.  Here is some information about him from his company’s website:

Anthony Homer specializes in commercial real estate sales and leasing, covering Sarasota and Manatee Counties. In addition to solid commercial real estate knowledge and experience, his background includes the management of over half a million square feet of office and retail space in Lakewood Ranch and downtown Sarasota. He has served as a tenant representative to several national and global companies and represented a broad range of clientele including start-up retailers and Fortune 500 companies with multi-billion dollar portfolios.

Anthony grew up in Hong Kong, attending Chinese public school where he learned to speak, read and write Cantonese.  He later worked in Taiwan where he also learned to speak Mandarin. Anthony  graduated from Liberty University in 2001 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications & Marketing.  His high degree of community involvement gives him a unique perspective and insight into the local commercial real estate market, enabling him to assist in fulfilling a broad range of commercial real estate requirements.

To that end, he has served and currently serves in the following roles:

•  Mid Florida Commercial Real Estate Exchange – Chairperson

•  Commercial Investment Division – President

•  Sarasota Association of Realtors – Board of Directors

•  Sarasota Young Realtors – Founder / Past-President

•  Sarasota Sister Cities Association – Vice President of Business Development

•  Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

•  2009 Florida Realtors Newcomer Award

He can be reached at the Ian Black Office:

1075 Central Ave

Sarasota, FL 34236

Phone: 941.906.8688

Other Resources on Chinese immigration patterns:

  1. From USA Today: “U.S. home market pulls in more Chinese buyers
  2. Reuters article urging US to remain open to Chinese investment.
  3. From US-China Today: “Chinese Students Pour into the United States”
  4. From USA Today Travel: “Chinese Travelers are Seeing the USA in Record Numbers”
  5. The American-China Real Estate Summit and Convention.

For Local Athletes:

Posted: June 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Athlete & Artist Visas | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

SARASOTA SPORTS FESTIVAL –  SATURDAY,   JUNE 16th   from    8:00am – 3:00pm

The much anticipated circus themed playground at Payne Park, 2050 Adams Lane, will open Saturday, June 16 in conjunction with the inaugural Sarasota Sports Festival. To celebrate the opening of the playground, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey(r) will perform several free interactive CircusFit(r) performances throughout the day. The Sports Festival is free and runs 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine. “I’m thrilled the opening of the playground will coincide with the festival,” said Mayor Suzanne Atwell. “It’s been exciting to watch the playground come out of the ground with its circus theme and bright colors. With such a rich circus history in Sarasota, it’s only fitting Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey(r) will be there to help us clown around and celebrate in style,” said Mayor Atwell.

Designed with Sarasota’s circus heritage in mind, the brightly colored playground encompasses one-half acre of Payne Park near the main entrance at Adams Lane and East Avenue. The playground offers two areas for different age groups: one area for children ages 2-to-5-years-old and the other for ages 5-to-12-years-old. More than 300 children can play simultaneously. Located near the swings, rock climbing walls, slides and crawl tubes is a music circle with three musical instruments (drums, contrabass chimes and an instrument similar to a xylophone) which are tuned and ready for play. The playground also offers a water feature with four misting rings allowing children to run through and cool off.

Ringling Bros.(r) will perform three free CircusFit(r) shows near the playground at: 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. The performances will be interactive with the audience and include fun activities such as a laugh-a-thon, obstacle course and fitness training combining fun circus skills with stretching, strength building and aerobic exercise.

Several clowns will be on hand at the festival, plus a Ringling Bros. balloon artist will bend balloons into a variety of animal shapes and hats. Don’t miss the Ringling Bros.’ Diaper Dash at 10 a.m. — a fun run for ages 1-to-4-years-old.

The Sarasota Sports Festival will include a one mile family fun run/walk, BMX and Strider bicycling, disc golf, aerobic tennis, 10 & under tennis, Teddy Tennis (ages 3-6), skateboarding and group exercise classes. Equipment will be provided for each sport. Registration forms must be completed to participate. To view a schedule of events click here.

Parking: Free public parking will be available in the Sarasota County parking garage, located at Ringling Boulevard and School Avenue, adjacent to Payne Park. For more information about the Sarasota Sports Festival, including the new playground, visit, follow the festival on Twitter @SRQSportsFest or contact Jan Thornburg, Public Information Officer: 941-954-2613.

H1-B Cap Reached

Posted: June 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas, National News | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

FY 2013 H-1B Cap

On June 11, 2012, USCIS received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the statutory cap for FY 2013.  On June 7, 2012, USCIS also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption.  USCIS will reject petitions subject to the cap for H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY 2013 that are received after June 11, 2012.

Bradenton Business for Sale: Confidential

Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , | No Comments »

Confidential – Florist, over 44 years in business, award winning and well established shop on Floridas West coast. Prime location in high traffic shopping center. Solid repeat customer base, several great standing weekly accounts, churches and corporate. 4 coolers, walk-in and display. No wire service obligations. Maintaining own website with high ranking. Great potential to increase destination wedding services and room for additional ventures/merchandise. Lease option in place. Must sell for personal reasons. Two weeks full training and assistance in transfer at no charge. Need business knowledge more than knowledge about product.  For more information call 941-713-0042.

Sarasota Business for Sale: Gas Station and Convenience Store for Sale

Posted: June 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Gas station and convenience store business located on local barrier island for sale for $149,000.  It is a mid-size store with easy access to the beach.  Price includes business only.  Property is rented and can be assigned to new owner.  For more information call 941-350-0359.

From USCIS: Informational Poster About the Deferred Action Process

Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action | No Comments »

We would like to remind people who are interested in the new deferred action policy that the government is not accepting applications yet.  There are those, such as notarios, who would harm potential applicants’ cases and ensure that they would never achieve their dream of citizenship.

For a visual that will help you understand, check out this USCIS Deferred Action Info Poster.

Other Articles on Deferred Action:

  1. More Deferred Action Announcement Q&A
  2. New Deferred Action Announcement Q&A
  3. Deferred Action Announcement (June 15, 2012)

EB-5 Regional Center in Lakewood Ranch

Posted: June 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Business for Sale: Regional Sports-Related EB-5 Project

Qualifying for an EB-5 investor visa is an increasingly popular way to get a Green Card to the United States.  Prospective Green Card holders generally must invest $500,000 (plus fees) in a qualified project in the United States that will result in the creation of 10 jobs.

We are happy to report that there is now a qualified EB-5 investment opportunity in Lakewood Ranch, FL.  EB-5 GoodSports LWR, LLC and GoodSports LWR Sports Campus, LLC are entering into a joint venture to acquire 30 acres of land in Lakewood Ranch in order to build a hotel, sports facility, and waterpark.

Rendition of the GoodSports Fieldhouse

GoodSports LWR Sports Campus, LLC and their related companies are qualified under the EB-5 program, to offer Green Card eligibility to over a hundred qualified immigrant investors, each investing $500,000 plus expenses, with the goal of obtaining Green Card Status for themselves, their spouse and any children up to 21 years of age.

The EB-5 program offers a relatively quick route for immigrants to receive Permanent Residency status in the United States.  Immigrants matched with a qualified project can receive their Green Cards before they immigrate to the U.S.  The investments are required to be equity investments and investors must assume all the same risks as the other owners of the project business, but are not required to manage the day-to-day affairs of their business investment project.

The GoodSports EB-5 project is initially seeking 40 investors for its first phase.  The fund will provide money to an entity that owns and operates a multi-sport complex and adjoining lodging facility.  The project may have appeal to prospective foreign investors already in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, because the community attracts a large number of sports-related visitors each year.   Prospective investors may like the sport-themed nature of the project and the fact that is local.

For more information about the project check out  For more information on EB-5 visas and other investment opportunities check

Readers are advised that this article has been provided for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as investment or immigration advice.  An EB-5 investment is a financial transaction that involves risk and anyone considering such an investment should involve a team of financial and legal advisors.

Immigration Sarasota Profile

Posted: June 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Local Sarasota Immigrant Jay Kurtz is a Business Wargamer

Jay Kurtz is a friend of ours – he and his wife are both immigrants – and a business wargamer.  Business wargamer? – you may ask.

We all remember the traditional wargames with the big boards and the miniature soldiers.   It so happens that the game of chess derives from an ancient wargame.  Interestingly, the Germans held a wargame in 1944 which predicted the Allied landing at Normandy.  It was ignored … largely because of the fake Allied army “commanded” by General Patton that tricked the Germans into thinking the Allies would land at Calais.

The American victory in the Pacific during World War II was due largely to every move being planned and tested beforehand in the gaming rooms of the Naval War College.  Today, we play Risk or enjoy other strategy games on our computers

Today, businesses use wargames the same way the military does.  A Business Wargame is a structured, disciplined, yet flexible process that can be used to help an organization to develop and test much more effective plans to succeed in the “future reality” that it will face.  A Business Wargame can be conducted to simulate any level of an organization’s planning and operations, from grand strategy, through the strategic and operational levels, to front-line tactics.

In a Business Wargame, several teams are formed to represent and role-play  the different entities that will affect the organization’s future.  Depending on the situation being wargamed, these might include, for example, investors, the organization’s markets and customers, its employees, suppliers, channels, competitors, governments and regulators.  Each team is assigned to “get into” the mindset of the entity it represents and to play its role as realistically as possible … seeing the world, making decisions and taking actions the way it would do in real-life.

Most Business Wargames require two or three days to conduct and involve several “playing rounds”.  Doing so ensures that short term decisions and actions that might win the battle but lose the war are clearly identified.

A well prepared and conducted Business Wargame is an especially effective way to convert data and information into actionable intelligence that can be used to generate much more effective plans.

A Business Wargame usually involves the use of some very powerful maps and other tools.  Depending on the situation and level of the Wargame, these might include any of Stakeholder Map, Market and Competitive Map, Silver Bullet Analysis, Decision/Selection Map and Probability/Impact Grid.

The process and its supporting tools have been used very successfully in a broad range of situations, for example:

  • Planning a move into a new market or the launch of a new product
  • Anticipating when and how a new competitor will move
  • Assessing a proposed merger, alliance or strategic partnership
  • Preparing to submit a bid for a large competitive contract
  • Dealing with conflicts among owners, management, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders
  • Testing contingency plans to deal with a variety of potential trends or events

Mr. Kurtz recently returned from a conference in Switzerland conducted by the International Institute for Management Development,  where he introduced Business Wargaming to 42 executives representing 30 companies and 25 different countries.  He spoke to them about how Business Wargaming has been used by a wide variety of organizations … global giants, medium-sized companies, smaller, entrepreneurial ventures as well as several governments.

Jay Kurtz Speaking

Jay Kurtz Speaking at IMC

If you are interested in learning more about Business Wargaming, you can contact Mr. Kurtz to obtain a copy of a list of articles, white papers and other documents he has written.  These are all available on a “professional courtesy” basis.  You can reach him at: