Greg Band is a Sarasota native. He obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania where he was a Varsity letterman in Tennis. His Juris Doctor is from the University of Florida Law School where he served on the law review – a distinguishing honor for law students. After UF, he obtained a Masters in Tax Law from New York University School of Law. His practice areas include estate planning, probate, asset protection, charitable giving, taxation, and business law.
Estate Planning and Probate
Sarasota immigrants often present unique and complicated estate planning issues. With many professionals and business owners coming from overseas and retaining their overseas assets. It takes a highly capable and dedicated attorney to know how to find the right individual solutions.
Mr. Band understands the unique situations of immigrants when it comes to estate planning. His experience includes work with high net worth individuals with multinational assets. Band Law Group has a sophisticated and creative trusts and estates practice with decades of experience in helping clients transfer wealth in a tax efficient manner. Their attorneys assist individuals with traditional estate planning documents such as wills, revocable trusts, residence trusts and insurance trusts. They also regularly structure and implement more complex techniques including:
Estate freezing strategies such as installment sales to grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) and self-canceling installment notes;
Generation-skipping transfer tax planning;
Planning for business succession;
Valuation techniques designed to produce lower tax values upon transfer through the use of family limited partnerships or limited liability companies.
Individual & Corporate Taxation
The complex and far-reaching US Tax Code can be daunting for anyone, especially immigrants. The IRS taxes US residents and citizens on worldwide income and can tax non-resident aliens on income gained in the US. It takes a highly specialized and experienced attorney to navigate the law.
Greg Band’s firm has extensive experience in handling a broad range of tax matters for businesses, executives and owners of businesses, including the following:
Structuring tax-free reorganizations, including tax-free spinoff transactions.
Structuring the purchase and sale of businesses and the financing of business transactions for regular corporations, subchapter S corporations, and venture capital funds.
Structuring real estate and real estate financing transactions with partnerships and limited liability companies, including real estate syndications and like-kind exchange transactions.
Planning estate and business succession, including advice to owners of businesses about strategies for transferring the ownership of their business to family members and/or successor management so as to minimize income, gift and estate taxes.
Many immigrants come to Sarasota in their golden years, attracted by the ideal climate and abundant sunshine. Immigrants’ latter years also present many unique legal challenges made more complicated by their far-flung assets and competing national laws.
Greg Band’s elder law practice focuses on the diverse and unique needs of senior citizens. They work with clients to help them address current issues and anticipate evolving needs as they grow older:
Guardianship and Conservatorship
Retirement, Survivor and Pension Benefits
Incapacitation and Disability
Social Security Disability Claims and Appeals
To assist in these and other areas of legal expertise, Sarasota immigrants can contact Mr. Band and his associates via:
Congratulations to Don Fisher for recently completing the naturalization process and becoming a U.S. citizen at the age of 90. Don first moved to the U.S. in 1984 and had E-2 Treaty Investor visa status from 1987 to 2010. After six consecutive E-2 visas Don married a U.S. citizen and became a permanent resident in 2010.
At age 90, Don is believed to be the oldest client in the 30 year history of Jaensch Immigration Law Firm to become a U.S. citizen. We took a picture of Don in the office with his Naturalization Certificate.
Don says the following about the process, “it was a challenge, but we did enjoy the chase.”
We recently learned that Sabadell Bank, a Spanish bank with offices in Florida, is offering some mortgage products and loans where credit record and income are not checked, which is useful for new permanent residents or nonimmigrants. Here are the details:
JUMBO & SUPER JUMBO PRODUCTS
* 5/1, 7/1 & 10/1 ARM’s STARTING AT 2.875%, 3.125%, AND 3.375% RESPECIVELY WITH NO POINTS AND NO PREPAYMENT PENALTY
* NO PRICING ADD ONS FOR LOAN AMOUNTS THAT ARE SUPER JUMBO’S, (WE CLOSED A 20 MILLION DOLLAR LOAN IN MIAMI SAME PRICING)
* NO PRICING ADJUSTMENTS FOR REFINANCE OR CASH OUT REFINANCE.
* HIGH NET WORTH CLIENTS CAN USE LIQUID ASSETS TO QUALIFY, (TWICE THE AMOUNT OF THE LOAN AFTER CLOSING IN LIQUID ASSETS AND WE HAVE A VIRTUAL NO INCOME QUALIFIER)
* 30 YEAR FIXED AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASES AND NO CASH OUT REFINANCES, CURRENTLY STARTING AT 4.75%, 1.5 MILLION MAX
* 15 YEAR FIXED OK FOR CASH OUT REFINACES UP TO 20 MILLION DOLLARS RATES STARTING AT 3.375%
* NO LIMIT ON CASH OUT REFINACES (CLOSED A REFINANCE WITH 4.9 MILLION DOLLARS CASH OUT)
* BRIDGE LOANS AVAILABLE FOR 24 MONTHS INTEREST ONLY @ 4.00%. SUPER JUMBO OK
* NO MINIMUM CREDIT SCORE FOR APPROVAL
* NO ESCROWS AND NO CHARGE FOR WAIVING ESCROWS
* PREFERABLE FOR LOAN AMOUNTS OF ONE MILLION DOLLARS PLUS.
* CAN BE USED FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS THAT CAN DOCUMENT WEALTH IN LIQUID ASSETS
* 24 MONTH CONSTRUCTION PERIOD
* ONE TIME CLOSE AS A 10/1 ARM
They also have some loans for foreign nationals looking to buy vacation homes or principal residences (and not investment property). Here are the terms if you know anyone from abroad looking to buy a home here:
FOREIGN NATIONAL LOANS
* 60% LOAN TO VALUE FOR LOAN AMOUNTS UP TO 3, 5, OR 10 MILLION DOLLARS OR HIGHER
* EASIEST QUALIFIER IN THE INDUSTRY, 2 BANK REFERENCES AND VERIFY LIQUIDITY AT TWICE THE LOAN AMOUNT
* LIQUID ASSETS DO NOT HAVE TO BE U.S. ACCOUNTS OR MOVED TO THE U.S. (The advantage of being an international bank)
* REQUIRES A SABADELL ACCOUNT WITH 6 MONTHS PITI (principal and interest payments)
* NO CREDIT REPORT AND NO INCOME VERIFICATION
* 3/1, 5/1, 7/1 AND 15 YEAR FIXED. STARTING AT 3.00%, 3.75%, 4.50% AND 4.75% RESPECTIVELY
In short, if a borrower can show they have double the amount of the desired loan in liquid assets (e.g. bank and investments accounts) in the U.S. or abroad, then the bank will be interested in giving a loan. Generally the loan to value is 60/40. This means that the borrow must put down 40% of the purchase price or the actual appraised value, whichever is lower.
Sarasota Immigrant from Czech Republic offers home theater installation and explains why more and more Czech immigrants are calling Sarasota-Bradenton home.
Roman Jasek is one of 1.5 million people who immigrate to the United States every year. What’s more, he is an immigrant who came to America to work and build a business. Recently, we sat down with Roman to talk about his story. Please enjoy.
ImmigrationSarasota.com: Tell us about your background.
Roman Jasek: I come from the Czech Republic. In university in Brno I studied electrical engineering. But even before college I had started a clothing wholesale company and after college I began modeling and doing catwalk shows.
IS.com: That’s a departure.
RJ: Yes, but I was good at it. I even won the Mr. Czech Republic in 1995. Unfortunately, in 1997 I got into a car accident and wasn’t able to do any modeling after that.
IS.com: What did you decide to do then?
RJ: I decided to follow up on my childhood dream to come to the United States.
IS.com: Why that dream?
RJ: I had always wanted more than what the Czech Republic could provide me. I remember as a teenager telling my parents that I wanted to leave the Czech Republic, that was before the fall of the Communist regime. With the interruption of my modeling career I decided it was time to realize my goal. I sold or gave everything away. When I arrived in the US I had $800. I didn’t speak any English.
IS.com: What do you do now?
RJ: I run a company called Audio and Communications Experts. We install home theaters, home automation systems, lighting control, central vacuum systems and more. I estimate we’ve worked on over 250 houses since we started. Our website is acesrq.com.
Home theaters are one of the many things that Roman Janesk can do.
IS.com: Tell us more about your services.
RJ: Our two most popular services are home theater design and home automation.
The first step to home theater design is determining if you want a traditional home theater or a dedicated home theater. A traditional home theater is set up in an area such as a family room or living room, so there’s already an existing space along with furniture. Clients choose from plasma or LED screens, projectors and speaker set-ups, and we discuss what audio/video selection will provide the best viewing & listening enjoyment.
A dedicated home theater features custom designed seating, lighting, sound and picture. We understand this is a big investment in time and money, so we work with you to create a movie theater feel right in your own home.
We start with a few basic questions about the design:
How big is the room you want to transform? This will determine the overall layout and sound design.
How many people do you want the room to hold? We work with contractors who create a custom designed seating configuration. You can choose from anything from stadium seating to all-leather couches.
Lastly, we need to determine how large a screen will fit in the room. Using a basic formula of the screen being one half the size of the distance from where you sit, we’ll help you pick the right monitor, projector screen etc.
Ambient lighting is important because it not only sets the tone of your home theater room, it also determines what kind of projector or television you purchase. Lighting can be as simple as using dimmers. We also install lighting to our clients’ specifications.
An example of a custom-built in-home theater
IS.com: Tell us more about home automation.
RJ: Imagine an iPad or touch panel that takes care of lights, drapes, HVAC, and A/V with one touch. A door that can tell you when your teenager gets home. A sprinkler system that knows the weather forecast and a garage door that remembers to close itself if left open. That’s what we call Home Automation.
There is no better or more economical time to design and install a home wiring system than while your home is being constructed. Don’t limit the dream home you are building today to technologies that will be obsolete tomorrow. With the proper design and materials, your new home will be ready for the future of digital technology.
Your home’s wiring is the skeleton upon which your future electronic lifestyle is built. Audio/video structured wiring solutions start with a centralized wiring panel that is organized, easy to service and able to be modified to cater to your needs and the design of your home.
Because future technologies are uncertain, the best way to ensure that your home wiring will be compatible is to design in a level of expandability from the beginning. With the right combination of Category 5 telephone wire, RG-6 coaxial cable and speaker wire you can be sure that you will have the right cable and available bandwidth throughout your home.
The most versatile wire you will install in your home is known in the industry as “Category 5″ cable. It is ideal for phones, fax machines, computer modems, computer networks, and as control wire for today and tomorrow’s sophisticated home automation and distributed audio/video systems. We only use the highest quality Category 5 cable in designs that consider present needs and future possibilities.
Because you live with your home’s wiring system for a very long time, selecting the right company for its design and installation is critical. Our highly trained and experienced staff of installation technicians will ensure that your home wiring is done properly the first time – on time and on budget.
We have the expertise not only in the wiring of your home, but also in the audio/video and home automation systems that must be made to work with that wiring. We can plan the system, pre-wire your new home, then do the final installation of your home theater, multi-room audio/video system, or even your sophisticated home automation system.
Home Automation is the wave of the future.
IS.com: We hear you have been very busy lately.
RJ: I am one of the few contractors who does what I do with an Electric Specialty License. This has really helped me get more work from builders. I’ve also noticed that the number of Czech immigrants to the Sarasota-Bradenton area has increased in recent years. When we first started I had close to 0 Czech clients, now Czechs make up about 20% of my clients. Of course, since I am Czech, this is a nice niche to be able to service.
IS.com: What do you think is bringing the Czechs to Sarasota?
RJ: Many Czechs are coming, buying houses, starting companies and patronizing local businesses. They are attracted by the affordable housing prices and the beautiful weather. As the Czech community grows and word of mouth gets back to the Czech Republic, more and more people decide to come.
IS.com: It’s a good self-reinforcing cycle. Roman, what would you say separates you from your competition?
RJ: We keep things simple and personal. I have two guys who work with me, no more. I stay on top of every project and give it my own undivided attention. I really think it’s that belief in customer service and the fact that I treat every house I work on as if it were my own that sets us apart.
IS.com: What are your plans for the future?
RJ: We plan on opening a showroom downtown. We want a way for customers to see and touch the changes we can make in their homes. We’re starting to put the numbers together now and we’re hoping to open this fall.
IS.com: We wish you the best of luck. Thank you for your time.
REMINDER: GRANTS FOR TRADE AND LOGISTICS TRAINING are still available!
Hillsborough Community College (HCC) has paired with Workforce Florida and Cross Border Partners using a Trade and Logistics Grant to provide you and/or your staff training on various trade topics. Grant funding is available to support training across a wide variety of topic areas from market selection, export documentation and compliance, tariff codes, legal aspects, etc. And, the programs can be tailored to individual company needs. These programs are available to all Florida for-profit companies that have been in business at least one year and are involved in any export-related activity. The grant generally covers 75% of training costs.
Organizer: Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of South Florida
When: Thursdays, February 13, 20 and 27 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (3 sessions)
Where: SBDC office at the Tampa Port Authority building, 1101 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602
Cost: $120. Includes 3 modules, 3 textbooks and valuable handouts. Website
Contact: SBDC at 813-905-5829
Description: Training modules run Feb. 13, 20 & 27. Includes: INTRO TO INTERNATIONAL TRADE – Feb. 13; DEALING WITH YOUR EXPORT MARKET – Feb. 20; EXPORT DOCUMENTATION AND COMPLIANCE – Feb. 27.
EXPORT CONTROL REFORM AND TECHNOLOGY CONTROLS SEMINAR
Organizer: U.S. Commercial Service, Alabama District Export Council, BIS
When: February 12 & February 13, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Westin Hotel Huntsville- 6800 Governors West Rd NW, Huntsville, Alabama
Cost: $500 for two day seminar, $275 for one day, and includes materials, continental breakfast and lunch. Website
Registration Deadline: Friday, February 7
Contact: Robert Stackpole at 205-731-1331 or Robert.Stackpole@trade.gov
Description: This seminar will provide an in-depth understanding of the transition of items and export transactions from the USML to the CCL. Topics will address: realignment of the control lists, Commerce Control List order of review, the new “600” series, definition of “specially designed,” and license exceptions. The Technology Controls seminar will focus on the regulatory requirements relating to technology and software, including what is considered an export or re-export of technology or software; what technology and software is subject to the EAR; how to determine the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN); what license exceptions are available; and the unique application requirements of technology and software. BIS technical and policy specialists will also discuss important export control issues that may arise in the employment of foreign nationals and for foreign items incorporating, or produced from, controlled U.S.-origin software and technology. Presenters will include senior policy, regulatory, and licensing specialists.
WEBINAR ON EXPORTING TO THE CUSTOMS UNION BETWEEN RUSSIA, KAZAKHSTAN, AND BELARUS
Organizer: U.S. Commercial Service
When: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. (eastern)
Where: your computer
Cost: $15 Website
Contact: Rachel Kreissl at 727-464-4166 or Rachel.Kreissl@trade.gov
Description: Whether you are doing business or planning to with Russia or another Customs Union country, this webinar will brief you on the new customs union regulations and related technical standard changes.
AUTOMATED EXPORT SYSTEM (AES) SEMINAR AND WORKSHOP
Organizer: U.S. Commercial Service
When: March 5 (seminar) and March 6 (workshop)
Where: NOVA Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Cost: $225 (seminar) and $75 (workshop) Website
Contacts: Leandro Solórzano at 954-356-6647 or email@example.com; Martina Echevarria at 305-526-7425 x26 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: As of April 5, 2014, new export requirements will be implemented that amend the AES regulations published in 2008. This Export Compliance Seminar is an all-day program where officers from the Department of Commerce/Census will provide training on export filing requirements.
TRADE WINDS – THE AMERICAS 2014: Business Development Conference and Trade Mission
Organizer: U.S. Commercial Service
When: May 15-23, 2014
Where: Colombia (May 19-21), and optional stops to Panama or Ecuador (May 15-16) and Peru or Chile (May 22-23) Website
Contacts: Leslie Drake at 304.347.5123 or Leslie.Drake@trade.gov; Janice Barlow at 215.597.6126 or Janice.Barlow@trade.gov
Description: South American regional conference preceded and followed by one-on-one business appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors, joint-venture partners or other key contacts.
CARIBBEAN TRADE MISSION & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE: Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago
Organizer: U.S. Commercial Service
When: June 8-12, 2014
Where: Dominican Republic, with optional stops in Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, or Trinidad & Tobago Website
Registration Deadline: April 4, 2014
Contact: David Royce at 817-999-9757 or David.Royce@trade.gov
Description: Caribbean regional conference followed by one-on-one business appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors, joint-venture partners or other key contacts.
Last time we spoke with Sarasota immigrant Christophe Coutelle he was running C’est La Vie on Main St. and making plans to open his second restaurant, Lolita Tartine. C’est La Vie began as a part of a plan to move from France and start a business in the US. It was very successful, turning a profit within weeks! So Christophe decided to build on his success. Lolita Tartine opened on October 23rd and is now serving the delicious pastries and coffee that Christophe is known for as well as the new tartines, or open-faced sandwiches, wine, and other lunch and dinner items such as salads and stews.
Christophe invited ImmigrationSarasota.com to a cafe au lait at the new restaurant.
IS.com: This is a beautiful new restaurant, did you have a hand in designing it yourself?
Christopher Coutelle: Thank you. Yes, this is one of the typical renovated spaces you see in the Rosemary District. My friend, another Frenchman actually, introduced me to it. At first I said I would think about it. With time I decided this was the place to open Lolita Tartine.
IS.com: You use a lot of red, an attention grabbing color, was that on purpose?
CC: The window frame is red so we went with that for the interior.
IS.com: I noticed the famous artists’ portraits on the wall. Picasso, Dali, Delacroix, why them?
CC: We had help from the design studio next door. We decided to name the different tartines after famous artists and we added their portraits on the wall for continuity.
IS.com: SO why not stick with what you know, pastries and coffee? Why add lunch and dinner?
CC: My wife and I had seen a restaurant in France call Dame Tartine, short for Madame Tartine, and we had originally wanted to open a place like that in the States. For business reasons we decided to open C’Est La Vie first. But serving good food all day long is always something we wanted to do, and now we are.
IS.com: So how late is Lolita open?
CC: We open at 8:30am and close the kitchen at 9pm.
IS.com: I noticed a large selection of wines behind the bar. Are they all from France?
CC: At the moment, yes. I have a friend who is an importer who finds good French wines. But people have been asking and I am also thinking about expanding into Spanish, Italian, and Argentinian wines.
IS.com: Tell me more about the tartine.
CC: Well, it is an open-faced sandwich and I always say that if people want to know more they should come to the restaurant and try one!
You can find Christophe at his new restaurant most hours of the day. We wish him all the best in his new endeavor. Go and visit Lolita Tartine and let Christophe know where you heard about him.
SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla.- The Affordable Care Act has had its problems the past few months, and adding to the confusion is the mandate that immigrants must have health insurance as well, or risk being penalized.
“The Affordable Care Act does apply to anyone who is legally present in the United States, so that includes obviously U.S. citizens, permanent residents, but also people here with temporary visas,” says Victoria Karins.
Victoria Karins is a well-known immigration attorney at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, in Sarasota county. She tells us the mandate may affect the economy here on the Suncoast.
“This may be one more thing that could possibly lead our snowbirds and other tourists that we rely on to go somewhere else. If it’s something that’s going to increase expenses and not benefit them, I think it’s a factor that they’ll take into consideration when deciding where they want to spend their tourism dollars, “said Karins.
We asked a couple from Scotland, who visit the Suncoast a few times a year, if they would consider buying a second home here despite the new mandate.
“It would stop us from coming because we have free national health service. When we come here on vacation we have to pay, so if coming to stay longer, we’d be paying even more money,” said Marion Elder, a tourist from Scotland.
However, some say it would be a dream to live in the United States and would want the coverage.
“We are prepared to pay, but within limits. It depends on how much it would cost for the health insurance,” said Bill Wiggs, visiting from England.
According to the latest census data, immigrants made up 12.2% of Manatee County’s population and 11.5% in Sarasota County. That’s more than 88,000 immigrants on the Suncoast, most of whom are migrant agricultural workers or have a second home here and both groups help fuel our economy.
Immigration law firms and insurance groups like, Professional Benefits Inc. in Sarasota, are great resources here on the Suncoast to help guide immigrants that have further questions.
A promising immigrant athlete from Mexico made it to the US Open last week. Her name is Cassandra Vazquez and she competed in the US Open Junior Girls Tournament. We caught up with her coach/manager, Nicolas Guizar of Guizar Tennis Academy after the tournament to talk about his talented young trainee.
ImmigrationSarasota.com: How did Cassandra do in the US Open?
Nicolas Guizar: She won two matches in the qualifying tournament to get in to the main draw. In the main draw where only the top 64 in the world play she lost her first match against the Number 5 in the world in a great match.
IS.com: You must be so proud that she has made it this far, we certainly are! To what do you attribute her success?
Nicolas Guizar: Her success is based on discipline, hard work, and a well-organized program and supervision from our GTA Staff.
IS.com: The pressure of being in the US Open must be intense. How did she cope with the stress?
Nicolas Guizar: Cassandra has been working for this opportunity for many years and yes it is a lot of pressure but based on hard work and self-confidence she managed that pressure really well. She was able to play her best game during the biggest tournament she ever played till now.
IS.com: Now that she’s been to the US Open, what’s next for Cassandra?
Nicolas Guizar: We will continue to work hard to help her get into the top 10 in the world. Our goal is that Cassandra will be in 4 Grand Slams in 2014 (U.S. OPEN, WIMBLEDON, FRENCH OPEN, AUSTRALIAN OPEN) and will win one of those. We also would like to see Cassandra join the ranks of professional Tennis.
Cassandra Vazquez delivering a powerful forehand.
We will be following this very talented and driven immigrant athlete closely in the coming years.
A national survey of construction firms found 74 percent were having problems finding qualified workers amid growing labor shortages in the industry.
The survey by Associated General Contractors of America comes as similar concerns have been raised among builders in Southwest Florida, with the new homes market ramping up and a tight inventory of existing homes.
In the Sunshine State, 80 percent of respondents told the AGC that they were having trouble filling key construction jobs. Carpenters, laborers and iron workers were the most sought after positions. The AGC said that builders nationwide are concerned that the problem is going to get worse. “We need to take short- and long-term steps to make sure there are enough workers to meet future demand and avoid the costly construction delays that would come with labor shortages,” said Stephen Sandherr, the trade organization’s chief executive.
Some of the survey’s findings:
Seventy-four percent of the 700 responding firms nationwide said the jobs that were most difficult to fill were carpenters, equipment operators and laborers.
Fifty-three percent said they were also having a difficult time finding project supervisors, estimators and engineers.
Eighty-six percent of respondents said they expect it will remain difficult or get harder to find qualified craft workers while 72 percent say the market for professional positions will remain difficult or get worse.
To deal with the situation, 48 percent of responding firms said they are mentoring future craft workers while 38 percent are participating in career fairs and 33 percent are supporting high school-level construction skills academies.
Forty-seven percent said they are offering internships for construction professionals.
Looking to veterans
There was a 70 percent uptick in new home construction activity in Sarasota and Manatee counties this summer, but the industry is now running 50 percent below its employment peak in 2006, state records show.
As of July, construction accounted for 15,100 jobs in the two counties.
Area home builders have found at least one potential answer to the shortage: Military veterans.
The Home Builders Association Manatee-Sarasota and Suncoast Workforce, an entity that operates three Jobs Etc. employment center in the region, have crafted a pilot program aimed at alleviating the problem and providing jobs for vets, who sometimes struggle with unemployment.
Florida has an estimated 744,000 veterans in its labor force. Suncoast Workforce, meanwhile, has seen the number of veterans seeking help in Sarasota and Manatee counties rise 40 percent over the last two years, with about 1,900 now in the system looking for work.
New incentives provided by Congress in late 2011 could help homebuilders hire more vets. The IRS-guided VOW Hire Heroes Act extends tax breaks of $2,400 to employers who hire a veteran who has been jobless for a month, $5,600 for those unemployed at least six months and $9,600 for veterans who have been out of work six months or more and have a service-related disability.
The incentives can increase if the vet is also receiving some type of government assistance.
If builders have to train the new hires, the federal government also will help pick up the tab, paying half of the trainees’ paycheck for up to six months.
To deal with the issue at a national level, Sandherr, the AGC chief executive, is urging Congress to “jettison arbitrary caps” on construction workers that were included in immigration reform the U.S. Senate passed this year.
“Lifting those restrictions will go a long way to ensuring construction jobs left vacant by domestic labor shortages go to workers who are in the country legally,” he said.
The CEO also is urging local officials to “do more to ensure public school students have an opportunity to participate in programs that teach skills like construction.”
His organization’s survey, conducted in July and August, included nearly 700 construction firms, including Florida.
Here at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm we are constantly searching for new resources for our clients. We post information for immigrant investors looking for economic opportunities, for DREAMers and DACA applicants, and for immigrant athletes. Lately we caught up with friend of the firm, Cary Cohenour, who told us about a new partnership with Impact Basketball/Elevation Academy. We did our research and realized we had just found another great immigrant athlete resource in the Sarasota area.
Few areas match Sarasota-Bradenton for the quality of its athletic facilities. The presence of world-renowned IMG Academy creates a strong gravitational pull that brings the best and brightest of the sports world to our warm shores. Many coaches who may begin their career at IMG decide to start their own academy, focused on their area of passion, in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. IMPACT Basketball/Elevation Academy is an example of such a place..
IMPACT Basketball was founded by Joe Abunassar and Tom Carollo to train amateur and professional basketball athletes from all over the world. All athletes receive the same training – intense but very effective. A three-pronged approach of drills/skills, endurance and nutrition gives the training an incredible synergy. You can check out what IMPACT does here: www.ImpactBBall.com.
Elevation Preparatory Academy is an internationally accredited high school and post graduate college prep school. The academy prepares students for college with rigorous academic engagement. At the same time, the academy’s flexible schedule can accommodate the students’ extra-curricular area of focus. They are a SEVIS-designated school, certified to issue I-20’s, which helps them attract international athletes. IMPACT Basketball Academy, Celsius Tennis Academy, and Missing Links Golf Academy, all send their athletes to learn at Elevation Preparatory Academy. You can look at Elevation’s website here: www.ElevationAcademy.org.
Elevation provides apartment-style dormitory housing, meals and transportation. All students are supervised 24/7 with a live-in coach in each unit, so parents can feel comfortable that their child is living in a safe environment.
One of the biggest issues for young immigrant athletes is qualifying for a visa to live and train for extended periods of time in the United States. A student visa is one option for such athletes. In order to qualify, the student must be attending a bona fide school. IMPACT Basketball/Elevation Academy solve this issue by providing a place to learn that is tailored to the demanding schedules of young immigrant athletes in the Sarasota area.
Please find more information on Elevation Academy and Impact Basketball in the PDFs below:
Nikolay Safonov began his career as a computer programmer and system architect for a major State Hospital in Moscow (GKB Botkina). At the age of 26 he was a team leader for a group of developers of accounting software.
At the dawn of 90s his career took a turn towards commercial applications. His work at an international frozen food trader (Salmit) led him to gain a great deal of experience in international trade, cross-boundary project management, and in other areas that are vital in this age of globalization.
In 1999 Salmit was planning to expand its operation into the Western Hemisphere. A subsidiary company (Salmit USA, LLC) was established, and Mr. Safonov took the position of General Manager in it. In order to live and work in the US Mr. Safonov applied for and obtained an L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa. That was his first exposure to the L-1 visa. Over the next few years Mr. Safonov obtained permanent residency and, eventually, US citizenship.
Mr. Safonov urged our readers to seek the counsel of a professional when making decisions regarding visas and moving to the United States. Despite his own considerable qualifications and the fact that he did work with an attorney in the States he had a difficult time sponsoring his daughter, who was held up in Moscow for a few years. Navigating the government bureaucracy of immigration should not be done alone, he advises.
From the very first days of doing business in the US Nikolay understood the importance of “local expertise”. Namely, comprehensive understanding of the US market, legislation, financial system, and means of communication. Learning English is critical to living in the US. It is also a very marketable skill.
Mr. Safonov invested considerable amounts of time in his own education in order to obtain a competitive edge in the US market. He studied English to a level that allowed him to enroll into an Ivy League MBA program (Columbia University GSB). Since graduating from the MBA program in 2006 Nikolay continued his education, obtaining numerous professional certifications (Series 7, Insurance and Annuities, Real Estate and Business Brokerage to name a few).
Mr. Safonov moved to Sarasota a few years ago so his daughter could attend the prestigious Pine View School. Mr. Safonov had read about the school’s reputation and, understanding the importance of education to one’s advancement in this country, strongly desired for her to go to one of the best schools in the country. We are very pleased that Mr. Safonov chose Sarasota.
Currently, Mr. Safonov provides consulting and business brokerage services to the citizens of former USSR countries, helping them establish their presence in the USA and, potentially, immigrate to America.
To contact Mr. Safonov:
Phone in Moscow +7 (495) 215-02-89
Phone in the US: +1 (941) 866 1905
Web site (in Russian): http://sarasotalanding.com
Businesses for sale (for L-1A and E-2 prospects)
Real estate in Florida (residential and commercial)
Accounting set up
Business planning (including immigration targeted plans)
Maria Eckardt’s story is illustrative of the many ways that Sarasota’s immigrants use their diverse backgrounds to bring success and prosperity to our area.
Maria Eckardt’s first encounter with flight was a dramatic one. She and her family were fleeing Cuba aboard a Freedom Flight from that country to Puerto Rico. Cuban authorities only allowed 1 suitcase per person. All valuable items were confiscated, including Maria’s earrings. She was 5 years old.
Today she is the co-founder and Director of International Sales of Flight Source International, the Southeast’s largest airplane brokerage with agents and offices across the globe. But it wasn’t a direct flight from Puerto Rico to manager at a multinational company.
Maria’s family eventually settled down in North Hollywood, California where she grew up and was working when she met Eric Eckardt. The two were working together at a direct marketing company. Conditions were not optimal so Eric and Maria both showed their entrepreneurial spirit by deciding to leave the company and starting one of their own. They managed their own direct marketing firm for a few years then moved to Sarasota. Eric’s parents were in Sarasota and Maria had a sister here as well. In addition, they were starting a family and Sarasota seemed like a better place to raise one than L.A.
Both Eric and Maria soon found jobs in Sarasota. Eric in airplane research and sales and Maria at the Health Department where her knowledge of Spanish greatly assisted the staff in communicating with and serving Latino patients.
In 1994, with 8 years of experience in aircraft sales, Eric decided to start his own firm. Maria wanted to get back in to sales as well and Eric wanted the new firm, Flight Source, to be international so they founded the company together and Maria became the Director of International Sales.
Flight Source International’s Hangar at Sarasota-Bradenton Airport
Flight Source International’s founding occurred auspiciously in the midst of the devaluation of the Mexican peso. Mexican nationals were selling their airplanes as quickly as they could. Maria’s knowledge of Spanish placed Flight Source International in an ideal position to broker sales of those airplanes.
The company grew from there. In April Maria was featured in a Sarasota Magazine article on women in business. She brought that article with her to the prestigious Top Marques Monaco Luxury Auto Show where she and Eric were able to meet Prince Albert II himself. To them it was just another day on the job.
Eric Eckardt (center) shares a laugh with Prince Albert II (left) at the Top Marques Monaco
Helicopter used in latest James Bond Film on exhibition at Top Marques Monaco
Flight Source International is currently seeking multilingual sales professionals with the drive to sell big-ticket items. They are also open to partnerships with international investors who want to help the company increase its reach overseas. Those interested must want to be involved with a growing company with global ambitions. Flight source international represents over 170 aircraft worldwide, more than any other company in the business, and their goal is to eventually have a Flight Source office or representative in every region of the globe. Flight Source International just signed an agreement with a Czech Republic company, Evektor, to distribute its new light sport aircraft and upcoming turboprop aircraft, both of which will compete with Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft. They are also expanding into the charter business to provide statewide service here in Florida, as well as the Bahamas and the rest of the Caribbean.
For more information on the SeaMax and Evektor aircraft please review the following pdfs:
Jaensch Immigration Law Firm Adds Fingerprinting Service to Increase Client Convenience
In our ongoing effort to better serve our clients Jaensch Immigration Law Firm recently acquired Fingerprint Equipment. This will allow clients to have their fingerprints taken conveniently and privately without having to travel to another location.
Clients may need to have fingerprints taken for any number of reasons. For those who may have criminal records, getting fingerprints is recommended in order to obtain their law enforcement record. Those who may have entered without inspection should also get their fingerprints taken so that the details of their immigration history are known to them, and so that an immigration attorney can review their history with them, to help determine eligibility for potential benefits.
Getting fingerprints is most important for those who wish to begin preparing a case for the potential path to legalization. Anyone who wishes to apply for legalization should know their full record with law enforcement, including from outside Sarasota County, before they apply.
We will be taking fingerprints in our annex, conveniently located across the parking lot. We will submit the fingerprints to the FBI. Clients do not have to use their personal address, we can use ours. It takes 4-5 months to get the report back.
We hope that this new equipment becomes a useful and convenient way for any client who needs their fingerprints taken to do so quickly and privately.