Gateway to America's Fastest Growing City


Mission. Texas Growth Fund Regional Center is a government-accredited company that provides real estate investment opportunities for immigrant investors who want to participate in the EB-5 Visa Program.

Located in the Fastest-Growing City in the United States. Texas Growth Fund is located in Austin, Texas. In 2016, for the fifth time in six years, Forbes Magazine ranked Austin as America’s fastest growing city. Forbes also put Austin top of its list of U.S. cities with “the best chance to prosper in the coming decade.”

Booming Texas Economy. All of the firm’s EB-5 projects are in Texas: three are in Austin, one is in Houston. These projects benefit from the booming Texas economy and its attractive real estate development costs, which can confer significant advantages to investors compared to the saturated New York and California markets.

A Portfolio of Projects. After the successful completion of a project, it may be necessary to re-deploy EB-5 capital to another project. This is because the EB-5 Program stipulates that investor capital must remain “at risk” for five years. Therefore, it is helpful for immigrant investors if their Regional Center has a portfolio of available projects. Investors can also better evaluate a Regional Center if it has a range of projects, rather than just a single offering.

Developer-Independent. Texas Growth Fund Regional Center is fully independent of the project developers to whom it makes loans, enabling the firm to serve its investors’ interests without compromise. Given the standard 5-year time frame of the EB-5 process, this independence can be a crucial benefit to investors.

Industry-Leading Team. The principals and staff of Texas Growth Fund have extensive executive experience in private equity, real estate financing, investment banking and EB-5. They are complemented by a team of legal and professional experts who are each prominent figures in their respective fields. Click any of the team member’s names to view their bio.

Interfacing with Washington, D.C. While Texas Growth Fund projects are focused in Austin, we are simultaneously active with representatives in Congress and with federal government agencies in Washington, D.C. that are involved in directing the legislation and regulation that impacts the status and evolution of the EB-5 Program. For example, we recently joined a group of fewer than 10 industry-leaders in the U.S. in a session with Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona to collaborate on how to succeed in bi-partisan negotiation of the most balanced and beneficial possible EB-5 Program reforms and reauthorization.

Local Philanthropy, Global Reach.Texas Growth Fund supports Austin charities that reach across continents – Caring For Cambodia, dedicated to “building a brighter future one child at a time” is a case in point – as well as local treasures like the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum. We also help local startups (Austin is the startup capital of the United States) who are developing technologies that will enhance international understanding.

USCIS Designation. Texas Growth Fund Regional Center LLC was designated as a Regional Center by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on May 21, 2014.

Team Members

Robert Gritz

Texas Growth Fund, Texas Growth Fund
President and CEO

Mr. Gritz began his career on Wall Street as an Investment Banker in the global Private Equity Group at Credit Suisse First Boston in 1987. He brings extensive financial and operational expertise, including experience as the Sr. Vice President of Kluge & Co., the in-house Investment Banking Office for John Kluge and Metromedia Company in New York City. Mr. Gritz’s 30 year professional investment and management experience spans investments, acquisitions, financings, re-financings, turnarounds and divestitures (exits) from $10 million to over $1 billion. He also has led the successful turnaround of institutional construction and public infrastructure financing projects that included the restructuring of tax-exempt bond and bank financing in default. Mr. Gritz is an expert in advanced information technology strategy and venture development. Mr. Gritz graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with Honors as the President of the University’s Honors Business Program.

Eric Pulaski

Texas Global Equity
Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Pulaski was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of a U.S. public company, BindView Development (NASDAQ: BVEW), that achieved a peak market capitalization of $2 billion before being sold to Symantec Corporation. Mr. Pulaski has over 30 years’ experience in leading successful private and public equity investments in conjunction with operating companies across all stages of growth, including start-up, hyper growth, turnaround, and M&A components. For the past several years, Mr. Pulaski has focused in real estate development investment, financing, accounting and technology management for Texas Growth Fund and Texas Global Equity companies. Mr. Pulaski graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jared Mermis

Texas Global Equity, Texas Growth Fund
Managing Director

Mr. Mermis has over 26 years of business management, engineering, construction, and sales experience spanning a range of industries with 10 years of experience in EB-5 finance as the director of an EB-5 regional center. His real estate career covers a wide spectrum from administering debt and equity financings in large commercial development projects to managing construction of single-family developments. Before immersing himself in real estate, he left a successful 11-year engineering and project management career working as an asset manager, a project engineer with General Electric, and an R&D design engineer with a leading oilfield services company. Mr. Mermis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Alexander van den Dries

Texas Global Equity
Asset Manager

Mr. van den Dries has managed food and beverage operations for the top producing (highest revenue and profitability generating) venue in Austin, Texas for three years. He previously directed a staff of 20 professionals with responsibility for dealership funding on behalf of Ford Motor Credit Company, the financial arm of Ford Motor Company, a Fortune 10 company. He graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors from Texas State University with a BBA in Finance.

Paul Kennedy

Texas Growth Fund, Texas Growth Fund
Director of Production

Mr. Kennedy served as CEO of two companies that raised more than $100 million of institutional investment capital in highly-regulated markets in the United States, Canada, and Europe. He attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2003 as a designated technology pioneer and has appeared on television, in print media, and at conferences internationally as a speaker on matters of technology innovation, management and marketing in dynamic, regulated industries. Mr. Kennedy has a B.S. degree in Economics from University College London.

Victoria (Dan) LI

Texas Growth Fund, Texas Growth Fund
Business Development Manager

Ms. Li worked for major US and European companies, specifically Intel Corporation and Bosch GmbH in China for eight years. Ms. Li holds an MBA from McCombs School of Business, the University of Texas at Austin.

George Lawler

Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP
Corporate and Securities Counsel

George Lawler has represented hundreds of companies for private placements, venture capital financing and initial public offerings. In addition to his vast experience in representing private equity funds and real estate funds, he has also represented homeland security companies, real estate developers, financial services companies, government contractors, broker-dealers and investment advisors. His past awards include, among others, AV Peer Review Rated; Best Lawyers in America, 2009 to present; Maryland Super Lawyers, 2008- present.

Jonathan Thalheimer

McGuire, Craddock & Strother
Lending Counsel

Mr. Thalheimer works in all aspects of commercial real estate and finance, including representation of lenders, developers, loan syndication agents, and borrowers in complex transactions and litigation. He has significant experience on both the origination and servicing sides of commercial mortgage backed securities and other structured finance transactions. He has represented, nationally and internationally, some of the largest loan originators, special and master servicers, and administrative/collateral agents in portfolio, conduit, and loan syndication agency transactions. Mr. Thalheimer is a frequent lecturer on structured finance issues. He is the Texas State Chair of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA) and is one of only three Texas lawyers to have been elected a fellow of both the ACMA and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL). Most recently, he was selected by peers for inclusion in the 22nd edition (2016) of the Best Lawyers in America for real estate.

Christian Triantaphyllis

Foster LLP, Houston, Texas
Immigration Counsel

Mr. Triantaphyllis is an attorney and specialist in immigration matters, particularly those related to EB-5 immigrant investment petitions, I-924 Regional Center applications and amendments, petitions to acquire work-authorization for foreign national professional employees, and immigration law compliance in accordance with USCIS, Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of State. Specifically concentrating on business and investment immigration matters, Mr. Triantaphyllis has significant experience assisting foreign nationals from around the world through the EB-5 visa program, and has prepared and filed many successful I-526 petitions and I-829 petitions for regional center investors and direct investors. He is also experienced in preparing I-924 applications for regional center designation and reviewing EB-5 project documents for compliance with USCIS requirements.

John Tishler

Sheppard Mullin
Securities Counsel

Mr. Tishler’s practice encompasses domestic and international capital markets, corporate finance, corporate governance, business transactions, mergers and acquisitions and technology. He advises established NYSE, NASDAQ and international exchange issuers and smaller high-growth clients on capital structures, equity and debt offerings, real estate project finance, securities compliance, strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructuring. Mr. Tishler regularly speaks and writes on corporate governance, capital markets transactions, real estate project finance, emerging growth company issues and uncommon interpretations and approaches to transactional lawyering.