Executive Team

Phone: 212.390.1789

Email: dan@ascendamerica.com


President & Chief Executive Officer

Dan Shields, established AscendAmerica with a goal of providing unique, high-quality low-risk investment opportunities for foreign nationals seeking to immigrate to the United States through the EB-5 program.

After earning his law degree from the Cardozo School of Law and his MBA from the Wharton School of Business, Dan worked for over 20 years in real estate finance.  Prior to founding AscendAmerica, Dan served as Administrative Vice President at M&T Bank, responsible for the New York City Commercial Real Estate Department; an $8 Billion portfolio which under his leadership experienced virtually no losses or defaults during the 2008-09 global financial crisis.

Recognized in the industry as a creative dealmaker who under-promises and over-delivers, Dan has the track record, experience, reputation and integrity demanded by accomplished and pragmatic real estate developers. His legal and credit background give him the tools to underwrite and structure risk at acceptable levels. He is adept at anticipating potential challenges and pre-empting solutions.

Dan’s experience in finance, real estate, regulatory compliance and law, combined with his relationships with top-tier developers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, enables him to structure attractive opportunities that limit risk and prioritize investors’ interests.

Brooke Square

Phone: 212.390.9278

Email: brooke@ascendamerica.com


Chief Operating Officer, Director of Business Development

Brooke Cianfichi serves as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Development at AscendAmerica where her role is to initiate, underwrite and structure EB-5 investment opportunities.

In her previous, senior management role as Group Manager of Sales and Operations Manager at M&T Bank, Brooke managed a group of 21 individuals covering $5 billion of M&T Bank’s $8 billion loan portfolio in New York City commercial real estate.  This position allowed her to forge a unique and well-rounded skill set in team management, client advocacy and operational efficiency.

With over 14 years of credit experience, in residential and commercial financing, Brooke has a deep understanding of financial structure that allows her to assess and mitigate risk in real estate transactions. Brooke is known for her creativity, her drive and her solid reputation as a problem solver and relationship builder.

Brooke earned her MA in Economics from New York University and her MBA from the University at Buffalo.  She has been featured multiple times on the Stoler Report, and has been highlighted in the Commercial Observer and Crain’s New York.

anne square

Phone: 212.390.1784

Email: anne@ascendamerica.com


Chief Marketing Officer, Director of Investor Relations

Anne Holzer serves as Chief Marketing Officer at AscendAmerica where she holds overall responsibility for marketing strategy and investor relations.

Anne is creative, analytical, organized, energetic and, above all else, detail-oriented. This unique blend of talents along with over 18 years of involvement in a combination of the marketing, real estate and finance industries, gives her the experience and expertise to create a clear and strategic marketing framework, that delivers measurable results.

Experienced in varied industries from non-profits to banking where compliance and discretion is of utmost importance, Anne understands the need for due diligence and adherence to policy.

In her role as Director of Investor Relations, Anne provides invaluable support to clients, helping to guide them through the investment process.

Formerly, Anne served as Principal at TAP Marketing Solutions, a boutique Marketing agency that focuses on small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. In this capacity, she has worked with numerous organizations and businesses to develop strategy, promote awareness and implement successful marketing campaigns and events for their brands.