Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ISA ELECTION REMINDER!

This is a friendly reminder that the deadline for returning completed ballots for ISA’s upcoming election is rapidly approaching.  Ballots must be postmarked no later than September 9, 2011. Be sure to cast your vote for the candidates running for election to the ISA Board of Directors:

Tom DiNardo, ISA AM
Aloysia C. Hamalainen, ISA CAPP, ASEA
Marcia Harris, ISA AM
Selma Paul, ISA CAPP
Cindy Charleston Rosenberg, ISA CAPP

There are three positions available on the Board, each for a three year term. Please be sure to take part in this important process, and vote!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Website Project Update

As President of ISA, I wanted to give you an update on the redesign of the ISA website. As detailed in the 2011 Annual Conference in Nashville, the organization has begun to take the steps necessary to provide a web product for all members, whether members or the general public, that is informative, engaging and impactful.

As a first step, our management team, Sentergroup, created and circulated a request for proposal, reviewed and interviewed a host of web design firms and after careful consideration against pre-set expectations – chose Webitects, Inc. Based in Chicago, Webitects (www.webitects.com) has extensive experience in the association marketplace, has a keen understanding of back end functionality and met our scheduling and price demands.

Several key components of the project have already been completed. First, a group of members participated in a focus group and offered a tremendous amount of feedback on what members want to for the ISA website – from user interface and esthetics to content and the find an appraiser function. Based on that information, Webitects and the ISA staff have been able to create a thorough and comprehensive wire diagram – an essential site map that highlights key web functions, processes and the flow of information for end users. I have seen the wire diagram and it does an excellent job of prioritizing key functions and information.

The next step in the project is the creative element that will drive ISA’s web presence. We anticipate in the next few weeks that the designated Task Force, leadership and staff will review options for the esthetic platform. It is our expectation that creative component of the site will be a reflection of our industry, be impactful and clearly distinguish ISA from our competitors. In addition, we think your feedback and engagement is critical to the overall success of the project, As such, all members will be given an opportunity to review the creative options through an online portal and vote for their favorite.

A relevant, functional and impactful ISA website has been and continues to be a major goal for my term as President and I am confident we are very close to having a platform that is valuable to you, our members, and those who seek out appraisers or appraisal information.

Judith Martin, ISA CAPP
President

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Hidden Value

It has been a hot and stormy weather summer in the US this year.  The State of Texas seems to be in a perpetual sauna, and storms race across the prairie, one after the other.  But soon the cool days of autumn will be here and these hazy days will be a distant memory.  

I am in Washington DC at the moment at the ASA annual conference to which I was an invited guest.  What a nice gesture from a sister organization to ask myself and Todd Sigety to be their guests.  The program is good (not as flush as the ISA programs are) and there are many fine appraisers to meet.  But it brings my mind to ISA conferences of the past and the one we are currently planning for 2012.

This brings me to my thought about conferences.  Conferences are not only important for the information a member comes away with for their work process.  Conferences are important for the people we meet and make connections with.  Members who become our life long friends and colleagues.  

I remember my first conference was in Boston.  I was excited to attend and had scraped the money together so that I could go.  I attended with my mother, Gloria, so we could share a room.  At this point, Gloria was an accomplished appraiser, but I really was just a novice who didn’t know anyone other than her and the few members from the Greater Illinois Chapter who attended.  That first day was for committee meetings so I was on my own, kind of wandering around trying to get my bearings.   There was a woman there who also looked like she wasn’t quite sure where to go and what to do, but we both had these tags on, so we knew we belonged the same group.  We introduced ourselves, and said “what are you doing today?”, “don’t know, think I might go walking around , would you like some company? That would be great” And off we went, looking and shopping around Boston – Joanna Stearns bought a Mont Blanc pen that day;  funny what you remember.  But we had connected and we had become friends that were joined together because of this strange profession we both were in. 

Through the years I have met many of my friends that way.  I can’t remember when I first met Christine Corbin. I think some times I have known her forever.  We seem to have walked the same path in ISA for many years.  She doing her committee work, me doing mine.   But we truly got to know one another when we went to New York one year together.  Christine was the board representative to the AAA conference, and I was going as a speaker.  We shared a room together and got to know one another and found that we had many things in common.  We have worked together on the board now for four years, and I have watched as Christine in her unassuming way has transformed the boards thinking on USPAP and the Foundation which has become her professional passion.  I have listened as she changed her professional profile and went out on her own to run her appraisal business.  I am proud that she is my friend and colleague that I seem to have known for ever and certainly first met her through a conference.

I had met every member of our current board through ISA’s annual conference long before we worked together on the board.   I remember being at a conference dinner where this particular board member who I did know well was talking about the items being offered for auction.  He was witty and quick; very funny.  I sat at the dinner table thinking, who knew that Fred Winer was so funny.  As I got to know Fred from working as Education Chair and then on the board I grew to know how very smart he is, how tenacious he is about a passion, and how very kind he can be.  What an honor it has been to work side by side with Fred during these years of transition.  He was truly the leader in our change but knew how to gracefully hand over the reigns when the time came.  I am hoping that I have learned the lessons he taught me and can also step back and let the next President move in their direction with the support and guidance they might need when asked. 

That first year in Boston, there was this tall red haired young man (we were all new young members once)  who I met casually, he was a jeweler and I didn’t hang out with that group, don’t know why, just didn’t.  The next year we met again, and from that moment on Jim Poag and I have been friends.  We know each others families, we have certainly worked together on the education branch of ISA as well as on the board together these past three years, and we have shared many many laughs together.  Jim is one of the special people in our society and I am lucky to have him as my friend.  I will miss him dearly when he steps off the board this fall.  I will miss his guidance, his business sense and his straight forward attitude, he was such an important part of what we accomplished during his tenure and for that ISA will and should be forever grateful.    

So, I think my thought is this – scrape together whatever you can to get to the conference.  The conference is not just about the seminars – it is about the people.  In a world that has become more secluded in its social interaction due to the internet and the fast pace we all live, it is important to make those connections.  Meet, listen, talk and enjoy.  I promise you, you could not have a better investment in your profession than attending conference.  See You There!

Judith Martin, ISA CAPP
President

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ethics

When was the last time you read the ISA Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct? Do you remember signing this statement agreeing to abide by the Code?  As Chair of the Ethics Committee I receive complaints from members and individuals who have had appraisal reports prepared by ISA members.  Complaints may be as simple as trademark violations or more serious regarding the performance of the appraiser. An ethics complaint may be filed by any ISA member or any outside party having first hand knowledge of alleged unethical conduct through direct dealings with the appraiser.

The first paragraph of the Code of Ethics states:

“The purpose of the Code of Ethics is to provide guidelines to the members of The International Society of Appraisers (“ISA”) for their professional conduct.  These principles are also intended to inform the general public, the business community and government agencies of ISA’s ethical standards.  Public confidence in the honesty, integrity, professionalism, and ability of the professional personal property appraiser is fundamental to the success of the ISA. ISA members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner that enhances the overall image of the appraisal profession.” An ethics complaint filed by an outside party frequently reflects negatively not only on the appraiser, but on the organization as a whole.

I encourage you to go to the ISA website and print off a copy of the Code of Ethics and read it.  Lack of knowledge of the Code does not constitute an excuse for a member’s noncompliance.

The Ethics committee is a confidential committee. All complaints are first sent to the Executive Director of ISA and then if deemed worthy sent to the chair of the committee. The chair and committee then proceed in accordance with the Code of Ethics Disciplinary Procedures.

Beverly Morris, ISA CAPP
Chair, Ethics Committee

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ballots are in the mail

Ballots for ISA’s upcoming election are being mailed to voting members today! Be sure to check your mail box as these are time sensitive. The Nominating Committee, chaired by Marian (Mo) Aubry, ISA CAPP, worked diligently putting together this year’s slate. There are three Board positions available, each for a three year term.

We’re pleased to announce the following candidates are running for election to the ISA Board of Directors:

Tom DiNardo, ISA AM
Aloysia C. Hamalainen, ISA CAPP, ASEA
Marcia Harris, ISA AM
Selma Paul, ISA CAPP
Cindy Charleston Rosenberg, ISA CAPP

Please participate in this important process. Be sure to vote and return your completed ballot, postmarked no later than September 9, 2011.

Best of luck to each candidate!