It has been over five years since I joined the ISA Board of Directors. In those five plus years I have seen many positive changes. I hope in some small way that I have contributed to a new direction and attitude for ISA.
My term as ISA Board of Directors President and as a member of the board comes to an end in a little over 30 days. With the date fast approaching, I have not only been reflecting on the past, but also looking at a very bright future for ISA.
When I was first joined the board of directors, ISA began re-evaluating its business model, which after many years was no longer functioning financially or administratively. ISA was carrying an enormous amount of debt, we were working with a negative cash flow on most operations and perhaps most importantly, we were failing our members. The Board decided upon a new business model through an association management group, which included strong board member participation, responsibility and accountability. With those changes, ISA has weathered the storm and we have not looked back since.
ISA now has a viable business model that not only works, but actually promotes growth, capital investment and responsibility. The face of ISA has shifted from the executive director and now rests with the board of directors and the President. The ISA presidency brings a new infusion of talent, ideas and enthusiasm to this crucial ISA leadership position every two years. It is a proven business and leadership model that has worked tremendously well for ISA through past Presidents Fred Winer and Judith Martin fostering societal growth, membership responsibility and capital investment. With this newly formed foundation and association structure, ISA will continue to grow and prosper well into the future.
With that, a short list of recent accomplishments:
- our finances are now in order, with no long term debt on the balance sheet, and sound effective annual budgeting
- we are and have been for several years consistently profitable and have a positive cash flow
- our backroom operations are administratively sound with effective internal controls
- after closing the Associate category our membership has stabilized and we are now looking at real societal growth with a strong core of professional appraisers
- a new web site/find an appraiser search/member profiles
- an educational director
- a new logo
- new promotional advertisements
- profitable and functioning education foundation in The Foundation for Appraisal Education
- development of a new on line learning management system (scheduled for Jan 1, 2014)
- updating and developing new courses and pathways (Oriental rugs, Asian studies, legal, updating and adding to the fine art program)
- we are applying for sponsorship of the Appraisal Foundation
- developed the new Business Affinity Membership category
- reworked our outdated committee structure\
- we hold the absolute best personal property appraisal conferences
- enhanced bridging policy
- ISA is growing and showing stability while other personal property organizations are showing signs of complacency and resting on past accomplishments
- ISA is trending for growth, education and membership benefits while other personal property organizations are showing signs of weakness
Perhaps most importantly and after working with multiple organizations over the past five years, I strongly believe that ISA has now assumed the leadership role in our profession and is consistently setting new standards for other organizations to follow. ISA has been actively involved in The Appraisal Foundation and TAFAC for many years, now, should our application be accepted for January 1, 2014 we will be even more involved and active in setting the personal property appraisal agenda as sponsors of The Appraisal Foundation.
ISA has now become the organization to belong to for professional personal property appraisers. We are setting a high standard and have witnessed membership growth through new bridging opportunities and as new and existing appraisers are selecting ISA over other appraisal organizations. Our growth and future sustainability has a lot to do with new and positive perceptions of ISA. Some tenured appraisers may not agree with the suggestion of ISA exceptionalism, but they may be dealing from “muscle memory” and resting on past accomplishments. The trends of personal property organizations are changing, actually, the trends have changed and I believe ISA is the new leader for professional personal property organizations.
During my time on the ISA board, I have witnessed a remarkable and positive change in member attitudes toward our organization as well as perceptions of ISA from allied professionals. I now observe many members wishing to get involved in our growth and development, praise the new logo, website, find an appraiser function and support the positive and progressive changes we have forged. We now have allied professionals approaching ISA looking for joint opportunities and direct access to our members. For proof of this, just look at the record number of sponsors and advertising from our last conference in Chicago.
The excitement and enthusiasm relayed to me from members at conference and other events such as the recently held FAE symposium has been nothing short of amazing and personally gratifying. Attend conference and you will of course witness the great program, but beyond that you will see first-hand the “buzz in the room” as we welcome new members, award accomplishments, populate committees, and meet new members at social functions while networking with the best professional personal property appraisers. Attend another organizations annual personal property conference and you will no doubt see a good program, but from my point of view the intangibles are just not there. Those intangibles are what separates an average conference from a great conference and an ordinary organization from a progressive organization such as ISA.
In closing, I encourage all members to promote ISA as the best and strongest appraisal organization with the best appraisal theory and methodology program available. Encourage fellow nonmembers to join ISA (if they are certified or senior at AAA or ASA mention our new and efficient bridging policy to the ISA AM level), inspire members to get on board and volunteer and become part of the positive growth we are now seeing in ISA. Our short term goal, which is within reach, is to become a 1,000 member organization with a $1 million budget. Help us work toward that goal.
It’s a new ISA, and as I have said in the past, it is a great time to be an ISA member. I thank the ISA Board of Directors, staff, committee chairs and members for their support and trust over the past several years. I look forward to seeing everyone at Conference in Kansas City.
Todd W. Sigety, ISA CAPP
ISA Board of Directors President
ISA Board of Directors President