Tuesday, January 14, 2014

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR ISA

There can be no doubt that ISA is on an upward spiral. 2014 is full of promise as our society continues to distinguish itself in advanced educational offerings, services to our members, and industry recognition.
In breaking news, yesterday ISA launched our first course offering on a state-of-the-art, online Learning Management System (LMS), unique to ISA.  With no outside advertising, an online 7 Hour USPAP Update Course was filled in a matter of hours!  The LMS is a terrific advancement for ISA, opening membership opportunities for those preferring not to travel for on-site programming.  View the promotional video for ISA's LMS here: http://www.isa-appraisers.org/education/distance-learning/on

Where We Are Today
With more than 800 members, ISA membership exceeds that of any other professional personal property appraisal organization by a substantial margin.  Membership continues to grow dynamically, and more importantly, the quality of new appraisers attracted to our society is exceptional.  Nothing speaks more convincingly than the majority of personal property professionals who have chosen ISA for their training and professional association.

ISA's educational programs and emphasis on appraisal theory, methodology and ethics are widely recognized as the most advanced training in the industry.  The ISA required Requalification class is unique, and ensures that ISA appraisers remain relevant throughout career lifetimes.

Record early registration and sponsorship for Assets 2014, Kansas City, not only reflects an exceptionally strong program, but is a distinct indicator that networking with ISA appraisers is increasingly recognized as a significant opportunity by members, our sister organizations, and allied business partners.  

What's New and on the Horizon: Education and Credentialing
As mentioned, a state-of-the-art, dynamic online learning system, unique to ISA, has been launched.  In a few weeks, our Core Course in Appraisal Studies will be available online.  ISA is the exclusive provider of the new self-paced and interactive course, complete with online quizzes and discussion forums.  The course includes 25 narrated lessons with expert instruction on appraisal theory, market research, ethics, and best practices on creating appraisals.  The Online Learning Center will be available 24/7, with on-demand access from any computer.  By the close of 2014, most of our course offerings will be available both on-site in the traditional classroom setting and through our online Learning Management System.

The Appraisal of Fine Art Manual has been updated and redesigned as a stand-alone resource for all ISA members, regardless of specialty or background.  If in the course of your practice you appraise anything that hangs on a wall or is placed on a pedestal, this manual should be in your resource library.  Substantial new content has been added including a 58 page guide to researching value, and extensive new chapters on art terminology, "art appraisal connoisseurship", authentication, identification of frames, paintings, prints and photography, and much more.  The manual is an entry-level, practical, step-by-step, resource for all appraisers, from the generalist seeking identification tips distinguishing an etching from an engraving, to the highly specialized art expert looking for new online research methods.  The Appraisal of Fine Art Manual will be available at conference.

Our Specialty Studies Pathway has been expanded and redefined, being most equitable to new candidate members coming to ISA with extensive education and product knowledge.

Many new courses are in development and discussion covering both methodology and advanced and specialty product knowledge.  Stay tuned!

What's New and On the Horizon: Services to Members
ISA has been listening and is responsive to our member's needs and concerns.

You've told us that in order to grow your appraisal practice, you need our help to educate potential clients of the value of engaging ISA qualified appraisers over non-credentialed competitors.  To this end, our Marketing and Promotions Committee is in the process of developing a branded PowerPoint presentation: "What is a Qualified Appraiser", featuring the value of the ISA Credential.  Conference attendees will be the first to see the presentation unveiled, with tips on how to use this powerful resource.  This presentation will be a great tool for ISA members looking to grow their business through speaking engagements before professional organizations representing repeat referral sources.

ISA members now have access to affordable professional liability insurance.

A new Mentorship program pairs experienced appraisers with members looking to grow their practices and advance their credentialing.

ISA now has its own online USPAP courses.  Beginning next month, the 7 hour update class will be offered through the LMS, and in July the 15 hour USPAP will be available to ISA members.

What's New and On the Horizon: Industry Recognition
ISA's application for sponsorship in The Appraisal Foundation is in process and close to approval. ISA continues to be a strong presence and influence in assisting TAF in the development of proposed Minimum Criteria Standards for Personal Property Appraisers.  Formal sponsorship increases ISA's credibility as an industry leader, and allows for more significant input into advocating for appropriate standards.

The Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies, 2014, will be available through ISA's Foundation for Appraisal Education at conference.  The Journal is an educational publication unique to ISA, comprised of scholarly articles written and edited specifically for personal property appraisers.  The content includes original research, integrative reviews and topical discussions of professional appraisal issues and concerns from a variety of perspectives, theories and approaches.

The new Affinity Business Partner (ABP) program is attracting business alliances and sources of referrals for ISA members, and is formalizing our relationships with existing friends and sponsors.

We are increasingly attracting top industry exhibitors and speakers to support our annual conference.

An extensive branding and positioning campaign is in full swing.  Under immediate past President Todd Sigety's leadership, ISA's public image now reflects our exceptionalism with a new website, an active member's Forum, webpages for each credentialed member, a more accessible "find an appraiser" function, a new logo, and a Coop advertising program.  Not one to rest on his laurels, (or take a well-earned break) Todd has agreed to continue the momentum by serving as Chair of ISA's Marketing and Promotions Committee.  The committee is in the process of developing materials for use by individual members, including a professionally designed and updated "Be Certain of Its Value" pamphlet which can be personalized by members and ordered through our website and all new, branded course manual covers.  Additional promotional projects are in development that will assist the public to appreciate the value of the ISA credential.

How Did We Get Here?
Our advancements are a direct result of visionary ISA volunteerism, including 9 active Board Members, 13 committees and various taskforces populated by committed volunteers who donate many hundreds of hours a year with the singular goal of advancing our society.  These efforts are supported by a skilled and committed Sentergroup staff, who not only assist with strategic planning, but also manage our day-to-day business.

I close my first New Year's post as your President, with why I am most proud to serve our membership: ISA's credential is the most meaningful in the industry.  We view appraising as a profession and our advanced methodology training and continuing education requirements reflect these values.  But that's simply a good start.  What really distinguishes our society is a diverse and collegiate organizational culture, eager to share a broad range of highly-specialized knowledge and experience, which results in a more meaningful appraisal result for those reliant on our services.  Together we are a strong national network of appraisers sharing expertise with a spirit which has no industry equal.

I wish us all a healthy and prosperous 2014 as we continue to grow together.  I hope to see all 800+ of our members in Kansas City, to share a war story and a cocktail, and to learn and laugh together.

Warmest wishes,

Cindy Charleston-Rosenberg, ISA CAPP
ISA President

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