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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011 Webinar Program Incentive

Beginning in 2011, ISA will be introducing a new incentive program that will allow members who register and participate in four (4) paid for live webinars to get one free webinar registration. The free webinar registration will need to be used within the calendar year. Members will be able register for their free webinar with a coupon that they will be issued after they’ve attended the required four webinars. This coupon will have an expiration date of December 31, 2011.

The 2011 webinar schedule through June will be available soon; there will be a variety of topics presented by excellent speakers. The upcoming topics were chosen straight from member suggestions.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the upcoming webinars or the new program at

Michelle Stearns
Education & Credentialing Coordinator

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Greetings

Dear Colleagues

2010 has been a very busy year for ISA.  We have welcomed more than 100 new members to our organization adding strong additions to our membership and volunteer pool.  In the past 12 months we have instituted our Webinars on a regular basis.    Our relationship with Northern Illinois University is growing stronger .  All the while our education process is becoming more professional and updated. 

Our database has been cleaned up and our member’s records sorted and stabilized.  Our website is getting ready to be geared up for new exciting changes.  And the updated and re-edited manual is due out this spring.  

We are well on our way to having one of the best attended conferences in many a year when we all meet in Nashville 2011.   Our financials have been stabilized and we are looking to end our year in the black , which in a very tenuous financial year is a fete all by itself.   

We have been very fortunate to have received good constructive criticism from our membership at large – both on the forum and privately.  As an organization we have listened carefully ; please watch us in the New Year as we begin to move from idea to implementation.   

Please make the ISA blog a daily visit in your busy day as well as our facebook page .  If you have not joined our linkedin site – you must join to read the conversations.  These are just the extra communication tools we are using along with our regular education blasts , newsworthy blasts and the ever important member forum. 

As we all prepare to celebrate the coming New Year and look towards the future, the ISA Board of Directors along with the staff of Sentergroup wishes each of our members a Happy , Healthy ,and Prosperous New Year. 

Happy Holidays to you all !

Judith Martin ISA CAPP 
President, ISA

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chapter Networking Committee Update

There is good news in the Chapters front! Carol Wamble and her devoted ISA appraisers created the Tennessee Chapter and have a lively group of over twenty members. The Tennessee chapter is a major impetus in the 2011 Conference, so we are very fortunate that Carol worked so hard over the past two years so all the ISA can benefit from the Tennessee Chapter.

Interest has been expressed by members in Northern California to re-activate the Northern California chapter of ISA.  Right now there are approximately 20-25 ISA members who would be interested in joining and being involved if the chapter was to re-activate.  

I spoke to the current secretary of the South Florida chapter. She has many good ideas and has a lot of passion and interest.

The following chart has the most current information on the chapters. Joining a local chapter is a great way to network and meet fellow appraisers in your area.

ISA CHAPTERS 2010-2011

Nini Hamalainen ISA CAPP
Chapter Networking Committee Update

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some News About Conference and Nashville, TN

When the committees first began planning ISA Conference back in May it was a joint decision that two good Nashville tours is what we would go with. Last week I could hardly believe it but got word that we were going to put together another tour as the ARC had filled up with a waiting list, the FA is on the way to being full and Conference is surpassing registration expectations! And we still have 10 weeks left for members to sign up. Sounds like we will have a full house and no wonder!

The Opryland Hotel is almost a city within itself and newly renovated with a $285 million dollar face lift after the flooding last May. The hotel has 2,881 guestrooms, a European-inspired spa, 4 swimming pools, renovated meeting rooms, nine acres of indoor gardens and waterways, 12 restaurants, a fantastic breakfast buffet, upscale shopping and electrifying entertainment all day long and this hotel is considered to be the best of world-class elegance in hotel listings. The discounted room rates are really good (ISA has secured rates of $169/night.) This has to be one reason so many members have already secured their room so early.

Another reason I think conference is filling up so quickly is the speakers on board for opening day and the breakout sessions are a fantastic line up along with the diverse subjects given in the seminars and the product knowledge available to us in becoming better educated appraisers. What can I say about Leigh Keno being such a big draw for us? I will say, “Thanks to him for being with us”. There is something for everyone, old timers and brand new members.

Oh my, and the fun things we are going to do: On Sunday, February 20th, there is the Bar-B-Q and Bourbon Tasting event and this will be followed by that great ole Fund Fun Auction. By the way: Who knows where that ORANGE CRUSH suit is? I have been assigned part of the job to find that suit! If anyone can help me I will be very grateful. I understand the person that wins the bid on the suit will receive the magical gift of keeping it for one full year which brings tons of high end paying appraisal jobs all year long. I guess that is why the suit has always brought such high dollar bids at conference.

You can probably tell that the Tennessee ISA members are getting very excited because Assets 2011 will be in our home state but it seems all of ISA is getting excited. This is just ISA on the move upward.

One last note: If you have a free night during conference the Opryland Hotel has a shuttle that runs back and forth to The Riverfront Area, Honky Tonks, B B Kings, Ryman Auditorium, Country Music and Restaurants all within a block of the Riverfront Downtown Area. Could be a fun taste of Nashville country music nightlife for you!

Please check out the new additional tour now available at this time. As of today there are 10 members that have already registered for this 3rd tour. But there are still 30 spots open at this writing. I’ll be on this one, hope you will join me for a fun Southern Antebellum tour and learn about Tennessee Furniture at the State Museum tour and President Andrew Jackson during The Hermitage tour. Read about it below.

The 1853 home of Adelicia Acklen is a story rich in art, wealth, fashion, architecture, tradition and romance. The Belmont Mansion is an Italianate-style villa, every room filled with the most elaborate furnishings in the domestic antebellum home built in Tennessee .  The home has 36 rooms furnished with a large collection of Belter furniture,  French furniture along with many rare pieces of  19th century Tennessee hand made furniture.   Large marble statues by American sculptors: Randolph Rogers, William Rinehart, Chauncey Ives and Joseph Mozier grace this 10,900 square foot Southern mansion  along with original textiles, porcelains, silver, tortoiseshell pieces and other rare 19th century furnishings  most pieces authentic to the home. 

After her husband died during the Civil War, Adelicia  faced financial ruin when the Confederate army threatened to burn 2,800 bales of her cotton to keep it from falling into Union possession.  She boldly rushed to Louisiana and secretly negotiated with both sides to save her fortune. She secured Confederate promises not to burn her cotton, while the Union army agreed to help her move the cotton to New Orleans. She ran the Union blockade and sold her cotton to the Rothschilds of London for a reported $960,000 in gold. Three weeks after Robert E. Lee's surrender in 1865, Acklen and her children left for Europe to retrieve the money made from this cotton sale.  She was quite a business woman and one that tops legendary Scarlett O'Hare!   Belmont is the story of Adelicia Acklen, the wealthiest and considered most beautiful grand lady of Tennessee’s antebellum era.   

Lunch at Belmont
Our group will have a full buffet inside the Belmont mansion for our group with Southern style linens and silverware.

Tennessee State Museum
This is one of the largest state museums in the South, exhibiting artifacts from 15,000 years ago through  the 20th  century.   The museum houses many pieces of rare TN furniture which will be the focus of this tour.  Curator Mike Bell, state curator of TN Furniture will speak on the history of TN furniture from the simple and straightforward styles to the plantation culture of the high style that developed around 1815  and changes throughout the19th century. We will learn about early techniques of craftsmanship, stylistic elements, varieties of wood and motifs used, all which makes TN furniture unique.

THE HERMITAGE: Home of the 7th U.S. President: Andrew Jackson
 The Hermitage is one of the country's most authentic early presidential sites housing over 80% of original 19th century furniture, decorative arts and personal collections of one of the wealthiest of all Presidents. Jackson owned the plantation from 1804 until his death in 1845.  After a fire in 1834 Jackson had the mansion remodeled in the Greek revival style. Six original hand painted block wallpapers from Paris still hang on the walls today.  Our curator led tour of the mansion will allow us to personally inspect some of the rooms not open to the general public and get a glimpse into the life of this great man.  

Look forward to seeing you at conference in Nashville,

Carol Wamble, ISA CAPP
Annual Meeting Co-Chair

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


To ISA, with thanks...

I recall when I was writing for National Jeweler Magazine in the 1990’s, the staff was discussing a feature article I was writing and someone suggested limiting me to 5,000 words. Someone else blurted out, "Ralph can't say Hello in 5,000 words. Let's give him 7500." And they did. So it’s not lost on me that I can be long winded. Hopefully you’ll be entertained.

I can still remember my very first ISA meeting in 1988. At the time I owned a retail jewelry store in Los Angeles with my cousin and partner. I had just completed my studies at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Santa Monica and realized almost immediately that I still knew little about appraising. At the suggestion of Cos Altobelli, one of the appraisal “gurus” of the time, I attended a Los Angeles Chapter ISA meeting. The meeting’s featured speaker was Elly Rosen, a gemologist and one of the real “old timers” in ISA lore.

Rosen not only confirmed my thoughts but when I asked a couple of questions that would soon have obvious answers he asked me if I had “taken our courses yet.” Jim Goodman, an art appraiser and local from Los Angeles, blurted out “He’s a prime candidate!” At the time I didn’t know if that was a compliment or not. Was it that I was in desperate need of formal appraisal education or that I was a really bright dude who would get a lot out of the ISA courses.

In the end it didn’t matter because looking back both were true (okay the “really bright” assessment is my own). And certainly I was both intellectually and professionally desperate for the knowledge I would need in pursuing a new element in my career. I knew that the value of that knowledge would serve me well but the magnitude of that benefit was yet to be discovered.

To jump ahead, my education and networking with ISA have provided me with immeasurable benefits. As I seamfully (as opposed to seamlessly) cruise into retirement I can’t help but think back on the 27 years that have passed since I wrote my first appraisal in 1984. I was working on a monochrome display IBM XT computer that we had purchased for about $4,500.00 and the only real software aside from the operating system was a simple word processing program that a friend wrote for us from scratch. Before I ever turned on that computer I attended two “training classes” at the computer store where the machine was purchased. It may as well have been a foreign language class where the instructor didn’t speak English. My partner validated my utter confusion when he said, “Ralph there aren’t many things in the world that scare me but that thing scares the hell out of me!”

So there I was, generating appraisal reports that I knew instinctively were inadequate. One-page reports with a copy we retained in a file folder, printed on a noisy dot matrix printer (I think that was another four hundred dollars!) and folded to insert into a plain envelope.

And have things changed since then. I remember my first digital camera. It was a digital video system with a light box. Cost: $1,800.00. Value to me: Almost none. While it beat having to waste film and run to the photo lab every day, I never did get the thing to work to my satisfaction. Ultimately I found that a $150.00 digital hand held camera with jewelry displayed on plain white paper was the most efficient and produced the highest quality photos I could offer short of a very expensive custom made system.

While I have benefited enormously from the lightning speed at which technology has developed and had loads of fun doing so, I’ve become increasingly aware that I have developed so many other interests that I have already moved on. As the Jewelry Judge of Princeton I have not only survived, but thrived during the twelve years since I opened up here in New Jersey.

I am grateful for the foundation that ISA provided me way back in the late 1980’s and continuing as additional classes and conferences enhanced my ability to write credible, professional appraisal reports.

I end this cyber-manuscript with what I think is a pretty funny story. One of the members of the Los Angeles ISA chapter at the time I joined possessed a Ph.D. in a seriously academic field. In relating an argument he’d had with another member about an approach to teaching a particular appraisal principle he was told, “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” and as he exclaimed, “Who is he to challenge my educational credentials? I come from academia!” I couldn’t resist: “Really? You don’t have an accent!” The joke fell flat as he continued his rant but I still think it’s funny and so I felt compelled to relate it to anyone unfortunate enough to read it.

So thanks ISA and those members who have been so supportive and helpful over the years. Rather than name all of the fine appraisal professionals who have contributed so much to my development and success I’ll say a simple “Thanks. You know who you are.” One exception who has to be identified is Maurice Fry, founding ISA member/owner of ISA whose vision and generosity extended well beyond what most members will ever know. So here’s to you, Maury, and I raise a glass to ISA as well.

Ralph Joseph, GG, ISA CAPP

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fun'd Auction

Dear ISA Colleagues,

It’s baaaack! Pull out your 2011 calendars and mark them for an evening of barbeque, bourbon, and Fun’d. Yes, the Fun’d Auction will be revived and held Sunday evening, February 20th, during ISA's Annual Conference, Appraising America. The Foundation’s Board of Directors is looking for new ways to energize its primary fundraising event. Our goal this year is to raise $20,000 to support appraisal education so that we can continue to award grants and scholarships. We would like to ask for your help and creativity to help us achieve this goal.

We’re asking for quality items for the silent and live auctions, items that have typically not been offered in the past. Do you, or does someone you know, have a vacation home or time share they would be willing to donate the use of for a vacation getaway? How about dinner and an evening on someone’s yacht? A cruise to Mexico for 2? A meal with a celebrity? A hunting weekend? Air miles? Subscriptions? A course registration fee? Tickets to a concert or sporting event? The possibilities are limitless, and this is where your creativity kicks in.

Because the Foundation for Appraisal Education is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), those who donate items for the auction are entitled to claim their fair market value as tax deductions, and successful bidders can deduct any monies paid above the fair market value of the items they purchase. Of course, monetary gifts are always welcome and may be deducted in their entirety. We are grateful for smaller items as well such as collectibles, paintings, silver items, good out-of-print reference books, tools of the trade, etc. Every dollar we raise will put us closer to reaching this year's goal.

Please send your auction items to: Carol Wamble, 302 South Cameron Court, Hermitage, TN 37076. Carol has asked that packages be sent via UPS, if possible, and that a signature be required on packages sent through the mail.

We are also looking for volunteers to help before, during and after the auction. If you would like to join us in our efforts to raise money for the good cause of supporting appraisal education, please contact Beth Szescila at, Fred Winer at, or Carol Wamble at .

Beth Szescila, ISA CAPP
Foundation for Appraisal Education President

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


As the Thanksgiving holiday is approaching I have been thinking of the things I am thankful for...

I am thankful for the encouraging movement ISA has made in the past year.

I am thankful for all those members who have rejoined ISA for this year

I am thankful for all of our new members who have joined ISA this year.  

I am thankful to all those members who have given us feedback on the changes we have made; both positive and negative (it shows members are paying attention). 

I am thankful to all those members who have worked on different committees to make our society move.  

I am thankful to our instructors who work so hard to make sure that the attendees experience is rich and full of information.

I am thankful to our Sentergroup staff who has worked so hard to make sure our members are taken care of in a professional manner with grace and humor.  

I am thankful that the ASSETS 2011 is set to go and our members are registering at a quick pace.

I am thankful to all of our speakers for ASSETS 2011 who are going to make this the Must Attend Conference of the Year.

I am thankful to all our signed sponsor and potential sponsors who are going to help make this a win/win for both ISA and them.

I am thankful to the conference committee who worked at lightening speed to get the speakers, the tours, and the sponsors. 

I am thankful to the Southern California Chapter who gave ISA a very generous gift when they closed their chapter.

I am thankful to my fellow board members who have made our working together a joy.

And most importantly, I am thankful that this profession of being an appraiser still keeps me excited and wanting to go to work each day.  And for that I must say finally I am thankful simply for ISA.  

I wish you each a safe and happy holiday.

Judith Martin ISA CAPP
President, ISA

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What is a Guest Blogger?

You may have previously seen statements on posts asking for anyone interested in being a guest blogger to contact ISA. You may have asked yourself, “What is a guest blogger and what do they do?” That is very simple, as a guest blogger you would be sharing a story with ISA. Do you have an experience with ISA that sticks out in your mind; your first course, conference, appraisal after becoming a member, etc. We would like to hear from our members about your experiences with ISA. We would like to hear how ISA has made a difference in your professional or personal life. If you think you have a story that you would like to share or have questions about being a guest blogger, please contact me at:

Michelle Stearns
Education & Credentialing Coordinator

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Your Board of Directors has just concluded another successful October meeting in Chicago. The big news for 2010 is that ISA is financially stable. Those of you who have just sent in your annual renewal fee are probably thinking “they better be”, but in the past few years of uncertainty for our industry, as well as many others, that is saying something. Congratulations to the staff and membership who have worked hard this past year trimming programs that were outdated and filling in with better benefits for our members.

Another accomplishment that the organization can be proud of is the continued move toward the excellence of our educational programming. Leon Castner has done a wonderful job this past year as our Educational Director. He has been instrumental in the development of the new course materials which will continue through 2011. He is also assisting in the development of more easily obtainable education through Webinars and Distance Education. Watch Leon’s monthly education reports for more news on the 7 hour USPAP update course currently awaiting approval from the Appraisal Foundation. Michelle Stearns is in our home office in the role of Education and Credentialing Coordinator. Many of you have had a chance to appreciate her knowledge and compassion as you have worked on your credentialing process. Our other new association is with Northern Illinois University. A record number of Core course and continuing education attendees have seen the benefits of this association in person. Those who have attended our fall classes at this facility have appreciated the comfortable and professional environment. Many thanks as well to instructors, committee members and staff who have worked on the development of webinars, course rewrites, credentialing policies and evaluation processes.

If you haven’t read through the Assets 2011 Conference materials yet you had better hurry. Many members have already registered for conference and tours. From the Heart of Country Show to Leigh Keno to Joseph Bothwell we have the opportunity to gain skills and network contacts which will improve our business...great job Nashville Conference Committee! Come learn the latest in industry standards, learn about tools that will help you build your business and spend time with friends from across the country. Conference is also a time when committees meet in person. Many of you have expressed great ideas or an interest in becoming involved in ISA. This will be a great time to learn more about where your talents fit best. There is no better way to make ISA work for you than to work to make ISA a stronger organization. The Fun’d Auction to benefit the Foundation for Appraisal Education is returning this year. If you have never experienced a Fun’d Auction then you definitely need to be there to see what all the buzz is about. The Foundation is currently accepting donations for the auction. Please see their web site,, for contact information.

Our progress cannot happen without the hard work of your Board of Directors and staff. The board is sad to be loosing Darlene Hines as a Director after six years of dedicated service. Darlene is rotating off the board but will continue to be involved with the future of ISA through committee participation. We welcome new board member Sally Ambrose who brings experience as an appraiser and from her service on many committees including Ethics, Designation and Review, ARC, Nominating and Specialty Studies.

I can’t wait to see everyone in Nashville in February. I won’t be hard to find...I’ll be at the head of the Barbecue line!

Libby Holloway
ISA Secretary

Friday, November 5, 2010


We’re pleased to welcome the following new members who have joined the Society since July 1, 2010:

If you know someone you’d like to recommend for membership, please forward their contact info to Sara Porter, ISA’s Membership & Operations Coordinator, at

ISA would also like to recognize those who have successfully completed the recent Core Course in Appraisal Studies, in Naperville, IL October 25-31, 2010. Congratulations on your successful completion of the Core Course and best of luck as you further your education, knowledge and experience through the ISA courses and membership!

Monday, November 1, 2010 is Live!

The wait is over… the conference website is live with all the info you have been waiting for! Visit for program information, sponsorship and advertising details, and to register now.

Just a reminder…there are so many ways to save while attending the ISA Annual Conference, which is taking place February 18-21, 2011 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN.


Through November 19, 2010, we are offering a special discount of $150 off the regular conference pricing. Plus, 2011 member pricing reflects a saving of $50 over 2010 prices. Act fast to take advantage of the lowest registration fees possible! Tours are limited attendance and registration for them is on a first-come, first-served basis.


Pay 50% of your meeting registration at the time of registration and pay the balance on January 28, 2011. This option is available if you register on or prior to Friday, January 7, 2011 and for credit card users only. For more details please see the registration form.


ISA will offer a special group discount of $50 off the current registration fee for groups of 8 registrants or more. The registration forms must be submitted with full payment and must be submitted at the same time. Email for more information. The newly formed Tennessee Chapter just took advantage of this great promotion and registered 20 people! Why shouldn’t your group or chapter be next?


ISA’s conference success relies on attracting non-members to the meeting. For every 5 non-member names (with email) you provide to ISA Headquarters, you will receive one entry into a drawing for one night free at the Gaylord Opryland during the conference ($169 value). Email your names to by November 1, 2010. There’s no limit on the number of names you can provide!


By committing to a block of rooms at the Gaylord Opryland, we are able to offer you the lowest possible hotel rates. By staying at the conference hotel, you help ISA fulfill this commitment, receive a great rate, and are perfectly positioned in the center of the conference activities. Don’t miss a minute of the action – book your room today! Discounted rates are available until January 14, 2011 – room and rate availability cannot be guaranteed after that date. For more information or to reserve your room, click here.

Win your stay at the conference hotel! Every attendee who books into the ISA room block and stays at the Gaylord Opryland for the conference (minimum 3 nights) will be entered into a raffle to win a free hotel stay for the conference (maximum 4 nights)! With a value of almost $700, you can’t afford to miss this promotion!


ISA has negotiated discounts with American Airlines. Visit for fares and use code 4521BM to book.


With the Gaylord Opryland, ISA is able to provide discounted roundtrip transportation between the Gaylord Opryland and Nashville International Airport. To book your transportation, click here.

P.S. Advance Programs are in the mail to all members – watch your mail boxes!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Course completion congratulations are in order

ISA would like to recognize those who participated in the recent Antiques and Residential Contents Course and Appraisal of Fine Arts Course offered in downtown Chicago, IL September 28-October 3, 2010. Congratulations on your successful completion of this course and best of luck as you continue to further your education!

ISA would also like to acknowledge those who participated in the Requalification Course offered in Naperville, IL October 4-5, 2010 as well as the 15-Hour National USPAP Course offered October 7-8, 2010.  These individuals have recognized the importance of maintaining their professional designations and have done so through the participation and completion of this course. Congratulations to the following for successfully completing the Requalification course:


Please forward your submission to for future consideration.

Friday, October 8, 2010

ISA Announces Election Results!

I want to thank all of our members who voted in this past Board of Directors election. We are pleased to have Sally Ambrose join the board as the newest member. I know that both Todd Sigety and myself are pleased to be going back to finish what we had started with our sitting board.

The Board would like to thank outgoing Director Darlene Hines for her dedication, thoughtful input and professionalism these past six years. It has been an honor for all of us to have worked with Darlene.

Approximately 1/3 of the membership voted and that is a solid number based on historical numbers. In a year that offered a strong field of nominated members I know it was not an easy choice. We would like to thank the nominating committee headed by Maureen Aubry for their hard work and their excellent choices. Also thank you to the nominees for their time and effort and hope they will consider running again in the future.

As a member of ISA it is extremely important for the benefit of the society that we each give what we can to move our society forward. I want to thank everyone involved in the election process this year for their professionalism and their time.

Judith Martin ISA CAPP
President, ISA

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Registration for Assets 2011 is Open!

Registration for Assets 2011- Appraising America is now available. From February 18-21, 2011, ISA will be in Nashville, TN at the Gaylord Opryland for another fantastic annual conference. You can register online or download a registration form. There are lots of ways you can save money while attending Assets 2011. View all the money saving discounts you can take advantage of to attend Assets 2011.    

The conference committee has worked hard to bring great speakers this year like Leigh Keno, Joe Bothwell, William Adair, and David Lindquist. You can view the entire program schedule now In addition to the fantastic educational program taking place during the meeting, there are many more exciting things going on with conference this year!

Social and Networking Opportunities

Assets 2011 will be a great place to meet up with old friends and make new ones. Read about all the planned events to network with your peers:

Saturday: welcome breakfast, two coffee/networking breaks

Sunday: buffet luncheon, two coffee/networking breaks, “Meet the Speakers” event,

Bourbon and Barbeque + Auction dinner

Monday: coffee/networking break, closing luncheon

In addition, there are also activities for first-time attendees in the works to make them feel extra welcome and connected to the ISA community.

Heart of Country Antiques Show

This year, ISA has co-located Assets 2011 with the Heart of Country Antiques Show, which is also taking place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. All Assets 2011 attendees will receive a one day pass to the show included in their registration. Plus, as an attendee of Assets 2011, you will have the option to attend the Heart of Country Preview Party on Thursday, February 17 for half the regular price!

Friday Tours
Friday, February 18, 2011 will be reserved for a day of tours around Nashville. Two specialty tours will be offered covering a variety of attractions including Cheekwood Mansion, The Hermitage, the Parthenon and more. Tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early to ensure your spot. Tour registration includes transportation via motor coach and lunch at Cheekwood Mansion.

Fine Art Tour
Antiques and Residential Contents Tour

Requalify in Nashville

On February 22 and 23, immediately following Assets 2011, ISA will offer its two day onsite requalification course. Take advantage of your time at conference and “kill two birds with one stone” by taking the requalification course. Early registration pricing for the course is available until January 11, 2011.

We look forward to seeing you in Nashville! For questions about conference, call headquarters at 312.981.6778 or email

Rachel Walsh
Meetings Coordinator

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ISA Announces New Membership Cards

In an effort to expand ISA member benefits, we will now provide members with membership cards. These plastic cards will allow ISA members a “portable” manner to promote their level of professionalism by conveying their affiliation with the International Society of Appraisers.

ISA will provide these new cards along with the dues payment thank you letters. Members in good standing can use their new membership cards to identify themselves to potential and current clients, along with the general public, and show their involvement and level of designation with ISA. Each member card will have the member’s name, along with member number, designation and card expiration date.

Upgraded, professionally designed and printed membership certificates will now be available for purchase, along with an assortment of framing options. ISA has partnered with a renowned designer and producer of custom certificates and members will receive a brochure with the dues thank you letter that will provide information on obtaining a professional certificate and frame.

If there are any questions, please contact me at

Sara Porter
Membership & Operations Coordinator

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ISA New Dues Invoicing Schedule

As ISA has rolled out its new dues invoicing schedule, there have been a few questions from members about how it was developed.

As an association, ISA’s member services and benefits are tied to the period of time covered by the dues paid by each individual. As a result, ISA is making every effort to give you, the member, as much notice as possible to pay your dues prior to your expiration date.

The changes we have made to our invoicing schedule allow members to receive up to 3 invoice reminders before their membership is scheduled to expire. The three membership reminders will go out 75 days, 45 days and 15 days before a member’s expiration date. Our goal with sending you these invoice “reminders” is to help ensure your membership does not lapse, so you’ll continue to receive uninterrupted benefits (such as your “Find an Appraiser” listing on ISA’s website).

In the event you have not renewed your membership, a lapsed letter will go out 15 days after your expiration date to remind you that your membership has expired. At this point, per ISA’s Bylaws, you’ll no longer be considered a “member in good standing.”

If a member renews within one month of expiring, there will be no renewal charge. After one month of lapsed membership, there is a membership renewal fee of $75.

As ISA continues to grow, we hope to enhance our level of member benefits, services and educational opportunities.

If there are any questions, please contact me at

Sara Porter
Membership and Operations Coordinator

Monday, September 13, 2010


The ballot materials for the Board of Directors elections were mailed on September 2nd, so if you’re a voting member, you have probably received your packet by now. Be sure and complete the ballot and return it to ISA headquarters, postmarked no later than Monday, September 27, 2010.

Many thanks go to a dedicated and focused Nominating Committee who gave time, thought and effort to choosing a stellar ballot of candidate leaders for the Board of Directors positions. The present ballot represents individuals with exceptional skills in many areas. The committee concentrated on choosing those candidates with proven speaking and presenting skills as communication is the key to leadership. We also strongly considered those who demonstrated an understanding and capability with the ‘new technology’ and who held the promise of bringing the membership up-to-the-minute in our complex world. We held in highest regard those candidates whose professional life and commitment was clearly exemplary, as the representation by those who know and appreciate what appraisers do on a day to day basis is so important to our membership. Luckily, we found many candidates that fit our search for the ‘perfect package’. I know you will have as hard a time deciding as we did. In addition our thanks go to an extraordinarily capable group of volunteers who stepped up to the plate and offered to run for the position of Board of Directors. You are the backbone of ISA and we are in your debt.

Be sure to cast your vote in this important process!

Mo Aubry, ISA CAPP, Chair
The Nominating Committee

(As a reminder, voting in ISA elections is limited to current ISA Associate, ISA Member, ISA Accredited Member and ISA CAPP Members; ISA Prospect, Candidate, Retired and Affiliate Members are not eligible to vote, per approved Bylaws.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Enhanced Report Writing Class to Convene Sept. 30

Ever confused over the types of acceptable report formats? Ever have to do an appraisal in an unusual or unique style due to the client's wishes? Ever done a government appraisal (not the IRS) and couldn't figure out what they really wanted?

This class is for you. It will review the 3 main appraisal reports and then introduce new types of formats including spread sheets, data management, charts, and official "laundry lists." We will also share ways of making your reports better and, at the same time, comply to both USPAP and ISA.

This is a chance for you to upgrade your products and get more work. In addition we will assist you in making your reports more readable, user friendly, and technologically state of the art.

This is a workshop. Friendly, suggestive, and helpful. It will not only take you to the next level of appraisal transmission, but enhance your work to a degree you thought not possible.

Register now. The class runs for 2 days at NIU in Naperville starting Sept. 30. 15 PDC's will be awarded.

To view the previous in depth ISA Forum post, click here.

Leon Castner, ISA CAPP
Director of Education

Monday, August 30, 2010


a.k.a. How to Become Designated in 3 Easy Steps

So how does one become certified within the appraisal community? Is it a matter of time, effort, or endurance? This article will provide you a simple roadmap to explain how to arrive at that seemingly elusive destination.

The Certified Appraiser of Personal Property designation was introduced in the appraisal community in the 1980’s through the efforts of ISA and Indiana University. It was designed to provide skills and training in personal property valuation to advance those within the profession. It was also meant to convey a standard of competence to the public by quickly recognizing the four letter designation. This standard, the CAPP, was the pinnacle of all we stood for in our society.

Although times and small details have changed, the program is basically the same as when it was instituted. It is based on three things: education, experience, and expertise.

ISA membership is tiered at three major levels*. The first full level, general membership, is the basic membership. It requires the passing of a general studies course in appraisal methodology and principles (The Core Course in Appraisal Studies) and a completion of the 15 hour USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice). The core course is presented and taught by ISA two or three times a year or is available through distance education (DE). The USPAP two day class is available throughout the country at many venues, including those given by ISA. You do not have to take the ISA version.

In addition to these educational requirements, we insist upon a three year documentation of appraisal or market experience. This can be working in the auction field, interning in a museum, being a dealer in antiques, collectibles, or a certain product, or a host of other related possibilities.

Once one has become a full member (as stated above), they may demonstrate their experience and knowledge in a select specialty area of their own choosing. ISA has a couple of broad categories that are available through completion of our own classes, like Fine Art or Antiques and Residential Contents. Both is slightly less than a week long and taught once or twice a year. (These two areas form the current bulk of our membership.) The jewelry division accepts certain GIA designations in lieu of a specific ISA course. We currently do not have a Machinery & Equipment class.

For those wishing acceptance of another specialty, proof and demonstration of their expertise is required. This is handled by the Special Studies Committee of ISA (SSC). They will review credentials and may ask for a brief thesis or paper of 8-10 pages that verifies expertise in that area. This allows for unique and narrow specialties that exist within our product fields. In addition, they will want to examine an actual appraisal in that product which supports the claimed mastery. Other courses may be approved without the rendering of a thesis, i.e. NAWCC Clock Course, since their programs have been pre-approved by ISA.

As you can see, the accredited level is about product knowledge. Since most, if not all, appraisers work in certain categories, this requirement of education or expertise is not burdensome or unreasonable. It is easily attainable by anyone working in this profession on a regular basis. For those young in the profession, it is most quickly and efficiently done through attendance at our approved FA or ARC class.

One the main changes in the CAPP program since its inception is the concept of certification. Originally ISA would award a designation in a certain area, like Fine Art. The designation would indicate a level of proficiency within the fine art field. This became confusing since it implied that the member was an expert in a category. Since “fine art” can be extremely broad-based and far reaching, to indicate a person was an expert in this entire field was misleading. At the same time, to indicate a member might be an expert in netsuke was extremely difficult to verify. The endless possibilities made it unworkable.

Therefore, ISA decided to award their highest designation, the CAPP, to those who have already achieved both a level of expertise in their specialty field, as proven in their AM designation, and in appraisal methodology and experience. The CAPP is now a general designation and specialty areas are declared by the member.

The process for achieving this highest level of membership is not elaborate, although not quite as simple as the AM. Once registered for the process through an application and fee, the applicant must prove their merit through the three avenues: education, experience, and expertise.

An applicant must pass a comprehensive examination on appraisal methodology and principles, similar to the Core Course exam take previously for general membership. Although not a “bar exam,” it does test the applicant in a very thorough manner.

The applicant must submit documentation proving 500 hours of appraisal experience (1/4 of a year full time) and 50 PDCs (Professional Development Credits). These are easily obtained through attendance at seminars, conference, and professional meetings and activities.

Finally, the applicant must submit two appraisal reports for peer review. These “products” of our knowledge are what we do on a regular basis and the submissions should be examples of our daily work. One is a self-contained report and the other a summary. Only a few items are necessary for these appraisals. The submission is not onerous.

The entire process from entrance as a new member to certified member can take as little as a year. Most full time appraisers can achieve the designation within five. It is not unattainable. In fact, the certified designation is what our society is all about. We strive for excellence in valuation theory and practice. We want our clients to be satisfied and comfortable knowing that our work is the very best and stands up to public scrutiny. Our CAPP is the declaration that our member is trained, tested, and qualified to do solve the valuation problem at hand.

*Other levels of membership, i.e. life member, associate, etc. may still exist due to previous credentialing processes, but are not considered the main three on the road to designation.

Leon Castner, ISA CAPP
Director of Education

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How to sign up for Forum email and Profile Changes

This is the fourth and final ISA Now installment on using the ISA Forum. This post is on how to sign up for email delivery of posts and how to change your profile.

First navigate to the ISA homepage at and click on the ISA Forum tab. The navigation tabs are located on the left side of the screen, with the forum tab being third from the bottom. Click on ISA Forum and the Welcome to the ISA Forum page loads. Click on the Proceed to ISA forum link (agreeing to terms of use) and the Forum sign in page appears.

On the left side of the screen is a group of navigation links. The second from the bottom is to edit your Forum profile. Click on that link. The sign in page for the Profile Editor will load. Sign in using your Forum username and password. Click Log in.

The profile editor page should now appear. At the top of the screen are some hotlinks and just below those links is information about you, including username, name and email. Check and make sure the information is correct, especially your email address.

The next step is to sign up for automatic email notifications and delivery. Click on Email Notification and the page will drop down to the correct settings section for adding email delivery. You will see the forums listed which are available to have new posts emailed to you. Click on the desired boxes, typically both Members and Education forums should be checked for member, staff and educational information. Below the email setting for Forums are some additional settings for your own posts and replies to your post. Check as you see fit and desire. Now click on save Profile Changes and the profile editor page reloads, stating changes successfully saved. That is all that is necessary for adding email delivery to your ISA Forum profile.

Within the Profile Editor are additional areas for listing information and settings about your forum account. You can add a picture of yourself, change preferences, change your password etc. Some of these ask you to fill in text areas, others will ask you to upload information and others to just check or uncheck a box to activate or deactivate. It is rather simple to follow. After you make your changes, click the Save Profile Changes and the changes will be saved.

Remember, if you do not click on Save Profile Changes, your changes will not become effective.

If you have any questions, please contact me at

Todd Sigety, ISA CAPP
ISA Treasurer

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How to Post a Photo on the ISA Forum

This post and screen cast is the third in a series of four ISA Now posts about using the ISA Forum. This ISA Now post will detail how to upload an image to the ISA Forum. In the not to recent past, image uploading was very difficult and confusing process with the need for HTML code to be placed into the post. I originally thought ISA was going to have to wait for an update of the forum software for this to change. Luckily I was able to find a work around and the process has now become much easier with no HTML code necessary and a simple upload and browse button.

The first step to uploading an image to the ISA Forum is to navigate to the ISA Home Page at The next step is to click on the ISA Forum navigation tab. This is located in the left hand column of the ISA Home page. The Forum tab is the third from the bottom.

When you click on the navigation tab to the ISA Forum, the welcome page will load. By clicking on the Proceed to ISA Forum link you are also agreeing to the terms of use. Please read and become familiar with the ISA Forum terms of use.

Click on the Proceed to ISA Forum link and the forum log in page will load. Fill in the text boxes for your username and password, then click on the Log In button. The ISA Forum page will load. Then click on the desired forum for your message and image. In the screen cast we will be using the Members Forum by clicking on Members. Then click on the thread topic. I will use the General Announcements category. When the new page loads there is a list of all of thread topics for the General Announcements category.

If you are commenting on an existing thread click on that topic. If you are starting a new thread, look for the start a new thread link between the thread topics and the posts that are not connected or related to any particular thread. To post in the uncategorized area scroll down to the bottom of the page for the Add a Message text box.

When you are at the Add Your Message Here portion of the page, type your message as described in an earlier ISA Now post, and to add an image click on the Upload an Attachment button. When you click on Upload an Attachment a new browser window will open asking for a description, for the screencast I will call it test image, and then click on the browse button to select the file from your computer. Click on the file you wish to upload to the forum and the program will automatically insert the proper directory and file for the upload. Next, click on the upload button. The window will state file uploaded. Click on the close box in the new window.

The forum now has the directory for where the image is located on your hard drive. Click on preview/post this message button. Your post will not be in the preview window and the image should load. Next click on Post this Message and message with image will be uploaded to the ISA Forum.

Remember your images need to be either in GIF or jpeg format. Try to use smaller thumbnail size images otherwise the file may not upload. Also, remember that images are not delivered in the forum email distribution list. Users have to be on the forum to see the images.

I hope this short tutorial with screen cast will be helpful the next time you need to upload an image to the ISA Forum. For questions or help please contact me at

Todd Sigety, ISA CAPP
ISA Treasurer

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to Post to the ISA Forum

This is the second in a series of four ISA News posts and screencasts on how to use the ISA Forum. this post deals with how to post to the ISA Forum.

Watch a video on how to post to Forum

The first step is to navigate to the ISA home page at

In the left column is a group of vertical navigation tabs, click the third tab from the bottom for the ISA Forum. The Welcome to the ISA Forum page loads.

In the middle of the page is a gray text box, and that by clicking on Proceed to ISA Forum link you are agreeing to the terms of use.

Click proceed to forum and the Log in page loads.

Type your user name into the appropriate text box, then tab or click to the password text box and type in your forum password. Click the log in button.

The topics page now loads with four forums to select from, Members, Education, Resources and Public,

for our example we will click on the Members Forum

The members forum opens with a list of thread categories and click on the category that is most applicable to your post.

In the screencast, I will select conference announcements (keep visiting ISA Now for news about Conference in Nashville. There has been a lot of very positive feedback on timing, location and speakers).

After clicking the conference announcements link the individual threads or posts are displayed. Here you can post directly to the general Conference Announcements category (in the middle to the lower end of the page, just scroll down), or select a previous thread to add a comment or start a new thread. I will start a new thread.

Click start a new thread. The start a new thread button or link is situated in between the list of threads/archives and the posts which are not within a sub category.

Type in subject, then type your post into the message text box.

Click on the preview/post button and make any necessary changes.

Click preview again to review or change or click post this message when ready to post.

Our next ISA Now post and screencast will be on posting images to the ISA Forum.

Todd W. Sigety, ISA CAPP
ISA Treasurer

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Forum How To: Logging In and Changing Your Password

The ISA Forum has long been one of ISA's strongest and most utilized benefits. It has facilitated ISA appraisers in gaining product knowledge, answering appraisal questions, and used as an outlet to vent and for updates on educational topics.

This ISA Now post with screencast is the first of a four part series about using the ISA Forum.

The four topics will be as follows:
  • How to sign up and change your password
  • How to post a discussion
  • How to posts a discussion with photos
  • How to sign up for auto email and make profile changes
How to sign up for the ISA Forum and change your password.

Many members already have a forum account, and surprisingly, many do not. ISA encourages all members to sign up and be active on the forum.

Watch a Video for Step-by-Step Forum Registration Instructions

The first step in gaining access to the ISA Forum is to open your computer's web browser and navigate to the ISA home page ( On the ISA home page, look on the left side of the screen for a group of vertical navigation tabs. Click on the third tab from the bottom for the ISA Forum.
That link will take you to the Forum welcome and terms of use page. If you are not familiar with the terms of use, please take a few minutes to read them. Note that by clicking on Proceed to ISA Forum hyperlink you agree to the terms of use.

Click on the Proceed to ISA Forum link. The ISA Forum log in page will appear.

For new users click on the Register for Account button, (it is just under the user name and password text boxes). When the registration page loads, complete the requested information. Some information is required, other information is optional. Required information is noted with a red asterisk.

Next is to select the various available forums, click the box for both the Education and Members (also distance if in the distance education program). Do not click on Directors or Presidents forums, although rarely used, they are for ISA board members and chapter presidents.

Complete optional personal profile information.

When done click on continue registration.

The site will return the following: "Your registration for a user account on this discussion board has been processed."

Within minutes you will receive an email stating your registration request is being processed. and that a second confirmation email will be sent after the registration review is complete.

Your forum registration request will then be reviewed ISA staff to ensure you are a member of ISA. The members forum is a member benefit, and only available to ISA members in good standing. After the staff review and approval, a second approval/confirmation email will be sent to you. This is an important email as you have to confirm through a hyper link your registration. If you have not heard of the status of your application within a few days, contact the ISA office at (312) 981-6778 .

The approval/confirmation email will request you click a link to activate your new forum account. If you do not click the link, your forum registration will not be complete. Make sure you check your email for this confirmation email and to click the link. Again, if you do not click the link in this email, your forum registration will not activate. Most of the account errors for new accounts are due to not finishing the registration process through this email and hyperlink.

After clicking the link in the approval/confirmation email, your browser will open a window to enter the password you originally used when setting up the account. When entered it will take you to the ISA Forum log in page to enter your user name and re-enter your password. After entering, click log in, and you should now be at the Forum Topics page showing the Members Forum, Education Forum, etc. You will not be able to select the category and topic to read and post on the ISA Forum.

To change your password, go to the ISA webpage and click on the ISA Forum tab, click proceed to forum. In the left column is a tree view of folders, second from the bottom is edit profile. Click on that folder/link. The Profile Editor will appear. Enter your username and password and the profile editor page will load.

Watch a Video on How to Change Your Password

At the top of the profile editor page is a list of options, click on change your password (third option form the bottom. Enter your new password and reenter to verify. Then click save profile changes. The profile page will reload with a notation that profile changes have been successfully saved. That's all there is to it.

If there are any questions, please contact me at

Todd Sigety, ISA CAPP
ISA Treasurer