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Friday, June 4, 2010

Welcome to the ISA Blog - a Message from President Judith Martin

Welcome to our first blog entry. ISA has started a blog focusing on society information, questions, answers, and ideas for the members. We want this to be an avenue that can be used for communication from the board, the office, and to the membership at large. So, I have been given the task of writing our first entry – here we go.

For those of you who did not attend the Toronto conference – you missed a great time and terrific seminars. But you will have a chance to visit with your colleagues again next February when we go to NASHVILLE for our annual conference (Feb 18 – 21, 2011). ISA has been trying to think outside the box for our future conference. And we know how much it takes for our members to join us, both in time and money. We have decided to make you all country music stars! – just joking, we have decided that next year we will have our conference at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, right at the end of the Heart of Country Antique Show ( We thought this might be a great way for our members who wish to visit a well known popular show and attend our must be there conference for a reasonable travel cost. Kill two birds with one stone idea. Plus we will be able to ask select specialists to stay on a few more days to speak to our attendees. Another plus – is the opportunity to spotlight ISA to the show goers as well as the dealers who are attending. We already have our division chairs working on the speakers, as well as the chair of the conference working on tours, guests, highlights and everything else. So, please mark your calendar, save your money and join us Feb 18 – 21, 2011 (can you believe it) for a good old time in Nashville. For those worried about the recent floods, we have been assured that the hotel will be just fine, and think of it this way – it will be new, new, new!

The staff of ISA lead by Joe Jackson our ED, has been working diligently to get our files in good order. When the files arrived from Seattle, it was discovered that not everyone’s information was correct or up to date. We are asking you as a member, to please check your status on the web site to make sure it is correct. The staff has done a good job of checking the individual members information, but truthfully, they need confirmation from the membership. When you get your renewal forms you will be asked to check your own information and sign off on it so that we have a solid database that we can continue to build upon.

The board has approved a change in the annual dues schedule. Beginning 2011, members will be moved to a January renewal date for everyone that will go into effect in 2012. We really thought long and hard about this one, but have decided that we need a single point of renewal for our membership so that we know who has renewed and who has not. We would appreciate if everyone renew as soon as you get your renewal notices, as we need our dues to pay for our staff and bills. We know that this past year has been especially tough for our members, with the estate regs going away for a while, fewer donations due to losses by the public in the market, and less insurance appraisals just to mention a few economic reasons; and we still need to have our credentials to do our profession. But if you do not renew you lose your connection to your profession, your colleagues and the information you need to keep current in your chosen profession. So, please do not delay, send your renewal payments in when you receive them.

These past two years have been a time of society revival and renewal: what works, what doesn’t , how can we change things for the better, what does our membership need , how can we as an organization help our members, how do we reach the public that needs our services, who is our target audience, etc., etc.,

For a while there, in all honesty, things were not working well. Members felt that they were a nuisance to the office staff; they felt that office staff did not necessarily respect them and what we did for a profession, they felt there was little communication from headquarters or the board. We have been changing all that and I hope you have noticed. It is the organizations goal to give customer service to the membership. It is the staff’s job to assist the member as much as possible given the parameters of the problem. It is the staff’s job to listen to the problem and to find the answer in the most expedient manner possible. But, answers are not always possible in a moment, an hour, sometimes in a day or week. The staff can only work with the information you give them and the files they have access to so they can unravel the problem. Plus, we have some pretty new staff members who are still learning the processes, policies and all the ins and outs of ISA. So as they say, patience is a virtue and we are much more complicated than you would imagine.

In that same vein, ISA can market ISA towards potential members, it can market toward users of our members’ services – but it cannot and does not refer individual members to potential clients. Clients are pointed to the website to find a suitable appraiser for their needs – so again, you the member need to make sure that the information on the web site is correct so that potential clients can find you when the need arises.

It takes a lot of time and energy to keep this organization moving forward. Today, with every week comes a new issue that needs to be addressed. We are fortunate that we have found a good mix with our Sentergroup staff and the ISA Board. We understand and respect each other. We are working really well together to make ISA move towards the success it deserves. Please know that we have the membership’s interest at heart and are doing our very best to solve some of our problems, some can be solved quickly, some are going to take a little longer – but I will ask you, hang in there with us.

One of the points of this blog is to let you know that I will be writing something to the membership once a month. I think the more you know, the better informed you are factually and the better our society will be for it. Thanks for your time and you will be hearing from me soon.

Judith Martin, ISA CAPP
President, ISA

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You are right on with the positive views about the direction ISA is now taking. It was and is quite obvious both at this year's converence and from your leadership: a continuation of growth, national recognition, stellar service, and a respect for all involved. Good job and much appreciation to you, the board, and the staff.