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Friday, July 16, 2010

A Message from President Judith Martin

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and having some respite from the day-to-day grind. We have been busy getting speakers lined up for our Nashville conference. Assets 2011 is looking to be a really terrific meeting with many great venues, speakers and fun. You must make it a point to get there - no matter what - and as a reminder, the dates are February 19-21 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. Mark your calendars now!

We have also been very busy getting member records in order. Staff is working hard to make sure our member database is complete … Michelle and Sara (bless them) have been going through each member record one by one to verify information, update the database, and determine any missing documentation. For those who receive a letter from headquarters, please make sure you follow through with the needed information so that your records and credentials are correctly documented.

Perhaps the most important issue we have taken up is our financial well being. In the past year and a half, with the professional guidance of our management firm, Sentergroup, we have been able to make significant headway in both stabilizing our organization and positioning it for future growth. Some of ISA’s past financial struggles had bogged ISA down like walking through mud and in some specific instances, stopped us from moving forward on business initiatives we planned. ISA has worked very hard to wash the mud off and with your continued, active involvement, we are starting to move to solid ground.

To provide you with a bit of background, ISA is managed through a simple budget that is based on a myriad of revenue sources, including your membership dues. If you consider that we have 800 members, the dues component of ISA makes up a substantial, and vital, portion of our operations. As you can imagine, running ISA is a large operation and every month there are certain expenses that need to be paid just like every other business or household in the country. From courses to communications and office expenses to webinars, we strive to provide you benefits and programs that advance your career and the appraisal community. Recognizing the current economic times and how they affect you and ISA, I think it is important that I ask each of you, whenever possible, to pay your dues in a timely fashion. ISA depends on it.

Here are just a couple of ways you can help us achieve our goals:
  • Pay your annual dues when they are due. We have many members who pay 2 or 3 months late, after 3 and sometimes even 4 notices go out. Late dues payments cost ISA money with extra mailings and additional staff time, and they also affect our ability to pay our bills and other financial obligations in a timely manner.
  • Commit now to attend Assets 2011 in Nashville … and stay at the conference hotel. Did you know that there is a penalty that we owe a hotel if we do not fill our contracted number of hotel rooms? It isn’t that we are not getting enough attendees, it is that in some cases our members are staying at other hotels and in turn ISA is paying for the unused rooms due to attrition penalties.
Likewise, you can expect the ISA Board of Directors to be responsible stewards of your dues and continue to both create organizational efficiencies and provide you the best programs and services we can. Some major programs we would like to move forward with include a reformatting of the CORE manual and the launch of a more robust and appealing website. These programs are resource dependent and remain a top priority for the organization if we are to remain credible and viable.

I firmly believe that our members need to know where we are, and how we intend to move forward. I have faith that if members understand the needs of the Society, they will be proactive in keeping the organization alive and well. It is a responsibility of each of us to be active in our membership. This is not to say that all members have to volunteer for a committee if they choose not to. But it is each member’s responsibility to pay their dues on time, be proactive in maintaining their professional education and credentials, and understand that ISA’s success is based on a common good, not just an individual need.
Thanks for your time, and if you get a moment, take pause and enjoy the warmth of summer.

Judith Martin, ISA CAPP

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