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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays from ISA

Happy Holidays from ISA!

As 2011 comes to a close, we reflect back on what has been a very busy year for ISA, including record attendance at the annual meeting that took place in Nashville along with increased course attendance and continued partnerships with the Northern Illinois University.

ISA is also proud to have welcomed 64 new candidates for membership this year!

We look forward to the New Year and all of the excitement that it is sure to bring.  We are pleased to announce the launch of a brand new website for the Society during the first week of January 2012 – this has been an exciting and in-depth process and we are anxious to unveil the final results and culmination of member and task-force feedback.  Watch your email over the next two weeks for further details.

ISA is headed west for Assets 2012, which is taking place April 20-23 in Tempe, AZ at the Tempe Mission Palms. We’re also kicking off the educational courses early with offerings of both the Requalification and 15 Hour USPAP courses, taking place in January.

Due to the holidays, ISA Headquarters will be closed on the following dates:
Monday, December 26
Monday, January 2

We are looking forward to 2012 being another successful year for the Society as well as for our members! We wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

4th Quarter Member Applicants and New ISA CAPPs

ISA is proud to announce our newest ISA CAPP members for the fourth quarter of 2011:

Ron Freeman – Phoenix, AZ
Andrea Thorin – Foster City, CA

Congratulations on all of your hard work and this outstanding achievement!

We are also pleased to introduce our 14 new membership applicants for this quarter.  Please join us in welcoming these applicants to the Society.

Caroline Ashleigh – Birmingham, MI
Valerie Bennet – Chicago, IL
Carolyn Day – Chicago, IL
Leila Dunbar – New York, NY
Miller Gaffney – Columbia, SC
Margaret Gratz – Norristown, PA
Deirdre Hoffer – Vancouver, BC
Mikhail Khandros – Maplewood, NJ
Leonardo F. Rivera Gomez – Bogota, Cundinamarca
Teresa Sarkisian – Oakland, CA
Zelma Sedano – Sardis, MS
Gabrielle Stickley – Cleveland, OH
Mark Woehrle – Hamilton, ON
Judy Youens – Houston, TX

Congratulations on taking this important step in furthering your professional career and welcome to ISA!

If you would like to recommend someone for membership, please forward their contact information to Sara Porter:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Would you like to be a guest blogger on ISA Now?  As a guest blogger you can share a story, experience or expertise with the ISA Now readers. Have you had an interesting 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 you. We would like to hear how ISA has made a difference in your professional or personal life. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, contact Michelle Stearns, Education and Credentialing Coordinator at: to learn more about the process or to submit a post.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


ISA is pleased to announce the opening of registration for the 2012 courses! ISA has expanded its course offerings and will host 15 different courses in a three different locations: Tempe, AZ, Naperville, IL and Dallas, TX.  To register for an upcoming 2012 course, please visit the ISA Store.

Registration for the Distance Education Core Course in Appraisal Studies as well as the Distance Education Requalification course is available at any time. Course descriptions may be viewed, here.

The 2012 course brochure will be hitting mail boxes very soon.  If you have any questions regarding the upcoming 2012 course offerings, please contact Michelle Stearns, Education & Credentialing Coordinator at:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Looking Forward to 2012

 As 2011 comes to its conclusion, we look forward to 2012 as an exciting year for ISA and our members.  The ISA Board meeting at the end of October was a great success with many member initiatives scheduled for the New Year.

The new ISA website should be up and functioning for the start of 2012.  This new website has been developed from the ground-up, and will function as the center point for promoting ISA and our members.  It will include appraisal news, appraisal information, member updates, social media connections and most importantly a newly designed find an appraiser search utility with proximity functionality and enhanced member profiles.  The new website will be graphically pleasing and intuitive, incorporating the most up to date technology and programming features. The new site will be an important tool for ISA and members to interact with the public and allied professionals.

 Built into the website will be a new and robust member database section, new forum software, e-commerce connectivity, plus member and staff functionality for easily updating member accounts.  In adding the database functionality, which is directly connected and interactive with the website, ISA will now move away from the rather difficult, non user friendly system we have been using for the past several years.  The web design team is now working on the transfer of membership records to the new database and the added efficiencies will greatly enhance our operations and tracking requirements.

Beyond the website and member database, ISA continues with important back room operations updates.  In addition to the new website for 2012, we will begin digitizing member records.  This will allow for easy searches by staff on current and historical information for members, such as certificates on file, class completion information, milestones etc.

As a sign of our growth and seriousness for proper internal controls, the ISA Board has also asked Sentergroup to contract with an independent financial auditing firm to perform a complete and industry accepted audit of our financial records.

The ISA Board is also looking at a complete review and renewal of our committee structure.  ISA has been operating under the same committee system for years, and it is now time for a complete review and updating.  This review will look to both consolidate and add new committees.  New committees under consideration include an ISA by-law and governance committee, a membership committee, finance and audit committee, as well as marketing and resource groups.  The new committee structure will support ISA's growth and efficiency while enhancing our ability to provide and encourage new leadership and member management.

ISA also plans to continue promoting our brand and our appraisers in 2012.  We have already started this process with a three month color half page ad in Maine Antiques Digest during the last quarter of 2011.  Once the new website goes live, future professionally designed marketing and promotional campaigns will be devised to include cross channel branding and social media marketing. We have allocated money in the 2012 budget for advertising and promotional campaigns to advance our brand, market the importance of personal property appraising, promote ISA as the leading appraisal association and encourage the hiring of ISA credentialed appraisers.

ISA has the reputation of having the best appraisal conferences and education.  Assets 2012 is no different and continues with our strong tradition of offering the latest scholarship in product knowledge, current appraisal trends and appraisal methodology.  The three day conference (four with tours) will include motivation speakers, art law discussions, media channel talks, mid century modern discussions, inspection and condition topics, and good, better, best analysis to name only a few, plus all of the networking and socialization that has become a staple of an ISA conference.  Members can look for updated ARC and Fine Art classes as well as new course offerings in 2012.

With the new website, membership database and record digitization, most of the backroom and capital intensive operations and updates for ISA will be complete.  Funding that has been used for these long term investments will soon be allocated for membership benefits and societal growth.

Now when someone asks what does your appraisal association do for you, it will be easy to respond. ISA offers the best appraisal education, the best marketing outreach, the best credentialing options, the best conference, the best association management, the best members forum, the best member services/support and of course the best members in the profession.

Sorry I got a little long winded on this post, but ISA is progressing quickly to enhance our membership experience.  It is a good time to be an ISA member.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Todd W. Sigety, ISA CAPP
President, ISA

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Board Election Results

Just a few short weeks ago, the ISA Board of Directors held their annual meeting in Chicago, IL. Each year, three board members retire and three new board members are seated. We’d like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the three outgoing board members, all of whom played an important role in the growth and direction of the ISA over the past 3-6 years: Fred Winer ISA CAPP, Christine Corbin ISA CAPP, and Jim Poag ISA CAPP.

Please join us in welcoming our three newest board members, who are beginning their 3-year terms: Cindy Charleston-Rosenberg ISA CAPP, Nini Hamalainen ISA CAPP, and Selma Paul ISA CAPP.

At the close of the meeting, the election of new officers took place. Congratulations to the following:

President:           Todd Sigety ISA CAPP (2-Year Term)
Vice President:   Terri Ellis ISA CAPP (1-Year Term)
Treasurer:           Steve Roach ISA AM (1-Year Term)
Secretary:           Libby Holloway ISA CAPP (1-Year Term)

Continuing their terms are returning board members Judith Martin ISA CAPP, and Sally Ambrose ISA CAPP.

The Board of Directors continues to work hard on your behalf to ensure that ISA remains the leading international organization for personal property appraisers!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In Defense of Specialists and Specialty Studies Committee

When asked about the purpose and function of ISA’s Specialty Studies Committee (SSC), I simply recite what has become a mantra: “No one can know everything…” 

I usually follow with an analogy comparing doctors to appraisers.  You have a problem:  you have a headache, fever, your throat hurts, your neck is swollen, and it hurts to swallow.  Although a general physician may diagnose your infected tonsils, (hopefully) he/she will not remove them.  Instead, a competent doctor will refer a surgeon.  Your problem is solved, not by one doctor, but by a team of specialists.

The same is true for appraisers.  The competent general household contents appraiser refers specialists for certain properties--the gems and jewelry appraiser for the Cartier ring, the machinery and equipment appraiser for the 1952 Mercedes Gullwing, and the fine art appraiser for the Dali prints.  Certain properties have subtle market complexities that require more than comparables (or an internet connection), but also a certain amount of expertise and experience that only specialists can provide.

But there is a corollary to my mantra:  “No one wants to know what they don’t know…”  One of the more difficult tasks for the competent appraiser is to know when to refer a specialist.  Sometimes we are tempted to appraise property that may require a specialist, but convince ourselves that we can perform it, by rationalizing that, “I’m saving the client time and money by doing it myself.”  But because we don’t have immediate knowledge of an object/artist/market/etc., we have to spend extra time trying to access it, and that time adds up.  In our efforts to save a client time and money, we may cost them those very things.  Then, not only are our efforts counterproductive, but we fear our client comes to that same realization.  Or worse, the client takes action upon it.  How much time and money does court cost?

In fact, you save both your and your client’s time and money by referring specialists.  Moreover, you build a network of relationships with experts in their fields who likely don’t share your knowledge about other property.  By referring, you get referrals.  But most importantly, you may save your reputation by not appraising a property, and instead, referring a specialist.

Members who attended conference in Charleston, SC in 2009, may remember Roger Durkin’s excellent presentation citing how a really good lawyer needs only our resume to discredit us on a witness stand.  Next time, when deciding whether to accept an assignment by building a team and referring a specialist, or go it alone by doing it all yourself, maybe the mantra should not be, “No one can know everything,” but rather, “am I willing to take a witness stand?”

The need for specialists creates the need for a Specialty Studies Committee.

Scott W. Hale, ISA AM
Chair, ISA Specialty Studies Committee

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ISA Concludes 2011 Course Offerings

ISA recently concluded its course offerings for 2011.  Last week ISA held three courses: Advanced Report Writing, Requalification and the 15-Hour USPAP. All courses took place in Naperville, IL at the Northern Illinois University Naperville Campus. We would like to announce those course participants and congratulate them on take the necessary steps to further their industry knowledge.

Advanced Report Writing  Course: October 31- November 1
Hughene Acheson – Oakville, ON
Sally Ambrose, ISA CAPP – Leavenworth WA
Bette Bell, ISA CAPP – Edmonds, WA
Marcet Bliss, ISA AM – Leesburg FL
Ric Emmet, ISA AM – Coral Gables, FL
Paula Fox, ISA AM – Bensalem, PA
Elizabeth Gaidos, ISA AM – Santa Rosa, CA
Kathleen Greenaway, ISA CAPP – Mountain View, CA
Darlene Hines, ISA CAPP – Bloomfield Hills, MI
Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP – Beaufort, SC
Alyssa Loney, ISA AM – Carlisle, PA
Rosalind Lyness, ISA AM – Oshkosh, WI
Judy Martin, ISA CAPP – Wheaton, IL
Sue McGovern-Huffman, ISA – Washington, DC
Suzy McGrane-Hop, ISA CAPP – Cedar Rapids, IA
Shell Payton – Montgomery, AL
Cathy Peters, ISA CAPP – Naperville, IL
Suzanne Staley, ISA CAPP – Santa Fe, NM
Fred Winer, ISA CAPP – Baltimore, MD 

Requalification Course: November 2-3
Marcet Bliss, ISA AM – Leesburg, FL
Susan Boze, ISA AM – Richmond, VA
Robin Braswell, ISA AM – Satellite Beach, FL
Molly Butler, ISA AM – Columbus, OH
Keith DeLong, ISA AM – Federal Way, WA
Tabitha Doby, ISA AM – Houston, TX
Robert Dunlap, ISA – Wichita, KS
Miles Quinten Fitterman, ISA AM – Minneapolis, MN
Elizabeth Gaidos, ISA AM – Santa Rosa, CA
Zia Ghahary, ISA CAPP Life Member – Franklin Lakes, NJ
Kathleen Greenaway, ISA CAPP – Mountain View, CA
Marcia Harris, ISA AM – San Antonio, TX
Kathi Jablonsky, ISA CAPP – San Diego, CA
Alleen LaScala, ISA AM – Stuart, FL
Adrian Lewis, ISA AM – Houston, TX
David Mapes, ISA CAPP – Vestal, NY
Judy Martin, ISA CAPP – Wheaton, IL
Sue McGovern-Huffman, ISA – Washington, DC
Shannon Mitchell, ISA AM – Fayetteville, AR
Kim Morrison – Hinsdale, IL
Mike Odell, ISA – Edmonds, WA
Steven Roach, ISA AM – Dallas, TX
Mandy Sabbaddini, ISA AM – Carmichale, CA
Emil Simon, ISA AM – Aurora, ON
Melanie Smith, ISA AM – Nags Head, NC
Terry Stubbs, ISA AM – Abilene, TX
Patricia Thompson, ISA CAPP – Tupelo, MS
Rhonda Tollstrup, ISA AM – Carrollton, TX
Kathleen Victor, ISA CAPP – Redmond, WA
Scott Zema, ISA CAPP – Seattle, WA

15-Hour USPAP Course: November 4-5
Tracy Bernabo – Ashland, VA
Marcet Bliss, ISA AM – Leesburg, FL
E. Ross Bradley – Edmonton, AB
Madeline Brophy – Dallas, TX
Susan Busch – Bradenton, FL
Elenaor Carmack, ISA AM – Tulsa, OK
Michelle Castro – New Orleans, LA
Keith DeLong, ISA AM – Federal Way, WA
Dennis Godfrey – Bradenton, FL
Holly Hackwith – Omaha, NE
Lorie Hart – Solon, OH
Lorretta Harwood, ISA AM – Western Springs, IL
Jessica Heerten – Lincoln, NE
Laurie Johnson – Tucson, AZ
Brian Kathenes, ISA CAPP – Hope, NJ
Christianna Kay – Hampstead, NC
Chelsea Kozachenko – Fort Worth, TX
Lisa Lowy – Solon, OH
David Mapes, ISA CAPP – Vestal, NY
Catherine Martin – Wheaton, IL
Daniel Matthews – Nokomis, IL
Sue McGovern-Hoffman, ISA – Washington, DC
Shannon Mitchell, ISA AM – Fayetteville, AR
Shell Payton – Montgomery, AL
Jeffrey Pearson – Phoenix, AZ
Stacey Porter – Winnetka, IL
Lynn Roberts – Tucson, AZ
Jeani Shankle – Raleigh, NC
Melanie Smith, ISA AM – Nags Head, NC
Terry Stubbs, ISA AM – Abilene, TX
Patricia Thompson, ISA CAPP – Tupelo, MS
Rhonda Tollstrup, ISA AM – Carrollton, TX
Deric Torres – Oakland, CA
Robert Trapp, ISA CAPP – Las Vegas, NV
Kathleen Victor, ISA CAPP – Redmond, WA
Rosalie Wardell – Healdsburg, CA
Scott Zema, ISA CAPP – Seattle, WA

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

ISA Announces Course Attendees

ISA would like to announce the attendees of the recent Core Course in Appraisal Studies as well as the Appraisal of Antiques and Residential Contents course.  The Core Course in Appraisal Studies took place October 17-23 and the Appraisal of Antiques and Residential Contents course followed on October 24-29; both courses took place in Naperville, IL at the Northern Illinois University Naperville Campus.

Core Course in Appraisal Studies

Tracy Bernabo – Ashland, VA
Gus Bynum – Georgetown, KY
Jerry Copland – Memphis, TN
Carolyn Day – Chicago, IL
Randy Denosowicz - Dallas, TX
Janie Fountain – Sausalito, CA
Nigel Harrison – Vancouver, BC
Daniel Matthews – Nokomis, IL
Jeffrey Pearson – Phoenix, AZ
Amy Piotrowski – Toronto, ON
Stacey Porter – Winnetka, IL
Jody Scott-Olson – Royalton, MN
Wendy Treacy – Aurora, ON
Lori Weidow – DuBois, PA
Nichole Wilson – DuBois, PA
Judy Youenes – Houston, TX

Appraisal of Antiques and Residential Contents

Jennifer Bird – Coral Gables, FL
Gus Bynum – Georgetown, KY
Jaime Corbacho, ISA – Los Angeles, CA
Katherine Cutlip – Winter Park, FL
Randy Denosowicz – Dallas, TX
Reba Jo Fleming, ISA – Amarillo, TX
Bryne Hagstrom – Egene, OR
Shelley Hall, ISA AM – Bend, OR
Lorie Hart – Solon, OH
Kay Helker – Platteville, WI
Georgia Jobes – Boerne, TX
Lisa Lowy – Solon, OH
Holly Nelson, ISA – Braham, MN
Laura Nelson, ISA – Tulsa, OK
Shell Payton – Montgomery, AL
Jeani Shankle – Raleigh, NC
Suzanne Staley, ISA CAPP – Santa Fe, NM
Jess Sturtevant – Bradenton, FL
Maureen Winer, ISA – Baltimore, MD

Congratulations to those who attended these courses and in taking this important step in further your industry knowledge!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thank you

Dear Colleagues,

As I begin to ready for my last Board meeting as President of ISA I wanted to share some thoughts and thank you’s.
Four years ago when I was fortunate enough to be elected to the Board of Directors I came to the position with a great depth of knowledge regarding the workings of ISA; or so I thought.  As a CORE instructor for many years I had dealt with eight different Boards of Directors,  2 Executive Directors, 3 Education Coordinators at headquarters, numerous staff changes  and seven other CORE instructors not counting the Distance Education CORE instructors who at one time numbered 24 total.  And this was just my time as an instructor.

As a member of ISA for nearly twenty years now I have seen many changes.  Some of the changes were very good, and some unfortunately were not.  But hopefully the not so good changes went by the way side as the organization worked its way through growing pains.   When I joined ISA we were a profit-based organization headed and owned by Maury Fry.  We are now and have been for many years a not-for-profit organization owned by our members.   My how times have changed. 

The profession of Personal Property Appraising has been making great changes over these past 30+ years ISA has existed.  We have been at the forefront of these changes every step of the way.  Many times the changes to our programs and/or positions have been followed or copied by other organizations and that is perfectly fine. Actually it is quite a complement to our group. 

When I came to the Board ISA was certainly at a crossroads.  I know that many members had worked very hard to keep our organization moving forward.  We were in a very troublesome financial condition.  We were in need of real professional guidance, perseverance and financial belt-tightening.  And so as a group we put our heads down and went to work.  The first thing to change was our business model of running our organization – from a self-contained office to a society managed office.  And so we moved to Chicago. 
Our first management group didn’t work out so well, but you don’t know until you try.  We didn’t stay with them very long and landed at Sentergroup.  What a fortunate day that was.  I have to say when I first met Craig Sondalle of Sentergroup I thought him a little too sharp.  I really thought he was just trying to sell us, and so did the other Board members who met with him.  Funny, we decided to go with the other guy; we should have gone with the sharp young man the first time around. With the help of Sentergroup led by Craig Sondalle and our Joe Jackson we have moved mountains to be on solid financial footing.  It is my hope that in the future the decision makers will make good financial decisions to keep us moving forward.  

Things are moving upward and forward.  I believe that the changes that are afoot are good for ISA and as these changes are publicized I hope that the majority of the members will approve.    I cannot share with you all that we have been working on.  But you do know about the website – it is coming soon, it takes more time than you can imagine as there are many pieces to the puzzle.  But the puzzle is almost complete and it makes a pretty picture. 

So before I change my seat at the BoD I would like to give a few public thank you’s.   First to Gloria Moroni for teaching from the beginning the correct way to be a professional appraiser and for taking me to “her” meetings to meet “her” associates, thanks mom.  To my daughter Kate Martin who has been my work partner so that I could do my ISA work, and who now is an appraiser like her grandmother and mother.
To my fellow past instructors who had taught me so much and helped me to understand the needs of the ISA education program; so that when I was in the position to do something about it, I could and I did.
To my fellow Board members these past four years –for your support, your hard work and your input – I am so proud to have served with each and every one of you.   I look forward to my remaining two years to see the projects we have worked on come to fruition.

And to the members of ISA who have listened and understood my vision.  Through your support I know that we are on a good path, I know that we have turned a huge corner, and I know that ISA will be around for years to come.  I would ask just one thing from those of you who can: step up, join in and have your voice heard – you never know where a strong voice can bring you – maybe to one of the most  exhausting , fulfilling and joyful  positions in your life. 
Thank you
Judith Martin, ISA CAPP
President, ISA  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ISA Recognizes Course Attendees

ISA would like to announce the attendees of the recent Appraisal of Fine Arts course:

Lauren Bradley, ISA – Fountainville, PA
Madeline Brophy – Dallas, TX
Michelle Castro – New Orleans, LA
Moncia Fidel, ISA AM – Miami, FL
Sylvia Fraley, ISA – St. Louis, MO
Carlette Fredrickson, ISA – Springdale, AR
Wendy Gerdau, ISA – Los Angeles, CA
Holly Hackwith – Omaha, NE
Kelly Knoll – West Bloomfield, MI
Shannon Law – Minneapolis, MN
Kim Morrison – Hinsdale, IL
Scott Palmer, ISA – Elgin, IL
Cindy Stephenson, ISA AM – Southampton, PA
Irene Szylinger, ISA – Toronto, ON
Wendy Treacy – Aurora, ON
Rosalie Wardell – Healdsburg, CA
Elise Waters – El Prado, NM

Congratulations to those who attended the course and taking this important step in further your industry knowledge!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Recent Activities of the Marketing and Promotions Committee

This has been a busy summer for the Marketing and Promotions Committee.  We have redone the piece that goes to potential sponsors and advertisers so that it offers more year-round opportunities for a wider range of budgets (view it here!), placed an ad in Maine Antiques Digest which will run through the fall, brainstormed ideas for future ads, added free links in related industry websites and started reworking our old prospecting brochure.  What’s really great about all this activity is that many members took one project and ran with it.  Some people really did commit hours of effort into their project but most helped achieve major goals with short time commitment.  I say this to let all of you know that there is plenty of room for more busy appraisers to make a contribution to the society through committee involvement. 

When asked what membership benefits are important, members consistently say advertising that leads to jobs for our appraisers.  I commend the creativity of the members of the Marketing and Promotions committee for their efforts to find ways to promote ISA and the use of its members to those who hire us.  We will also be promoting the advantages of our educational system to those who are considering becoming appraisers.  Another aspect of this committee’s task is to find sponsors and advertisers to help pay for further educational programs and for our annual conference.  Now, I understand that raising money is not a favorite hobby for most of you but surprisingly this is one of the most rewarding aspects of my service.  I have had several calls from sponsors who attend conference just to tell me how impressed they are with our programs.  They all tell me that our members are friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.   You are the ones who have resold them on the value of continuing to sponsor and advertise with us. 

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Marketing and Promotions committee please contact board liaisons Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP at: or Steve Roach, ISA AM at: for information on current projects. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Online Registration Open for Assets 2012

The full program is just a few weeks away from being launched, but you can register for Assets 2012 online now and make your hotel arrangements today! Super Saver pricing is in effect for the remainder of 2011. Register by December 31st in order to receive $150 off the regular registration price.

Here is a look at the schedule to help you plan your trip. More details are coming soon!

Abbreviated Schedule

Friday, April 20, 2012: Optional Tour Day for ARC and Fine Art
Saturday, April 21, 2012: Full day of education
Sunday, April 22, 2012: Full day of education
Monday, April 23, 2012: Half day of education, meeting adjourns at 2:15pm

We’ve highlighted all the ways that you can save while attending Assets 2012. We look forward to seeing you at the Tempe Mission Palms in Tempe, Arizona, April 20-23, 2012!
Through the end of 2011, we are offering a special discount of $150 off the regular conference pricing. Also, pricing for the 2012 Conference has not increased and Assets 2012 will offer additional breakfasts and lunches for attendees, lessening your out-of-pocket costs while at the meeting. Act fast to take advantage of the lowest registration fees possible!  Tours are limited and registration for them is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Payment Plan
Pay 50% of your meeting registration at the time of registration and the balance on March 31, 2012.  This option is available if you register on or prior to Tuesday, March 1, 2012 and for credit card users only.  This option is not available with online registration. For more details please see the registration form that accompanies the Advance Program in November.

Chapter/Group Discounts
ISA will offer a special group discount of $50 off the current registration fee for groups of 8 registrants or more. This option is not available with online registration. The registration forms must be submitted with full payment and must be submitted at the same time.  Email for more information.

Referral Program
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 Tempe Mission Palms during the conference ($179 value).  Email your names to by December 1, 2011.  There’s no limit on the number of names you can provide!

Discounted Hotel Rates
By committing to a block of rooms at the Tempe Mission Palms, 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 March 17, 2012 – room and rate availability cannot be guaranteed after that date. For more information or to reserve your room, click here.

Airport Shuttle Service
With your stay at the Tempe Mission Palms, you are able to receive complimentary roundtrip transportation between the conference hotel and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.  The Advance Program will provide more details; no reservations are necessary.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New ISA CAPP Members and Membership Applicants

ISA would like to announce our newest ISA CAPP members for the third quarter of 2011:

Michelle Angerman Soffer – Los Angeles, CA
Susan Fisher – Jacksonville, FL
Valerie Hale – Atlanta, GA

Congratulations on all of your hard work and this outstanding achievement!

We would also like to introduce our 19 new membership applicants for this quarter.  Please join us in welcoming these applicants to the Society.

Tracy Bernabo – Ashland, VA
David Brandt – Honolulu, HI
Madeline Brophy – Dallas, TX
Randolph Denosowicz - Dallas, TX
Katrina Enros – Toronto, ON
Nigel Harrison – Vancouver, BC
Jessica Heerten – Lincoln, NE
Laurie Johnson – Tuscon, AZ
Christopher Karn – Mission Viejo, CA
Kelly Knoll – Weset Bloomfield, MI
Alison Neumann – Naperville, IL
Jeffrey Pearson – Phoenix, AZ
Amy Piotrowski – Toronto, ON
Stacey Porter – Winnetka, IL
Lynn Roberts – Tucson, AZ
Kristina Ryan – Nashville, TN
John Weeden – Memphis, TN
Lori Weidow – DuBouis, PA
Nichole Wilson – DuBois, PA

Congratulations on taking this important step in furthering your professional career and welcome to ISA!

If you would like to recommend someone for membership, please forward their contact information to Sara Porter:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Election Results

We are pleased to report that the ballot counting process for this year’s Board of Directors election took place last week. Just over 300 ballots were received this year, considered a very strong rate of response.

Congratulations to ISA’s three newest incoming Board members:

Aloysia “Nini” Hamalainen, ISA CAPP (Silver Spring, MD)
Selma Paul, ISA CAPP (Atlanta, GA)

Cindy Charleston Rosenberg, ISA CAPP (Elkins Park, PA)

 Thank you to all the members who participated in this important process by taking the time to submit your votes. Also, special thanks to two local Chicago area members, Martha Peck, ISA AM and Richard Meliska, ISA AM, who came into the ISA office to supervise the ballot counting process.
Nini, Selma, and Cindy will become officially seated at the next ISA Board of Directors meeting on October 29 in Chicago.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wow What an Eye Opening Experience!

As my time comes to an end as Vice President of ISA I thought it would be a good time to look back at some the pleasures and the pains of the past three years. Having served as a volunteer in many other areas of ISA, from Education to Ethics to Course Writing the position on the board has certainly been the most challenging to date. I came to the Board with a long list of goals and dreams that I had gathered from others as well as those developed on my own for ISA. This excitement quickly washed away as the Board was put into survival mode running very short on funds, losing our line of credit and changing association management companies. The Board had to meet one to two times a week in December which for many of us was the busiest month of the year for our businesses. I was so proud and honored to be considered part of this amazing team. The Board worked together and made solid logical business decisions which brought ISA back from the brink of disaster. 

Over the next few months, the Board spent what seemed like forever in survival mode, putting out "fire" after "fire" to ensure ISA's survival. The assistance and direction from Craig Sondalle at SenterGroup and his style of management was invaluable. He would present the facts, different options to deal with them and leave the decision to the Board. His style assisted our Board in making some very difficult decisions while still leaving the ultimate control of ISA in the Boards votes.

After that first crazy year we were actually able to step out of survival mode and look forward, setting goals for ISA, keeping in mind they had to be achievable with very limited funds and critically prioritized for the benefit of ISA and the members.
We have seen a balanced budget, the elimination of the line of credit, a Director of Education, a Core Course re-write, an increase in ISA dedicated staff at SenterGroup, an extremely successful conference, the start of revised credentialing program with the help of ICE, an excitement from members I have not seen in years about ISA's future and many more accomplishments.

I would like to thank Craig Sondalle, SenterGroup, the present and past ISA Board members and the membership for the amazing experience of being involved with the Board at such a decisive time for ISA.  Three years ago I wanted to get involved in the Board and make some positive changes for ISA and leave the Board "better than I found it". I believe I have done this and in turn I have also benefited. I encourage others to get involved and do the same.

Vice President, ISA

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So, why did YOU choose ISA?

I will always remember the job I lost because I did not have any credentials.  The job was an estate sale for a man who owned a house full of marketable high end “stuff”.  I wanted that job, and I knew that I would be his best choice, but aside from providing my great references, I could not say that I belonged to a professional organization.  In fact there were no organizations for estate sellers to which I could apply for membership. On that day, ten years ago, my search began and another world opened to me. 
Researching organizations pertinent to estate sales led me to the appraisal organizations. Not knowing any appraisers I could not ask for advice, I endeavored to find the right group for me. I considered AAA, ASA and ISA carefully and came to the conclusion that ISA would be most suitable for my geographical location and my background in sales of jewelry, art, and antiques. 
We all have stories about how we came to be appraisers.  Our backgrounds are varied, the stories diverse, but one thing we all have in common: we seek to be professional.  Every day we have a choice in which jobs we take, what clients we accept, what assignments will be our focus.  To quote my favorite economist, Milton Friedman, we are “Free to Choose” as we vote with our dollars. The fact that you have chosen ISA demonstrates this clearly as you vote for ISA each year you submit your membership dues.
Allow me to share the recent informal research I have compiled with regard to the three major appraisal organizations.  In the searchable Internet databases provided by the organizations, there are more than 1300 appraisers of personal property in the USA.  Taken by state, ISA membership dominates in 30, equals others in four, does not exist in two where others have a presence, and shares an absence in three.  Of the 30 states where ISA is the strongest, there are 15 states where ISA membership significantly dominates. Of the 1300+ total appraisers listed in the searchable databases, ASA has 19.6%, AAA has 28.7%, and ISA has 51.7%. That is a strong membership base.
Of the total membership in all three organizations, the following percentages of highest membership designations were noted: AAA Certified members 83%; ASA Accredited Senior Appraisers 61%; and ISA CAPPS 18.6%.  Specialty by category based on those who responded to the latest ISA membership survey revealed that 63% are ARC, 24% are Fine Art, and 7% are GJ.
What all this means will be different to each of us.  We can be proud of the fact that ISA enjoys a strong presence in the appraisal community.  As an organization we can strive to increase the percentage of certified members. Individually you are free to choose your organizational affiliations and your level of membership within those groups.  As you endeavor to be the best appraiser you can be I encourage you to extend that energy to the association you have chosen as your own.  
I appreciate the generous support ARC members have provided over the past four years.  Please consider how you could contribute in any way, large or small, to make ISA the best it can be.
Selma Paul, ISA CAPP
Chair Antiques & Residential Contents

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


When I began to consider a career as a fine art appraiser I was advised by someone in the art field to join one of the other three professional appraisal organizations. It was one that this person deemed to be more esteemed for appraising fine art. Valuing this professional’s advice, I took it under consideration but joined the International Society of Appraisers in the end.
I’m often asked by individuals in the art field why I joined ISA as opposed to one of the other appraising organizations. My most honest answer is I was attracted to the openness of ISA members and the fact that ISA has strong and active local chapters. The opportunity to meet and develop relationships with appraisal professionals in your area can’t be understated.  I have found other members to be helpful, friendly and encouraging.  I can’t imagine trying to appraise full time without having trusted colleagues to consult with occasionally.  
Getting to know the other members in your organization allows you as an individual member to become involved in your organization first on a local level and then on the national level. Overall, I chose ISA because in the end because I had more opportunity to participate and “get out of the organization what I put into to it”.
I believe that an organization is only as good as the members who belong to it.  Each one of us has a responsibility to reflect well on our organization by presenting ourselves to the public and our clients as professionally and specifically trained and educated in our area of expertise as possible. I also believe the organization stays strong and healthy through the volunteer efforts of its members in various positions and tasks in the organizations. If we all don’t do our part, the organization suffers and we have no one to blame but ourselves.
As Chair of the Fine Art Division I volunteer my time to help make our organization responsive to the needs of the Fine Art Appraising members. One of the more enjoyable tasks I have with this position is helping to place speakers for the annual conference. This allows me to have a real voice in what topics we hear and who comes to speak at conference based on input that members have provided me through past conference meetings, questionnaires and personal correspondence.  Two threads of thought most requested by FA members is quality of speakers and subjects that are relevant to our daily work. If members are going to sacrifice time away from the office and money to travel they want to return feeling like they’ve learned something. It is quite a challenge to find speakers for 4-5 breakout sessions on such a limited budget which meets the needs for so many diverse specialty areas and years of experience.
I am really excited about the speakers we have lined up for the 2012 Annual Conference in Tempe, AZ. Rather than specialty area topics, all speakers will focus on various methodology topics which I hope all level of appraisers will find useful.  Topics will include: What’s New in Art Research and How to Use the Findings; Auction Houses and Galleries: How do They ValueInspection and Condition: How Does it Impact Value; and Connoisseurship: What is it and How Can it Help the AppraiserIt has been a real pleasure working on the conference with my committee and various other volunteer committees. I have really enjoyed getting to know more appraisers within ISA and learning from them. I hope that you all will attend Conference this next year. It promises to be terrific!!
Christine Guernsey, ISA AM
ISA Fine Art Chair, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


This is a friendly reminder that the deadline for returning completed ballots for ISA’s upcoming election is rapidly approaching.  Ballots must be postmarked no later than September 9, 2011. Be sure to cast your vote for the candidates running for election to the ISA Board of Directors:

Tom DiNardo, ISA AM
Aloysia C. Hamalainen, ISA CAPP, ASEA
Marcia Harris, ISA AM
Selma Paul, ISA CAPP
Cindy Charleston Rosenberg, ISA CAPP

There are three positions available on the Board, each for a three year term. Please be sure to take part in this important process, and vote!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Website Project Update

As President of ISA, I wanted to give you an update on the redesign of the ISA website. As detailed in the 2011 Annual Conference in Nashville, the organization has begun to take the steps necessary to provide a web product for all members, whether members or the general public, that is informative, engaging and impactful.

As a first step, our management team, Sentergroup, created and circulated a request for proposal, reviewed and interviewed a host of web design firms and after careful consideration against pre-set expectations – chose Webitects, Inc. Based in Chicago, Webitects ( has extensive experience in the association marketplace, has a keen understanding of back end functionality and met our scheduling and price demands.

Several key components of the project have already been completed. First, a group of members participated in a focus group and offered a tremendous amount of feedback on what members want to for the ISA website – from user interface and esthetics to content and the find an appraiser function. Based on that information, Webitects and the ISA staff have been able to create a thorough and comprehensive wire diagram – an essential site map that highlights key web functions, processes and the flow of information for end users. I have seen the wire diagram and it does an excellent job of prioritizing key functions and information.

The next step in the project is the creative element that will drive ISA’s web presence. We anticipate in the next few weeks that the designated Task Force, leadership and staff will review options for the esthetic platform. It is our expectation that creative component of the site will be a reflection of our industry, be impactful and clearly distinguish ISA from our competitors. In addition, we think your feedback and engagement is critical to the overall success of the project, As such, all members will be given an opportunity to review the creative options through an online portal and vote for their favorite.

A relevant, functional and impactful ISA website has been and continues to be a major goal for my term as President and I am confident we are very close to having a platform that is valuable to you, our members, and those who seek out appraisers or appraisal information.

Judith Martin, ISA CAPP