The ISA NOW Blog has a new home!

You'll be redirected shortly.

Make sure to update your bookmarks.
If you aren't automatically redirected, click the link to visit the new blog.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Exciting Announcement

ISA headquarters is moving!

Due to continued growth, Sentergroup (ISA’s management company) is relocating its offices to a larger consolidated space in downtown Chicago. We are headed a few blocks south and moving into a brand new office space at the end of this week. As of April 1st, our new address will be:

International Society of Appraisers
303 West Madison Street, Suite 2650
Chicago, IL 60606-3396

Our phone number will be staying the same: 312/981.6778; however we will have a new fax number, which is 312/265.2908. Although we may have a new physical address and a new fax number all staff contact information will remain the same. Click here to view the ISA Staff roster.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


In an effort to add value to your membership, ISA constantly looks for ways to improve our products and services. The cornerstone of ISA is our education and credentialing program, and as we move to strengthen our opportunities in this area, we are pleased to report that ISA was recently accepted as an Organizational Member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).

Established in 1977, ICE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and serves as a clearinghouse for information on the latest trends and issues of concern to practitioners and organizations focused on certification, licensure, and human resource development. ICE is dedicated to providing resources for the credentialing community, and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute as a Standards Developer. 

ICE’s accrediting body, The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), is the international leader in setting quality standards for credentialing organizations and grants accreditation to those organizations that meet them. NCCA also evaluates certification organizations for compliance with the Standards for Accreditation of Certification Programs. These standards exceed the requirements set forth by the American Psychological Association and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The mission of ICE is to promote excellence in competency assessment for practitioners in all occupations and professions by:

• Providing expertise and guidance
• Developing and implementing standards for accreditation of certification programs
• Providing educational and networking resources
• Serving as an advocate on certification issues

ISA’s long-term goals include gaining national accreditation of our credentialing programs, and continuing our efforts to provide our members with the best education available in the personal property appraisal arena.

Joseph M. Jackson, CAE
Executive Director

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Musing on Assets 2011

I always look forward to the annual ISA conference. This year was no exception and I wasn’t disappointed. Is it possible for me to select one event that just seemed to stand above the crowd in subject matter and presentation? Everything I attended from my first dinner in the hotel Thursday to the closing Awards Luncheon and speaker was pertinent and memorable.

I did not attend any tours so I can only attest to the rest of the conference. The general sessions were thought provoking; the breakout sessions well presented and informative; the special events were fun and the auction -- well, you had to be there to soak up the fun and laughter. The bourbon and barbeque preceded the live auction. And a live auction it was as Auctioneer, Leigh Dunbar kept the evening moving, the laughter was on-going and at times explosive. I will never again hear a coyote yip without thinking about this evening with ISA friends. You had to have been there to understand why.

I have been left with impressions of a hotel that is operating at full steam after being devastated by floods less than one year ago. The staff was pleasant and amazingly everyone I asked knew how to direct me to my destination. This is especially amazing as the hotel is huge. If there was a drawback to the conference it was walking from our room to the conference rooms. I don’t know the distance walking each day, but I wondered if I should make an appointment for a hip replacement as soon as I arrived home. I was tired!

Something that stands out in my mind was the number of young attendees. Their energy was pervasive and welcome. They mixed right in with the long-time attendees and we all enjoyed each other’s view on appraising as we shared our experiences and enthusiasm. I now look back on a delightful week with long time friends and new friends. I am already anticipating the ISA conference in 2012.

Sally A. Ambrose, ISA CAPP

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How We Stand in 2011

The annual business meeting of ISA Members was held in Nashville on February 21, 2011. President Judith Martin reported we are currently self-credentialed but have been accepted as an organizational member by ICE (Institute for Credentialing Excellence). This isn’t a fast or easy process but the outcome will add to our professional reputation and will put us ahead of the trend for stricter credentialing standards in our profession.

Ms. Martin and Treasurer Todd Sigety also reported that we are in sound financial status for the first time in years. The last of our old debt will be retired in the first half of this year. In order to keep our membership and education costs low in relation to other appraisal organizations the staff and board will take our obligation to be good stewards of your dues seriously. Speaking of education, the final editing of the core course manuals is under way. Watch the web site for new manuals to become available for purchase. The publication system we are currently using allows for more frequent updates of small sections of the manual. This will help us keep current as changes to USPAP occur. Updates to the Fine Art and ARC courses are also being completed thanks to the hard work of volunteers from both divisions.

The board had identified the condition of our web site as the priority for this year at our fall meeting where it was chosen as a major budget expense for 2011. The web site was also the primary topic for questions and comments at the business meeting. Bids for revamping the site are currently being accepted at Sentergroup, our management firm. Craig Sondalle said that the goal is an aesthetically pleasing and easy to use site ready before this fall. One point that was brought up was the difficulty we currently experience in the Find An Appraiser search function. Mr. Sigety said that we wouldn’t be able to make large changes in that application due to the limits of our database software. He also pointed out that the ease of internet searches we are accustomed to are usually a virtue of the Google Software that has very expensive licensing costs. Simplification of the instructions for use will be addressed with the web updates.

A major change all of us will start seeing is the shift to a calendar year dues cycle. Right now budgeting is complicated by spurts of money coming in at different times in the year. Your next renewal notice will include instructions for making your payments depending on the time of year you renew. The majority of us will renew in the fall and will be asked to renew for 15 months. I plan to start saving early this year to make my own life easy but for those of you who find that amount hard to pay in September options will be offered. Remember, your listing on Find An Appraiser is tied to your dues expiration date – if your dues aren’t paid on time, the database software automatically removes you from this feature. This is not an action by staff, it is a function of the technology we use.

The second most asked questions involved USPAP classes and qualifications. There are major changes in the requirements that are still under review by TAF. ISA will be offering a 7 hour course as an update for those who have had the 15 hour course. Updates are now required every 2 years because of the speed changes are being made in our industry. Though taking USPAP every 2 years is not considered fun by most of us it is to our advantage to make sure we are following proper procedures. The good news is that the 7 hour update does not include a test. More on the changes on this and other requalification information will be addressed by Leon Castner in his education newsletters.

Here’s to a prosperous 2011 for each of us!

Libby Holloway

Secretary to the Board of Directors

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Assets 2011 in photos

Great educational sessions by engaging speakers


 Networking and reuniting with old friends





Visit ISA on Facebook to see more photos from Assets 2011!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ISA Recognizes Course Attendees

ISA would like to recognize those members who successfully completed the Requalification course in Nashville, TN February 22-23, 2011.  Congratulations on your successful completion of this course, this is a crucial step in maintaining your membership.

If you are interested in learning more about the 2011 ISA course offerings, click here to view the course brochure. Please contact Michelle Stearns, Education & Credentialing Coordinator with any questions regarding ISA Education at