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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Getting involved with an ISA Chapter

In a recent ISA Now blog, Sally Ambrose asked the question, “How do I get involved with ISA?”, and answered, join a local ISA chapter and volunteer to serve on a committee.” Soon, another question was asked at ISA headquarters, “How do I get involved with a chapter?”

For most members of a large organization, the local chapter is the face of their group, and usually the place where the closest friendships are made. As appraisers, our business is primarily a solitary endeavor. The local chapter provides the opportunity to spend time with and learn from other appraisers. What should also be stressed is that members of the chapters can acquire the necessary CEUs, or “Continuing Education Units” that are part of maintaining a professional standing.

A chapter meeting contributes one CEU for every hour of documented professional activity or program. This can be as simple as a presentation by an authority or professional service commonly used by appraisers, i.e. Art Insurance brokerage, or Identification and valuation of different carved bone and ivory, to a planned outing to a conservation shop or museum for hands on professional demonstration. More PDCs, or “Professional Development Credits” are earned by those members who spend hours of their time organizing and producing these meetings.

The meetings can be scheduled as often as desired, with a minimum of four per year. Their venue can be a convenient restaurant or alternating member’s homes. The chapter must adhere to the structure defined by the ISA Chapters Manual, which is easily downloaded from the ISA website.

This past year, the formation and exuberance of the Tennessee Chapter, spearheaded by Carol Wamble was a major factor in the success of the 2011 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The previous year, the Canadian Chapter developed the great 2010 Conference in Toronto. So many appraisers enjoyed and learned so much about their profession by small groups of dedicated ISA chapter members.

The ISA chapter network is open to anyone who wants to join, and members are always encouraged to start or re-invigorate a chapter if a minimum of five members agree to do so. The information chart of the chapters and the Chapter Manual can be downloaded from the ISA website. I am happy to answer any questions via my email at

Aloysia Hamalainen ISA CAPP
Chapter Networking chair

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