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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