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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  

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