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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!