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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Important Foundation for Appraisal Education Updates


The annual Foundation for Appraisal Education (FAE) fundraiser, the FUN’D Auction, is being held Sunday evening, April 22 at the ISA annual conference.  This joint ISA/FAE event features a Southwestern Style Dinner Buffet and the FUN’D Live/Silent Auction from 6pm-8pm. The purpose of the FAE is to support appraiser education through the awarding of scholarships to individuals seeking to improve their knowledge in the field of personal property appraising and for grants for group educational opportunities, such as speakers at ISA’s annual conference.

The FAE board is seeking your support for this important event, with the donation of an item or service with a fair market value over $50.00.  Examples of donations previously received include: fine art, jewelry, seminar tuitions, rare books, vacation condos, a Prairie Home Companion Coyote Butt, & one of a kind designer couture. All donations, in excellent condition, easily traveled, and of desirable nature are accepted. Please consider that most conference attendees will be traveling via air, and items should be portable.
If you are interested in making a contribution of an item or service, please email Fred Winer, ISA CAPP at by April 4, 2012.  Please include the item description, the fair market value, your name and your phone number.  If possible, please include a jpeg image so that we can provide advance publicity for your item.

Thank you for your generosity and for your help in making the FAE a sustainable foundation supporting our personal property appraisal community!


The Foundation for Appraisal Education is also pleased to announce the establishment of a new 2012 scholarship in the area of fine and decorative arts.  In alliance with the scholarship sponsor, Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd., the Foundation will be offering the Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. Scholarship in Fine and Decorative Arts for the first time in 2012.  This $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to an individual applicant under the age of 30, attending college level courses, seminars or specialty training in fine and decorative arts.
“We are enthusiastic about our new partnership with Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd.,” said Beth Szescila, ISA CAPP, President of the Foundation. “Their innovative approach to promoting fine and decorative arts education among young adults will foster training and development of future appraisers and other professionals in the field.  The sponsorship of this scholarship is an indication of their strong commitment to the field of fine and decorative arts and its future.  We are grateful for their financial support and focus on education.”

Firm President Leland Little commented, in regards to the scholarship “We are honored to be able to provide this opportunity for a young adult to pursue fine and decorative arts training, as it is important to encourage and support young adults entering the professional careers of appraisers, auctioneers, and curators.”  Individuals under the age of 30 may apply through the Foundation’s defined application process.  Students, appraisers, auctioneers, museum curators, or any individual wanting to further their educational development in the area of fine and decorative arts personal property may apply for the scholarship.   According to Foundation Treasurer Vicky Nash Shaw, “this scholarship is the largest single scholarship ever awarded by the Foundation for Appraisal Education.”

For more information on this new scholarship, please visit the FAE website, or contact Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA CAPP, Treasurer for the Foundation for Appraisal Education at 312 924-1832.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Have you had an interesting experience with ISA that sticks out in your mind; your first course, conference, appraisal after becoming a member, etc…? Share your experience with our readers and be a guest blogger on ISA Now. We want to hear from you, our readers! If you are interested in being a guest blogger, contact Michelle Stearns, Education and Credentialing Coordinator at: to learn more about the process or to submit a post.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


As appraisers, we all experience a certain amount of drudgery in our practices - this is something to be endured; the dirty crowded storage buildings, the poor lighting, the poor condition of the items to be examined. Remember those times when you were upside down under tables with all the dust bunnies, trying vainly to uncover something about the age and manufacturer?  But, enough of that!  I want to remind you of the other reason we are in this business:  the joy of discovering treasures among the ordinary stuff!  Of course, we get paid for our efforts, otherwise we certainly wouldn't be out in all kinds of weather dragging our gear around to examine other people's possessions, but it really helps when something special pops up.  This is "war story" material, trophies to remember and remind us why we became appraisers in the first place.

Just a few examples:
The time I went to a small ordinary house in a pleasant middle-class neighborhood and found a room full of Roycroft furniture.  The owners had thought the marks were some kind of brand, and had no idea that the pieces were anything special.  They were so delighted with the news and the values, and I hope they ended up with their eyes open to checking out marks in the future.  I am always amazed at people who aren't curious enough to look anything up - but then, why would they need me if they did!  On one recent appraisal, I found 3 rooms full of mounted taxidermied wild animals - something new to my practice.  That gave me an opportunity to learn a lot about the values of animal mounts - why else would I have ever have done that?  I think that my favorite part of appraising is the variety of subjects.  Of course, I'm a generalist, but even specialists will see so many different items within their specialities they must never get bored.  How could you get bored looking at precious gems all day long?  Or wonderful works of art?  (Granted, not all works of art are wonderful, but we will assume the best here.)

My point is that sometimes we forget how much fun this business can be, and how lucky we are to have the variety we encounter.  I'm hoping you always have a lot of business, with many surprises, and clients with wonderful items to appraise!

Terri Ellis ISA CAPP

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Earning Professional Development Credits

You may hear various people from ISA talking about professional development credits (PDCs) from time to time.  Mainly when you are attending an annual meeting, course, webinar or when it is time for your five year requalification.  And, you may be asking yourself, what are professional development credits and how do I earn them? Or are they are even important? The simple answer is, yes, they are very important.

These are earned through participation in various educational activities.  How do you know how many PDCs you earn?  For each hour of instruction you earn one (1) professional development credit or PDC.  Why are these important? Members of ISA are required to requalify every five (5) years; one step in this process is to submit a certain number of these PDCs.  The number is dependent on your level of membership:

ISA: 50 PDCs

Each time that you participate in an ISA course, attend an annual conference, participate in a local ISA Chapter meeting/event, or attend a webinar, you earn PDCs. Do you attend courses or annual meetings presented by other appraisal groups?  These are also great ways to earn professional development credits.   One of the easiest ways to earn additional PDCs, without traveling and for very minimal cost, is by participating in ISA webinars.  For each educational webinar that you attend, you earn 1 PDC. It might not seem like much, but these points add up quickly. Have you created and presented a speech or seminar?  You can year PDCs for that as well, two (2) per presentation hour. There are many ways to earn professional development credits through ISA and non-ISA activities alike.

 After you participate in ISA activities (ex: course, webinar, annual meeting) you receive a “CE Form”. This document will state your name, the date and name of the activity as well as the number of PDCs that you earned.  It is important to keep these documents, even if they are emailed to you.  They serve as your “proof” of participation; which will be important to have when you submit your Requalification Packet.  It’s always easiest to start keeping track of these points early on.  How do you do that you might ask; my suggestion would be to create a log sheet or excel spreadsheet, where you can track these activities as you complete them.  It might also be a good idea to keep a hard copy file for those documents which you receive a physical copy versus an electronic copy.  For electronic copies, it is easy to create a folder on your computer desk top in which to save these items.

If you have any questions about tracking professional development credits or how many you might have earned for participation in an ISA course, please contact Michelle Stearns, Education & Credentialing Coordinator at: