The ISA NOW Blog has a new home!

You'll be redirected shortly.

Make sure to update your bookmarks.
If you aren't automatically redirected, click the link to visit the new blog.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

ISA's New ARC Chair!

As the new chair of the ARC Committee, I would like to introduce myself and give you a little background information.  I am Michael Logan, ISA CAPP (please call me Mickey).  I have been a member of ISA for over 12 years.  While working at my career as a Mechanical Engineer, I attended antique auctions and shows frequently.  As so often happens with people like me, there was soon too much stuff to put in the house so I opened a booth in a local antique mall.  That business started with merchandise I would be ashamed of today, but as time passed I was able to make a little profit and start buying better merchandise.  I was always a dealer who wanted to know what I was selling and as an engineer doing research was second nature.  After a few years, I got interested in exhibiting in shows which required a significant upgrading of merchandise for the type of shows I wanted to do.  This brought on attending seminars, self-study and a lot more learning.  This all continued for over 20 years with the focus shifting to major Southeastern shows, including Heart of Country in Nashville.  While this was going on I started getting enquiries from people who wanted to know what they had and what it might be worth.  I also saw a lot of people who would have a local dealer come in and price their parents’ estate and then buy it for what I knew to be an unfairly low value.  I saw a real need for a “genuine” appraiser who would be a neutral third party, but there was not a credentialed appraiser in a 100 mile radius.  I determined that I would be that guy so, while still working, I joined ISA, took the Core Course by Distance Ed and then started doing appraisals part time.  When I retired a few years later I opened my own shop and began practicing full time.  I finally gave up the buying and selling two years ago and sent my entire inventory to auction, experiencing first-hand what I had been telling others for several years about the devaluation of their collections (ouch!).  I have recently moved to Punta Gorda, FL and am now focusing on the appraisal practice (well, with some fishing mixed in).

Over the years, I have made a lot of contacts (and friends) attending ISA Conferences and courses.  This network has proven to be invaluable to me.  Having been the only credentialed appraiser in a 100 mile radius in Tennessee (which is down to about 50 miles in Florida), I have gotten calls for every kind of antique, collectible and household stuff from Tupperware to Fine Art.  I have never had the luxury of choosing one small area in which I could become a true expert.  I think this is the situation that most ARC members will find themselves in so I can truly say I feel your pain.  Part of our job is recognizing when we are over our head and the other part is knowing who to call.  These are the contacts you can make at ISA functions.  Another good source is the online ISA Forum.  If you have not used this, look into it.  It is a valuable resource.

After assisting in a small way with the re-write of the ARC Course Manual, I was asked last year if I would consider being an instructor for the course, which I jumped at and had a great group of attendees for my first class last October.  I look forward to future classes and Distance Education students.  Then last November, I was asked to serve as the Chair of the ARC Committee to which I agreed.  My job is to offer support to ARC members and be a link to the Board of Directors for you.  I invite you to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about any aspect of the Society with respect to ARC.  I can’t promise that I can answer everything, but I can find someone who can.

I would encourage each of you to attend the 2014 Conference in Kansas City if at all possible. One of the sessions will be the ARC meeting, which I hope you can attend.  I plan to spend the time allotted to gather ideas and questions to determine where our needs and interests lie.  Be thinking about issues with training, support and other topics of interest to you.  We have an opportunity to provide input for the 2015 conference in Philadelphia relative to topics and presenters you would like to see.

There are a many reasons for you to attend the conference in Kansas City
You will meet other appraisers and form lasting friendships as I mentioned above
You will network with other appraisers with different areas of expertise who are more than willing to share their knowledge with you (this alone is worth the price of admission)
The general session speakers, Michael Finley and Judith Pearson, are gearing their presentations to ARC members, as well as Fine Art.  James Jackson’s talks are always crowd pleasers and he is back by popular demand for this conference
There are many sessions on a variety of topics led by subject matter experts.  I challenge you to attend at least one on a subject you don’t think you are interested in and see what you can learn.  Every time I have done this I learned something that I needed to know for an appraisal assignment I got shortly thereafter.  It will, at a minimum, give you some contacts in these areas and, perhaps most importantly, help you at least recognize significant items you would have overlooked.
Come and learn about the insurance plan ISA is now offering.
You earn Professional Development hours towards your continuing education requirements required for renewal every five years.  There is not an easier or more enjoyable way I know to earn credits.
Country Club Plaza is a really interesting place.
You will have fun and learn a lot!

I hope to see you there. Please introduce yourself to me. You can always contact me at .  Please do.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ISA Continuing Education

As the New Year has rolled in, I’ve mulled over what resolutions I want to make. I love continuing to learn, especially about things I’m passionate about.  I’m that way about my hobbies as well as my profession.  One of my resolutions is to set aside more time for catching up on the pile of articles and books I’ve collected to read and learn more about things that interest me.

I wish I could say at this “ripe age” I’ve learned so much I know it all, but the truth is the more I learn, the more I discover there is to still learn. This is particularly true in my appraisal specialty field of art, where there are hundreds of years of different art movements from both Eastern and Western cultures and thousands of artists and their oeuvres.

As an appraiser, I visit galleries, auction houses, museums, attend lectures and seminars, subscribe to art publications and constantly add to my library to continue my art education. I have even devoted a fair amount of my time as a volunteer docent at a museum, whose collection is in my specialty area in order to continue my education through training sessions with curators and directors both at the museum I volunteer through and visiting professionals in conjunction with their exhibitions.

Despite all I try to do to keep current, there are still occasionally works of art or artists that are unfamiliar to me.  Occasions such as these make me grateful to being an ISA Personal Property appraiser.  I feel ISA places a high commitment on education.  ISA appraisers are set apart from other professional personal property appraisers in the industry in that we have such strong training in appraisal methodology and writing standards.  While I would not try to attempt appraising antique airplanes (I have no knowledge in that area at all) nor would I ever bill a client for hours spent researching “to get up to speed on an artist and their works”,  I do firmly believe that our training in appraisal methodology helps us to correctly find values rather than relying solely on connoisseurship or prices stated in one or two galleries. Our methodology training truly sets us apart from the rest of the appraisers out there that we compete against.

ISA members are lucky to have an organization that backs its members with an educational arsenal that should give its members the confidence they need to be successful in their business.  In its commitment to members and improving member’s professionalism, ISA is launching the Learning Management System (LMS) an interactive online learning system that members can access to further their accreditation needs. The Core Course is the first of our courses to be launched on this system.  More classes are planned to launch on this system as budgets and time allows, giving ISA the ability to provide more and more specialized and advanced courses for members in the future without their need to travel. It’s a very exciting new program which will be officially introduced at Assets 2014 in Kansas City. There are many exciting future applications for our members with this new system.

Continuing education isn’t just for our members. Our new President, Cindy Charleston Rosenberg has listened and heard members when they have stated they need help in getting “gate keepers” to understand what we do and why we do it”.  To that end, she has asked our past president Todd Sigety to add to his already brilliant marketing and branding program launched last year with a  power-point presentation “What Should a Professional Appraisal Look Like”. This presentation can be used by gate keepers at major companies who use appraisal services to train their staff and clients to expect the kind of professional appraisals ISA members provide and accept nothing less. Through her newly launched membership category Affiliated Business Partner, these same companies which include major insurance companies, banks, law offices and other companies with high-net worth clients using appraisal services, can educate our appraisers as to what they need from us, thus creating a win-win situation for all involved and creating more business for all around.

I have high hopes for 2014. I think the year holds many opportunities for learning and becoming even better appraisers. The opportunities are there. As with every year though, we do have to get off the couch and make our resolutions stick. There are some things we have to do for ourselves once given the tools. If you haven’t explored the ISA website lately, please do. There are so many new initiatives out there to help our members learn how to increase and improve their businesses.  For one thing, Find An Appraiser is greatly improved.  Our upcoming annual conference, Assets 2014, has an amazing program planned along with lots of learning and networking opportunities.  If you haven’t attended a conference in a while, do yourself a favor and attend. You will be amazed at how much you will learn and how much you will discover that ISA is doing for its members to help them be successful!

So have a great 2014. Help me keep my resolution and continue to learn with me. We will have to get off the couch and work hard on our own, but the tools are there for us. As they say in NIKE World….Just Do it!

By: Christine Guernsey, ISA CAPP