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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

President's New Year Message: A Year of Accomplishment - What's On the Horizon for ISA

Cindy Charleston-Rosenberg,
ISA CAPP, President
Happy New Year ISA! 2014 has been a year of significant accomplishment for our society. Substantial advancements are also in the planning stages for 2015 with increased benefits and services to members, expanded education offerings, and increased industry recognition. Here's a wrap-up of what we've achieved in 2014 and what to expect from 2015.

Where We Are Today
  • With more than 800 members, ISA is distinguished as the professional organization of choice for personal property appraisers in the United States and Canada. Nothing speaks more convincingly: The majority of personal property appraisers continue to choose ISA for our training and professional association.
  • For the first time in our history, sponsor exhibition space is sold out eight weeks in advance of our annual conference! Only a handful of advertising opportunities to partner with ISA at conference remain. New partners this year include Artnet, Chubb, Eli Wilner & Co., Freeman's Auction, Great Gatsby's,, Prices 4 Antiques, The Potomack Company, Stevens Company, William Bunch Auctions and Worthpoint, while our longstanding supporters, Bonham's, Collector Systems,, Heritage, Jackson's, and Quinns maintain their commitment to ISA. 
    This is an indisputable indicator that networking with loyal ISA appraisers is increasingly recognized as a significant opportunity for industry allies. It also speaks to the strength of our conference program. Many thanks to our Resource Development Committee chair, Fred Winer, for organizing the RDC's directed efforts over the past two years to this dramatic result.
  • In March, 2014, we completed a three-year process of significantly tightening and raising our credentialing and requalification policies. Our requalification requirement is the most rigorous in the industry. In addition to 85 hours of continuing education and current USPAP compliance, every ISA member is required to attend our 15 hour requalification course every five years. Our Requalification Course covers advancements in appraisal theory and methodology and reports are submitted for peer and instructor review. In choosing to strictly enforce our unique requalification requirements, ISA demonstrates faith in the professionalism of our members and your commitment to advancing excellence. Requiring uniform adherence to our standards also ensures that the public's trust in the ISA credential is well placed. 
  • Our unique approach of marrying appraisal theory and methodology to advanced product knowledge, and a collaborative culture of shared expertise, is gaining recognition as the gold standard in the discipline of appraising.
  • Another very strong financial year, where we have added significantly to ISA's reserves and long-term economic health and security.
What's New and on the Horizon: Education and Credentialing
  • In 2014, more than 500 members participated in ISA's online and onsite courses. Hundreds of members have now participated in our new, state-of-the-art, dynamic online learning system, including 68 new members who have begun our Core Course in Appraisal Theory and Methodology at their own pace. Our 2014 Educational Roundup may be found here.
  • In 2014, ISA instructors Leon Castner and Cathy Peters became qualified by the AQB to teach USPAP, enabling ISA to offer members USPAP compliance in-house.
  • Also for the first time, USPAP 15 hour and 7 hour courses are available to our members through our online platform.
  • ISA's Requalification Course is now available online, allowing members who are challenged to find the time or resources to travel to requalify, an affordable and accessible way to maintain our hard-earned credential. 
  • Expanded Asian Studies courses are in development. ISA's Asian Studies Week 2015 will be held at the Northern Illinois University campus in Naperville, Illinois. In June, two courses will be offered: Dr. Daphne Rosenzweig's course: The Appraisal of Japanese Prints, and a new course developed by Susan Lahey, A Foundation in Asian Ceramics. A total of six related courses are planned to be available by Spring 2016. An Asian Studies Specialty will be available to candidates who complete a minimum number of required courses. 
  • The Appraisal of Antiques and Residential Contents Course Manual has begun a full color
    update and content revision under a taskforce chaired by ISA Board Secretary, Libby Holloway. Substantial new content will be added including comprehensive chapters on research methodology, comparable selection criteria, and advanced report writing. 
  • An Educational Taskforce, chaired by Judith Martin, ISA CAPP, reviewed our credentialing process and suggested adjustments to our report submission standards, which were adopted by the Board. The taskforce represented a broad spectrum of ISA members including board members, committee chairs and our Director of Education. CAPP candidates will now submit a single Broad Evidence Appraisal Report. This accomplishes the objective of testing proper methodology for different types of assignments. It prepares our CAPPs for assignments for litigation support and positions ISA as a leader in methodology training for our highest level of credentialing. A summary of the new requirements may be found here.
  • ISA held several highly successful educational webinars, including How to Write a Broad Evidence Report by Leon Castner, ISA CAPP, which was attended by 70 ISA appraisers and colleagues. If you missed it, sign up for the archived version here.
What's New and On the Horizon: Services to Members
  • Website optimization and enhancement: Members are reporting a noticeable increase in referrals from the ISA webpages. This is not surprising. As analytics reveal, hits to our Find an ISA Member search have increased by 544% over last year. Direct links from Google have increased by 664% over last year (8,212 vs. 1,236).  Newly elected Board member Perri Guthrie has taken on the project of reviewing our entire website. Look for updates and enhancements in 2015. 
  • ISA has continued to focus on assisting members to successfully market their appraisal practices. Each year at conference we unveil a new, professionally designed resource. This year, we have produced an ISA client-oriented newsletter, focused on specialized, appraisal-related content of interest to gatekeepers and prospective and existing appraisal clients. This positions our members as experts in the appraisal industry, which has the potential to be more effective in building credibility than direct promotion. Like all other ISA promotional materials, the newsletter will be customizable and available to all ISA members through the Member Resources link on the website. 
  • For a complete list of how ISA is working to help members market our practices, see this blog post, and don't miss Small Business Results President, Shelly Berman-Rubera's presentation at Assets on Growing and Propelling your Appraisal Practice.
  • The ISA Membership Committee and staff are in the process of designing an integrated plan
    our first formal membership recruitment campaign. Over the past few years, ISA has benefited by an infusion of new members, bringing vitality and new ideas for programs and benefits for members to our society. We are investigating what has attracted these new members, and how we can encourage this wave of enthusiasm for ISA to continue to benefit our society. Judith Martin will be chairing the committee.
What's New and On the Horizon: Industry Recognition, Standing and Collaboration
  • ISA is in the process of designing a directed campaign to raise the profile of the ISA credential with industry users in the Insurance, Estate Planning and Legal Communities. Look for details and announcements over the next few months, including a series of webinars comprising a Professional Education Exchange between ISA and Chubb.
  • The first in a collaborative series of educational programs with industry leaders and experts
    was launched with a strongly-attended webinar offered by Eli Wilner on frame valuation and the reconstruction of the monumental frame for Washington Crossing the Delaware.
  • ISA's application for sponsorship in The Appraisal Foundation was approved early in 2014. This allowed our society a meaningful voice in the development of new proposed Minimum Criteria Standards for Personal Property Appraisers. Formal sponsorship increases ISA's credibility as an industry leader, and allows for more significant input into advocating for appropriate standards. 
  • The Affinity Business Partner (ABP) program is attracting new business alliances and sources of referrals for ISA members, and is formalizing our relationships with existing friends and sponsors.
  • Our conference roster of speakers reads like a Who’s Who of industry leaders, each recruited for recognized expertise in discovering, weighing and applying the often-overlooked critical impacts to value: Provenance, Quality, Rarity, Originality, Condition and Current Market Trends. Included are renowned scholars from Winterthur, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, premiere gallerists, distinguished principals and departments heads from Christie’s, Freeman’s, Gurr Johns, the IRS, NYU, and Rago. Please visit our conference program here.
What's On the Horizon: Implementation of ISA's Three-Year Strategic Plan

In November 2014, the ISA Board of Directors, Education Director and ISA staff participated in a strategic planning retreat to prioritize and plan for the continuing success of our Society. At our March meeting, your board will review, finalize and formally approve the plan. The wording of the mission of our society may change slightly, but remains focused on advancing appraisal excellence. Once approved, the strategic plan will be available to members. Highlights include advancing ISA's industry standing among users of appraisal services, growing membership to 1000 by the close of 2016, and continuing to increase benefits for members, including expanded educational programming.

A taskforce chaired by Board Vice-President Christine Guernsey will work with Executive Director Joe Jackson and staff to identify specific goals and plan strategies to ensure implementation of ISA's Strategic Three-Year Plan.  
A Call to Volunteerism: Be the Change You Hope to See in ISA!

I close my second New Year's post as your President, with a call to volunteerism. Implementation of
our strategic plan, increasing benefits to members, raising our educational standards, growing membership: All are achievements dependent on the time and efforts of dedicated volunteer members donating many hundreds of hours a year with the singular goal of advancing our society.

Be the change you hope to see in ISA! In a few weeks, ISA Vice President Christine Guernsey will be blogging to you about specific volunteer opportunities. We need more human resources to continue on the path of advancing our Society. If you approve of the direction of ISA, join us! If you don't, join us and help redirect!

I wish us all a healthy and prosperous 2015 as we continue to grow together. I look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia, to continue our legacy of sharing a cocktail and a war story, laughing and learning together.  

Warmest wishes,

Cindy Charleston-Rosenberg, ISA CAPP
ISA President

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