Friday, June 27, 2014

Noeline Fuller Region VI Scholarship

Don't miss out on the opportunity to get $500 for an upcoming course in Region VI!

Noeline Fuller Region VI Scholarship

Noeline Fuller, MAI, SRA was a chapter president who served on regional and national committees throughout her career.  The Noeline Fuller Region VI Scholarship is a $500 voucher for Qualifying Education or Advanced Education, which can be used for any QE or AE course offered in Region VI.Click here for Scholarship information and application.

The $500 scholarship can be used for a Qualifying or Advanced Education Course at a Region VI chapter offering.

Chapters Included in Region VI:

Central PA
Metro New Jersey
Northeast New Jersey
Northeast PA
Northwest PA
Philadelphia Metropolitan
Southern New Jersey
Washington DC Metropolitan

Click here for the AI Education course list.

Contact Debra Miller at for more information about the Noeline Fuller Scholarship.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Leadership Development and Advisory Council (LDAC), 2014 by Michael Leahy, PR Chair of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Chapter of the Appraisal Institute

LDAC 2014

The 2014 Leadership Development and Advisory Council (LDAC) took place last month (May 19th-21st).  I was honored to be among the 100 appraisers from around the United States and Puerto Rico to be in attendance for this three day think tank and lobbying event.  This year’s discussions developed by the Appraisal Institute Steering Committee were as follows:
  1. Defining and Promoting the AI Designated Member Difference
  2. Embracing and Using Technology – Becoming a Technology Savvy Real Estate Appraiser
  3. Defusing the Succession Time Bomb - Solving the Trainee/Supervisor Dilemma
  4. Create New and Expand Existing Client Relationships (through unique, value added enhancements and market diversification that cause AI Designated members to stand out from other appraisers)
The discussions were lively, informative and provided a lot of interesting perspectives from appraisers working in various fields and locals.  The resulting discussions, led by a panel of capable discussion leaders, will be distilled and presented to the Appraisal Institute’s Steering Committee to help shape the focus and direction of the Appraisal Institute in the future.

Michael Leahy and U.S. Representative Tom Murphy

In addition to the internal discussions, the Appraisal Institute turned the LDAC attendees loose on Capitol Hill where we broke into regional groups to lobby our respective Congressmen on the following issues impacting the appraisal profession.  This year, we focused to on two issues:
  1. Small Business Administration (SBA) “Going Concern” Appraisal Policy Change
  2. “Protecting the Integrity of the Appraisal” through Government Sponsored Entity (GSE) reform bills addressing the proposed Uniform Mortgage Database.
The first issue addressed a loophole that currently exists in SBA policy regarding the valuation of special purpose properties, i.e. loans that fall under the 7(a) program, which currently prevent appraisers from providing going concern valuations for special purpose properties (hotels, car washes, etc.) thus requiring small businesses to hire two separate valuation professionals.  This loophole increases costs and is a particular burden to small business. 

The second issue relates to bills that are in the respective Chambers of Congress, the “Corker-Warner” bill in the Senate and the “Path Act” in the house, both of which contain language related to and allowing for appraisal data to be collected in a publically accessible database.  This is problematic for a myriad of reasons ranging from personal privacy to the misappropriation of data.  In both bodies we urged our Congressman to address that language to ensure that the database is not open to public and private entities outside of the GSE.

Impromptu Bike Tour

While the LDAC experience is and endurance test at times, all work and no play would make “Jack” a dull, dull boy.  Needless to say, everyone, including the Appraisal Institute staff, does everything in their power to make the event as enjoyable as possible.  I strongly encourage everyone to participate in this event if the opportunity arises. 

Pennsylvania Lobby Team
I cannot thank the staff of the Appraisal Institute as well as my fellow LDAC participants for a wonderful, enlightening and fulfilling experience, particularly the excellent group of professionals from the PA lobbying team, (left to right): Erin Hannan, MAI; Susanne Curran, MAI and Michele Glower, MAI.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mark Smeltzer Honored as Appraisal Institute’s ‘Volunteer of Distinction’

Mark Smeltzer, SRAMark V. Smeltzer, SRA, was recognized as the Appraisal Institute’s June “Volunteer of Distinction” for Region VI. 

Smeltzer has been Pittsburgh Metropolitan Chapter Education chair since 2005. He was alternate regional representative from 2012-13. He served as chapter president in 2004, vice president in 2003, second vice president in 2002, and secretary and treasurer in 2001. 

Smeltzer has been director of operations at Ditio, Inc., in Pittsburgh since 2011. He has been involved in the real estate valuation profession for 39 years. He holds a master’s of business administration from the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pa. He joined the Appraisal Institute in 1987, and received his SRA designation in 1989. 

Thank you for all of your work for the chapter and congratulations on this prestigious honor!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Region VI Recap by Sara Gaskill, MAI, Vice President of the Pittsburgh Metro Chapter of the Appraisal Institute

The Joint Regional Meeting between Regions IV and VI was held April 4 & 5 in Southbury, CT.  Chapter President Dennis Cestra and Vice President Sara Gaskill were in attendance.

The weekend began Friday afternoon with separate meetings for the two regions.  The Region VI meeting was led by chair Tom Reynolds, III and vice chair Robert Robidoux. Chapter presidents were asked to present a 10 minute report on the state of their chapter.  Several issues were discussed including:

  • The new CE point system: In January 2014, Regulation 10 changed the way CE hours are recorded.  Education is no longer tracked as “hours” but rather “points”.  A Designated Member must complete in his or her 5 year cycle the Standards Requirement, the Ethics Requirement and the 500-Points Requirement. The reasoning behind switching to the points system was to encourage members to attend more advanced level courses – More points are offered the more advanced classes.
  • Noeline Fuller Region VI Scholarship: The region will be funding the $500 scholarship again this year for qualifying education.  The deadline to submit your application is June 30, 2014.  Click here for the application.
  • Capstone:  All 2014 programs are sold out!  The 2015 Capstone schedule is planned for release in June.  Sign up quickly!

National Report: National Vice President Scott Robinson reported on the State of the Appraisal Institute in the joint meeting with the two regions.  

  • National rolled out a new website in February.  All the kinks have been worked out – check it out!
  • New courses available and coming soon include: 
    • Application and Interpretation of Simple Linear Regression (15 hours) – Available Aug. 15
    • Advanced Spreadsheet Modeling for Valuation Applications (15 hours) – Available now
    • International Valuation Standards Overview (8 hours) – Available Now
    • Two-day Advanced Income Capitalization/A (15 hours) – Coming 2015
    • Two-day Advanced Income Capitalization/B (15 hours) – Coming 2015
  • Candidates are required to attend one meeting or event per year.  Candidates must upload that they attended a chapter-sponsored meeting themselves to receive credit.
  • The Review Theory courses are in great demand nationally.  Pittsburgh will be offering Review Theory Residential on Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 and the Review Theory General is set for October 29-31. The courses will be taught by Mark Smeltzer.  Talk to Kari Ballenger for more details.  
  • The AI is continuing working towards improving the relationship with the Appraisal Foundation without compromising 1st amendment. 
  • The national meeting will be in Austin, TX August 4-6, 2014.

2014 Region VI National Representatives
Thomas Reynolds, SRPA – Chair 
Robert Robidoux, MAI, SRA – Vice Chair 
Ryan Hlubb, SRA – Third Director
Russell Sterling, MAI – Past Chair 
Roland Johnson, SRA – National Nominating Committee
Region VI Positions: 
Region Finance Officer – Ryan Hlubb, SRA 
Region Government Relations Liaison – Donald Boucher, SRA

Region VI members who serve on National Committees for 2014:

ADQC – Reaves Lukens, III, MAI (Chair) 
Professional Standards and Guidance - J. Brian O’Donnell, MAI 
Nominating – Roland Johnson, SRA 
Strategic Planning – Reaves Lukens, III, MAI
International Relations – Michele Glower, MAI
AI Holdings – Thomas Reynolds, III, SRPA 
Education Trust – J. Brian O’Donnell, MAI and Terry Dunkin, MAI, SRA 
Relief Foundation - Carlos J. Ortiz and Russell Sterling, MAI