John SchalkaPresident’s Message

by John C. Schalka, MAI, AI-GRS

This will be my last chance to communicate with you as president of our Chapter. Being part of Chapter leadership has been a very rewarding and in some ways a humbling experience. I have met and worked with some really great people including Elly and Darcy from Seattle Operating Support, all of the members of the board over the last few years, the committee leaders, and of course, many of you. I have seen how committed people are to this profession and to our chapter and I am proud to join a very impressive list of past leaders of the Seattle Chapter.

I am happy to be leaving the chapter in the capable hands of John Gordon who has been very active on several fronts and has some great ideas for changes to improve accessibility and access to the chapter for all members.

Financially, we are in pretty good shape. The budgeting process is coming to an end and we will be looking at a small positive in terms of income over expenses for 2016. This situation is made possible by increases in the numbers of designated members, excellent results for the Fall Real Estate Conference and steady revenue from education. The most significant area of weakness in the budget is the large decline in new candidates which reduces dues and education revenue in the short term, but will have much bigger impacts on future budgets if it does not turn around. This issue is part of a broader demographic problem facing our profession with more people leaving through retirement than are being replaced with new people. Having listened to National on this issue several times, I really don’t have a sense of how this is all going to work out. It seems to me, that we will most likely just end up smaller as an organization and as a chapter and we should probably plan
accordingly rather than hope for a near term change.

Having said this, there has been recent interest in the Chapter for a stronger connection with the University of Washington to promote our profession and at the same time recruit young people from their excellent programs. I am hopeful that this trend will continue and we will see the results in the form of more new candidates.
The Fall Conference was a big success! Attendance was up and when combined with increased revenue from sponsorship resulted in an excellent boost to our financial picture. We owe a big thank you to Todd Henderson and his group at CBRE who have been the backbone of the conference for several years. If you are on the fence and considering involvement in the Chapter, the Fall Conference Committee is a great place to start.

Before I leave my soap box I have a final thought:

It is important that we remember that being a professional appraiser is actually a pretty good deal. The problems are interesting and always changing. The people we work with have high standards and are always working to make themselves better. Of course we would like to make more money! Who wouldn’t? But the real measure of compensation has something to do with quality of life and that quality is certainly improved through the sense of empowerment that comes from being a competent professional and the personal satisfaction of doing a hard job well.


member spotlightMember Spotlight: Stacey Bosch, SRA; Kathy Walsh, SRA; Briana Hirschi, SRA

by Theresa Blake, SRA

Over the years, this profession has given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful and dedicated people. I can always find a member who deserves a write-up in our Member Spotlight series, but these three ladies have warmed their way into my professional and personal heart compelling me to feature not just one, but all three in this edition.

In October 2014 I met Stacey at the AI Fall Conference. I had just moved to the area and knew that an AI function was the best way for me to meet people. Little did I know, that I would meet such a dear friend and colleague who lived right in my neighborhood!

Stacey and I had a love for the profession in common and spent hours on the phone helping each other with appraisal dilemmas. Shortly thereafter, Stacey introduced me to her business partner, Briana, another outstanding appraiser and lovely person. Briana tested my knowledge as her questions always challenged me. Both of these ladies were working on their SRA designation at the time and I learned that they were planning on taking the 45-hour “demonstration report writing” class in January 2015 together with yet another dedicated appraiser and wonderful lady, Kathy. These three ladies or as we might refer to them as “the three musketeers” provided the much needed support and motivation required to successfully complete this course. They had a special bond before the class but after the class that bond was even stronger. They supported and encouraged each other to finish the process and in 2015 each one received their SRA designation!

Through the interview process and some personal interaction with each of these ladies, it was quite surprising to learn that Kathy has a flair for technology that helped her break into this industry. She started out in the technology field of computer services and management. Her first position in the appraisal industry, as an office manager, allowed her to apply these skills as she revamped office systems and procedures to increase efficiencies. After a lot of determination and hard work she was able to break out of the office manager role and earn her appraiser certification. Fortunately, she has applied her technology skills to her own appraisal business and shared her knowledge with all of us at this year’s Fall Conference. Her husband joined her business within the last few years and Kathy is dedicated to training new appraisers. Kathy wrote “It is our responsibility to the appraisal profession to help others along the path and extend to others the opportunities we received”.

Briana started her career in 1988 working as an admin in the appraisal department for a bank, while going to college at night. Shortly thereafter, she landed a job as a research assistant for a commercial appraiser and started down the general certified path, but ultimately changed course and became a residential certified appraiser. If you have the opportunity to talk shop with Briana, you will see how much she enjoys her work and its challenges. Much to my surprise, I learned that Briana raises chickens and watches them outside her window as she types her appraisals – now that’s a great visual! Her advice to other appraisers working towards designation was so eloquently written, I’m not going to change a word, “The things you learn, and the relationships you make in the process are of great value. Keep moving toward your goal, and don’t forget to use the resources that are all around you. Everywhere you turn there are other appraisers who respect and appreciate what you are doing, and would be honored to help you get there.”

Stacey was a real estate agent in the 1980’s and she knew then she had a passion for real estate. When, her daughter started first grade, she knew she wanted to get back into real estate but didn’t want to rely on commission only. After job shadowing a good friend, who was an appraiser, she knew appraising was it! She loves education and is always trying to be a better appraiser. Be careful, if she asks you a question, she’ll listen to your answer but isn’t afraid to dig deeper and ask more questions. She loves learning despite the fact that she is already an accomplished appraiser. She is quite extraordinary but not boastful, I had to dig deep to find out that in 1994 (and five months pregnant) her and her husband were in a Los Angeles Airport Hotel on their way to the Cook Islands when the big Northridge Earthquake hit in the wee hours of the morning… Ask her about it, as she wouldn’t give me the embarrassing details. Stacey’s advice to other appraiser’s seeking designation was well said “Embrace learning as much as you can from each of the courses and take as many as possible in person.”

These are three very dedicated and special women and we are lucky to have them in our profession. Our hats off to Stacey, Kathy and Briana – Congratulations on your accomplishments.


Trained and Ready

by John Gordon, MAI, 2015 AI Seattle Vice President

Gordon article pic

Each year, the Appraisal Institute brings appraisers from around the country to a two-day training session on Chapter Leadership. Along with Executive Director Elly Snow, I had the good fortune to attend this year’s session as incoming 2016 President. The event was held in late September in Downtown Chicago, a short walk from the iconic Tribune Building and the retail mecca known as the “Magnicent Mile”.

Our training began with opening remarks from the national officers, including President Lance Coyle, President-Elect Scott Robinson, and Vice President Jim Amorin. Topics included the AI Strategic Plan (evolving), our financial condition (healthy), and our relationship with The Appraisal Foundation (frayed).

After a break, our own Justin Slack made a presentation on government relations. While our chapter has been active at the state level, it was enlightening to hear of the Institute’s influence with national lawmakers and regulators. (And thank you Justin for making the flights out and back the same day!)

Later that morning, we heard about the resources available to appraisers through the Lum Library and other providers. We were encouraged to check out the AI website (under Chapter Business Tools) to learn ways in which the Institute can help in our appraisal work. We also heard an excellent presentation on diversity and inclusion by Gary Alveranga of The Kaleidoscope Group.

Detailed talks were given by Charlie Lee, counsel to the Appraisal Institute. He outlined the minimum criteria to function as an AI Chapter, including the election of officers, committee membership, and finances. He discussed the steps involved in chapter mergers and the establishment of branch chapters. Finally, he reviewed laws relating to chapter governance and not-for-profit organizations.

For me, the small-group breakouts were a highlight of the training. The four sessions focused on chapter administration, education, finance, and appraiser qualifications for admission and designation. Our group included the 20 largest chapters, pairing Seattle with Northern and Southern California, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, and Dallas. It was reassuring to hear that the challenges we face are mirrored across the country.

Near the close of the session, we heard from the AI Education Trust and the AI Relief Fund. The Trust was established many years ago to provide scholarships to fund tuition for AI coursework. The Relief Fund, which was started in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, provides disaster assistance for appraisers and appraisal firms. The Trust and the Fund each have 501c3 tax status.

The event closed with presentations about LDAC and government relations. We were all encouraged to learn more about the interaction of government and the appraisal profession, and to advocate the policies of the Institute as guided by the national office. After the main meeting adjourned, the executive directors met to reestablish ties and to hash over issues relating to chapter administration.

All present agreed that our performance as offices and directors in the coming year will be enhanced by having participated in the Appraisal Institute’s Chapter Leadership Training.


The Network Meeting

by Penny Crowe, SRA – 2015-16 ACOW President

The Appraiser’s Coalition of Washington (A.C.O.W.) is networking with 22 other state coalitions to explore issues in the appraisal profession and ways to improve communication between appraisers nationwide and with our industry partners.

I attended a recent meeting with 21 of these state’s coalitions representatives in Washington, D.C. The group is identified as “The Network” of State Appraiser Organizations. We are working to make our voice stronger on a state and national level. This meeting was sponsored by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

The Network held a work group meeting with representatives from Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia and West Virginia. Current issues affecting appraiser’s including legislation, litigation, Appraisal Foundation decisions and industry partner decisions were shared by the participants.

These are some of the issues discussed

  1. Indemnification Requirements being pushed by AMC’s.
  2. Background Checks
  3. Reasonable and Customary Fees – What states are enforcing and recent laws.
  4. Implementing a statute of limitations on appraisal reports as a result of recent litigation.
  5. Appraisal Boards – Understanding their tasks in each state.
  6. Building strong relationships with industry partners such as National Realtors Association, National Homebuilders Association (NHA), National Bankers Association (NBA), Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials (AARO) and others.
  7. Communicating to appraisers their rights to file complaints with the Appraisal Boards or regulating authority in their states for AMC’s that are not following the law and/or rules.
  8. Ongoing litigation in states that are enforcing rules and laws of AMC’s according to Dodd/Frank.
  9. Required fee disclosure within an appraisal report to be transparent on the net fee to the appraiser.
  10. A productive round table discussion with the Mortgage Bankers Association representatives on issues that affect both industries and ways we can work together to address those issues, particularly AMC issues affecting the timeline and fees of reports, the supposed appraiser “shortage” as a result of fees that are not high enough to provide adequate compensation, FHA/HUD guidelines, etc.

Several of the group registered for, paid the fee and attended the AARO conference that was going on at the same time. Appraiser’s sitting in the audience of a number of presentations had the chance to express opinions that reflect appraiser’s issues around the country to AARO council members, AMC company representatives and others. This is the kind of voice appraiser’s need. We also need to be presenters at this type of conference to provide accurate information about the industry.

Overall, The Network meeting provided a good start at building relationships between appraisers throughout the country and with industry partners. It is past time for appraiser’s to play an important part in improving industry issues and public trust. ACOW would like to hear from you about what is working or not working and I want to encourage you to get involved, to become part of the solution in improving industry relations and our professional standing. We can’t afford to be “Silent” Appraisers in the current economy.


Past President’s Dinner

November 18 at the Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle

Past Chapter Presidents attend for FREE!

Help incoming President John Gordon, MAI and his team kick off their year, thank outgoing leaders, and honor Past Chapter Presidents at this annual meeting. The Appraiser of the Year and other awards will be given, as well as a designation certificate. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet the volunteers who make your chapter great and hear how you can get involved!

Heay hors d’oeuvres will be served in place of plated dinner and a cash bar will be available.

Click here to register and for full info!


2016 Prepaid Meals Now On Sale

Four dinners for the price of three! Enjoy the convenience of prepaying for chapter meetings.

When you purchase your Prepaid Meals for $180 you’ll get:

  • Three meetings at the beautiful Talaris Conference Center,featuring lovely grounds and free parking.
  • Industry speakers selected by our new Programs Chair, Chuck Munson, MAI.
  • Special activities and entertainments, selected by our incoming president, John Gordon, MAI.
  • Priority reservations for meetings at Talaris (seating will be limited).
  • The Treat Your Associates night at the Washington Athletic Club, featuring 2016 AI President, Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, with parking included.
  • Four associates’ meetings that will give you information you can use to develop as an appraiser
  • Members from outside of King/Pierce/Snohomish area will be eligible to receive $20 travel reimbursement per meeting from the chapter.


PLEASE NOTE: Prepaid members MUST confirm their attendance prior to each meeting by phone, e-mail, or with the online form to ensure accurate head counts and meal choices.


Review Theory – Residential

December 2-4, 2015 – Silver Cloud Inn Seattle-Lake Union

Review Theory—Residential is the fundamental review course that all reviewers should have in their education background. It is a required course for individuals pursuing the Appraisal Institute Residential Review Designation. Participants embark on an in-depth journey of the seven steps outlined in the review process, which is at the core of this course.

Instructors: Joseph Magdziarz, MAI, SRA and Terry Bernhardt, SRA, AI-RRS

Click here to register & for full info


2015 Fall Conference Gold Sponsor




Call for 2016 LDAC Participants

Submissions due December 31, 2015

Each year, the Appraisal Institute gathers a group of approximately 100 chapter representatives for the Leadership Development and Advisory Council (LDAC) to participate in a series of roundtable discussions and to lobby on Capitol Hill. The 2016 LDAC will take place May 25-27 in Washington D.C. The Seattle Chapter has $4,000 of funding available to be distributed among its representatives to defray the cost of attendance.

If you would like to be considered for the Chapter’s LDAC representative position, please send your resume and a letter stating the reason for your interest to the Chapter Office at Submissions should be made by December 31, 2015. Applicants will be contacted following the January 13 Board meeting.

For more information on the program please visit


Employment Opportunities!

Be sure to check out the Employment page of the Seattle Chapter website. New jobs are posted as we receive them. CLICK HERE to view current postings.

Have a job to post? Send the title, description, and application information to the chapter office at Jobs are posted for 2 months unless otherwise requested.


2015 Fall Conference Silver Sponsor


Kidder Mathews FC sponsor ad


Log Your AI Service Hours for CE!

Designated members and Practicing Affiliates, be sure to sign into your AI CE log and submit your service hours so you receive CE credit for…

  • Serving on an Appraisal Institute Board, committee, panel, or project team;
  • Serving as a Candidate Advisor;
  • Authoring publications, courses, seminars, or articles for the Appraisal Institute;
  • and more!

For full information about applicable service hours, please see Regulation No. 10: Continuing Education.

Please note: the Seattle Chapter no longer submits chapter service hours to national on behalf of members. Members must do so using their AI CE log.


Candidate Annual Minimum Progress Deadline

Candidates for Designation have less than three months to complete their 2015 Annual Minimum Progress. National staff is asking all chapters to reach out to their Candidates to see how they can complete AMP by year’s end. The two easiest ways to do so are by completing the Experience and/or College Degree requirements.

Candidates who have a Timeline to Designation set to expire in 2015 or a Candidate who is behind on Annual Minimum Progress should complete a Candidate Extension Request prior to the end of 2015 in order to avoid termination of his/her Candidacy.

Note: Candidate Attendance and Candidate AI CE requirements are no longer required (per Board of Directors action in the first quarter of 2015).

Designated Members AI CE Deadline/Extension

Designated members, if your cycle ends this year and you need more time to complete your AI CE, be sure to complete an online extension form by logging into your account.


Become a Candidate Advisor

The Admissions Department is actively recruiting Designated members to serve as Advisors to Candidates. The Advisor serves as a resource to the Candidate, providing them with knowledge on the Appraisal Institute and the appraisal profession. An Advisor may receive up to 125 points of continuing education credit in the category of “Service As a Candidate Advisor” (this is no longer part of Service to the AI) during each Appraisal Institute five-year continuing education cycle. View the free online Advisor orientation.

Chapters can help by reaching out to Designated members and encouraging them to become an Advisor, and by recommending Advisors to Candidates who do not have one.


AI Education Trust Scholarships – January 1 Application Deadline

The next Appraisal Institute Education Trust Scholarship deadline is Jan. 1. Two scholarships are available to eligible Candidates for Designation:
* Appraisal Institute Education Trust AI Course Scholarship
* Appraisal Institute Education Trust Minorities and Women AI Course Scholarship

Please note: It is recommended that, prior to submitting a scholarship application, applicants attend a minimum of two Appraisal Institute chapter meetings annually.

Learn more about AIET Scholarships here or email


AI Seeks Proposals for 2016 Annual Conference Educational Sessions

The Appraisal Institute is seeking proposals by December 31 for panel sessions and presentations for its 2016 Annual Conference.

AI is seeking highly skilled speakers who can address issues and topics of interest to the valuation profession. All panels/presentations will be assigned to one or more of the following tracks:

  • Commercial
  • Residential
  • General
  • Institutional Client
  • Attorney Client

Learn more about submitting a presentation.


Upcoming Events

January 12, 2016
7-hr USPAP (Bellingham) 

January 13, 2016
Chapter Dinner Meeting
Registration coming soon

January 14, 2016
7-hr USPAP (Seattle)

January 15, 2016
Business Practices & Ethics

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