by John Schalka, MAI

As part of my duties as Vice President of our chapter I attended the Regional meetings in Austin Texas, August 3rd. This was my second Regional meeting having attended the meeting in Seattle in the spring. It is interesting to meet the leadership of other chapters in our region and gain an understanding of the similarities and differences between the chapters. We are a fairly large chapter and as a result we seem to be at the high end in terms of responsible/professional administration, educational offerings and meetings/social events. I think we should be proud of our efforts and continue to provide a comprehensive support system for our local members and branch chapters.

There seem to be two significant issues facing the National Board. I say “seem” because neither the National nor the Regional leadership are able or willing to discuss these topics because of compartmentalization of the board and confidentiality instructions from National legal counsel. The first and most significant is a sense that National is in the process of considering a major restructuring. This restructuring would result in a more centralized organization with the potential elimination or consolidation of some of the chapters. The catalyst for this change is the shift in education revenues basically away from the chapters and to National. This shift has significantly improved National’s financial position relative to the chapters. Obviously it is not clear how these potential changes would impact us, but my guess would be that our model of the North Sound and South Sound branch chapters is a good template for this type of consolidation. The second issue which no one seems willing to really talk about, is our relationship or lack of relationship with the Appraisal Foundation. At the minimum the issue is complex with many perspectives, finger pointing and justifications for our current situation. It is not clear where the current board is with regard to this issue or if any back room discussions are taking place.

In my opinion, both of these issues will significantly impact our chapter and the future of our profession. If you have strong feelings about either of these issues, now might be a good time to contact your regional representative or National leadership directly and make you voice heard.