Saturday, November 27, 2010

Taking the Reigns

(L-R) Chip Wagner, SRA - President, Tim Rooney, SRA - President-Elect;
Paul Gillespie, MAI - Vice President, Sharon Bagby, SRA - Treasurer
Joe Magdizarz, MAI, SRA - 2011 National President of the Appraisal Institute

On November 19, 2010, I was installed as the 2011 President of the Chicago Chapter of the Appraisal Institute.  My term officially begins on 1/1/2011.

The Appraisal Institute is a global membership association of professional real estate appraisers, with more than 25,000 members and 91 chapters throughout the world. Its mission is to advance professionalism and ethics, global standards, methodologies, and practices through the professional development of property economics worldwide. Organized in 1932, the Appraisal Institute advocates equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the appraisal profession and conducts its activities in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Members of the Appraisal Institute benefit from an array of professional education and advocacy programs, and may hold the prestigious MAI, SRPA and SRA designations. For more information regarding the Appraisal Institute, please visit

The Chicago Chapter of the Appraisal Institute has approximately 1,200 members throughout northern and central Illinois, of which about 500 hold the prestigious MAI, SRPA and SRA designations.

This is an honor and a privilidge to serve my profession and my peers in such a capacity.  The Appraisal Institute and giving to my industry runs deep in my blood.  My father Alvin L. Wagner, Jr., SRA, RM served on the AIREA Governing Council in the 1970's (national board of directors), and my granduncle, Percy E. Wagner, MAI, SRA, CRE served as the 1942 Illinois Chapter President of the AIREA, and 1960 National President of the AIREA.

I am looking forward to the challenge ahead of me.  The underlying theme of my presidency will be share the goals of our national president Joe Magdziarz, MAI, SRA, and those are to get back to the Institutes's core values:  Education, Ethics, and Designating Qualified Members.

The first order of business is to line up appraisers to serve on 2011 chapter committees.  The committees will be challenged to work throughout the year to advance our goals.

As far as Education, our 2011 schedule is being finalized, and 2011 will be a license renewal year.  The Chicago Chapter puts on more courses annually than any other chapter in the country.  We average 90 courses/seminars per year, and nearly half of the students come from outside of our chapter.  I challenge our membership to take all of your courses from your chapter.  Whether you are upgrading from licensed to certified, pursuing your professional designation, or renewing your license, our chapter is sure to offer the course you are looking for.  Our chapter headquarters are located at 205 W. Wacker Drive (southwest corner of W. Wacker Drive and N. Wells Street.  Parking is next door, and public transportation is convenient as Union Station is just 0.9 miles away, or an 18 minute walk.  We feature state of the art classrooms for presentations, to enhance your learning experience. Select seminars are also being planned for suburban locations and downstate locations in 2011.  Come out and see our first rate facilities, our top-ranked publications and textbook, and our qualified and committed instructors.

Ethics is defined as the study of standards of conduct and moral judgement.  As members of the Appraisal Institute, we adhere to a strict code of professional ethics. Our standards of professional practice is above and beyond our industry's minimum guidelines. Our clients have the confidence in the higher ethical responsibility of a designated member of the Appraisal Institute, ultimately, for the benefit of public trust.

Finally designating qualified members is going to be a goal for 2011 - that combined with member retention and bringing in new associate members into the Chicago Chapter. 

There are many qualified appraisers who should be members of the Appraisal Institute for the many benefits, including group insurance; discounts on education and publications; publications including the monthly Valuation magazine and the quarterly Appraisal Journal; legislative advocacy (we have the ear on capitol hill); business tools; technology; networking and leadership development; marketing and public relations; member service center; and member discounts on products and services from affinity partners.  Personally, I take the most from the networking opportunities.  You have to participate and attend events to recoup the benefits of this - get involved!

Those who are already associate members, we need to help those members towards achieving their designation. The Appraisal Institute is losing more members to retirement annually than we are granting new designees.  Some may be one component away from their designation, such as the demonstration report or the comprehensive exam, while others may be several courses away.  We need to answer the questions and help guide them along on their journey.

My mission is no member left behind, as it is critical that we retain our membership.  The Chicago Chapter has members throughout the state - the former members of the Heart of Illinois Chapter - as far as Champaign County (9), Madison County (10), McLean County (15), Peoria County (13), Sangamon County (10), Tazewell County (5).  We will reach out to our members outside of the Chicago area for courses/seminars and a meeting in 2011.

I look forward to a fun and productive year in 2011, and if any appraiser (or user of appraisal services) should ever have any questions about the Appraisal Institute or the Chicago Chapter, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me.