Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you as the 2018 President of the Alabama Chapter of the Appraisal Institute. This organization has been very important to me since I entered the valuation profession over 15 years ago. It didn’t take me long to discover the more time and energy I put into the Chapter the more I would get out of it. I began serving on committees and got to know many wonderful people that have since transitioned from being professional colleagues to dear friends. I was fortunate to be chosen by the Chapter to attend LDAC in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and this is where my passion for the Appraisal Institute really flourished. I met the best and brightest members from across the country and got a deeper understanding of what our organization is all about.
I have always been a firm believer that The Appraisal Institute should lead with education and that is exactly what the Alabama Chapter has done for the last four years. We intend to continue with that model in 2018. I think one of the best ways to gauge the health of a Chapter is to analyze the hours of education being taken by the membership. In 2014, a total of 1,800 hours of classroom education (number of attendees x length of seminar) were taken. In 2015, that number rose to 2,065 hours, it rose again in 2016 to 2,604 hours. In 2017 it leaped to 3,789 hours and in 2018, our estimates indicate that over 4,000 hours of classroom education will be taken from the Alabama Chapter of the Appraisal Institute. Many Appraisal Institute members from around the country have asked me what the secret is to the success of the Alabama Chapter and I am quick to tell them “there is no secret, it is the membership that deserves the credit”. Our members have supported our classroom education offerings which has allowed The Chapter to reinvest our education proceeds in our membership. Over the last several years we have been able to send three participants to LDAC each year, create two scholarships, add the Education Incentive Program, provide stipends for the general membership to attend Region meetings, and host four AI After Hours across the state. If all of that isn’t enough, these remarkable things have been accomplished without raising dues in a time while our overall membership numbers have decreased.
I strongly encourage you to continue supporting our classroom education and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. In 2018, we will once again bring the best instructors from around the country to Alabama. On January 25th we are pleased to welcome 2013 Appraisal Institute National President Rick Borges, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, AI-RRS to Birmingham to teach the recently released Solving Land Valuation Puzzles seminar. This seminar has wide appeal to both residential and commercial practitioners. Following the seminar The Chapter will host its first Chapter Meeting of the Year at Oak Hill Bar and Grill in downtown Homewood. On January 26th Rick will be teaching The 2018-2019 USPAP Update. This is an excellent opportunity to be proactive and take the new USPAP seminar as soon as it is released.
On March 13th and 14th, Steve Roach, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS will return to Birmingham to teach the third and final part of the Litigation Professional Development Program. We have received phenomenal responses from both commercial and residential appraisers that attended the first two seminars in the series. Given the first class instructor, excellent venue, and time topic, I fully expect this seminar to be just as good, if not better, than the previous two seminars.
In an effort to continuously advance the education offered by the Alabama Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, we will be presenting our 1st Annual Valuation Symposium on March 16, 2018. Symposiums like this have typically been reserved for larger Appraisal Institute Chapters in major metropolitan areas, and now we have an exceptional opportunity to bring a first-class event to our Alabama members. It is the Education Committee’s expectation that this annual event will allow our profession’s most esteemed experts to educate attendees in various areas of the real estate industry. The speakers that we have lined up for this event read like a “Whos Who” of the valuation profession.
In closing, I would like to remind everyone that this Chapter will continue to grow and flourish if you are willing to become more involved. We have stipends available to the membership if you are interested in attending upcoming Regional meeting in Charleston. We also have a scholarship available for members seeking the Certified General or Certified Residential Licenses as well a scholarship available for those seeking one of the four designations from the Appraisal Institute. If you are interested please reach out to our Executive Director Pam Paulk. The Board of Directors is committed to reinvesting in the Chapter to ensure that our future leaders will have all of the tools to succeed and maintain the strength of our Chapter.
I looking forward to seeing you at an upcoming educational offering or Chapter meeting!
Roger Ball, MAI