The Value of Community


It has been way too long since my last in-person class.  I am on the plane returning to my home and reflecting on the experience from a class on December 11, 2021.  Being an instructor, I am very happy when I am in the classroom, but this one was special. It is always great to see colleagues, especially after so many months away from the experience. The room was full of many local Chicago area appraisers as well as several Appraisal Institute instructors auditing the course.  With Sandra Adomatis, SRA, the incoming Vice-President for 2022, and Craig Steinley, MAI, SRA, the incoming President-Elect of the Appraisal Institute being there, it was an opportunity for members and potential members to interact with leadership directly.

This particular class, “Valuation Overview of Accessory Dwelling Units’, was the premier offering.  Seeing my mentor and the seminar developer, Sandra Adomatis, SRA is always a treat, and she did a wonderful job as always presenting the material and leading the discussions.  The course, like all Appraisal Institute offerings, is a cumulation of hard work by many people.  The review team, which was comprised of: Dawn M. Molitor-Gennrich, SRA, AI-RRS Alan Hummel, SRA Maria A. Nucci, SRA, AI-RRS Maureen B. Sweeney, SRA, AI-RRS Stephanie Coleman, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, AI-RRS reviewed the seminar for USPAP content. The team did a great job covering a nuanced topic in residential valuation. 

The class does a great job of covering GSE and agency requirements for dealing with a sometimes-difficult valuation premise.  This being a frequently seen valuation issue in my market areas, it was a great review and a welcome refresher for me on the preferences and requirements that appraisers face when valuing accessory dwelling units. This is certainly worth the money for needed continuing education credits.

While the class was great, the company was better.  It’s always great seeing colleagues and dear friends, especially after a long covid-induced isolation. Seeing many colleagues in class but also being able to socialize outside of class was great.  Being we were all in Chicago and the wonderful Maureen Sweeney is always the most gracious host and ambassador for her city, several of us gathered for dinner afterwards to include a dear friend Byron Miller, SRA. AI-RRS, RAA.  The conversations were a range of levity to some serious profession related topics, but my favorite part was the fact that most of us at that table share one thing in common, giving back. Four of the five people sitting at the table are instructors and professionals that volunteer much of our time trying to maintain and improve upon a profession that we all care about so deeply. 

Looking around the table, I realized how fortunate I was to be back among my tribe.  People that are my professional peers, people from whom I have learned so much.  People that will always answer a phone call or email to help in any way, not just from me, but from most any colleague in need.  I know that I needed this, but I encourage all of you reading this to get out to an in-person class as you can.  Covid has been an especially isolating era for all, and it has taken away one of the most important things a membership organization fosters: fellowship.

The class was great, and I suggest that anyone wanting to get some meaningful CE credits to try and catch the course as it comes around.  I hope this post finds everyone as well as can be expected and that the new year brings new opportunities and successes to you all. 

Published by Woody Fincham, SRA, AI-RRS, ASA, RAA

Residential appraiser in the Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley specializing in high-value homes and properties that include equestrian use, hobby farms, High-performance homes (HERS, LEED, Pearl, Earthcraft), large acreage and any residential style property.

2 thoughts on “The Value of Community

  1. Great post Woody! Couldn’t agree more and this makes me remember how thankful I should be for those peers that are making large sacrifices to help the community of appraisers as a whole. Glad you were able to make it to that class!

    Liked by 1 person

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