I am truly honored to be the President of the Metro New Jersey Chapter for 2018 and I am appreciative of the confidence that has been shown in me for this position. Being the first Appraisal Institute chapter in the country, there is so much history and tradition associated with our chapter, I am humbled that I have the opportunity to play a role in our continued success. I will do my best to represent and lead the Chapter in the same exemplary manner as all of the past Presidents.
I want to congratulate the 2017 president Joseph C. Baldoni, MAI, for a job well done, and I want to thank my fellow 2018 officers for their continued support and assistance in the coming year. Vice President Dan; Treasurer Gary, MAI; and Secretary Chris; all have been actively involved in our chapter for the past several years, and will be a tremendous asset to me when serving my term. I also want to thank the board for this coming year, as well as all of those who have volunteered to serve on the various committees. This is a team effort and cannot be done alone. Last but not least, I want to thank Debra Miller, our Executive Director. Debra puts her heart and soul into our Chapter, and she is truly one of the best in the industry. I’ve seen firsthand just how instrumental she is both at the chapter and regional level and look forward to another successful year with her on our side.
The Chapter’s structure enables it to provide services so that its members are afforded quality educational courses, guidance and assistance that meet their expectations, reflects an organization that has a stated purpose and offers benefits on their behalf. In order for this to occur, The Chapter functions with the volunteering of time and effort by members to serve in various positions and capacities. It is this level of giving of their time from their busy work days and family obligations that has made this Chapter a strong and leading organization, and able to meet membership expectations. To keep our Chapter strong, I ask everyone to get involved, this can include having junior appraisers come to our gatherings or by supporting the chapter via sponsorship. In fact, if you plan on attending any of our conferences, like Princeton or the Fall Conference, for a few dollars more than the cost of attendance, you can be a sponsor and receive free admission.
For the coming year we are beginning the process of partnering with Monmouth University in what I hope will become a long term relationship. Christopher Otteau and I will be working on an intercollegiate competition with Monmouth University involving a feasibility study. Our hope is to tap the chapter for the judges needed to determine the winner. Further, partnering with Monmouth University for out conferences should allow us access to their extensive speaker list and student body. In exchange, Monmouth University should be able to place a number of interns and graduating students with firms in our chapter.
As you are aware with the new governor set to take power, we may be faced with a challenge from the New Jersey Association of Realtors, (NJAR), in the form of legislation at the State level to permit Realtors, Brokers and Licensees with the ability to provide BPO/CMA, (Broker Price Opinions/Certified Market Analysis), for clients in lieu of a real estate appraisal. They tried to get this bill passed in 2013 but was vetoed by then Governor Christie. Similar actions in other States have been approved and will require that we remain vigilant to such actions.
For the coming year, Mark Dunec, MAI, will Chair the Government Relations Committee and with his knowledge of the legislative process and his desire to see that the appraisal profession and its mandated requirements are adhered to, as provided in the “law”, will be an enormous benefit to the Chapter. I know that Mark and the Committee members will be watching for any and all proposed legislation that may affect us.
On a national level the Appraisal Institute is providing leadership and forward thinking for an ever changing world. An example of this is with the new chapter finance system which we are a beta chapter for. Based on my experience with the chapter finances and demonstration of the new system by national, it appears that the new system will be beneficial in the way we invest out reserves and pay our bills.
And like the past years, we have several conferences and other events plan for the 2018 year. This year’s Princeton conference will be on Friday April 20th at the Princeton Marriott and as always will have a number of rock solid speakers. Hopefully with the inclusion of Monmouth University we can start appealing to a younger audience. We’ll also have our Fall Conference on Friday October 19th at the Holiday Inn in Clark. There will be a number of other meetings and seminars throughout the year where educational credits can be earned. Our next event, will be the Membership Lunch Meeting at the Spanish Tavern on Thursday February 22nd. In continuing with our extremely successful Golf Outing, we are going to hold another this year at Top Golf in Edison on Wednesday March 21st. Our charity this year is the 11th Hour Rescue, a non-profit animal rescue group.
In closing, I want to once again thank all of those who have volunteered their time for the upcoming year. I’m looking forward to spending time with our members and getting to know new ones. With the help of the Officers, Committee Chairpersons and Committee Members, I am confident that the coming year will be a success for the Chapter. I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!
James Meehan, MAI, AI-GRs
2018 Metro New Jersey Chapter President