President’s message: 2020 is in our rearview mirror - by John Drew

January 15, 2021 - Appraisal & Consulting
John Drew
MassHousing

2020 is in our rearview mirror, but like most things in 2020 the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Chapter of the Appraisal Institute held their Holiday Meeting and Installation of Officers virtually on December 2nd. The MA-RI Chapter will once again be entering a new year with a dedicated and experienced slate of officers and directors, as well as with our executive director Lianne Andreucci, who will serve as the backbone of another successful year for the chapter. 

The incoming leadership team includes: 

• Vice President - Brad Hevenor, MAI - senior appraisal reviewer, Citizens Bank; 

• Treasurer - Robert Maloney, MAI, Cushman & Wakefield; 

• Secretary - Zach Bowyer, MAI, managing director JLL; 

• Immediate Past President - George Demopulos, SRA, AI-RRS, Lincoln Appraisal & Settlement Services; and 

• RI Branch Chapter Chair/Director - Susan Kelly, SRA, Appraisal Solutions.

The 2021 Board of Directors includes: 

• Edward Bowler, MAI, SRA, Bowler Real Estate Appraisal; 

• Deborah Carlson - Needham Bank; 

• Thomas Jensen, MAI, principal/executive director - Boston Appraisal & Consulting, LLC; 

• Nicole McDonnell, MAI - Joseph J. Blake & Associates, Inc.;

• Brett Pelletier - Kirk & Company: Real Estate Counselors; 

• Karen Ryan, SRA - Citizens Bank; and 

• Christopher Stickney, MAI - Colliers International.

I am honored to be serving as the MA-RI Chapter president for 2021. My vision for the upcoming year, although it may not sound ambitious, I believe is, nonetheless very simply, I would like to see our chapter return to the level of activity, interaction, and programming we enjoyed prior to the pandemic. Many things changed in 2020, but we are turning the corner, and we will build on our experiences during this unprecedented time to become a stronger, more flexible and accommodating chapter, whether we operate in-person or virtually.

I believe the chapter is already moving in the right direction for 2021. The cornerstone of our successes has always been our robust education calendar. Committee chairs Ed Bowler, MAI, SRA and Joe Comperchio, MAI, SRA have already set an ambitious schedule of over 15 offerings for the upcoming year. At least seven of these programs, along with the chapter’s signature 2021 Economic Summit, will be held in the first quarter. We will continue to lead the region with the highest quality education for real estate appraisers.

If the 2020 New England Appraisers’ Expo is a harbinger of things to come (210 attendees over three days of virtual commercial and residential training), we will continue to offer the types of chapter developed programs that will satisfy not only the demands of our members, but that will appeal to a broad base of real estate professionals. Our 2021 Programs Committee will be challenged with selecting the most current and dynamic topics and speakers to attract both our residential and commercial appraiser base. After nearly thirty years of chapter involvement, including stretches in candidates leadership, public relations, education/seminars, and programs I know that we will continue to offer the cutting edge social events, topical programs, and educational offerings for which the MA-RI Chapter are known. 

2020 has been a challenging environment for professional organizations throughout the country. However, we will pivot from this “hunkered down” mentality of the last nine months, to an attitude of renewed vigor in an organization that leads the way in the real esate appraisal industry. 

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, continues to spearhead many industry initiatives that are at the forefront of today’s societal changes, including a wide variety of programs promoting diversity and inclusion, including a co-sponsored seminar on Unconscious Bias in valuation, an Appraiser Diversity Pipeline Initiative with Fannie Mae and the National Urban League, a Minority and Women Directory of appraisers, a Minorities and Women Course Scholarship Program from the Appraisal Institute Education and Relief Foundation, a Women’s Initiative Committee (WIC), and a University Relations Committee. 

The MA-RI Chapter will continue to promote these outreach efforts by our National Organization in 2021, to cast a wider net and encourage a more diverse group of real estate professionals to become involved in the Appraisal Institute.

I look forward to the prospect of our membership meeting again in person in 2021, perhaps at our 2021 Annual Conference this August in Orlando, or at one of our signature social or annual fundraising events. 

I wish everyone a happy, safe, and healthy New Year!

John Drew, MAI, is the 2021 president of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, and the manager of appraisal & marketing in the Rental Underwriting Division at MassHousing in Boston.

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