ASA Norcal President’s Message for March 2011 – Robert P. Lentz III, ASA

As Ye Sow, So Shall You Reap


My dear wife of 23 years, Debbie, has said to me that some of my prior monthly letters to you have had a “preaching tone.”  While that was not entirely intended, I wish not to disappoint with this message!


Trust me, I’m not a “man of the cloth”; nor do I intend to become one.  My purpose here  is merely to show that you generally get out of life what you put into it.  ASA included.


Last month, we described how your Board of Directors had “zeroed in” on a minimum of six objectives for the Chapter, listed below in no particular order of priority:


   1.   Education

   2.   Accreditation

   3.   Mentoring  (member development)

   4.   Business promotion  (referring leads to fellow ASA members)

   5.   Ethics

   6.   Legislative involvement  (lobbying to promote the ASA membership's interests)


Since this is my mid-term letter, I wish to show you that a lot of hard work (by a lot of hard-working people) has resulted in some serious progress these past six months, in at least four areas.


First, after several years of wrangling, we have approved new Chapter Bylaws which have been sent on to ASA HQ and received their blessing.  These Bylaws are now simplified, and bring us into the 21st century.  And there is talk nationally that our Chapter’s Bylaws will serve as a template for other chapters around the country.  My heartiest congratulations and thanks go to John Barnet and Jack Young (respectively our Chapter Vice President and Secretary), as well as to all the other members of our Board, and Regional Governor Greg Ansel, all of whom added valuable input.  Thank you!


Secondly, working with the four other ASA chapters in California (Los Angeles, San Bernardino/Riverside, San Diego and Central Valley), we have radically improved our lobbying efforts statewide.  We now have a formal contract with our paid lobbyist in Sacramento, and a whole new organization (ASA – California) set up to establish responsibility and insure accountability.  Again, kudos to Greg Ansel and Jack Young, and to Ray Mattison, Chuck Warren and a multitude of others who made all this possible.


Third, regarding business promotion, and in a continuing effort to improve the ASA “brand,” we have this month established a working relationship with a team of MBA candidates from San Francisco State University.  With these Marketing 860 class members, we have the mutual goal of preparing by May a formal plan to fulfill our marketing objectives.  Kudos to Garrett Schwartz and John Barnet for their efforts here.  


Fourth, regarding education, we are working diligently to bring a number of ASA-accredited classes back to the Bay Area.  Well over a decade ago, when I began my ASA experience, all the POV and other ASA classes formerly given in the Bay Area were transferred to Manhattan Beach (CA) and to the other “larger markets” well east of California.  The net result is that we in Northern California must pay airfare + hotel expenses, which for a 3-day class adds roughly $1,000 to the considerable tuition paid.  By bringing classes back to the Bay Area, we save our members money and travel time.  Thanks go to all our Board members, as well as our discipline directors and Dave Snook.  But we need the support of you, our membership, to make these local classes financially viable.  ‘Sign up for a class, fulfill your designation and CPE requirements, and save some money at the same time.  What more can you ask?


In addition to more education, there is one more simple thing you can do to improve your business.  Get involved in the ASA.  Chapter Board members and discipline directors usually have a “full plate” of client assignments, requiring that some additional appraisal business be placed among their colleagues in the ASA.  Your deeper involvement with the Chapter will not only allow you to meet a lot of good people (and great appraisers), you’ll have the opportunity to see how this organization works for you, and further improve your own skills.  …Your networking through the ASA will likely lead to a growing book of business.  Isn’t that worth some of your valuable time?


As more work remains to be done, the adage “many hands make light work” comes to mind.  We would be happy to sign on a few more good volunteers, and to hear from you members who may have suggestions or opinions about these or any other matters.  Please find our contact information in the left-hand margin of this Newsletter. 


Thank you, and a very special thanks to Nancy Stacy (and Naidia Woolf) who does such an excellent job preparing our award-winning Newsletters each month!


‘See you on March 10th for the Rod Hurd presentation on the changes in accounting standards which will affect all of us.  We’re back in San Francisco at our usual venue, L’Olivier on Davis Street.