Dear friends and colleagues:

As the year comes to a close I would like to provide a look at our successes and challenges during the second part of the year. Clearly, a highlight was the Region IV and National Meetings. This is where our individual and collective voices are heard. Funny, although referred to as the “National” meeting the location in Ottawa underscores the “International” scope of the Appraisal Institute and provides an opportunity to share ideas and network on an international basis. The conference was loaded with insightful speakers, informative and useful seminars and an open exchange of ideas.

In early November, the chapter’s regional delegates, Tonia Vailas, Charissa Kwan and myself together with Tony Marmorale, past LI Chapter President and Past Chair of Region IV attended the 4Q Region IV meeting in Southbridge, MA. 2016 National AI President Scott Robinson gave a thorough overview on the state of AI then fielded an extensive Q&A session on the AI Chapter Financial Policy and the comments and suggestions received to date from members regarding the proposed Governance Restructure Project. These topics must be addressed for the future success of the AI. Since member input will be a driving force behind their success, please continue to submit comments on the AI website regarding your thoughts/concerns about Governance Restructure. Comments can be left anonymously or with your name.

Our chapter’s Annual Golf Outing was held at Harbor Links Golf Club in Port Washington. Weather was great and the guest speaker Paul Mateyunas of Daniel Gale Sothebys gave an in depth look at Long Island’s mansions, estates and residences of the many stars that have called Long Island home. A special thanks to event chairs – Tony Marmorale and Gary Lane, as well as the day’s sponsors for making this such a successful event.

The fall education and chapter activities got off to a start with our September dinner meeting where Robert Knakal and John Hageman of Cushman & Wakefield presented a fireside discussion of current and realistic real estate trends expected for Long Island. Perhaps the most informative portion was the Q&A session. Dr. John Rizzo, our scheduled guest speaker for the October joint meeting with the Community Mortgage Bankers fell ill and could not attend. Richard DiGeronimo and real estate broker Barry Stein stepped up and did an excellent job of discussing the real challenges facing both real estate appraisers and brokers. A special thanks to Richard and Barry for stepping up on short notice.

In October we also held the very successful Mock Trial – Tax Certiorari seminar with the Suffolk County Bar Association at Touro Law School. While many appraisers and attorneys played a significant role preparing and presenting the Mock Trial a sincere thank you is due to Andrew Albro, MAI, Standard Valuation Services, Inc., Richard J. DiGeronimo, MAI, AI-GRS, R.D. Geronimo LTD and Donald P. Franklin, Cushman & Wakefield for their expertise and countless hours committed to preparing sample appraisal reports, “prepping” with the attorneys and testifying at the Mock Trial. On the legal side thanks and gratitude is due to the Honorable Judge John J. Leo, New York State Supreme Court, Suffolk County, Jay M. Herman, Esq. and Jacquelyn Mascetti, Esq. of Herman Katz Cangemi & Clyne, LLP, Allan Hyman, Esq., Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman LLP and Harvey B. Besunder, Esq., Margolin Besunder LLP. Thanks and gratitude is also due to Dean Harry Ballan, Touro Law School for supporting our efforts to educate appraisers and attorneys in a venue conducive to learning and to the event sponsors Rogers & Taylor, Herman Katz Cangemi & Clyne, LLP and Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman LLP.

Seminars presented in the 2nd half of 2017 included Drone Technologies, Advanced Land Valuation, AQ-15 Fair Housing, Fair Lending, Business, Practice & Ethics and the 7-hour USPAP Update (2018-19 Edition) on Dec. 15th. We even held a Career Day Workshop presentation at a local middle school.

The Installation Dinner and Seminar for our incoming President Tonia Vailas, MAI and the 2018 slate of Officers, Board Members and Executive Committee was held December 5th at the Wheatley Hills Country Club. Past LIAI Chapter President Mr. Robert Marks, MAI, SRA was the installing officer. Our guest speaker was Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, 2017 AI National President. It was a great event and we encourage all our members to give our 2018 Officers, Board of Directors and Committees their full support.

On behalf of the Officers, Board of Directors and members of the Long Island Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, I extend sincere congratulations to the following members who have earned prestigious Appraisal Institute designations since this summer: Sean Kiernan, SRA, Michael Murphy, AI-GRS, Gerard O’Connor, SRA, AI-RRS, Raymond Murray, MAI, J. Kevin Timoney, MAI, AI-GRS, and Lawrence Indimine, MAI. Congratulations also to our Year 2017 Chapter Scholarship Award recipients, Daniel Finnigan, James T. Kirk and Kevin Malone.

Over the last 3 years, we have gained 31 new members, the most in the region. Though not the largest chapter in the nation, this makes the LIAI a very visible and influential chapter both regionally and nationally due to our new members also joining the chapter leadership team. Chapter President-Elect Tonia Vailas has chosen 2018 Chapter Committee appointments, and our Chapter always encourages members who wish to actively participate in our Chapter through Chapter Committee service. Aside from designated members and candidates, practicing affiliates are now eligible to serve on most committees. Participation on committees improves the exchange of ideas that will shape the Chapter, Region and National organization over the next few years. Participation also enhances your public professional profile and connects you with other real estate professionals active in the area. If you are interested in serving on a Chapter Committee and did not meet the deadline to complete the National AI Leadership Resource Registry, please contact Francine Morgenstern or Tonia Vailas as soon as possible.

In 2017 the LIAI started a Community Resource Program and our members have generously donated to charities including Socks for Soldiers, Soldiers Angles, the Appraisal Institute Relief Fund and other organizations helping those in need.

As my term as your 2017 President draws to a close, I want to thank all of the officers, board of directors, committee members, chairs and executive directors for their contribution of time and efforts on behalf of the chapter. It is their hard work and professionalism that creates our success year after year.

I encourage all AI members and real estate professionals to join us at our dinner/seminar meetings, educational offerings, seminars, and social outings.

Michael Scalia, MAI, AI-GRS

Long Island Chapter Appraisal Institute President 2017