Fred J. Winer, ISA CAPP, is a current member and Past President of the International Society of Appraisers and Foundation for Appraisal Education. These organizations were created to provide education and certification to produce qualified and ethical appraisers who are recognized authorities in the field of personal property appraising.

Fred has been a personal property appraiser since 1983 and owns his own appraisal company with his wife, Maureen S. Winer, ISA CAPP.

We asked Fred to share his experiences as a member of ISA and what his experiences as an association leader have taught him.

Q: What has been your history of involvement with ISA?

A: I first became a member in the mid-80s and have been a member continuously ever since. I was looking to get appraisal education and ISA seemed to be more inclusive than the competition.

Q: Why did you decide to become a volunteer leader of ISA?

A: For many years, I was a quiet member. I paid my dues, attended courses, and went to an occasional conference. Over time I had several questions about certain things we were doing and was an armchair complainer. Several colleagues suggested I run for the Board. I found that I was not the only one who felt the way I did and apparently several things I was advocating for struck a chord, although I lost by four votes. So I had the best of all worlds – a little notoriety and no responsibilities. A few months later a Board member resigned and I was appointed to take her place. I retired from the Board over seven years later.

Q: In your own words, why does ISA exist?

A: ISA exists not for any one reason, but for several, which are all related. We offer a sound educational foundation for our members, a sense of community, and the tools for becoming competent professionals. We have evolved, are always trying to keep current, and have a business model that is sustainable.

Q: What do you like most about serving your peers?

A: That I still have peers to serve. When, for example, I go into a meeting room or a reception at the annual conference, Assets, I often close my eyes and listen to the noise and energy of people engaged.

Q: Thus far, what accomplishment of ISA are you most proud of? OR what are you most looking forward to accomplishing?

A: When ISA transitioned from a stand-alone organization to association management, we were doing poorly on many fronts. We faced tortuous issues and made difficult decisions which, in retrospect, turned out to be good ones. Many of them meant not being able to be instantly transparent with the membership, but most members were supportive and trusted we would do what was in ISA’s best interest. I am most proud of being part of leadership who showed enormous courage and resolve.

I’m probably the only member of ISA who can answer the OR part of this question since I’m now in my fourth term. I am looking forward, as treasurer, to continue what others have done before me, and leave ISA in a viable and enviable financial position.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share with fellow association leaders?

A: Build consensus when you can, but don’t be paralyzed if you don’t have unanimity. Be confident in your decisions but not rigid and dogmatic, and recognize that changing conditions can mean the plan needs to be altered or tweaked. Learn how to really listen to your colleagues. Have the courage to seek advice, and don’t be timid in asking questions. I usually find I’m not the only one who was thinking the same thing. We are all the smartest people in the room.

The most important question any person in association leadership must consider in virtually every decision is: What do I think is best for the association as a whole? There are several paralyzing and debilitating traps for leaders. If there is an “elephant in the room,” it will not leave on its own and “kicking the can down the road” is passive. The can remains on the road to be tripped on by those who follow you.

The question that permeates virtually every decision is: What do I think is best for the organization? The right answers always emerge…it may just take a little time.

Looking for more Association Leader Spotlights? Read our Association Leader Spotlight on Vicky Medlock, ex officio board member of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals.