“Living in Interesting Times”

The English phrase, “May you live in interesting times” couldn’t be more true than this year. According to Wikipedia, this phrase is a translated Chinese curse!

With everything going on in the world, I tend to look at it from a perspective of making lemonade out of lemons.

I believe that this is a truly transformative time in our history. Six months ago, who’d thought that folks would be hunkered down in their homes for four months. Or that appraisers would be one of the essential services indicated by the MN governor to keep the economy moving. From virtual appraisals, to online CE, appraisers are an integral part of that transformation.

And through it all, the North Star Chapter of the Appraisal Institute is focused on providing the best member benefits possible.

These benefits are delivered through the efforts of our dedicated volunteers. Let me give you some examples of what I’m talking about.

Our government relations committee was contacted two days before the state-wide shutdown to provide input to the governor regarding our profession as an essential service. This resulted in the ability for those that wanted to still work in a world shuttered by a pandemic.

Soon after the shutdown, a new threat unrelated to the pandemic emerged as our partners at the Dept. of Commerce sent out ~150 investigation letters regarding Minneapolis’ new zoning requirements. Shout out to Patrick Grengs, SRA, AI-RRS, Vicki Grant, and Laura Lamont, SRA to making us aware of the issue so that we could resolve it for our members.

When it appeared that this “new normal” was here to stay, our education chair Brett Hall, MAI, SRA, pivoted education to a virtual delivery model so that folks could still get their credits for the upcoming License renewal period. Along those same lines, Christy Mackaman, MAI; Josh Folland, MAI; Jeremy Winter, MAI; and Scott Neu, MAI put together an informational Covid-19 webinar that had several hundred virtual attendees.

Interesting times makes for innovative solutions.

If you have any questions or suggestions on how we can add addition member value, drop me a line.

Happy Appraising,


Byron Miller, SRA, AI-RRS, RAA, MSSE
2020 North Star Appraisal Institute President

2020 North Star Chapter President,

Byron E. Miller, SRA, AI-RRS, President – BM Appraisals