Spring 2018 Newsletter

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President's Letter

Creating Value

There is a new adage in real estate these days, particularly within the retail environment, that local is the new global.

Perhaps it could be a catchy bumper-sticker slogan as well, but without being too cliché, to me at least, it’s a good reminder that value is driven by local efforts first.  Those who know the market and offer something unique have an important role to play in moving forward in a positive direction.  While some may view this philosophy as a rally cry to anti-globalization or some anti-corporate sentiments, what it really comes back to is creating an environment of sustainable value and enhancing local communities.   To that end, the North Star Chapter continues to make great strides to enhance our professional community and add value to the Appraisal Institute’s Designations and membership.

(Continue reading here)


Justin Reed, MAI
2018 North Star Chapter President

Board Member Spotlight
In each newsletter, we will feature a North Star Board Member. This quarter we're talking with Eric Bjorklund, MAI, owner of Bjorklund Appraisals in Bloomington, MN.

North Star (NS): How did you get into the appraisal industry?
Eric Bjorklund (EB): My father was an appraiser.  After my first year of college, and in need of summertime employment, he and another of his partners at BCL Appraisals determined they were in need of help.  So, they offered me an opportunity to work for them.  I worked for them each summer between my years at St. Olaf.  Upon graduation, I weighed my prospects of other employment opportunities against a standing opportunity to come back to BCL Appraisals.  I chose BCL Appraisals, and then dug in hard with the specialized education requirements, licensing and, of course, improving and expanding my actual experiences with various types of work assignments.

NS: How did Bjorklund Appraisals come to be?
EB: Really, it began as a matter of necessity during and after the Great Recession.  I worked for Colliers at the start of the recession, but was laid off because of declining production and internal changes within the company.  Finding that nobody was hiring appraisers at the time, even experienced ones such as myself, I founded Bjorklund Appraisals and have stayed that course ever since. 

NS: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Beyond being proud of my educational accomplishments, I am truly proud of getting through the MAI designation path and achieving the MAI designation.  And in an odd sort of way, I am sort of happy that I failed some of the designation tasks because some failures are the best learning opportunities.   I don’t like failure, and with a determination to learn more and to succeed in most things, I used the failures to my advantage, worked hard to improve, change, and get the designation.  Also, while I may have had some different choices to satisfy the "Demonstration of Knowledge" task for the MAI designation, I wanted only to write the demonstration appraisal report.  So I poured what I had into that task, and accomplished it with wondrous success.

Click here to read the rest of our interview with Eric on the chapter website!

Vote Now in the 2019 Chapter Leadership Elections!

Chapter elections opened on June 15, 2018.  An electronic ballot was sent to all eligible Chapter Designated Members, Candidates, Practicing Affiliates, and Affiliates.  No additional nominations may be made on the ballot. 

Click here to view the slate for 2019.

To submit your vote, please refer to the electronic ballot sent to your email on June 15, 2018.  Ballots must be submitted by midnight on Monday, June 25, 2018.

Member Updates: Feb. 1, 2018 - Jun. 15, 2018

New MAI Designated Members:
  • Sean P. Butts, MAI - Sean Butts Appraisal, Eden Prairie, MN (5/9/2018)
  • Timothy L. Klein, MAI - Diversified Real Estate Services, Inc., Minneapolis, MN (6/8/2018)
New SRA Designated Members:
  • Samuel A. Adesiji, SRA - Aksams Appraisal, LLC, Ramsey, MN (4/3/2018)
  • Adam Lalim, SRA - Northeast Area Appraisals, Watertown, SD (5/2/2018)
New AI-GRS Designated Members:
  • Josie A. Salzbrun, AI-GRS - Wells Fargo, Bloomington, MN (3/27/2018)
New Candidates for Designation:
  • Michael Amundson - Integra Realty Resources, Bloomington, MN (AI-GRS)
  • Harry Johnson - St. Paul, MN (MAI)
  • Christine Mackaman - Patchin Messner Dodd and Brumm, Burnsville, MN (AI-GRS)
  • Andrew Makredes - CBRE, Minneapolis, MN (MAI)
  • Andrew Totzke - Patchin Messner Dodd and Brumm, Burnsville, MN (MAI)
New Practicing Affiliates: 
  • James D. Gardner - Integra Realty Resources, Bloomington, MN
  • Nathan Haasken - Chestnut Realty, Chaska, MN
  • Hans L. Raske - Integra Realty Resources, Bloomington, MN
  • Brittany M. Verschaetse - BMV Appraisal Co., Golden Valley, MN
New Affiliates:
  • Shannon Law - Personal Property Solutions, Minneapolis, MN
The Designated Difference
The Chapter's newest designees share their journeys to becoming AI Designated Members.
Samuel A. Adesiji, SRA
“I enjoy my profession so much that it became second nature to me.  So I decided to work towards the goal of attaining the highest level in the profession by earning the SRA designation from  the Appraisal Institute.  I know being a designated member of the Appraisal Institute will open endless doors of opportunities for me in my career.” (Read More)
Josie A. Salzbrun, AI-GRS
"When the Appraisal Institute introduced the AI-GRS Review designation, I realized that this was the perfect fit for me.  The additional coursework has given me some new perspectives and ideas that I have been able to incorporate into my day-to-day review assignments.  I am also a candidate for the MAI designation." (Read More)
Adam L. Lalim, SRA
"I have been appraising since 2006, primarily in the residential field.  I am committed to becoming a better appraiser and expanding my knowledge base each and every year.  My goal in achieving my SRA Designation was to further myself in the industry, and strive to provide quality work.  The SRA Designation is hopefully the first step towards my future goals in our industry."

Ready to start the designation process? Click the banner above for more info! Need even more inspiration? Watch this video from AI about how designations can help valuation careers!

20th Annual Real Estate Trends Recap

One of many full sessions at the Trends Seminar. (Photo Credit: Josh Folland, MAI)

On May 10th we celebrated our 20th Annual Real Estate Trends Seminar.  We had a great lineup of speakers.  Topics in the morning sessions included commercial real estate retail and office market updates, a capital market update, a residential market update, and a residential MLS workshop.  In the afternoon everyone came together for a session on the MN labor market, a case study on the former downtown St. Paul Macy’s that was redeveloped into Treasure Island Center, and an information/cyber security expert shared his insights on keeping our confidential information safe.

We plan to continue the tradition next year with the 21st Annual Trends on June 6th, 2019. Save the date!  As always, we are looking for volunteers to be on the planning committee. Please contact Byron Miller, SRA, AI-RRS, at if you are interested!

Chapter Education

Check out the full lineup of 2018 North Star educational offerings! 
  • July 23-24: Litigation Appraising: Specialized Topics and Applications
  • August 3: Supervisory Appraiser/Trainee Appraiser Course
  • August 10: 7-Hour National USPAP Update Course - 2018/19
  • September 10-13: General Appraiser Report Writing and Case Studies
  • September 25: FHA Appraising for Valuation Professionals - FHA Single Family Housing Appraisal Requirements
  • October 15-19: Review Theory - General
  • December 17-21: Quantitative Analysis Course

Questions? Please contact or 651-925-5528.

Register here!

Top-notch Appraisal Institute courses and seminars come straight to your desktop with online education! Learn from any computer anywhere, whenever you have time. It's easy, convenient and a great way to get the education you want. Check out the current course listing now!

Lessons from LDAC

Every year the North Star Chapter nominates one or more representatives to attend the Leadership Development & Advisory Council (LDAC) in Washington, DC.  This year the Chapter was represented by Brett Hall, MAI, SRA; Cory Kost, MAI; and Christine Mackaman, MAI.  Below, read about the valuable lessons they learned at the conference.  Perhaps you will be inspired to apply for next year's Council!

LDAC 2018 North Star Chapter representatives at the Hart Senate Office Building. From left: Cory Kost, MAI; Brett Hall, MAI, SRA; Christine Mackaman, MAI (Photo Credit: Christine Mackaman, MAI)

Brett Hall, MAI, SRA (Education Chair):  "LDAC is an amazing experience.  I would highly recommend it to any chapter member.  LDAC brings together 100 of the best and brightest appraisal minds (I’m not one of them, but Cory and Christine were there to take up my slack) with the goal of formulating ideas about how to solve some of our industry’s toughest problems.  It also is an opportunity to discuss ways to increase membership not just in the AI but the profession as a whole.  This is my third year at LDAC and during my time a common theme has been discussed: the impact that over-regulation has on our industry." (Read More)

Christine Mackaman, MAI: "LDAC is a great way to meet other professionals interested in promoting and growing the appraisal industry.  Also, it's a good opportunity to meet our state congresspeople to promote the industry and to be a soundboard regarding real estate and valuation issues to our legislators." (Read More)

Legislative Updates

The North Star Chapter held its first ever Legislative Day at the Capitol on Thursday, March 29 in St. Paul, MN.  Organized by the Government Relations Committee, including Chair Byron Miller, SRA, AI-RRS, the day was a great success. 

HF 2829/SF 2991: Real Estate Appraisal Advisory Board
On May 20, 2018, Governor Dayton signed into law SF 2991/HF2829, which establishes the Real Estate Appraisal Advisory Board (REAAB).  This seven-person board appointed by the Department of Commerce (DOC) commissioner will advise and provide best practices regarding real estate appraisers' licensing, public disciplinary matters, continuing education, and industry-related trends.  The first meeting is to be held in November 2018. (Read More)

AI News

2018 Appraisal Institute Annual Conference
Nashville, TN
July 30 – August 1

Attendees will be able to experience all Music City has to offer while staying in one of the best destinations in the country.

Register today: 
(Online registration closes July 8!)

Industry News

What's Happening at the Chapter

Ana Powers (L), North Star Chapter Events Specialist, soaks up decades-worth of information from former Chapter Executive Secretary, Maribelle Cushman, as executive support continues transitioning to Association Development Services (ADS).

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