This year, Membership Services, will be introducing our members to each other and to our clients.  Monthly, Sherry Kaley, Betsy Hughes and I will be interviewing our members and putting together a quick, happy, light read of the membership.  We will be Getting to know everyone!  Lisa Meinczinger

Sherry Kaley, CRP

Sherry Kaley is our very own RAC president this year.  Sherry grew up on a farm in Indiana, and as a fellow Hoosier, she is the epitome of the Hoosier hospitality and what a midwestern girl is all about. 

Sherry always has a smile on her face, is welcoming, and can talk to anyone about anything.  I have always walked away after conversations with the feeling that she is genuine, caring, and full of life.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Sherry and get to know her a little better.

Lisa:  How long have you been appraising?

Sherry:  Since 1999.  I was a stay-at-home mom of two until my family was relocated to North Carolina due to my husband’s job (Barry).  We relocated with 9 cats, 2 dogs, and 2 horses.

Lisa:  Have you always been residential?

Sherry:  Yes, I have.  I did commercial as a trainee, but mostly residential.

Lisa:  What do you specialize in beside Relocation?

Sherry:  I do a lot of niche products such as log homes, historical, mini-farms, and rural assignments.

Lisa:  What are your most memorable properties that you have appraised?

Sherry:  I appraised a cute home and they had dogs.  The homeowner decorated the entire home, every room, with nice furniture.  The walls, from  5 feet and up, were decorated for the adults in the home.  Below were pictures for the dogs…pictures of dog bones, of a steak, of mommy dogs etc. 

Another time I had walked into a foreclosure and Barry was with me.  The house was dark except for these weird lights. We came to find out it was a grow house and we walked right out.

Lisa:  As a woman, how hard has it been to work in a male-dominated field?

Sherry:  Not hard at all.  I went to Purdue University (well, as an Indiana University grad, we won’t hold that against her 😉), I was in the School of Agriculture, and applied to Veterinary School in 1969.  At that time only 1 slot per year was allotted to a woman in the program.   I have always been surrounded by male dominated fields, and never felt intimated. 

Lisa:  What are your accomplishments in your career and life:

Sherry:  RAC President 2020-21

Pilot’s license for single engine planes.  I took my dad and flew into the International Farm Progress Show.

Past member, and national officer of the General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC).  As National Junior Director of Juniors I had the opportunity to spend much time in D.C. at GFWC Headquarters and with government agencies.  Because of that opportunity, I have been to nearly every state in the country.

Due to the national office with GFWC, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many political figures, including President Bush and his wife.

I spent a week on a working cattle ranch in Wyoming and helped drive 8,000 head of cattle off the ranch to the rail head for market.  Best experience ever!

Lisa:  If you could change your career path, what would it have been?

Sherry: I always wanted to be a rancher. (Ron Box, I’d put her to work!) I just fell in to appraising, and it was there when my family needed me to have a good job.  I had the opportunity to become an appraiser and am good at it.

Sherry is an intelligent, interesting, women full of stories.  At conference this year, get to know Sherry, ask her about her chickens, her garden, or her path to being an amazing appraiser.  She has a ton of stories still to tell.

Byron Miller, SRA, AI-RRS, RAA

I met Byron Miller at an Appraisal Institute event in Washington DC in 2016, which was not that long ago, but seems like longer than that. Byron has just been appointed to the Appraisal Qualifications Board with the Appraisal Foundation.  This is a huge honor and a testament to his accomplishments in the profession.  Byron’s is an engineer turned appraiser / educator.  He does not know a stranger and will talk your ear off with interesting stories.  He has a true desire to find out about you.  Byron has several stories about growing up with Prince, yes, Purple Rain, Raspberry Beret, before he was symbol, Prince.  It is remarkably interesting how he looks at appraising and life in general.

Lisa:  What areas do you cover?

Byron:  Minnesota and over the 11 core counties, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area and part of Wisconsin.

Lisa:  Beside Relocation, what do you specialize in?

Byron:  Litigation in dealing with construction defects…this is where my engineering background comes in handy. 

Lisa:  Why did you get into appraising?

Byron:  I looked at it in 1986, when I was working as an engineer.  I had to have my house appraised and it did not appraise out.  So, being interested in the process, I started to research.  I was then approached to work for nothing for two years in 2001, and looked at a contractor’s license to rehab properties.  It all started there.

Lisa:  What was your most memorable appraisal?

Byron:  In 2005, I was in an upscale neighborhood with manicured lawns, newer homes, etc.  The home I was appraising was two years old but on the inside, they had dogs and cats along with animal feces and cat vomit throughout the home.  The homeowner was concerned with my shoes and requested that I remove them.  (I’m sure it was to save the carpets). 

Lisa:  How long have you been an educator?

Byron:  I started teaching in graduate school in 1995.  I have a comp graph course at the college level.  In 2003, I started teaching for Kaplan.  I had called Craig Harrington at the Appraisal Institute for teaching opportunities.  That is when I started my path to obtain my SRA designation and was designated in 2012.

Lisa:  What are your favorite courses to teach?

Byron:  The ones I develop.  Lol.  I have developed an ANSI course, I do chapter development and am working on an accessory unit course.  (Byron was a presenter with the Appraisal foundation on Valuation Bias several months ago).

Lisa: Why are you a RAC member?

Byron:  In 2007 – 2008, I realized the mortgage industry was not ideal and started to realize that specialization is where I needed to be.  I researched options and RAC came up.  RAC has been good for business as it is the gold standard for relocation work.

Lisa:  Do you have any hobbies or interest outside of appraising (not sure why everyone laughs when I ask this question)?

Byron:  I used to write bad poetry, go to plays, exercise (he was taking a walk as I was talking to him). My daughter is interested in robotics and I am trying to work with her and teach her a few things.

Byron has a lot to offer this profession and has accomplished much.  It will be rewarding to see what he accomplishes at the Appraisal Foundation with his newly appointed position.  Congratulations to Byron on this honor. When you see Byron at the RAC conference in September, ask him anything, he will buy you a drink and talk the night away.