MAA President's Message
As my year as President of the Michigan Assessors Association winds down, I am hopeful that I've served our members well. It has been a goal of the Board to keep you well informed of what is happening and to gather and share your input - vital in terms of the assessing reform bills. I believe MAA, along with MTA, MAC, and MML, has had a positive influence on revising the bill language by showing the legislators there is always room for improvement and we are willing to work with them to make our profession better.
One thing we can certainly count on is that change is constant. The MAA Board has recognized the need to maintain our focus on what is best for assessors throughout the state. The strategic planning process, initiated by Past President Ruth Scott, continues to guide our organization in its purpose - paraphrased from Article II of our Constitution and Bylaws:
"The purpose of this Association shall be the improvement of assessment administration through the collection, analysis and distribution of information; meetings and education; publications; monitoring legislation; and the betterment of state and local government."
Last month, the Board held a strategic planning retreat to direct the focus for 2019. And while many things continue to change, Education remains our main focus, and challenge. This past year, under a reorganized Education Committee, MAA worked on recruiting new instructors and getting new classes written to provide the quality education our members have come to expect. In conjunction with the State Tax Commission, we have been able to continue offering certification courses at each school in addition to many new continuing education courses.
In June, the Board held a mid-year strategic planning meeting to ensure success of our educational programs. Following that meeting, an education survey went out, and the Board held a short session in September to consider the survey results and use the data to plan. As a result, MAA will hold two schools next year - Spring and Fall, and is also preparing to hold workshops in at least three locations throughout the state, add half day classes following MAA board meetings, hold one day classes in various locations and sponsor certification courses around the state. MAA will continue to focus on developing new and interesting topics for continuing education courses. These efforts aim to provide the best education possible in ways and locations that best suit the needs of our members.
While change is inevitable, the Strategic Planning process has provided direction for the future of MAA, and given all Board members a voice in the process, ensuring smooth transitions for our members as leadership changes each year.
As MAA's educational programming evolves and new legislation continues to change the assessing world, I am reminded of a quote by American cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead, who said - "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Remember: your thoughts and concerns are important to the future of MAA, I hope you will always provide feedback and be part of "the change you want to see in the world." It has been a privilege to be part of and to serve this organization and profession - thank you so much for the honor! I pray you have a Blessed Holiday Season and 2019 brings you all the Best!
Amy L. DeHaan, President