Saturday, June 3, 2023


The Michigan Assessors Association's Awards Program recognizes individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the Association and the Property Tax Administration Profession

Awards/Scholarships Committee

Shila Kiander , Chair
Phone: 616-204-7771
Email the Committee Chair


Do you know someone that stands out in the field of assessment administration? Now is your opportunity to nominate your colleagues in recognition of their contributions and accomplishments.

The Michigan Assessors Association recognizes persons, groups or agencies each year for outstanding contributions they have made to the assessment profession.

Submit a Nomination On-Line Print Nomination Form


Award Categories
Most Valuable Member (Ernest "Ernie' Beren Award)
MOST VALUABLE MEMBER AWARD (Ernest "Ernie" Beren Award)

This award to be presented to the MAA member who has, over a period of years made a significant contribution to the association through participation, activities, and has made an outstanding contribution to the realization of the goals of MAA.

Eligibility and Criteria:
  • Candidates must be a regular member of MAA.
  • Current officers and Executive Board NOT eligible.
  • Candidate criteria may include, but not be limited to: The candidate has served in an elected position of MAA, as a committee chair, as a contributor in MAA education, or as a speaker at MAA conferences, seminars etc.
  • The candidate has a record of distinguished publications in professional literature.
  • The candidate has been active in other assessor/appraiser organizations.
  • The candidate has served on other public related service related organizations; on national, regional, state or local government study commissions, committees etc.
Literary (Frank Moss Award)
LITERARY AWARD (Frank Moss Award)

This is to be presented to the author of articles adjudged to contribute the most toward the improvement of assessment administration.

Education (David Bone Award)
EDUCATION AWARD (David Bone Award)

This award is presented to the person who has contributed the most in the field of education as related to assessment administration.

Subscribing Member (David M. Heinowski Award)

This award is presented to the MAA subscribing member whose contribution during the past year(s) has been so worthwhile as to demand recognition. This individual's contributions may have been in the area of writing or speaking on equalization, assessment administration or general taxation. The individuals may have also distinguished themselves by contributing to the goals of the organization through the contribution of time, effort, talent, and resources to furthering the goals and objectives of MAA. The recipient shall be the outstanding MAA subscribing member who exemplifies selfless service to the field of assessment administration.

Michigan Property Tax Achievement Award

This award is given to a person or group (who is not an assessment administrator) or a public agency(which is not an assessment or revenue organization),that has made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of property tax administration and the realization of the goals of the MAA.

Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award

This award is conferred on a state, county, or local assessment agency that has instituted a technical, procedural, or administrative program which is, for the affected jurisdiction, an improvement over prior programs, and which is generally recognized as a component of model assessment system and a contributing factor to equity in property taxation.

Eligibility Criteria:
Open only to government assessment/revenue agencies, which have instituted a program as described in the two years prior to nomination, the results of which have proved to be successful.

  • Public information programs are eligible for this award.
  • Programs that are eligible include, but are not limited to:
  • The agency has implemented a program of measuring/evaluating assessment performance by conducting assessment=sales-ratio studies, performance audits, etc.
  • The agency has implemented computerized/cost effective assessment procedures.
  • The agency has began a tax mapping program.
  • The agency has required tax assessor certification, continuing education, etc. and
  • The agency has created an assessment standards division to conduct performance audits, issued guidelines/manuals, provides current awareness services to professional staff, etc.
Distinguished Service Award (President's Award)

This award is presented by the MAA President to an individual or individuals that have made outstanding contributions to the association in the past year.

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2022 Award Recipients

2022 Ernest (Ernie) Beren Most Valuable Member Award

Laurie Spencer

MAA Webmaster 0 862 Article rating: No rating

Laurie Spencer has been working in the Assessment Administration profession in Michigan since 1977 when she started in the CETA program as a field worker. She recently retired as the Equalization Director for Leelanau County but continues to serve as the assessor for Presque Isle Township in Presque Isle County.  Laurie has been an outstanding Assessor, Equalization Director, Mentor, and Educator. Laurie's experience and real-world application of the work we do as assessors and Equalization Directors, has impacted many beginner and experienced assessors alike over the years. 

She has taught for MAA and the STC - writing and creating many of the courses herself and has been an instructor for the Michigan Townships Association. She provides valuable content to the areas of assessing. Specifically, she has written and presented presentations not only for the BOR training, but for township board officials. She was instrumental in providing content regarding how to streamline an assessing budget through the use of technology, showing the value of how to work smarter--not harder.

Ms. Spencer has written articles related to assessment administration published in the ImagiNews and local newspapers. She was the recipient of Imagin’s “Jim Living Geospatial Achievement Award in 2012”. In 2015 under Laurie’s leadership, the Leelanau County Equalization Department received the Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award. She served as the President for the Michigan Association of Equalization Directors and the President of the Northern Michigan Equalization Directors Association. She received MAED’s Director of the Year award in 2017.

Laurie has been a resource for our profession throughout her entire career and is highly respected by assessors and directors from all over the state.

2022 David Bone Education Award

Pete Arbour

MAA Webmaster 0 720 Article rating: No rating

Pete Arbor’s contribution to the field of education over the past 20 plus years has been invaluable. Pete’s expertise on instructing one of the hardest concepts "Income Approach to Value" is recognized and appreciated by students from across the entire state. His continuous commitment to teaching assessors, young and old, is an indication that he is a true educator and values the assessment administration field and the community of assessors. Pete has a way of explaining challenging valuation techniques in a way that is understandable. He is respected by his students and his fellow instructors.

2022 Frank Moss Literary Award

Timothy Schnelle

MAA Webmaster 0 407 Article rating: No rating

For over 30 years Tim has shared his vast knowledge on assessment administration, tax law and appraisal practices with assessing professionals. While with the Department of Treasury, he authored and presented numerous articles and courses regarding changing laws and recent precedent setting court rulings. Most recently, Tim authored the article "The Confusing, And Uncertain, Methodologies For Assessing Alternative Energy Systems In Michigan". This insightful article goes a long way in helping assessors navigate and understand the complexities in valuing alternative energy systems and highlight the different treatment based on the size of the project and the use of the energy.

2022 Michigan Property Tax Achievement Award

Barb Duncanson

MAA Webmaster 0 822 Article rating: No rating

Barb Duncanson has been a staple at the Department of Treasury for decades. With the use of MiSuites for continuing education reporting, Barb is responsible for administering the information regarding courses and attendees. She is professional, knowledgeable, helpful, and happy to assist when someone is having an issue. She has excellent organization and communication skills. She pays attention to details and her desire to do her job well has not gone unnoticed. For her years of working for the Department of Treasury and her service to assessors all over Michigan, Barb Duncanson is deserving of the Property Tax Achievement Award.

2022 Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award

Kent County Bureau of Equalization

MAA Webmaster 0 869 Article rating: 3.0

Kent County Bureau of Equalization, Matt Woolford The discussion of statewide CAMA Data Standards began several years ago within the Kent County Bureau of Equalization. While the path to required implementation of CAMA Data Standards in 2022 involved numerous individuals and agencies, the concept began under the leadership of the Kent County Bureau of Equalization Director, Matt Woolford.

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