Sunday, July 14, 2024


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

Sharon Frischman,Chair
Phone: 517-483-4136
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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2023 Award Recipients

2023 Ernest (Ernie) Beren Most Valuable Member Award

Beth Botke

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Beth Botke’s substantial and invaluable contributions to both the Michigan Assessors Association (MAA) and the broader assessing community are beyond dispute.

Throughout the past 15-plus years, Ms. Botke has been an active presence within the MAA. Her service extends to various roles, including her dedicated tenure on the MAA Board of Directors, participation on the MAA Education Committee, and her involvement with numerous other MAA Committees.

Beth has been instrumental in elevating our educational offerings. She has played a pivotal role in MAA’s transition from traditional certification classes to the more dynamic realm of continuing education, which now spans the entire state. Over the past two years, her vision has propelled us even further by introducing virtual and hybrid classes, ensuring that knowledge is accessible to a broader audience. Remarkably, all of this has been accomplished while she diligently fulfills her duties as a local assessor.

Beth’s unwavering commitment, tireless work ethic, and passion for education have left an indelible mark on our annual conferences and the MAA as a whole. Her dedication has
undoubtedly enriched the lives of every member of our Association.

In recognition of her exceptional organizational skills, unwavering commitment, loyalty, and exemplary service to assessors across the State of Michigan, we proudly acknowledge Beth
Botke as the 2023 MAA Most Valuable Member.

2023 David Bone Education Award

Tony Meyaard

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Tony has played an active role in MAA's Education over the last decade. He teaches every level of the STC Certification Programs, is an MAA instructor and has presented for IAAO. This past year, Tony presented in Boston for IAAO and in Oregon for the Oregon State Association of County Assessors. Tony creates and presents material in a way that is relatable and thought provoking. 

Outside of the classroom, Tony Meyaard has been one of the most influential mentors, for many people in our profession.  He continues to be invested in the future of our profession, asking questions regarding changes, and proposing solutions before they become an issue.  His ability to think beyond the present has paved the way for many of us.  Tony’s contribution to education extends beyond the classroom because it is experienced daily through his mentorship with so many of us.  Through his questions and his prominent voice about his experiences, we have all been able to learn.

2023 Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award

Michigan State Tax Commission, Will Gast

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Will embarked on his journey in local government back in 1997. After gaining experience with a property reappraisal firm, he ventured into an independent assessor role in 2007. However, it was in 2017 that he commenced his significant work with the Michigan Department of Treasury in the Property Services Division.

Upon taking on the role of Departmental Specialist, the assessment community immediately recognized the value of his contributions to assessment administration.  Will’s collaborative spirit and steadfast support for assessors were palpable. He exhibited an unwavering dedication, never missing a phone call or email.

Beyond his extensive knowledge across all aspects of assessment, Will has committed his career to serving assessors. He genuinely cares for those in the field and is resolutely focused on enhancing assessment practices. Whenever a challenging situation arises, Will is a dependable presence, ready to offer solutions and assistance. His compassionate and positive attitude serves as a beacon of inspiration within the industry.

2023 Michigan Property Tax Achievement Award

Brian Kienle

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Pivot Point has introduced groundbreaking technology to our profession, revolutionizing the way we conduct appraisals in both the assessing and equalization realms. This software represents a significant leap forward, propelling field work into the next generation. It’s a true game-changer. 

2023 David Heinowski Subscribing Member Award

Autumn Hoffman

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Autumn is a long time subscribing member that has been involved firsthand as an exhibitor for many MAA conferences and schools. 

Autumn serves as the account manager for KCI, extending her services to numerous municipalities across Michigan. In her role as a representative of her employer, she has been an exceptional sponsor for MAA. Beyond providing meticulous printing services, Autumn actively participates in the MAA conference each year.

While she attends as an exhibitor, she goes the extra mile by generously contributing her time and talents to support MAA in any capacity required. Autumn’s presence is marked by her cheerful disposition, boundless energy, and her unwavering willingness to assist. While we may be her clients, she consistently surpasses expectations to ensure that everyone has the necessary resources to achieve their goals.

2023 President's Distinguished Service Award

Laura Hallahan, Linda Stevenson & Matthew Raftary

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Laura Hallahan

The first person I would like to reognize is Laura Hallahan. Laura Hallahan is someone I am proud to have called a friend for almost 20 years. A true advocate for Assessors and the Assessing profession. Over the years, Laura has always been willing to share their knowledge and experience with Assessors whether they are a client or not. If you are fortunate enough to be a client, then you know you have the best representation possible when it comes to defending your municipality. She was the first to win a big box case and is willing to fight for municipalities on all tax matters big or small. When I retained Hallahan & Associates as my municipatiliy's Tax Coounsel, I immediately saw a dramatic rise in dismissals which, trust me, is very refreshing!  There is a reason they have made the list of super lawyers. 


Linda Stevenson

My next award recognizes Linda Stevenson and it is my honor to present her a President Award. She is someone who has been involved with the MAA for many years. As a Past President and a current committee member, Linda exemplifies what being involved means. She called me 10 years ago and started the conversation with the question, have you ever given any thought to serving on the MAA Board? My my response was no. That response led to a number of calls over the next few weeks asking me if I had given it anymore thought. Long story short, she wore me down and I agreed to serve on the Board; which was one of the most rewarding decisions I have made in my assessing career. The experience and knowledge Linda has is the reason I chose her to be a Co-conference Chair. After all, since she got me into this position, who better to help me get through the conference process; which let me tell you is a daunting task and she made it easy on me. For that and many more reasons, I am eternally grateful to Linda.

Matthew Raftary

My third and final President’s Award goes to Matthew Raftary.  His involvement with MAA spans over four decades which includes serving on the Board as a District Representative all the way to the office of Past President. Matt's commitment  and knowledge of the Michigan Assessors Association and its history is unmatched. I met this Matt in my first year of being an assessor and was impressed with his wide range of assessing knowledge, and even though he is only 5’ 7” I still looked up to them.  With the guidance of the Boards over the last 25 years, Matt has brought the MAA’s technology into the 21st century. He was also instrumental with me becoming a District Representative, so I thought I would return the favor and make them my other Co-conference Chir, and what a great choice that was. The tireless&

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