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To my fellow license holders that have not yet heard from me since my appointment as Board Chair in September, I would like to introduce myself.

I am an appraiser residing in Austin, Texas with a focus on commercial review work. I also happen to be a second-generation appraiser. My father is an appraiser, as well as my brother, and my sister is the managing partner at an appraisal firm. Appraisals helped put me through college and gave me my first job, taping pictures into appraisals. I was appointed by Governor Perry in 2013 to the AMC Advisory Committee where I served until earlier this year. Now, as part of my role as a liaison for lending institutions, I talk to appraisers across the state every day. This has been my community for most of my life. From walking the halls of the Capitol with Commissioner Oldmixon in 2011, sitting on the AMC Advisory Committee, and serving on the Executive Committee of the Foundation Appraisers Coalition of Texas (FACT), I’ve been unknowingly preparing for this role for a long time.

Earlier this year when the Governor’s office asked me to chair the Board, I was humbled and honored to take on such great responsibility. As I contemplated the request, I wanted to make sure I was the right person for the job, and this was the right time for me to serve. Knowing that the Board would be losing a decade of institutional knowledge with Commissioner Oldmixon’s retirement didn’t make the decision any easier. Leading up to my acceptance of this role, I had a number of conversations to ensure that I was clear on how to approach this responsibility in a thoughtful and effective manner. As part of those discussions, I was given a very clear directive what was expected in order to fulfill the state’s mission. I have been charged with furthering the agenda of creating a leaner, more efficient government while protecting the public interest and increasing transparency between the agency and its stakeholders. It is my hope that I honor the mission of this Board in my service.

I am in the process of developing both immediate and long-term strategic goals that I intend to accomplish during my time on the Board. I attended the recent AARO conference and heard from agencies like the Appraisal Subcommittee, important advocacy groups such as the American Bankers Association, state regulators and fellow Board members from across the country. I have been reviewing the agency’s processes and procedures, talking to past Board members and holding listening sessions with industry advocates. And, now I need to hear from you, Texas appraisers. I would like to know what industry issues you would like the Board to be aware of and address.

Aside from diving into my new role and building a list of goals, I want to update you on recent Board activities. Along with several agency staff members, I attended the AARO conference in October. The Board then worked alongside the TREC Commissioners to conduct a nationwide search for Commissioner Oldmixon’s successor. In January, Chelsea Buchholtz, TREC’s current General Counsel, will begin her new role as Executive Director/Commissioner for the agency.

The Board met for two full days in November for a training workshop and our regular Board meeting where we welcomed two new board members as well as honored Jamie Wickliffe for her years of outstanding service to the Board and Texas appraisers. During both of these meetings we discussed an October letter from Governor Abbott asking that state agencies explore policy opportunities for removing barriers to obtaining and maintaining a license in Texas, enhancing reasonable license portability, and reducing fees. We were able to provide a detailed report on some of the accomplishments the agency has made in the last two years, and commit to exploring additional future steps to implement these initiatives.

Lastly, during the holiday season we are encouraged to take time to reflect upon the good things we have. It is in this spirit that I say thank you to the committed leadership and staff at the agency, our dedicated Board members and the faithful license holders that we serve. I appreciate working with you all and hope that the holidays and the coming year will bring you happiness and success.