Philadelphia: Brotherly Love and Great Appraisers

The Philadelphia Chapter of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) asked me to take over and make over their ailing website. Makeovers are hard — the originals are usually flawed technically, weak on navigation, and lacking in search engine optimization — but I agreed because the Philadelphia Chapter is a wellspring of professionalism and enthusiasm.

What's It Worth!The Chapter is home to several ASA Regional Governors, including business valuation appraiser Mark Penny, the current Governor, and also has spawned at least two ASA International Presidents. But more importantly, it boasts nationally recognized appraisers like Samuel F. Luceno (real estate) and Shirley S. Swaab (personal property), appraisers noted both for their appraisals and for mentoring. In fact, the Chapter has won the annual ASA trophy for Best Mentoring Program three times in the past six years. Now that’s Brotherly Love!

Shirley Swaab is a good example of what I like to call the DaVinci principle — the fact that the efforts of a single person can make a world of difference. Ms. Swaab, who is a well-respected appraiser, is also a noted collector of decorative and fine art items. Year after year she lectures, teaches, and conducts hands-on seminars, bringing items from her own collections for participants to pass around and examine. She’s a perennial on the Maine Antique Digest circuit, and of course, at ASA both nationally and locally. How many speakers do you know who have people wait-listed for their next engagement?

It’s axiomatic that every project takes at least twice as long as expected. The ASA Philadelphia makeover was no exception. But it was fun. The Chapter has a treasure trove of newsletters, articles, Q&A items, strong appraisers, rich seminars, and a long tradition. That made it interesting. The hard part was honoring our self-imposed commitment to keeping the site online throughout the makeover with no “under construction” signs, dead links, or missing pages. Done, but fun. Looking for a business valuation, gems & jewelry, machinery & equipment, personal property or real estate appraiser in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware? Take a look at ASA Philadelphia!


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