AAOM Conference Report
Submitted by Marc Connelly, Conference Committee Chair
On Wednesday, May 10th Registration opened at 7:00 am and a full breakfast buffet was available to all delegates. The Opening Ceremonies began at 8:30 a.m. with Michael Cortvriendt, AAOM President, acting as MC.
The AAOM was pleased to welcome Sister Association representatives Chandra Reilly– SAAA, Stephen Bannerman – AAA, Mario Vittiglio – IMA, And Tim Boncoskey – IAAO. The representatives brought greetings on behalf of their Associations - all except for Chandra Reilly whose flight into Winnipeg was delayed so Michael Cortvriendt presented greetings from SAAA on her behalf.
Lloyd Funk, Provincial Municipal Assessor from Indigenous and Municipal Relations Assessment Services and Mel Chambers, City Assessor/Director of Assessment from the City of Winnipeg Assessment & Taxation Department, addressed the delegates and touched on the challenges of the previous year and those expected in the year ahead.
The Keynote Address by Jackie Hunt began shortly after 9:30 a.m. Jackie is a Training Consultant/Owner of QuickThink Consulting and partner with Organization and Staff Development (OSD). She focused on the importance of assessors developing a good relationship with the ratepayers and members of the various Boards they appear before. Jackie followed up her Keynote Address with a Workshop on Presentation Skills. She went over the basics of putting together a presentation to ensure that energy, enthusiasm, and passion for the subject is exhibited by the presenter.
After lunch, Denise Pambrun began her Seminar. Denise is a Solicitor with the City of Winnipeg Legal Services Department. She specialized in assessment and taxation law until 2009 but now practices in the area of civil litigation representing virtually every department of the City of Winnipeg. Ms Pambrun’s Seminar focused on some of the common pitfalls faced by witnesses while giving evidence, both in examination-in-chief and in cross examination.
Just before 3:30 p.m. all AAOM members gathered for the Annual General Meeting facilitated by Michael Cortvriendt. After going through and referring to the various Committee and Board reports contained in the Annual Report, Michael called on Jan Trochim, Chair of AAOM’s Accreditation Board to present AAM Certificates to five newly accredited Assessors - Michael Boyle AAM #232; Ryan McGill AAM #235; Taresa Kowalick AAM #236 all from Provincial Assessment Services and Ariel Jentsch AAM #233 and Jennifer Martens AAM #234 from City Assessment & Taxation.
The next agenda item was the 2017-2018 Elections for the Executive Council. Michael called on Erin Reid, Chair of the Nominations Committee to conduct the elections. Erin announced that the positions of President, Vice-President and 5 Directors needed to be filled. The final results were: Mirek Frolek was elected/acclaimed President for a 2 year term; Jennifer Martens was elected/acclaimed Vice-President for a 2 year term; The five Director positions were filled by Jan Trochim, Shirley Bomak, Erin Reid, Marc Connelly and Jennifer Brandt for a one year term.
Newly acclaimed President Mirek Frolek thanked outgoing President Michael Cortvriendt for his devotion to the Association and for being his mentor. Mirek would be looking to Michael for advice in his new position as President.
After the adjournment of the AGM some of the delegates retired to the Hospitality Room for networking, refreshments and snacks.
On Thursday morning May 11th, at 7:15 a.m., a buffet breakfast was again available to the registered delegates. The first Seminar at 8:30 a.m. featured Tim Boncoskey. Vice-President of the IAAO. Tim presented an overview of how properties are assessed in Maricopa County in Arizona, USA.
Mike Moore, President of the Home Builders Association for Manitoba, was the featured speaker at 9:30 a.m. He presented a look at recent trends in the ever changing housing markets and spoke in depth about three major impacts affecting housing markets in Manitoba - mortgage changes, increasing interest rates and new growth fees.
Tom Van Leeuwen of Pillar to Post was up next. Tom was a founding member and former President of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors. Tom‘s session touched on what to expect and what can often be found when inspecting property. Tom also showed the delegates some tools used during home inspections, such as infrared cameras.
After a lunch of Pasta and Caesar Salad, Detective Steve Mitchell from the Winnipeg Police Service, who had over 10 years of Service (3 within the Organized Crime Unit) spoke to the delegates about the effects of Gangs & Grow Ops in the City of Winnipeg and surrounding area. Detective Mitchell gave the group tips on how to recognize signs of criminal activity and what various gang symbols mean and represent.
The final seminar of the Conference at 3:00 p.m. was a Panel Discussion on Replacement Cost. Bill Mayuk (Provincial Assessment Services) represented the Cost Manual for the Province of Manitoba, Brian Dupuis, AAM (City Assessment) represented the Cost Manual of Marshal and Swift for the City of Winnipeg and Adam Ding represented the Cost Manual for Red River College. The Panel members discussed the benefits and challenges with having various sources of cost information for residential and commercial properties.
The main Close of Conference Prize (Brunch for two at the Viscount, a bottle of wine; a box of chocolates and a pound of coffee) was won by Brandon Mansell from the Portage office.
Ten additional prize draws of chocolates and coffee were also made.
Thanks to all the Delegates who made time in their busy schedules to attend the 61st Annual AAOM Conference. Also many thanks to the Conference Committee for their very valuable assistance in ensuring the success of the 2017 Conference.