Valbridge Employee Spotlight: Vicki Mundlin, MAI
November 17, 2020
Title: Senior Managing Director
Date: November 17, 2020
VPA Office: Inland Pacific Northwest
I started with Auble & Associates in 1990 after graduating from college with a degree in Business Management with an emphasis on Accounting. I worked as a bookkeeper and administrative assistant while studying for the CPA exam. It soon became clear- I would need to work for an accounting firm to further my accounting future. Meanwhile, I became interested in the appraisal process and liked the freedom and flexibility in work environment the appraisers enjoyed. After seeing a couple of new hires fail to perform, I asked Dave Auble, the company’s founder, if I could have a chance at becoming an appraiser.
Dave said, “Women do not become appraisers.” I responded, “Okay…” When a second appraisal candidate did not pass the test, I asked him to give me a try again, or I would need to find an accounting firm, where to gain some real world experience in accounting.
Dave, to his credit, thought it over, realizing I did a pretty good job at bookkeeping, and agreed to giving me a chance. Dave began to take me on inspections and let me run with some projects. I remember, one day, he did suggest that I wear more practical shoes and Dockers, (more or less his words.) But at the end of the day, he was happy with my work ethic and real estate intuition. I remember hearing him suggest to Bruce Jolicoeur and Scot Auble, his son, that perhaps we should hire more females. Today we are a firm of 14 appraisers (four are females with MAI designations) and of course Karlene Perry, our CEO, who also serves as Valbridge National’s CFO.
So here I am today, a partner in the same company that gave me a chance to become an appraiser in 1992, after I started out as a temporary bookkeeper with aspirations to become an accountant. I have never looked back. That being said; I have been terrified, frustrated, and stressed at times, but never bored. I am excited about the real estate market while learning from active players in the market and understanding why they make the decisions they do- to the point where my husband would like to get through a social event without me asking someone what they paid for something.
What is your title and what do you do at Valbridge?
Senior Managing Director at our Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Office. As owners, we are responsible for holding up a three-legged stool; management, mentoring and making it rain. I have found that through mentoring, I’ve become a better appraiser.
How did you become a part of Valbridge?
Our company was founded in 1984 by Dave Auble, and then became Auble, Jolicoeur and Gentry, before joining Valbridge in 2011; when we became intrigued with the idea of joining forces with other appraisal firms across the U.S. and the leverage we could provide to each other, versus continued operation as a small boutique firm.
What are your specialty areas?
I specialize in land development, master planned communities; waterfront, multi-family, assisted living and general commercial work.
What are some of the most interesting projects you've worked on at Valbridge?
I have worked on some great master planned communities with marinas and golf courses that are big puzzles to be assembled. I am scheduled to work on a portfolio of assisted living facilities in Oregon, along with Matt Awsumb from Colorado, and Joe Corlett from the Boise, Idaho office. Joe put the project together for his client from Ashley Manor Assisted Living Homes who really needed a national firm to do the work. I’m looking forward to collaborating with Matt and Joe on this project and expect I will learn something from both of them in the process.
What do you like most about working at Valbridge?
I appreciate the tremendous amount of brain trust created through collaboration with the other firms within the franchise. We have been able to provide benefits to our employees, that as a small company we were not able to.
I didn’t start out wanting to be an appraiser, and not many people do. I happened to stumble upon it while pursuing another avenue, and fortunately I was given the opportunity to prove myself, and to show that gender has nothing to do with being an appraiser and everything to do with your personal drive, skill set and ability to solve the appraisal problems of our clients. I am thankful every day for the opportunities given to me by Dave, and the many others who have been mentors along the way.