Valbridge Women’s Council Member Spotlight: Ailsa Barrett

April 28, 2021
Name: Ailsa Barrett
Title: Senior Appraisal Analyst
Date: April 28, 2021
VPA Office: Northern California

Employee background:

I was born and raised in Eastern Canada, but we moved to California right before I turned 10, so while I’m Canadian at heart, I’m a blend of Canadian and California West Coaster by nature, as anyone who as met me will attest. I got my degree at San Jose State in Mediaeval History with a minor in French, and when I needed to head out into the workforce, I looked for a job doing research, which was my forté during my studies, which lead me to the research assistant (as analysts were then called) at Valbridge | Norcal (which was at that time Hulberg & Associates).

What is your title and what do you do at Valbridge?

My job title is officially Senior Appraisal Analyst, one of two at our company – but that said, I have a somewhat unique role in the company. I currently support two appraisers – a Managing Director (whom I help with both her appraisal and management tasks) and a Senior Appraiser, but I also do a lot of work directly for the company including helping with all things related to Datappraise (training, templates, and database administration & management), and leading a team of people who put together RFP proposals for the company.

How did you become a part of Valbridge and VWC?

I was brought into things near the beginning of Valbridge as part of the Templates Team and have enjoyed getting to know people from around the country over the years. Now with the VWC, working with the Community Involvement Committee, heading up the Onboarding Task Force, as well as participating in the Leadership group in general, I have continued to get to know wonderful people as we work towards amazing goals of education and outreach. The people in Valbridge are amazing, intelligent, interesting, dedicated people – the people I have met through the VWC are even more so.

What are your specialty areas?

I love helping people – training, solving problems, helping them figure out why something isn’t working or how to make a task flow smoothly … whether it’s teaching the basics, or providing tips and tricks once they have the basics figured out.

I also love doing research. Especially digging deep. I don’t get to do the deep dives as often as I’d like, but it’s really fun putting the skills I learned in university to work when we’re trying to piece together the history of a property or find data to prove a point.

What are some of the most interesting projects you've worked on at Valbridge?

Gosh, over 22 years … there have been a lot of them. The first assignment I worked on was a mortuary … but since then we’ve done everything from airports, to football stadiums, to cemeteries, to auto dealerships, to state-of-the-art green developments, and now land for open space preservation too.

That said, I think my favorite was helping women win a court case against other family members who had done them wrong years earlier by making a contract with mutual relatives which contract wasn’t at market back when it was first written – and part of that win was thanks to some research I dug up helping prove it wasn’t at market for that time. It feels good to know I had a hand in that.

What do you like most about working at Valbridge and being a member of the VWC?

What I like about working at Valbridge, and what has kept me getting up and coming to work for 22 years, is that it’s rarely boring. Each assignment brings new challenges, new things to consider, and new things to learn

As for being part of the VWC, I love that we’re taking what we’re best at and sharing it with others in such a positive way. Whether it’s sharing our skills so others can grow or reaching out to our community in a more personal way so that we become stronger together, I think the VWC truly makes Valbridge stand out and shine.

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