March 30, 2023
VPA Office: Silicon Valley
I was initially hired as an administrative assistant at the Northern California office, and my position at that time involved formatting and editing appraisal reports. Over time, I wanted to advance to the analyst position as the research and report writing intrigued me. At first, I questioned whether I could even tackle an appraisal report since I did not have a formal real estate background, but one of our seasoned appraisers encouraged me to try. When an appraisal analyst position became available five years ago, I asked if I could be considered and was then promoted. I currently support Maria Aji, Ph.D., and Chrisoula Kantiotou, Ph.D., who have a diverse range of expertise and a portfolio of challenging assignments. I have learned so much from them and am extremely grateful for their mentorship.
What is your title and what do you do at Valbridge?
As an appraisal analyst, I research the background of the property, zoning, land use regulations, and market trends. I then prepare the front end of the appraisal reports from the information I collect. I also assist with tax appeal assignments, RFP submissions, and trial exhibits as needed.
How did you become a part of Valbridge and VWC?
I registered to watch a Val-Talk and found it so interesting that I continued watching the Val-Talks regularly. But it wasn’t until last year that I became more involved. My coworker, Yulia Ferguson, who is Ukrainian-American, had approached me about starting a fundraiser to support Ukraine, and I immediately thought of the VWC and the community outreach project they coordinated to benefit foster children. I emailed Michele Wood, the VWC President at the time, and she embraced the idea. With her guidance and support, we launched a campaign beyond my expectations to support charities at the forefront of providing aid to Ukraine. Working on the campaign was empowering and prompted me to join the Community Involvement Committee. We are currently working on raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which I am quite honored to support as a lymphoma survivor.
What are your specialty areas?
I am often assigned the more obscure properties that require in-depth research, including large hillside properties with complex zoning, retrospective appraisals, mixed-use redevelopment projects, and uncommon property types such as worship facilities and amusement parks.
What are some of the most interesting projects you've worked on at Valbridge?
I think every project has an interesting story behind it, but the most memorable include a property in the Sonoma wine country that consisted of a residential estate with a campground that Clark Gable used to frequent. Another interesting appraisal was a historical building in San Juan Bautista that had been a restaurant favored by Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak during the filming of Vertigo. The highest and best use for properties with such a long, rich history is complex because uses change over time along with the condition of the improvements. So, it’s interesting to see how these properties might be renovated to preserve their historic value while also meeting demand.
What do you like most about working at Valbridge and being a member of the VWC?
I enjoy the strong collaboration not only within the Northern California office but across all Valbridge offices. We are so fortunate to be accessible through Zoom meetings and webinars where we can learn from the incredible resources we offer as a national team. The VWC is also a wonderful opportunity for staff to connect nationwide while stepping up to take on leadership and project management roles. I am so impressed with the VWC team in how they go the extra mile on their own time to champion worthwhile causes in such creative ways while encouraging everyone to contribute.