In 1983 the Central Arizona Chapter IAAO monthly meeting / speaker luncheon was a regular event. It would regularly host about 50 attendees. The moving force behind this program was the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office Residential manager, Bud Scribner. Scribner was a member of the IAAO national Board of Directors at the time and a national instructor of IAAO courses. Bud left Phoenix to teach Assessment full time in Athens Georgia. When Bud left, the meetings stopped and so did the existence of the Central Arizona Chapter of IAAO.
Then in 1994, Ron Gibbs and Bruce Belon held a meeting to invite those who were interested in reinstating the local chapter. At that time, Ron Gibbs was charged with administration and oversight of the Marshall & Swift Cost system for the Arizona Department of Revenue. He was also an IAAO national instructor. Bruce Belon was in charge of Equalization and Valuation for the Department of Revenue. Bruce was eventually the President of National IAAO, just before his untimely passing. It was through their efforts and leadership that Ron Gibbs and Bruce Belon reestablished the Central Arizona Chapter.
The first President of the reinstated chapter in 1995/1996 was Al Ochoa, an appraiser in Maricopa County. That was a very tough year for the Chapter, and it took time to get some momentum but a few meetings were held that year. In 1996/1997 Craig Smith of the Department of Revenue was elected President; however, he resigned the week following the elections. Pursuant to Chapter By-laws the elected Vice President David “Doc” Gillies then took the Presidency. It may have been out of sympathy for Doc, but a number of very talented people stepped forward and the Chapter made great strides.
In that second year, the Chapter hosted speakers from the Attorney General’s Office, the Chairman of the State Board, The Director of the Department of Revenue and the Western Regional Manager of TOSCO Corporation. Ron Gibbs took the Chair of the Education Committee and established a rotation of courses over a 4 year period to obtain all course work necessary for professional designation. Jennifer Shultz now Jennifer Stielow, took the Vice President position. Jennifer was an appraiser at Maricopa County who eventually became a trainer and who now works for Arizona Tax Research Foundation. Jennifer was highly motivated and was a good organizer. She helped, and sometimes pushed Doc get things done. Marge Taylor took over the publication of the Chapter newsletter. Marge worked for the Department as a computer programming specialist whose wit and style made the newsletter a success. Gayle Platt took over chairwoman of the Christmas Party Event; she coordinated some terrific functions in those early years and generated corporate sponsorship to hold down costs. These annual social events were very well attended by both members and their spouses. These and many other very hard working people over the years have helped make the Chapter what it is today. Like George Shook, who except for his term as Chapter President was an active Executive Board member of the Chapter from 1996 to approximately 2009 when he took the Chairmanship of the State Board of Equalization. Membership increased in that second year to around 70 members. Our membership has grown and now stands at 272 members.
A small contingent of the Chapter Executive Board approached the Maricopa County Assessor in that 1996 year and asked for support of IAAO. The group explained that travel expenses associated with obtaining IAAO training could be eliminated and more funding could be devoted to training at a lesser cost per individual if IAAO courses were held within the County/State. There was also a request that the Assessor pay for membership to the local chapter, which at the time was $10 per year per person. The Maricopa Assessor made a commitment to professionalism which has continued to this day.
The Southern Arizona Chapter was also very active and had a large membership at that time, but subsequently their membership and activity dramatically declined in the late 1990’s and they disbanded. Those that remained joined the then Central Arizona Chapter and not long after that took place, the Central Arizona Chapter was renamed, the Arizona Chapter.
Since then, the Chapter has hosted 1 State Conference and 2 national conferences, won Chapter of the Year 4 times, won the Virginia Cup and have had numerous members receive national IAAO awards and earn IAAO designations.