Reese's Observed Conditions

Honoring My Mentor | May 25, 2011

Is it possible that my mentor, Jim Goodhue, MAI (retired), turned 90 this month? So I’m told by his former secretary at Adobe Savings, Debbie Stanley. Where did all the years go since I first met him in December 1980 as an interviewee for a research assistant’s job with his appraisal practice, Venture Research? Yes, it’s the same name as my company. You see, I purchased Venture Research from Jim in 1997 when he decided to retire in stages.

Jim Goodhue is known and revered by many in the commercial appraisal industry for his mentoring, teaching of appraisal classes, and fine appraisals and consulting.  A look at his appraiser qualifications from an old report we did together reminded me that he started his path to the practice of appraisal in much the same way I did, as a segue.

Jim Goodhue got his BS in engineering from the prestigious MIT in the 1940’s.  Much later, in his constant quest for learning, he went to St. Mary’s College and earned his MBA in 1982. Jim worked in the engineering field first as a licensed architect and engineer, with a firm he owned committed to these practices before moving into the appraisal field around 1960. Hopefully, I’ve remembered his history correctly.

I could go on and on about his achievements, of which he and his family should and I’m sure are very proud.  But back then to me Jim represented a new avenue for my curiosity; a chance at a new career in my new found home state of California. I answered an ad in the newspaper in late 1980 for a research assistant for his appraisal firm, Venture Research. I was interviewed by then employees, Jim Shaw and BJ Diehl, as well as Jim himself. I found a fit for the former New York State teacher with a couple of English degrees in the land of post Prop. 13.

I was encouraged to find out more about appraising by Jim; to see if this was a job or a career move for me.  I took my first appraisal class at DVC (DiabloValleyCollege) the next year and liked it. Subsequently I worked through all the classes required for an MAI designation back then. I rode along with one of the residential appraisers in the office, Jim Hugus, and accompanied Jim Shaw on a number of appraisal assignments, all the while learning, learning, learning!   

I guess Jim Goodhue saw potential, as he soon had me working on land appraisals.  The rest, as they say, is history!

One discussion that I will never forget that I had with my mentor, Jim, was on the subject of rounding in an appraisal report. I got to my values via the different approaches and was exact to the nearest dollar. Jim reviewed my work and asked me when I became god that I could be so precise? That is the day I learned about ranges and that rounding to the nearest $10,000 was more realistic for valuation purposes.

Sadly, I left Jim’s Venture Research in mid-1985 to remarry and move to Southern California. I left, but I returned. In 1990 when I started my own appraisal practice I did subcontract work forJim Goodhue. That lasted until 1997 when the name Venture Research transferred to me. 

I never did get that MAI designation, due to personal time and financial limitations, but along the way I did gain a wealth if experiences working for not only Jim, but a number of other MAI’s in fee and corporate appraisal positions in both Southern and Northern California.  During that time, when given the opportunity, I tried to be a mentor to those appraisers just getting started in the field, just like my mentor, Jim Goodhue, had done for me.

I salute you, Jim Goodhue, for your continual mentoring of young appraisers throughout your long career; for your never-ending support, achievements, and longevity.  I thank you for my start in the field of commercial appraisal. I hope I always live up to your standards and expectations.

Belated happy birthday wishes, with appreciation and respect!

Helen

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