Women's Initiative Network

WIN'ing Conversations - Working Better Together: Exploring Communication, Roles, & Responsibilities

The IAAO Women’s Initiative Task Force is setting up a series of interactive virtual presentations and the next "Women's Initiative Network (WIN): WIN'ing Conversations," is set for Tuesday, April 16 at Noon Central and will cover Working Better Together: Exploring Communication, Roles, & Responsibilities.

People are your organization’s most valuable asset. As the staff and the community become increasingly diverse, your success depends on the ability to understand and leverage the dynamics of difference. This session places culture within the context of an interwoven network of relationships and offers ways to improve our ability to comprehend and communicate with colleagues from varying backgrounds and experiences. The goal is to develop and enhance the tools to ensure that everyone in the workplace is heard, valued and respected.

This interactive curriculum teaches participants to view each individual as a unique culture and provides practical tools for effective communication and relationship building. By communicating effectively across real and imagined boundaries your staff can reach their full potential, feel respected and your organizational goals can be successfully attained. Featuring Barbara Cheives, President and CEO of Converge & Associates Consulting, Inc.

Register for April 16 Call       Sign Up for Future WIN Events

Nine in 90

As part of celebrating IAAO’s 90th anniversary, the association is also recognizing the nine women who have served as president and IAAO is noting their service in a series of articles in F+E. IAAO has a long record of service and leadership by its IAAO female members, including the nine IAAO female presidents. At its founding in 1934, Matylda Zurowska Hudak was one of 12 founding members and served as secretary-treasurer.

In a 2018 article in F+E, it noted Matylda attended the 50th  anniversary meeting of IAAO at its 1984 conference in Hollywood,  Florida, as the last living signer of the original charter establishing IAAO. Coincidentally, that was the same year that Barbara G.  Brunner was serving as IAAO’s first female president.

“As the last living founder, I am especially pleased to see the number of successful women in the profession — and just think — this year the new president will be Barbara G. Brunner,” Hudak said in 1984.

IAAO’s nine in 90

1985 Barbara G. Brunner
1997 Carol N. Kuehn, FIAAO
2002 Deborah Z. King, CAE
2009 Josephine Lim, Ph.D., FIAAO
2012 Debra Asbury
2014 Kim Lauffer, RES, FIAAO
2018 Dorothy Jacks, AAS
2020 Amy Rasmussen, RES, AAS, FIAAO
2024 Rebecca Malmquist, CAE

Black History Month

In connection with IAAO celebrating it's 90th anniversary, the Women's Initiative Network is noting the accomplishments of African-American women in assessment history. 

In Texas, Nelda Wells Spears was appointed Travis County tax assessor‐collector Aug. 1, 1991, making her the first African‐American tax assessor-collector among the state's 254 counties. She was reelected five times before retiring in 2011.

In Tennessee, Vivian M. Wilhoite in 2016 became the first African American to hold the Office of Assessor of Property in the history of Davidson County, which includes Nashville.

In 2023, Joyce Morgan was the first African American Elected Duval County, Florida Property Appraiser and JoHelen Walker became the first African American Tax Assessor and Collector in the Oktibbeha (MS) County.

In Virginia, in 2023 Deidra Kelly, AAS, MBA of Arlington County became the first African American female president of the Virginia Association of Assessing Officers.

According to Wikipedia, in 2008, George Mason University in Virginia declared Wentworth Cheswell of New Hampshire, who during his career from 1768 to 1817, served in many public offices, including as an assessor, to be the first African American elected to public office in the history of the United States.

If you know of an assessor who was first in the field in your state, contact Tammy Brown at brown@iaao.org.