Course Descriptions and Outlines

Valuation of Breweries & Distilleries by Jerald Rudman: The Valuation of Breweries and Distilleries workshop explores the valuation concepts and issues in the growing craft brewery world. The valuation of this property type requires a good understanding of the brewing process so the personal property and real property components are appropriately addressed.  The workshop includes an overview of the cost, income, and sales comparison examples from the market.

Workshop discussion will include:

  • Guidance from USPAP
  • History and Background of
    • Breweries
    • Distilleries
  • Listing Breweries and Distilleries on the Tax Roll
    • Personal Property
    • Real Property
  • Valuation Issues
    • Research
    • Data analysis
    • Three approaches to value
    • Value conclusion

Cross-Team Collaboration & Navigating Change by Steph Ledbetter, MA: Working together productively as a team is essential to your department’s success. In this session we will discuss the importance of communication best practices and collaboration techniques. The process of teamwork and communication directly impacts each employee’s ability to manage change – which is often overlooked. The human element in change management receives the least amount of attention, however it is imperative for us to know and understand how each person individually moves through the change process. After attending this session, participants will have specific actionable items they can implement to improve collaboration and change management in their team.

New NGS Datum (National Geodetic Survey) by Casey Sherlock, Nebraska State Surveyor: This presentation will cover the replacement of NAD83 by the National Geodetic Survey and what Nebraska has done so far to prepare for the change, examples of what some other states have done to prepare for the change, and how the change impacts Geographic Information Systems and county parcel mapping.

 How to be a Leader – Not a Boss by Rhonda Scharf, CSP, HoF, GSF: Whatever it is we call ourselves at work, we all need to get work done while dealing with other people. But leadership today isn’t like 40 years ago. Getting people to work by saying “because I’m the boss” just doesn’t work anymore.

Because being a leader isn’t about having authority or exercising power. Being a leader is a learned skill. It means acting in a way that people are moved to action by your influence without overt displays of authority.

As Ken Blanchard said, “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”

To be a personal leader means to be able to envision, organize, act, coordinate, understand motivations, and be a catalyst for action in the workplace.

This workshop is a powerful learning tool for people who seek to be come true leaders, the catalysts that promote positive change.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The difference between “Boss” and “Leader”
  • 10 attributes of a leader in 2024 – how do you compare?
  • The new power that leaders need to have: The ability to impact, influence, and inspire. Learn easy-to-apply tips you can implement immediately!
  • Understanding trust
  • What I means to “really listen” (hint: it isn’t the same as hearing)
  • Maximizing your emotional intelligence to ensure success
  • Essential tools for tough conversations, performance feedback, and other supervisory challenges

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words by Derrick Niederklein, AAS; Evan Flamme: In this presentation, attendees will discover the transformative potential of spatial displays in communicating complex analyses to property owners, oversight agencies, and the public. Uncover the art and science behind crafting informative and visually impactful GIS presentations. Learn to harness the power of maps and spatial data to tell a compelling story that resonates with diverse audiences. Whether you’re a seasoned assessor or new to spatial analysis, this course offers practical insights into leveraging visuals to convey information effectively, making your data-driven narratives speak volumes.

ANSI (American National Standards Institute) – 2021 Edition by Reed Kinne, Mass Appraisal Reviewer II, Vanguard Appraisals, Inc.: This standard describes the procedures to be followed in measuring and calculating the square footage of detached and attached single family houses. The discussion will cover techniques for inspecting, measuring, and describing single family homes. The discussion will also demonstrate the application of this standard to valuing properties for the basis of ad valorem property assessments.

Mistakes to Avoid in Model Development by Alice Lauer with Evan Flamme and Phil Hughes: In this session tailored for county assessors, we’ll delve into the critical realm of mass appraisal model development and gain valuable insights on avoiding common pitfalls. The course is designed to equip assessors with the knowledge and tools needed to sidestep potential errors that may undermine the accuracy and fairness of property assessments. Explore real-world case studies, analyze prevalent mistakes, and learn best practices for sound model development. From data quality assurance to refining valuation techniques, this class empowers county assessors to navigate the intricacies of mass appraisal with confidence, ensuring a robust and reliable property valuation process.

Preparing Your Staff for Emergencies by Neal Dethlefs, Howard County Assessor: The life of an Assessor/Appraiser is more than just ratios, costing, sales studies and statistics.  Life is full of unexpected events.  We’ve seen it time and time again, an unforeseen accident or even death leaves an office in turmoil and scrambling to function without its leader.  Is your office prepared for anything?  Can your office operate without you?  On May 1, 2021 Neal was clinically dead, so he will tell you the first-hand experience of what happened to himself and his office.  He will discuss practices, procedures and give food for thought to help you be more prepared for the unexpected.

Valuation of Condos and Different Forms of Ownership By Jerald Rudman: The workshop addresses different forms of ownership and their differences.  Presentations on conversions of other property types into condominiums are included.  The discussion addresses what the appraiser must identify in these situations, such as the paperwork the appraiser must review and a list of general information about condo valuation appraisers should know. Paperwork such as bylaws, condominium declarations and common rules that govern the property is presented, with discussions about the impact on value for the individual condo unit. This class deals with the specific issues that are important to condominium, cooperative and PUD housing appraisal.  There are several appraisal problems and a case study throughout the course material.


  • Identify the USPAP standards relating to Scope of Work and related appraisal definitions.
  • Recognize the definitions of different types of estates.
  • Understand the sandwich lease position and how it is created.
  • Describe the condominium ownership concept.
  • Recognize the features of a planned unit development (PUD).
  • Outline the structure of a cooperative ownership.
  • Identify the differences between condos, PUDs and co-ops.
  • List the primary features of condominium declarations and deeds.
  • Know the two types of condo conversions.
  • Recognize the relevant information of a condo project.
  • List typical common elements of a condo project.
  • Identify the condo documents that should be reviewed.
  • Recognize sections of the Fannie Mae Form 1073 for individual condo unit valuation.
  • Understand the influence of shortfalls in HOA fees.
  • Be able to calculate site density.
  • Know the types of condo units.
  • List the different adjustments made in the Sales Comparison Approach for condo units.
  • Be able to extract and apply GRMs for the Income Approach to value.

Words, Words, & Some Numbers:  Ratio Studies in Action By Kara Endicott, CAE, RES, RMA: This workshop will focus on the statistics used in sales ratio studies and how those can translate to the day-to-day life of an assessment office.  Many of appraisers are taught how to calculate these statistics, but many do not know what should be done once they have them.

The material brings light on how a ratio study can help the assessor’s office produce more accurate work and make the work process more efficient.  It can also be an effective monitoring tool for employees’ work quality, help confirm adjustments for established neighborhoods and aid in creating new neighborhoods.

This will be an interactive workshop that encourages and solicits attendee’s participation in the problem solving.  Attendees are encouraged to add their own examples as the class works together on typical challenges and scenarios that pop up at assessor offices.

States who are challenged by statute limitations imposed on their appraised value often think ratio studies serve no purpose for their jurisdictions, we will explore that problem as well.

Ratio studies can often seem like just some words, words, and a few numbers when we are first learning about them.  A procedure that is required by policing agencies, but not really of relevance outside of that situation but ratio studies can be so much more.  This course is about learning how they apply to your workplace, so begin the journey into the often over complicated world of ratio studies to see that they are so much more than just some words and numbers once we put them in action.

Workshop Objectives

  • Interpret and calculate the statistics used in a ratio study
  • Find ways to use ratio studies to improve the daily life of your office
  • Understand ways to use ratio studies for oversite
  • Provide ways to focus how your policing agencies are using ratio studies to measure the performance of your office.

 Mass Appraisal as a Team Sport by Derrick Niederklein, AAS: Mass appraisal is the systematic creation, application, and testing of values by a group of people. In simple terms, it is a TEAM sport. This course goes beyond traditional valuation methodologies to emphasize the significance of teamwork in the assessment process.   Delve into the hallmarks of a healthy team and cultivate a positive workplace culture, recognizing that the success of mass appraisal relies on collaborative efforts. Explore proven benefits of effective teamwork, including enhanced efficiency, accuracy, and adaptability. By fostering a collaborative approach, county assessors can not only elevate their professional practices but also contribute to the overall success and cohesion of their assessment teams.

(This is a session done at IAAO 2023 under the Education Block:  Leading and Managing the Assessment Office.)

Replacement Costs Through the Eyes of an Old Contractor by Roy Meunsch, Buffalo County Assessor: This presentation will go through what an assessor must do to accurately pick up the costs of miscellaneous improvements. Understanding what replacement costs are in the miscellaneous improvement to understanding how the CAMA needs to be loaded to accurately pick up those costs. Presentation will include an in-depth look at walk-out and garden level basements, decks, covered patios, and masonry posts/columns. What makes them different to what is included in their replacement costs.

Who Are These People Anyway? How to Work with Others When You Don’t Understand Them by Hope Cooper: We have all been there. We stare blankly right at someone while thinking, is this person for real? We know we need to respond but do not know what to say. Or we must turn away because our buttons were pushed, and if we don’t turn away, we might say something we regret, or worse, we say it.In this session, we will learn that understanding yourself and your preferences helps us navigate situations where we can appreciate the differences in others. Concepts of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) will be introduced.

Presenters’ Bios

 Steph Ledbetter, MA

Steph has her Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. She graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She has worked in the Human Resources field for over 16 years, and as Vice President at Zelle, she is able to take that experience to grow and develop her team. In Steph’s tenure, she has helped companies significantly improve the quality of their organization through people. Steph has helped companies implement new human resource processes to improve innovation, engagement, profit and loss, and process improvement.

Jerald Rudman

Jerald is a Certified Illinois Assessing Officer with three decades of professional experience in the assessment field. He currently serves as Chief Commercial Deputy Appraiser for the York Township (Illinois) Assessor;s Office, where he is responsible for the valuation of more than 3,000 parcels of varying non-residential types. Since 2000, he has also been a classroom instructor for the Illinois Property Assessment Institute, teaching both residential and commercial specialties.

Casey Sherlock, Nebraska State Surveyor

Casey Sherlock is the Nebraska State Surveyor and is a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska. Casey has been a registered Nebraska professional land surveyor for 20 years and has been State Surveyor for 6 years. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree with a comprehensive major in Mathematics from Chadron State College in 1999. He was Elected Hall County Surveyor for three consecutive 4 year terms of office beginning in 2005 and also served as the County Public Works Director and GIS Director. Casey was appointed by the Nebraska Board of Educational Lands and Funds as Nebraska’s eighth State Surveyor on January 1, 2018 and serves as Ex-officio Secretary of the Nebraska Board of Examiners for Land Surveyors.

Rhonda Scharf CSP, HoF, GSF

Insightful … humorous … entertaining … even contagious  … words that are often used to describe Rhonda Scharf.  A speaker with the uncanny ability to look at the normal and see something quite different. 

Rhonda will share some things she has learned to help you thrive in your work environment, emerging at the end of the day with a smile and a sense of accomplishment. Audiences far and wide sing her praises for her relevant and useful tips on administration, communication, and workplace effectiveness!

Rhonda is an author, speaker, trainer, and grandmother. She has earned her Certified Speaking Professional, is a member of the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame, and is one of only 35 speakers worldwide who have earned their Global Speaking Fellow (meaning she truly has an international business), and been awarded the Spirit of CAPS award. She was the first speaker in the entire world to earn all four awards. Her peers consider Rhonda a leader in the speaking industry! Her natural warmth and sincerity are balanced by a healthy sense of the absurd, a combination that is useful in any situation.

Rhonda’s professional speaking career began at age two… when her mother would offer her 25 cents to be quiet for five minutes!

Derrick Niederklein, AAS

Nebraska Association of County Officials
Deputy Director-MIPS

Derrick Niederklein, AAS, is Deputy Director of MIPS, a CAMA and government services software company tailored for counties in Nebraska and the Technology Services Division of the Nebraska Association of County Officials. Niederklein recently served as Chief Field Deputy for the Lancaster County Assessor’s Office in Lincoln, Nebraska, for five years prior. Prior to his work in Lancaster County, Niederklein was the Division Manager for the Nebraska Department of Revenue—Property Assessment Division, where he managed state ratio studies, assessment practice reviews, and the central assessment of public service entities. Niederklein earned his Assessment Administration Specialist (AAS) designation in 2018, and holds a M.A. in Management from Doane University, with emphasis in Leadership and Organizational Behavior.

Reed Kinne

Reed Kinne is a Mass Appraisal Associate with Vanguard Appraisals, Inc. He has worked for Vanguard for the past 18 years. He is a certified general appraiser and a Certified Assessor in South Dakota and Iowa. Reed specializes in residential, commercial, and exempt property assessments.

Alice Lauer

I began my career in the tax assessment field in 1995 in the state of Nebraska, in a jurisdiction with a population of approximately 25,000, as an assistant to the county appraiser, and moved into that position upon his retirement 4 years later, in 1999. Because of market limitations, valuations there were centered around the Cost Approach to valuation.

Fast forward 6 years and you will find me working as one of a team of staff appraisers, in a county of approximately 300,000 residents, with an active market and a focus on the Sales Comparison approach to valuation. As my assignments moved from Staff Appraiser to Senior Residential Appraiser to Appraisal Operations Manager, I became actively involved in the modeling aspect of mass appraisal.

From the collection of data to setting a final valuation model for unique sets of properties, over the past 29 years I have experienced both failures and successes and have gained a wealth of knowledge.

Now, in my position as Assessment Specialist for MIPS, I’m excited to be able to share what knowledge I’ve gained with assessors across Nebraska, as they work to produce accurate and fair valuation models.

Evan Flamme

Evan began his career in assessment at Lancaster County, Nebraska as a staff appraiser, diving into the intricate world of property valuation. Transitioning to a statistical/modeling analyst role, he collaborated with colleagues to build and refine models, enhancing appraisal accuracy. Currently, he is a Program Analyst at MIPS (Multi-County Information and Programming Services offering technology to the needs of Nebraska Counties). His focus is on the functionality of the CAMA and Administrative systems while also assisting counties with valuation modeling. He takes pride in supporting a company dedicated to advancing practices across the State of Nebraska.

Neal Dethlefs

Neal Dethlefs is the Howard County Assessor in Nebraska.  He originally took office in 2003, served a four-year term before losing an election by 12 votes.  He won reelection in 2011 and is currently in office. He is IAAO member, has attended numerous NCRAAO conferences, twice was the Central District President and State President in 2018.

Kara Endicott, CAE, RES, RMA

Kara has over 2 decades of appraisal work in county government working in areas as diverse as testifying at the Board of Tax Appeals for commercial property, to managing the valuation of residential properties including single-family, multi-family and condominiums. She works in Johnson county Kansas and currently manages a portion of the residential real estate department. Kara holds both the Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE) and Residential Evaluation Specialist (RES) designations from the International Association of Assessing Officers, as well as being a Registered Mass Appraiser (RMA) for the State of Kansas.
Kara has served on both the Education Committee and Instructors Relations Sub-committee for IAAO. She has also chaired several task forces for the organization. Kara is a Senior National Instructor for IAAO and has taught course across the country. She currently serves the local chapter of IAAO, the Kansas City Chapter of IAAO, as Vice President.

Roy Meusch, Buffalo County Assessor, Nebraska

Roy has been in residential and commercial construction contractor for 30 years. Owned and operated a residential home building business from 1992 to 2014. Past member of the local Kearney Area Builders Association. 8-year board member for The Kearney Area Builders Association. Past member of the Nebraska Home Builders Association. 4-year board member for Nebraska Home Builders Association. Past member of the National Home Builders Association. Project manager for 6 years for two commercial contractors. Held a Nebraska Real Estate License until joining the Assessor’s Office. Joined the Buffalo County Assessor’s Office in 2018. Elected Buffalo County Assessor in 2023.

Hope Cooper

Ms. Cooper is a Project Director for The Moss Group, Inc., a woman owned national consulting firm providing the field of corrections and others industries comprehensive services to create optimal safety and well-being for staff and persons under their care.

Prior to joining TMG, Hope Cooper served as the Deputy Secretary of Juvenile and Adult Community Based Services for the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) where she oversaw the Juvenile Services Division, to include the only juvenile correctional facility in Kansas, the Community Corrections Division, the Parole Services Division, and the Interstate Compact Unit. She served as the Commissioner for both adult and juvenile Interstate Compact for the State of Kansas as well as serving as national Vice-Chair for the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision. Her career with KDOC began in 2008, with roles including Program Consultant, Director of Community Corrections Services, and Warden at the state’s only female facility, Topeka Correctional Facility. Prior to joining KDOC, Hope worked for a juvenile treatment center for adolescent girls as a therapist, the Target Corporation, and as a Federal Probation Officer.

Hope is a member of American Probation and Parole and the Association of Women Executives in Corrections. She maintains her certification in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Hope earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology and her master’s degree in Community Counseling from Chadron State College. She has a passion for helping people be the best versions of themselves and believes every person has worth and is capable of change.