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Lifetime Achievement

Two of our Local Icons Recognized

- Arlen C. Mills, MAI, SRA (1932-2022)
- Richard M. Betts, MAI, SRA (retired)

2018 – Arlen C. Mills, MAI, SRA

ArlenMills photo 2016 scaled e1635892686344

The chapter’s inaugural lifetime achievement award was presented at our 2018 Fall Conference to Arlen C. Mills, MAI, SRA.  Arlen Mills has appraised real estate since 1956 and most recently headed the firm The Mills Company which was founded in 1989 and maintained offices in San Francisco and Sonoma for over three decades. Over his career, Arlen was able to achieve multiple levels of designation from various real estate organizations. His service to the industry includes numerous Appraisal Institute positions and helping lead numerous initiatives to better the industry while assisting appraisers. Further impacting the industry and our Chapter, he authored numerous papers/textbooks/courses.

His impact to our local Chapter and the industry is long lasting, please see a more in-depth writeup below.

Sadly, Arlen’s health took a serious turn for the worse in 2021 and he was forced to suspend his practice.  He passed away on January 26, 2022. His legendary professional career now consists only of memories.

A long-time member of the Appraisal Institute, Arlen received the SRA designation in 1965 and the MAI designation in 1969.  He also received the CRE designation from the American Society of Real Estate Counselors in 1972 and is affiliated with Lambda Alpha International and the Northern California Real Estate Research Council.

Arlen originally worked with Coldwell Banker Company for 18 years. There he established the firm’s San Francisco Appraisal Division in 1965 and subsequently served as Vice President and Northwest Regional Manager of the Appraisal and Consultation Division of Coldwell Banker. 

In 1974 he left Coldwell Banker to establish (with Paul Fullerton) Fullerton-Mills, Inc., a highly regarded San Francisco-based independent appraisal and consulting firm which later became Mills-Carneghi, Inc. 

Over the decades, Arlen has held many positions in the Appraisal Institute. National positions include the chairmanships of the National External Affairs Committee and the National Vice Presidents Committee. He served on the Executive Committee for three years. Additionally, he was a member of the Southwest Regional Committee for 12 years.

Chapter positions include service as Northern California Chapter President; on dozens on committees, and as chairman and committee member for literally decades of Northern California Chapter Fall Conference presentations, seminars, and other local events.

In 1989 Arlen was the recipient of the Y.T. Lum Award from the Appraisal Institute in recognition of his work in fostering high ideals in the appraisal profession through his “zeal, sacrifice and devotion”. 

During the early 1990s he contributed over a period of years to the development of the USPAP Guidelines and Appraiser Qualifications as well as the original USPAP course.  He also taught one of the very first live USPAP courses in 1990.

In 1993 he received the Appraisal Institute’s Percy and Betty Wagner Award for the advancement of appraisal education and knowledge. 

He also received the Appraisal Institute’s prestigious George L. Schmutz Award for his special contribution to the advancement of appraisal knowledge through his publications on residential appraisal report form preparation.

On October 5, 1996, the Appraisal Foundation Board of Trustees elected Arlen to membership of the Appraisal Foundation in Washington D.C. He served on the five-member Appraiser Qualifications Board for a number of years and was Chair during 2000 and 2001.  

Arlen has been an instructor and lecturer since 1965 on various aspects of appraisal techniques and consulting practices. He has served as an instructor of real estate valuation courses for the Appraisal Institute, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the California Association of Realtors, the University of Southern California’s College of Continuing Education, and Golden Gate University’s Graduate School of Business and has also provided educational consulting to numerous private firms throughout the United States.

Additionally, he has over the past 30 years been selected on multiple occasions to write valuation courses and has served as a consultant to the Appraisal Institute as well as a number of other organizations in developing courses and curriculum for their members and employees.

Arlen has authored and co-authored a number of articles and papers on a variety of real estate topics, which include: 

• The Appraiser as an Expert Witness

• Real Estate Market Analysis 

• Appraising the Industrial Warehouse 

• Income Property Valuation 

• Commercial Office Buildings 

• Litigation Valuation 

• How to Appraise a View 

• The effect of the Energy Crisis on Real Estate Values, and 

• What Is A Real Estate Appraiser?

Since 1987 he has written multiple guidebooks for residential real estate appraisers and co-authored a book on the Appraisal of Apartment Buildings, which have been published by the Appraisal Institute. The titles include:

• The Valuation of Apartment Properties• The Small Residential Income Property Appraisal Report

• The Individual Condominium Unit Appraisal Report

• Communicating the Appraisal: the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report

• Communicating the Appraisal: the Individual Condominium or PUD Unit Appraisal Report

Most recently, he has written a seminar concerning the valuation of small residential income properties, as well as developed two classroom courses, two on-line courses and three on-line seminars for the Appraisal Institute.

Arlen has served on AI’s national faculty for decades, during which time he has taught at least 14 different courses. He has truly excelled as a leader, an educator, a mentor, and a shining example of what it means to be a professional.  He has inspired countless others to be better appraisal professionals and is a worthy recipient of the inaugural Northern California Chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

2019 – Richard M. (Rick) Betts, MAI, SRA (retired)

Rick Betts 2010

At our 2019 Fall Conference chapter’s second inaugural lifetime achievement award was presented to Richard (Rick) M. Betts, MAI, SRA.

Rick Betts received his Bachelor of Science, Business Administration from UC Berkeley in 1962 with a Field of Emphasis in Real Estate/Urban Land Economics. He went on to receive an MBA from UC Berkeley in 1963: also with a Field of Emphasis in Real Estate/Urban Land Economics.

He received the MAI, SRA, and ASA appraisal designations not long after graduating from Berkeley and commenced a long career of service to the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers, the Appraisal Institute, the Society of Real Estate Appraisers, the American Society of Appraisers, and other related entities as outlined below.

Mr. Betts’ service to the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers (AIREA) has included:

  • Member, National Editorial Board, 1975, and 1977-1982
  • National Textbook Committee, 1981-82
  • Vice-Chair, National External Affairs Committee, 1982
  • Member, Southwest Regional Professional Standards Panel, 1984-89
  • Director, Northern California Chapter, 1980-82 and 1986
  • Chapter Officer, 1982-85; President, 1985
  • Member, Chapter Fullerton Award Committee, 1986-89 and Chair, 1988 and 1989
  • Chair, Chapter Long Range Planning Committee, 1989 and 1990
  • Chair, Chapter Merger Committee, 1990-92 (facilitated the merger of multiple AI and Society Chapters into the current Northern California Chapter of AI)
  • His service to the Society of Real Estate Appraisers (SREA) has included: 
  • East Bay Chapter President, 1976-77 & Vice President 1974-76
  • Director, 1971-74; and numerous committee memberships
  • His service to the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) has included:
  • Chapter Director and Officer, 1966-69 San Francisco Bay Area Chapter:
  • Member, National Education Committee, 1972-77
  • His service to the Appraisal Institute (AI) has included:
  • National Appraisal Journal Review Committee, 1992 and 1993
  • Regional Professional Standards Panel, 1990-97
  • Chair, Northern California Chapter Merger Committee, 1991
  • Chapter Memorial Award Committee, 1991
  • Chapter Nominating Committee, 1994, 2003
  • SRPA Experience Committee, 1993-present.
  • Fall Conference Committee, 1998-9, 1999-2002
  • Chair, Technology Committee, 2003
  • Co-creator and President – REAMUG: (Real Estate Analysts Microcomputer Users Group),  1992-present

Mr. Betts has served as an instructor for:

  • The Appraisal Institute (AI and AIREA)
  • AI: Basic Income Capitalization
  • AI: Advanced Income Capitalization
  • AI: Numerous seminars and workshops
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • School of Business, U.C. Berkeley: Real Estate Appraisal courses
  • Extension Divisions, U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Santa Cruz: seminars on home buying
  • San Jose State University 
  • Multiple appraisal seminars
  • Merritt Community College
  • Real Estate Appraisal, Advanced Appraisal, Real Estate Economics, and seminars
  • Other Community Colleges 
  • Real Estate Appraisal courses and seminars
  • University of Southern California, Extension Division 
  • Appraisal of Real Estate courses
  • California Department of Real Estate
  • Teacher training seminars on Real Estate Economics
  • International Right of Way Association (IRWA) 
  • Numerous Seminars
  • Society of Real Estate Appraisers (SREA)
  • Introduction to Appraising Real Property
  • Principles of Income Property Valuation
  • Numerous seminars and workshops
  • American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers (AIREA)
  • Income Capitalization
  • Case Studies
  • Residential Valuation
  • Numerous seminars and workshops
  • American Society of Appraisers (ASA)
  • Standards of Professional Practice course
  • Seminars and workshops
  • International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) 
  • Fundamentals of Real Estate Appraisal
  • Income Approach
  • Development and Analysis of Reports

Mr. Betts has authored the following publications:

  • Instructor’s Guide for Real Estate Appraisal, with Silas Ely; California Department of Real Estate, 1979.
  • The Essentials of Real Estate Economics, with Dennis McKenzie; John Wiley and Sons, 1975; Second Edition, 1980; Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, 1992; Fourth Edition, 1994 & South Western, 2001; and Fifth Edition, South Western, 2005.
  • Basic Real Estate Appraisal, with Silas Ely; John W Wiley and Sons, 1982; Second Edition, 1989; Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, 1994; Fourth Edition, 1998; Fifth Edition, South Western, 2001; Sixth Edition, 2005; and Seventh Edition, 2008.
  • Instructor’s Manual for Basic Real Estate Appraisal, Sixth Edition, with Silas Ely; Southwestern, 2005, Seventh Edition, 2008.
  • Mr. Betts received the Robert H. Armstrong Award in 1986, by AIREA, for the best original article published in The Appraisal Journal

Mr. Betts’ Community Activities include: 

  • Rotary Club of Berkeley
  • Director or Officer, 1979-82, 1984-85
  • President, 1982-83
  • District 516 Area Coordinator, 1985-86
  • PolioPlus Area Representative, 1987-89
  • Co-Chair, 75th Anniversary Committee, 1990-1991
  • Chair, Advisory Committee 1996-97, 2002-03
  • Chair, Bylaws Committee, 1999-2003, 2004-2006, and 2007-2009.
  • Trustee, Berkeley Rotary Endowment, 1997-2000
  • Berkeley-Albany YMCA:
  • Member, Central Branch Board of Managers, 1990-present, and Vice-Chair, 2007-2008.
  • Member, Development Committee, 1987-1994
  • Member, Membership Committee, 1998-present
  • Member, Budget Committee, 2005-present, and Chair, 2006-present
  • Chair, Earthquake Committee, 2002-present