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Member Spotlight: Alicia Jupka, ARA

By ASFMRA Press posted 26 days ago


Alicia Jupka, ARA, of the Montana Chapter is the focus for this edition of the Member Spotlight series. Alicia, who currently works for the USDA Forest Service, joined the Society in 2022 and quickly worked her way through the Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA) designation requirements, passing her accreditation exam at the 2023 Annual Conference — just in time to walk the stage with her newly accredited peers!

How did you get started with your career in appraisal?

I began my appraisal career with the Department of Interior, Appraisal and Valuation Services Office (AVSO) Apprentice Program in 2016. My background is in geology, but my father, who spent his career with the Forest Service, suggested I consider a career in appraisal as he thought it would be a good fit. It turns out, he was right. The AVSO Apprentice Program was a great way to learn the ropes and build my appraisal foundation. I was given the opportunity to work across the country in different market areas, was exposed to a broad spectrum of property types and appraisal issues, and was supported by many incredible mentors. 

What appraisal areas are you most interested in?

With a geology/minerals background, I find any appraisal problems involving mineral rights or valuation to be the most intriguing. I feel that there are folks that are incredibly knowledgeable in minerals and folks that are incredibly knowledgeable in appraisal, but it is difficult to find crossover between the two fields. I think both professions would benefit from a greater knowledge or understanding of the other's expertise. I hope to become more versed in both fields and how they relate to one another so that one day I may be able to assist on both sides of the fence.

How do you feel now that you've earned  the ARA designation? Did you learn anything especially useful along the way?

I have so many emotions associated with earning my ARA certification - pride, relief, gratitude. The most useful thing I learned throughout the journey is that people want to help, you just need to reach out! I was fortunate to have many people supporting me throughout the process - from experienced appraisers providing input and insight while I was writing my demonstration report, to instructors providing help and support above and beyond what is offered in the classroom, to the ASFMRA staff doing everything possible to support me throughout the process — especially during a very stressful exam week where they blew me away with their genuine kindness and assistance. The biggest lesson I learned is to accept the help of those around and you will get farther than you ever knew possible. 

What are you excited for going forward? Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I am a fourth generation Forest Service employee and take great pride in being able to carry that torch. I look forward to my growth and development in the appraisal profession and am excited for what the future has in store. On a personal note, I love spending free time with my family — husband, three-year-old son, and nine-month-old daughter. I get out into the mountains as much as possible, whether it be for a mountain bike ride, hiking, skiing, camping, or just breathing in the fresh mountain air and appreciating the solitude that comes with it. I find that being out in nature really puts everything into perspective and even clears my head to help solve those nagging appraisal problems. Win-win!

1 comment



26 days ago

Having worked with Alicia while she was here at AVSO, she is nothing short of AMAZING!  Congratulations on a job well done - not an easy feat with a new baby and a toddler in tow!