WHO WE ARE Senior Partners

Brian Kathenes

Brian Kathenes

Experience and Expertise

Experience and Expertise

Appraisal Instructor for the International Society of Appraisers, Core Course 101 - Professional Appraisal   
Practices: Appraisal Ethics, Business Practices, and Communication. 1989-1993.

Co-developer and presenter of Understanding USPAP: A Personal Property Perspective -- An intensive
one-day seminar addressing the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice

Co-designer and presenter of Turbo-Charging Your Appraisal Practice, and NAC Appraisal Marketing Bootcamp -- nationally delivered seminars on expanding and marketing personal property appraisal firms.

Designer and presenter of Appraising the Appraisal -- A continuing educational seminar for insurance professionals and agents.  Created to help insurance professionals understand the appraisal process.

Specialist Certified Appraiser of Personal Property in Autographs, Historical Documents & Manuscripts
A multi-year research, study, and testing certification issued by the International Society of Appraisers in conjunction with the University of Maryland.  Registered Number 970119  June 30, 1997.  Re-certified as a Certified Appraiser of Personal Property.  Re-certification, September 2002.  Retested and passed CAPP Recertification examination April 2009 

Chairman New York Winter Antique Show Vetting Committee on Autographs, Manuscripts & Rare Books:  Responsible for vetting all autographs, documents manuscripts and rare books displayed and sold at this most prestigious show.  Committee Chair 1993-1995;  Committee Member 1996-present

Successfully completed International Society of Appraisers / Indiana University CAPP program courses 101, 102, and 103, resulting in Designated Member Status. Indiana University / International Society of Appraisers Continuing Education Program. 

Successfully completed  ISA CAPP Course 104: Advanced Appraisal Theory & Report Writing  and ISA CAPP Course 105: The Appraiser As Expert Witness

Chairman of the International Society of Appraisers – Hearing and Discipline Panel of the ISA Ethics Committee 2001- 2003;

Chairman International Society of Appraisers Ethics Committee 2003- 2006:  Vice Chair ISA Ethics Committee 2001- 2003

Chairman:  ISA Marketing Task Force. 2008-present
Conference Seminar Leader

Traveling lecture series and celebrity appearances: “Betcha Didn’t Know That!”  Topics on sports memorabilia, antiques, collectibles, autographs, rare books, and ephemera.    2006- present.

ISA Conference: Santa Fe, NM:  “Beating the Bushes: Recession-proofing your Appraisal Practice,”  2006

ISA Conference: Chicago, IL: “Appraisal Ethics:  Should we or Shouldn’t We -  ISA’s Ethics Policies and Procedures”  2005

Library of Congress Guest Speaker and Panel Member:  “Appraising Your Manuscripts and Autographs”  Manuscript Society Annual Meeting,  Washington DC,  May 2003

Presented “Autograph Authenticating & Appraising” programs and “Ethical Appraisal Business Practices” programs at International Society of Appraisers International Conventions: Houston TX 1996, Philadelphia PA 1990, Long Beach CA 1989, and Baltimore MD 1987.

Designed and presented Forgery and Authentication Seminars for the American Philatelic Society, Detroit MI 1988, Atlantic City, NJ August 2002.

Created Fonies, Fakes & Forgeries: a lecture series and traveling exhibit for the Universal Autograph Collectors’ Club 1990-1992.

Delivered Appraisal Techniques and Practical Information for Archivists and Librarians at the Folger Shakespeare Library - Manuscript Society Washington, D.C. Chapter meeting.  1991.


Columnist / Author / On-air Valuation Specialist

Co-author:  Betcha Didn’t Know That 101 Antiques and Collectibles Trivia Tips That Can Make You Rich, Famous,  and the Hit of the Party   National Appraisal Consultants, LLC, Hope NJ, 2007

Science Fiction, Technology and Military Specialist for Discovery Channel TV Show “POP NATION:  America’s Coolest Stuff  Television series taped in June and July2005, for airing December 2005 on Discovery Channel

Co-host of VALUE THIS! With Brian and Leon, a weekly radio broadcast program relating to the value and appraisal of antiques and collectibles. 2001-present.  Syndicated 2003-2005 on WNTI and WRNJ.  Currently airing on Public Radio WNTI  91.9 FM and webcast on www.WNTI.org

Co-creator, writer and on-air co-host  “Betcha Didn’t Know That” daily segment on the history and value of unusual  collectibles and antiques. 2001-2005

Author The Autograph Detective  A regular column, 1988-1996, and infrequent submissions (to date) featured in the Pen & Quill journal and related magazines dealing with the identification, authentication, and the appraisal of autographed material and collectibles. 

Co-author What's It Worth To You, Montage Magazine dealing with valuation and authentication of antiques and collectibles, including sports cards, sports memorabilia and artifacts. 2000-2003

Contributor and advisor to USA TODAY "Ask Money" feature:  Providing authentication and valuation expertise on autographed material, sports collectibles, stamps, rare books, and ephemera.   1988-1992

Host and Producer of HOBBY WORLD, a weekly Cable TV program relating to hobbies and collectibles.  Cablecasted by Storer Cable Communications. 1985-1987                


Business Experience

President & General Manager: Progressive Business Concepts, Inc.,  a full-service, training and consulting firm, specializing in organizational performance.   And the direct mail marketing division Brian Kathenes Autographs & Collectibles, a specialty autographs and historical document service - buying, selling and authenticating autographed material, sports memorabilia, Hollywood & celebrity memorabilia, and collectibles.  1984 - Present.

Managing Partner, National Appraisal Consultants, LLC: A full service personal property appraisal and consulting firm.  NAC specializes in insurance reports & research, litigation support, valuation methodology consultation, and IRS-related appraisal matters.

President and Executive Board Member, Hope Area Chamber of Commerce – Hope NJ 1999 - 2005
Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, 1978, New Jersey Institute of Technology, NCE

Materials Planning and Control Manager:  Halston Fragrances / Max Factor:  Plant design and start up team member; new product launches, 1980-1984

Production Supervisor, Warehouse Supervisor, Materials Supervisor:  Estee Lauder Cosmetics.  Returns Operations Project Leader; new product launches, warehouse redesign team, 1977-1980

Operations Manager and Director of Sales: Richard G. Pfeiffer Inc.  Small Engine and Lawn & Garden Parts Service Distributor,  1970-1976, 1985-1987

Professional Associations and Memberships

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF APPRAISERS: Personal Property Appraisers Professional Society.  President of the New Jersey Chapter, 1991-1992;  International Society of Appraisers-NET Moderator of the PAPER computer network conference. 1989-1991.  Chairman NJ-International Society of Appraisers Seminar '93, the annual conference of the New Jersey Chapter of ISA.  Secretary of the NJ Chapter of ISA, 1989-1990.  Vice President NJ Chapter ISA, 1992-1993.

UNIVERSAL AUTOGRAPH COLLECTORS CLUB: Life member.  Past Member of the Board of Directors and first UACC Director of Education.

AMERICAN PHILATELIC SOCIETY:  Member and Guest Speaker.  Presented an Autograph Authentication Program at National Conferences in, St. Louis MO, and Atlantic City, NJ.  Member of the APS Appraisal Committee.

MANUSCRIPT SOCIETY: Member of the Board of Trustees, 2008-present.  A document and manuscript organization dedicated to education and research of autograph history.  Member and Contributor to Manuscript News.  Member of the 2003 and 2009 Annual Meeting Planning Team and Guest Speaker at the Library of Congress.


2009  Honored as the 2009 Business Person of the Year, by the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders,
and the Warren County Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

2008   Good Scout Award.  Recognized by the NJ State Senate and NJ State General Assembly in a Joint Resolution for  “meritorious record of service and commitment” to his community. 2008

Recipient of the International Society of Appraisers Media Award, 2004 and 1992,  for Outstanding Efforts in the Education of the General Public in Qualified Appraisal Practices and Ethical Standards.

1999 Honored as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year,  Hope, New Jersey.  Presented by the Mayor of Hope and
the Hope Township Council.
1990 Recipient of the International Society of Appraisers Marketing Award for Exemplary Marketing and Promotion of Professional Appraisal Services.                                                                             

1973  Eagle Scout Award, Boy Scouts of America

1996 ISA Service Award for work as Region 1 Representation of the International Society of Appraisers

1989 Recipient of  International Society of Appraisers Service Award  for developing Appraisal Education                   Programs for the ISA Computer Network.



Appraisal Services and Consultation for:
Estate Tax Liability                                             Charitable Contribution and Donation
Insurance Coverage                                            Equitable Distribution
Insurance Claims                                                  Asset valuation   
Litigation Support                                                Appraisal Education           
Pretrial research and                                            Bankruptcy
report preparation  / consultation

in the following specialties
            Historical Documents, autographs and manuscripts                   Coins, stamps & currency
                Rare & Collectible Books, pamphlets and correspondence                        Paper ephemera and collectibles
                Sports cards and sports memorabilia                                                              Movie memorabilia and movie
                Technology and Office Equipment                                                                   and star collectibles
                 Small engine equipment and engines

Conference Attendance and Continuing Education

1986 Baltimore MD:  International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

1987-1993  Various ISA Conferences including Chicago, IL, Philadelphia, PA and Long Beach ,CA

1993 NJ Chapter of ISA -- Seminar ’93:  Residential Contents Specialty seminar

1994 Boston, MA: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

1996 Houston, TX: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

1997 Alexandria, VA: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

1997 NJ Chapter of ISA – Seminar ’97 – Honing Your Appraisal Business Skills

1998 San Diego, CA: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

2003 Philadelphia, PA: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

2004 Atlanta, GA: 1996 Houston, TX: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

2005 Chicago, IL: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

2006 Santa Fe, NM: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

2007 Fort Worth, TX: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

2008 Baltimore, MD:   International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Residential Contents & Fine Art

2009 Charleston, SC: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference; Special Programs and Seminars in Rare, Exotic, and Collectible Cars, Residential Contents & Fine Art

Papers, Treatises, and Published Works

National Appraisal Consultants, LLC:

Co-author: Betcha Didn’t Know That 101 Antiques and Collectibles Trivia Tips That Can Make You Rich, Famous,  and the Hit of the Party  

Co-author:  NAC Appraisal Marketing Bootcamp-in-a-box; the Ultimate Appraisal Marketing Journey

Pen & Quill:  The publication of the Universal Autograph Collectors' Club
"Identifying Non-genuine Autographs:  Printed signatures and signed photographs" Pen & Quill XXI, No. 3 May-June 1988

"Identifying Non-genuine Autographs:  Secretarial  signatures" Pen & Quill  , XXI, No. 5 Sept.-Oct. l988

"Auto-pens and Machine Signed  Signatures"  Pen & Quill , XXI, No. 6 Nov.-Dec. l988

"Companion Autographs"  Pen & Quill, XXII, No. 2, March-April l989

"Sherlock Holmes and Autograph Authentication"  Pen & Quill, XXII. No. 3, May-June l989

"Pre-printed and Rubber-stamp Signatures"  Pen & Quill,  XXII, No. 4, July-August l989

"Autograph Appraisals --  What You Need To Know"  Pen & Quill,  XXII, No. 5, September-October l989

"New Forgery Style Discovered"  Pen & Quill,   XXIII, No. 1, January-February  l990

"George and Gracie's Rubber Stamp,”  Pen & Quill,  XXIII, No. 3, May-June l990

"Will The Real John Jay Please Stand Up,” Pen & Quill,  XXIII, No. 4, July-August l990

"Autographs and Ethics: Perfect Together,”  Pen & Quill,  XXIII, No. 5, September-October l990

"Pay Me Now, Or Pay Me Later,”  Pen & Quill,  XXIV, No. 5,  September-October l991

"Four Score and Seven Years Ago...,”  Pen & Quill,  XXIV, No. 6, November-December  l991

"Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth and The UACC',  Pen & Quill,  XXV, No. 2, March-April l992

"Common Sense Ain't So Common,”  Pen & Quill,  XXV, No. 3, May-June l992

"Overlooked Assets,”  Pen & Quill,  XXV, No. 4, July-August l992

"Lots of Common Sense in the UACC,”  Pen & Quill,  XXV, No. 5, September-October l992

"Who Owns That Autograph?,” Pen & Quill,  XXV, No. 6, November-December l992

"First Lady Autopens,”  Pen & Quill,  XXVI, No.1, January-February l993

"Autographs and the  Law,”  Pen & Quill,  XXVI, No. 2,  March-April l993

"Signed Sheet Music,” Pen & Quill,  XXVI, No. 3, May-June l993

"Rubber  Stamp Signatures,” Pen & Quill,  XXVI, No. 4, July-August l993

"Looking Behind  the Signatures ,” Pen & Quill,  XXVI, No. 5, September-Oct. l993

"Printed Facsimile Signatures ,” Pen & Quill,  XXVI, No. 6, November-Dec. l993

"Facsimile Hitler Documents,” Pen & Quill,  XXVII, No. 7, January-February l994

"Alfred Lord Tennyson and Misidentified Autographs,” Pen & Quill, XXVII, No. 2,
March-April l994

"Signed in the Photograph," Pen & Quill,  XXVII, No. 3,  May-June l994

"Group Facsimile Signatures," Pen & Quill,  XXVII, No. 4, July-August l994

"Brian and Jay's Collecting Tips," Pen & Quill,  XXVII, No. 5, September-October l994

"My Favorite Catalogs,” Pen & Quill,  XXVII, No. 6, November-December l994

"A Rather Large Opera Autograph,”  Pen & Quill,  XXVIII, No. 1, January-February l995

"Frank Who? (Franking Privilege),” Pen & Quill, XXVIII, No.2, March-April l995

"Father of the Blues  (W. C. Handy ),” Pen & Quill, XXVIII, No. 3, May-June l995

"High-Tech Collecting,” Pen & Quill,  XXVIII, No. 5, September-October l995

"Autographs Under Glass,” Pen & Quill,  XXIX, No. 1, January-February l996

"So What's It Worth?,” Pen & Quill,  XXIX, No. 2, March-April  l996



Other Works

"Identifying and Appraising Autographs, Manuscripts and Historical Documents"  In conjunction with the development of a specialty studies program for the International Society of Appraisers.  1996

"The Autograph Detective"  The Paper and Advertising Collector  June 1988  pp16-17  

"What's it Worth to You?"  Antiques and Collectibles Column  Montage Magazine,  Author -- Feature Writer 

  • "What's it Worth to You?"  Spring/Summer 1996,  pp 25-26  


  • "In Search of Signatures - A collector's Guide to Finding Authentic Autographs"  Fall 1996,  pp 66-67
  • "Old Books in the Attic" Montage,  Winter 1996,


  • “The Lowdown on LPs & 45s: Are Your Old Records collectibles or Cob-Web Collectors?”  pp 70-71
  • “2000 Collectibles in the New Millennium, ” "What's it Worth to You?"  Montage  Winter 2000


  • “Oh, You Beautiful Doll!”  Barbie and Antique dolls  pp 40-41
  • “Collecting Baseball Memorabilia – Hitting a Home Run or Striking Out?” pp 55-56


"How To Tell If It's Genuine" Paper Collectors' Marketplace,  September 1991 pp 16, 19, 84

"Robots That Forge Signatures"  Paper Collectors' Marketplace,  November 1991 pp 8, 78

"How To Identify A Qualified Appraisal"  The Manuscript Society News, Winter 1995, 24-27

“Collectible Stamps and Coins”  The Appraisers Information Exchange, Publication of the International Society of Appraisers,  Winter 2003-2004

“Betcha Didn’t Know That” Oldies 1510, WRNJ, Hackettstown/Washington, NJ  Co-author and on-air talent of this continuing series of radio spots relating to the value and history of antiques and collectibles

“Value This! With Brian and Leon,” formally “Trash or Treasure With Brian and Leon” Oldies 1510, WRNJ, Hackettstown/Washington, NJ,  and  WNTI FM and webcast www.WNTI.org   Co-author and on-air talent of the syndicated weekly call in “radio road show”  September 2001-present

“Betcha Didn't Know That! Volume One: 101 Antiques and Collectibles Trivia Tips That Can Make You Rich, Famous, and the Hit of the Party”  By: Leon Castner and Brian Kathenes.  2007 National Appraisal Consultants, Hope NJ

Published articles unrelated to specific appraisal work and valuation:

Syndicated columnist:  How To Build Team That Will Still Respect You in the Morning;  Series of articles written and published by the American Society for Training and Development

Editor and writer:  The Scoop   The Newsletter of the Hope Area Chamber of Commerce, Hope, NJ

Successful Selling Strategies: Volume one and Volume 2.  Beyond Hope Publishing, Hope NJ



Additional Presentations: 

Dealing With Ethical Dilemmas ISA Conference Chicago IL Assets 2005

Appraising and Identifying Autographs Letters and Historical Documents  1996 Houston, TX: International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference

Your Appraisal Practice Business or Hobby -- Turbo Charging your Business  1998 San Diego CA International Society of Appraisers Annual Conference


Other  --
Appraisal Report Development, Litigation Support,
Expert Witness Testimony and Deposition

  • Richard Nixon v. United States of America (Nixon Watergate Papers Case)


  • Estate of Richard Nixon v. United States of America (Nixon Watergate Papers Case)
  • Griffin & Taylor v. United States of America (7-14-98)  Cr69643.0  (Nixon Watergate Papers Case)


  • Linda Pincus v. Whirpool, Sears, et al Docket No.  MON-L-5834-93 (Personalty residential fire claim – residential contents and equipment)
  • Historical Documents International v. J, Ronald Getty; Edwin Shiver and Zankel & McGrane  No c-94-290-B  (John Paul Getty diary case)


  • Parkway Sterling-Regal – Haig Tashjian  BER-L-5174 (Personalty litigation – fine art & residential contents)
  • Sharon, et al v. Northeast Self-Storage, Inc. and Manchester Self-Storage, Inc., New Hampshire (personal property collectibles valuation including: baseball cards, sports cards, sports memorabilia dolls, toys, action figures, celebrity memorabilia and television collectibles)


  • Upsala College Bankruptcy; East Orange, NJ  -- Appraisal of the college personalty assets, library,  contents, rare books archive, and Abraham Lincoln Collection
  • Fleer / Skybox International: Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors:  Appraiser and Consultant (Sports memorabilia appraisal and consultation of the Fleer sports memorabilia inventory)


  • Tammy J. Parsons v. Scott D. Parsons, State of North Carolina, County of Wakefield, in the General Court of Justice District Court Division: 07 CVD 14236: Sports memorabilia and collectlbes
  • Mary Beidler v. Reed Beidler: In the Circuit Court of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Lake County, Waukegan, Illinoos No.  07 D 325: Aircraft, vessels, and exotic cars


  • Numerous dissolution of marriage cases and estate tax liability appraisals containing personal property including: residential contents, rare books,  aircraft, classic cars, Hollywood & rock memorabilia, and sports collectibles
  • Charitable contribution appraisals for written works, books, collections and archives, from and by Members of the US Congress,  US Senators, well-known authors, celebrities, and world dignitaries.