By now you may have heard the buzz FROM InspectionWorld in Nashville. I have to admit up front that every IW I’ve ever attended was great. And this year’s was no exception. One of the best things about going to IW for me is that old friends still haven’t learned how to avoid me.
Fourteen past-presidents (along with the current president and president-elect) got together to discuss what accomplishments were achieved during their terms. The consensus of the past-presidents was that the older we get, the better we used to be.
So far, all of the feedback we’ve received from IW has been positive. Many members came to me to say how smoothly things were running. Exhibitors who returned to IW after being away for years said they were happy they came back, and of course, we’ve welcomed them with open arms. Even Lester Austin, our photographer for many years told me that not a single person approached him with complaints. He said it was unusual for him not to receive complaints. For some reason he looks like he has a sympathetic ear.
Of course, staff makes this all work. Without their dedicated service, it would not run nearly as smoothly. And the really good news was the attendance. We had 887 attendees of whom 627 were inspectors. That total far exceeded our goals, even surpassing Las Vegas, which typically has the highest attendance!
While staff was in Nashville, we had new carpet installed at HQ. It was 20 years old and getting pretty shabby. In addition, we had a wall removed in the second floor classroom in order to make room for our board of directors and committee meetings. Instead of paying for hotel space and high food/beverage expenses we will save a lot of money and have a better selection of food. A fresh coat of paint in the first and second floor halls and in the classroom/board meeting room has really spruced things up. An added bonus is that staff is looking forward to having the board meetings at HQ. They’ll be able to make their reports to the board, then get back to work (that is, at least, what they’re telling me).
Plans are already underway for next year’s InspectionWorld Philadelphia. Several ASHI chapters have volunteered with ideas and offers of help to ensure that our members will be welcomed and will enjoy the exemplary education that is a hallmark of IW. If anyone has any suggestions, please email them to me or Michele George. We’re always looking for creative thoughts.
This month I’d like to highlight two people. Michele George is the architect and builder of our InspectionWorld conferences. She researches the venues, arranges meeting rooms, selects the food and beverages, coordinates the educational sessions and the rest of the myriad details involved in conference planning. Although conference planning is one of the top 10 stressful jobs, Michele handles it with aplomb. We are lucky to have her.
Mark Lester is our office services coordinator. He’s been with ASHI for six years and this was his first IW. He usually stays at HQ while the rest of staff is on location. This year, however, he volunteered to go. We really appreciated his help and expertise in packing, stacking, sorting and organizing all of the essentials needed to pull off a successful conference. He shipped out 168 boxes, which were categorized and labeled for a smooth assembly in Nashville, then got everything packed and organized for the return shipment.
Mark is also a talented songwriter. To hear some of his staff holiday party music, go to: http://youtu.be/ZzaICzI6fOE.