I want to thank all of you for electing me to serve as your 2009 ASHI president. I never thought I would be in this position when I first volunteered for ASHI in 1994.
That will be the subject of this message: volunteering. If you have not volunteered for your chapter or at the national level, you have missed out on a fulfilling experience. Ask those who have volunteered. They will tell you they found it to be a tremendous learning experience, and they made great friendships. This is true even if they were on one committee or several. I’m referring to volunteering with ASHI, but you can get the same experience working for other organizations or community events.
ASHI offers many ways to volunteer, such as serving on national committees, the Council of Representatives or in chapter positions. I found all of these to be rewarding experiences. Each of us has varied skills and knowledge that can benefit the association. ASHI cannot tap these until you let us know what you have to offer. You can go online to ASHI.org to see the different committees and decide which one interests you the most. Or, you can ask the chapter leaders in your area how you can help. Chapters are a good place to start.
Volunteering will give you the opportunity to help direct the path of the Society and to help define the benefits of membership. You will learn leadership skills that will benefit you in your business and personal life. Interaction between committee members helps build personal relationships and develop negotiating skills. Volunteering requires honing your time management and project management skills. You will broaden your knowledge and develop long-lasting friendships as you gain recognition from your peers.
Most committees meet online through Webex or via conference calls. This allows you to contribute from home or office. Some committees meet face to face, but when this is necessary, ASHI pays for travel, hotel and meal expenses. Board of Directors meetings are face to face, once each quarter. The January meeting is held at InspectionWorld, the others in the Chicago area.
Occasionally, the Board will meet by conference call and Webex. Webex has been a great boon because it allows all the participants to view documents simultaneously.
This year, ASHI is going to post a biography of each committee chair so all of us can get to know them. Also, there will be a detailed description of the committees’ work plans and progress. Most of our members don’t realize the amount of work and time required of committee members. ASHI is fortunate to have such dedicated committee members.
We volunteer for many different reasons: to contribute our talents, to make a difference or because we want to help direct the strategic path of the society. The reason why you volunteer is not as important as having the passion to volunteer. I would encourage each of you to make a commitment to volunteer for some cause, be it ASHI or a community project. I know you will not regret it, and you never know where it may lead: You just might become ASHI President.
Again, I want to thank you and to let you know I’m looking forward to this year. I hope to see some new faces in the committees.