It’s hard for me to believe, but it’s been a full year since the Board of Directors asked me to take over the reins at ASHI HQ. What started out as an interim position has morphed into a full time job. Honestly, though, I shouldn’t call it a job. Maybe it’s just me, but this position is as close to fun as being a home inspector is. I’m serious. I really enjoyed inspecting properties. The challenge of finding deficiencies, concisely communicating both verbally and in written form to my clients was a joy for me physically and mentally. Although I must admit, I don’t miss the nasty clients. Or the irate home owners. Or the roofing nails in my scalp. Or trudging through the snow, heat and rain! Hmmm, what was I thinking?
While I don’t have to worry about the elements, working with the ASHI staff, the board of directors and our members has been a pleasure. A challenge sometimes, but that’s life. I’m glad I’m here and I’m glad I report to all of you.
This month’s Reporter has some powerful new features I hope you’ll enjoy. First, we’re introducing Herspective, the observations from the Women of ASHI. Female inspectors and vendors in the home inspection profession have a viewpoint that may be the same as the guys, or may be unique to their gender. Of course, as good inspectors, we won’t know that unless we keep our minds open. From the accounts I’ve heard so far, it’s a subject that is truly interesting for all of us. I hope we all learn a little from this feature.
Another feature is War Stories. These are tales from the front we’ve all shared in one form or another when we get together at chapter meetings or seminars. Sometimes it’s an irate homeowner, (read “My Worst Day as a Home Inspector” in this issue) or the homebuyer, or most likely the house. Occasionally, it’s something foolish we’ve done ourselves. One day I’ll have to tell you one of the dumbest things I ever did. In the mean time, we can all learn from these events, so if you have one you’d like to share, drop us a line.
Here at headquarters, we’re already preparing for Inspection World Philadelphia. Although it seems like we just got back from a successful IW Nashville, and you might think it seems a bit early to plan on IW Philly, but a lot of effort goes into creating an action packed and exciting conference. Request for submissions from speakers who would like to teach at our educational sessions have been sent out and we’ve already received responses which will be reviewed by ASHI’s Education Committee next month. Michele G. and Dave K. will be travelling to the Courtyard Marriott Downtown Philadelphia to check out the guest rooms, conference rooms, exhibitor space and amenities to help assure a smooth and successful annual experience for our attendees. We already have 20 exhibitors signed up for IW Philly, which is far ahead of last year’s timeline. Success doesn’t come easy, but it is well worth the effort.
We are also in the middle of developing the new ASHI website. It’s been years since our existing site was created and frankly, it’s getting pretty long in the tooth. We’re striving to make the new one more efficient for members to use, visually more pleasing and most importantly, easier for consumers to contact our inspectors. We want to drive potential customers to the site in order to give our members a chance to sell our services.
The database is also being totally revamped. How would you like the ability to change your personal data? Get a new phone number, email address, LinkedIn, or Twitter® account? Currently, if you have a new phone number or a new email address for example, you must contact HQ and we have to enter the changed information. While we strive to do that as quickly and as accurately as possible, it takes time and we may not get the information correct. So the new database, tied in with the new website, will allow you to make those housekeeping changes to your own profile whenever you need to. An acronym of caution however, WYSIWYG. So be careful to enter the information correctly.
By the time you read this, we will have had our first Board of Directors meeting at ASHI headquarters. We will be able to save thousands of dollars by utilizing our own facilities instead of the meetings being hosted at hotels. In addition, staff will be able to answer any questions the board may have and then return to work instead of just sitting around at the meeting.
Speaking of board meetings, headquarter operations and staff I couldn’t keep all of this straight, let alone putting it all together, without the help of my executive assistant Virginia Baker. Ginny keeps track of the who, what, where and when I need to know. Aside from keeping me in line, she takes the minutes of the board meetings. So you know she has to have the patience of Job. Without her, they’d be calling me Captain Dunsel.