On My Mind: Independence and Cooperation
The month of July has great significance in America. We often think of vacations, barbeques, baseball games and picnics. However, what we recognize as the American experience had its birth on July 4, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress ratified and signed the Declaration of Independence.
This group of men we now recognize as the Founding Fathers of this nation determined 238 years ago that the 13 British colonies could no longer function
and prosper under the oppression of King George III. The Declaration of Independence was as unique as it was bold. They told the greatest military power of
the day that free men had the right to throw off the yoke of oppression of tyrants. They pronounced to the world that men are born with the inalienable
rights of life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
If there is one characteristic that typifies home inspectors and ASHI members, it is independence. Many of our members, myself included, left other endeavors to test our skills and talents in the home inspection profession. While most of us will never become wealthy in this profession, we can make a good living for our families, and we gain a great deal of satisfaction that comes from having a positive impact on the lives of others.
While we can certainly recognize the benefits of independence, we also recognize the need to work cooperatively with other home inspectors to further our collective interest. ASHI is uniquely positioned in the industry to work for the profession as a whole. We are large enough and have sufficient membership support to make an impact, and we are led by volunteers who make significant sacrifices to work for the good of all inspectors.
One of the important functions ASHI
performs is providing
the home inspection
industry with a voice
in Washington, D.C. Our involvement with
the legislative and
regulatory issues that affect our profession is
formulated and coordinated by Capitol Hill Advocates, Inc., and its president, Randy Pence. Randy is in constant communication with ASHI’s executive director and the officers and directors of the association.
Randy has turned what began as an adversarial relationship with HUD into a productive partnership. HUD now relies on ASHI as THE voice of the inspection profession and invites our input on issues related to housing and home inspections.
Because of Randy’s work on our behalf in Washington, ASHI was asked to attend the National Healthy Homes Conference sponsored by HUD and held in Nashville, Tennessee, in June. ASHI executive director, Frank Lesh, ASHI School director, Jack McGraw and I attended the conference and were able to meet with several potential partners, which ultimately could result in relationships that will mean new business opportunities for ASHI members in the future.
In another major initiative, Randy has been representing ASHI in our partnership with other industry organizations in the
Coalition for Patent Fairness. This is an umbrella group consisting of business and professional not-for-profit associations and for-profit companies supporting legislation to protect businesses from unfair practices associated with patent abuses.
The Coalition for Patent Fairness
consists of scores of companies across the spectrum of American business such as Google,
Blackberry, Victoria’s Secret, Motion Picture Association of America, Verizon, the National Retail Federation and, of course, ASHI. We will work with the Coalition to address patent issues and abuses related to equipment and processes.
It is important that we all stand together to protect our common interests, just as the colonies and the Founding Fathers did
238 years ago. How appropriate that InspectionWorld is scheduled for Philadelphia, the birthplace of our democracy in, January 2015. As Benjamin Franklin stated at the signing of the Declaration of Independence:
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”