On My Mind
By ASHI President Bill Loden
Writer’s Block But Inspired
Sitting down to write this monthly installment of “On My Mind,” I find that I apparently have nothing on my mind. I seem to be suffering from a severe case of writer’s block. Maybe I’m trying to write this too far in advance. It is Wednesday and I’ve got until Friday to have it turned in to the editor so maybe I should put it off until tomorrow. A couple of months ago I told Sally Chapralis, the Reporter Editor, I was a procrastinator. She corrected me and said I was “Deadline Driven.” That sounds better, so I’ll go with that: I am deadline driven.
In any case I’ve decided to start writing and hopefully somewhere along the way a muse may land on my shoulder and something brilliant will flow from my fingers to the keyboard. We’ll find out together.
For me, writing this column is probably the hardest part of being ASHI President. Many might think working with a boardroom full of opinionated home inspectors and a 70 member Council of Representatives would be the hardest part. Or maybe it is difficult dealing with an Executive Director who is also an ASHI Past President, one who as ASHI President during my second year as a board member likened me to Foghorn Leghorn. Of course he was just “Being Frank.”
The truth is we have a great Board of Directors. All are passionate about our profession and beyond passionate when it comes to ASHI. They make tremendous sacrifices of time to serve ASHI and in our business, time is most definitely money. They are diligent when it comes to preparing for and attending the board meetings. Association management literature is full of materials on how to make sure board members prepare for and attend meetings. In all my years on the board we have never had to concern ourselves with having a quorum.
Another plus we have is an active and engaged Council of Representative that provides membership input through the group leaders up to the CoR, Speaker Tony Smith. Tony represents the membership at all board meetings and is an active participant in the decision making process providing valuable input from the membership.
Many other members are working on our national committees to lay the groundwork for the programs we will develop for the future growth of ASHI. Because of the dedication of many hard working men and women volunteering their time and talent to represent ASHI members, we have an association that truly works for the betterment of the profession as a whole. Something these volunteers have all learned is that working for the association provides an incredible opportunity for personal and professional growth and enrichment.
I’ll give you an example of just what the folks at ASHI do for each other. Back around 2003 I decided to apply for a spot on one of ASHI’s committees. I don’t remember which one but I do remember the ASHI inspectors I worked with. There was great camaraderie on the committee and we would get together at various meetings and at Inspection World. After we moved on, there might not have been contact for five or ten years but we pick up the friendships when we do hear from one another.
One such contact occurred this past February when Past ASHI President Mark Cramer posted a notification on the ASHI forum that longtime ASHI member Paul Signore from Hawaii was suffering from a very serious cancer and needed financial assistance to travel to North Carolina for surgery and treatment. Paul was one of those ASHI members I met during our committee work years ago.
Paul’s family had set up an online fundraiser and we got the word out to the ASHI community. As a result of the efforts of Paul’s family, friends and ASHI family, we have raised over $38,000 to help the Signore’s with the costs associated with his surgery. I’m happy to report that Paul’s surgery was successful and he is back to work on a limited work schedule and we pray he will continue to strengthen in the coming months.
You see, ASHI is more than just an association to promote the home inspection profession. ASHI is a network of people who work together and work to support each other. As with anything in life, the more you put into ASHI, the more you will get out of it.
I hope each of you will take a new look at getting involved a little deeper in ASHI. Find and join one of our chapters. If there isn’t a chapter nearby, find some local ASHI members and start a satellite group. Volunteer to be a committee member either at the local or national level. Go to the ASHI forum and get to know the folks who post there. They will eventually become your friends.
My life has been greatly enriched by my experiences in ASHI. Yes, there has been a lot of work and long hours, but the rewards are enormous…and inspiring.