Before we discuss the exciting remodeling that ASHI is undergoing, it is appropriate to reflect on a year that most of us would prefer to forget. By the time you read this, we should be seeing the beginning of the end of this difficult and frustrating pandemic that has dominated our world for the past year. It is important to remember, however, that although this has been a challenging time for ASHI and for our profession, there are many who are experiencing far worse hardship than most of us have experienced.
Those of us who have come through this pandemic healthy and relatively unscathed should give thanks for our good fortune.
One of the most difficult decisions ASHI made in 2020 was cancelling InspectionWorld (IW) 2021, and cancelling ASHI’s annual meeting. ASHI had no practical alternative. The health and safety of our members, exhibitors, and staff was the primary driver of this decision. In place of IW 2021, ASHI will offer a virtual education event. This event will provide everyone with the same high-quality education (and state continuing education credits) that we expect at IW, and will do so in a manner that allows participation by more attendees. We expect to see many of you in person at IW 2022, and at our annual meeting, in Orlando.
The ASHI that was built in the 1970s and 1980s was due for updating to current standards. The remodeling of ASHI that began about three years ago has continued, even during this difficult time. The leadership demonstrated by ASHI Presidents Tim Buell, Scott Patterson, and Mike Wagner, and by our Executive Director James Thomas, has been instrumental in this remodeling. We have stripped ASHI down to its foundation. We are remodeling ASHI on this strong foundation. This remodeled ASHI will be a formidable force for excellence in the property inspection profession.
Most of the ASHI remodeling project to this point has involved components that are concealed behind the drywall. Most of these components are of interest only to those involved in running ASHI, so I will not bore you by describing them. One of the remodeling projects that is interesting is the upgrading of the ASHI culture. This is worth a brief description.
While remodeling ASHI’s culture, we are retaining the positive aspects while suppressing the negative aspects that have held ASHI back.
One of the positive aspects is the relationships between members, especially at the chapters. The Member Relations Committee (MRC), ably chaired by Bryck Guibor, is doing a great job encouraging chapter development and operation.
Another MRC project that involves building relationships between members is the mentorship program. A newer inspector can select a more experienced inspector to provide advice about anything involved with an inspection business. ASHI encourages new inspectors to take advantage of this program, and encourages experienced members to give back to the profession by mentoring the next generation.
Education is a major part of the ASHI remodeling project, and will be a primary focus of ASHI in 2021. New staff has been hired, and additional staff will be hired, to build a new and up-to-date ASHI education system. ASHI is acquiring up-to-date education development and delivery platforms. Using these platforms, ASHI is developing new courses that will incorporate modern adult education practices.
These new courses will not only provide the high-quality content that you expect from ASHI, they will do so in a manner that makes them more interesting and more enjoyable.
These new courses will be available in multiple delivery formats, such as traditional live classroom, instructor-led webinars, and one-way distance learning where you interact with the computer instead of a live instructor. ASHI will obtain state continuing education credits for as many courses as possible. In fact, ASHI intends to help chapters obtain state credits for chapter education events.
These are only brief descriptions of some of the education projects that ASHI is working on. Remodeling ASHI education is a long-term project, and it will take longer than one year to show significant results. Preliminary results will appear early in 2021, and rapid progress will be apparent by the end of 2021.
ASHI will not prosper based on education alone. Members, and prospective members, demand more. Remodeling ASHI involves innovative new projects that will make ASHI membership so valuable that joining and remaining in ASHI will be a no-brainer. Stay tuned for important announcements.
Remodeling ASHI involves establishing professional, business-like management systems, putting a good team in place to implement those systems, and developing a value proposition that will make most inspectors want to join ASHI. We continue to develop, professional management systems. We have a good volunteer leadership team. Headquarters staff is changing to bring on the talent and skills that ASHI needs. We are improving ASHI’s value proposition both for sole-proprietor members and for multi-inspector companies. The probability of success in this environment is high.
The mantra for ASHI, at least during my term, is: Plan, Focus, Do.
A plan describes the destination, and how we intend to get there. Focus keeps us on track so that we don’t get distracted on our journey to our destination. Do means getting things done, and holding ourselves accountable for getting things done. Planning, focusing, and doing is how we will get things accomplished in 2021. This is an exciting time for ASHI, and for the profession.
The ASHI brand, its foundation in this remodeling analogy, is strong. ASHI is the trusted resource for professionalism in property inspection. Our challenge is to continue to build on this strong foundation, and to create an organization that provides its members, and the public, with the professional services that they need. With your help, we will build an ASHI that we can all be proud of.
Thank you for honoring me with the opportunity to lead ASHI in 2021. I will do my best to prove worthy of this honor. As The Word says: “I don’t live on Mt. Olympus.” I don’t have all the answers. If you have any questions or answers, please contact me so we can discuss them.