What a great conference we had in New Orleans. It was wonderful to meet with old friends and colleagues. The education was excellent and the hospitality was superb! Angela Orlando, our education director and meeting planner, is to be congratulated for a job well done! We all should start saving now for a great experience in Orlando next year!
During the week, I was asked many times: “What is your main goal as the 2008 President?”
My #1 goal is to get a new executive director on board and work in partnership to ensure a successful time of transition. The most important person in most non-profit associations is not the president, but the executive director. He or she serves as the chief staff officer under the direction of the president and the board of directors. He/she has the authority and responsibility for managing the society, its headquarters and all programs within the established guidelines. The board provides a map and a destination, and the executive director is the captain of the ship, tasked to see that the crew, comprised of staff and volunteers, is pulling together in the same direction toward the goal.
A search committee chaired by 2006 president Joe Corsetto was tasked to search for a new executive. Serving on the committee are Frank Lesh, 2007 president; Mark Cramer, 2000 president; Bill Richardson, president-elect; Charles Gifford, vice president; David Tamny, treasurer; Don Nelson; Bill Loden; Bill Coull, and myself. This group brings a wide variety of expertise and experience to the process.
ASHI engaged the services of TransitionGuides, a company that specializes in executive searches, to help the committee. The company’s representatives studied ASHI to learn about our profession, our culture and our needs. They received dozens of applications, did preliminary screening and helped conduct a first round of phone interviews. After the initial phone interviews, the committee met face to face with selected candidates to get to know one another better. It is my hope that a new executive will be hired and at work by the time this article is printed!
ASHI was fortunate to have a competent executive, Rob Paterkiewicz, for 12 years. Although we appreciated his guidance, the board of directors is ready to explore the possibilities that a new executive will bring to ASHI. In these tough economic times for the housing industry and our profession, it is a great opportunity for all of us to search for new and innovative ways to conduct our businesses. This is not a time to be complacent, but rather a time to seek ways to grow our capacity.
Other goals will be defined as the new executive becomes immersed in ASHI. Working together with the officers, board of directors, committees and staff, we will be evaluating our strategic and work plans, organizational structures and operating procedures as we look for new ways to strengthen ASHI’s position as the #1 association in the country. This is a daunting task, but one that will allow ASHI to move ahead with innovation and new enthusiasm.